The need for Endpoint Security solutions is gravitating from the fringes of executive consciousness to their critical focus. This means that many organization decision-makers and leaders are beginning to realize that cyber attacks and other threats can infiltrate them through their devices’ endpoints. As a result, they are wisening up and, like generals on the battlefields of old, are securing their breaches and ramping up their defenses. Just take a look at the data cited by Nyotron from the Cybersecurity Insiders’ 2019 Endpoint Security Report:
About 53 percent of IT managers and company executives believe that they will experience a significant increase in cyber attacks through endpoints;
Only 50 percent of these same leaders are confident that they can survive, let alone, repel the attack;
And only 49 percent admit that they do have Endpoint Security solutions to mitigate the risk — but are uncertain as to whether this defense system will be successful.
The threats that are sent by hostile digital forces through endpoints are many, and worse they are evolving. Avast names the three kinds that affect small businesses the most:
Phishing: This a friendly-looking but deadly email that appears to have come from someone that the recipient knows, such as a colleague or a business partner. He does not think twice about clicking it because the email passed through the firewall and the standard anti-virus programs without an alarm. The problem starts once the recipient follows the email’s directive for him to click on a link. Again, it will appear to be an invitation to join a group or check a product. But once he does, the attack commences — by bringing him to a very malicious site which will steal confidential data like email addresses, passwords, and log-in details.
Malvertising: This is the bad new kid on the hacking block because it can blend in with legitimate ads and appear to be part of a safe website. Malvertising looks like an ad and is placed by hackers on the authentic websites that the target of their attack often visits. This fabricated ad deceptively looks like the others that are on said websites. What makes malvertising more dangerous is that the user does not have to click on it for his device to get infected. All it takes is one supposedly harmless visit — and the malware on the malvertising ad enters the user’s computer or smartphone and, eventually, the rest of the IT infrastructure of his organization.
Drive-by downloads: This attack takes subterfuge to a whole new level. Again the user innocently clicks on a link, reads an email, and visits a website. Without his knowing it, the malware on those links and sites invades his computer and installs a software without his knowing it. The computer also cannot detect it. The software will then remain like a sleeper agent until it is activated — and then it goes on to steal confidential data stored in the device without being detected. This invasion can spread to the network of the user’s organization if he connects his infected laptop to the company database, for example.
The damage done by these cyber attacks can be considerable, especially to small-to-midsize companies. Beta News estimates one attack to cost a company anywhere from $1 to $5 million in downtime, repair, and data retrieval. The time to confront these threats and prepare for them by installing state-of-the-art Endpoint Security solutions is now.