IT Security professionals are often asked the following questions when getting interviewed for a new role.
“Do you know what Endpoint Security means?”
“Could you please explain what Endpoint Security is?”
If you are a newbie out of college, the above questions could cause a sudden panic attack. You might start to feel the rush of sweat glands racing each other out to release themselves onto your skin’s pores.
As you sweat yourself out while sitting uncomfortably in an airconditioned room trying to find words to answer the question that was thrown at you like a fastball, another curve ball comes fast approaching from the IT Manager who now looks more like a mean pitcher ready to strike you out.
“What’s your background in securing and managing endpoints?”
That’s it. Strike three and you’re out.
As you try to figure out what happened in that interview, you start contemplating on the questions you just encountered. Endpoint Security. What does it really mean? And why was that so important that IT hiring managers seems to be too enamored on it as they look at you intently, waiting for your answers like enthusiastic grade schoolers anticipating their teacher’s lesson for the day.
To be honest, a good and thorough understanding of Endpoint Security is the most basic foundation of an enterprise’s security. Failing to properly understand the significance of IT security at this level could doom any business.
So, what really is Endpoint Security?
Simply put, Endpoint Security is the process of securing and protecting — emphasis on “protecting” — all endpoint devices that are connected to the enterprise network, period.
Sounds very simple, right? Wrong.
You noticed the use of the term “endpoint”? That’s what makes this process a rather complicated lot.
Endpoint, in IT Security parlance, refers to all devices that are capable of accessing the business IT network. And with the booming of the Internet of Things, it can’t be considered as a real business infrastructure unless these devices are able to connect to the backend network from just about anywhere, anytime, everytime.
You are probably thinking, “Okay, then Endpoint Security is simply ensuring that all these devices: laptops, mobile phones, tablets, etc., are installed with company-provided Anti-virus solutions. Voila! The endpoints are secured. Simple.”
If you are one of those who think that way, then you would need to think again.
With the proliferation of mobile devices amongst business professionals, the rise in the incidents of theft and losses of these business tools could spell disaster for companies, especially those who store sensitive data on their portable gadgets. Data loss could translate to heavy financial setbacks and, most importantly, a loss of credibility within one’s specialized industry.
Okay then. What else do we need to know about protecting the endpoints?
There are one so many ways to do this. One could implement an Antivirus solution coupled with encryption. Another could use Application control together with network whitelisting and data classification. Or, one could go the traditional way via insider threat protection strategies, data loss prevention, and privileged access control.
There’s really no one single way to approach this concept. Most often than not, it would be a combination of different strategies, policies, and technology. Bottomline is, making sure that whatever Endpoint Security solution the company decides to adopt would be able to suit the business requirements vis-à-vis the data that needs to be protected.
So, the next time you take that invite for another opportunity to have a chit chat with an IT Security hiring manager, make sure to do a quick research of what the company does, how big the company is, and what are their security concerns, requirements, and current state. Knowing these factors would give you a better understanding of their Endpoint Security needs that would then translate to you being able to come up with a more credible assessment of what Endpoint Security means to their business.