Businesses are increasingly adopting cloud applications and cloud platforms in today’s hybrid work settings, eroding the once well-defined enterprise network perimeter. IDC predicts that customer spending on the future of work technologies – spanning cloud and mobile solutions – is expected to reach US$656 billion in the next 6-12 months, representing an increase of 17.4% compared to 2020. 

Coupled with the emergence of a culture of working anywhere and anytime, new challenges related to remote network access are now more prominent. Without the stringent access management in the traditional office networks, endpoint security becomes the top priority for many companies, especially when cybercriminals are becoming more sophisticated with the attacks. 

For instance, with the recent e-commerce boom, most customers’ data are stored in cloud. Securing a business is not just about perimeter defence, but also implementing a total-security strategy that spans across the entire business operations, including the cloud. 

As a result, many businesses are now taking a defence-in-depth approach to endpoint protection. 

Now the question is, how can business scale up their endpoint security while preventing any future attacks? 

Key steps to achieve security optimisation

First step of achieving security optimisation is that companies need to identify their security vulnerabilities, evaluate the state of their existing business security systems as well as derive suitable security approaches based on the business requirements and needs.

Hence, visibility across all systems is the key to gathering all the information, including security weaknesses and digital footprints, required for the process. Therefore, as remote working becomes more prevalent and endpoint devices connected to the business network are prone to these attacks, endpoint security has evolved too to address the rising advanced security threats. 

For starter, the need for an extended set of logged events. When operating on endpoint devices, the initial step is to demonstrate how the interactions on the endpoint systems could lead to the risks of security events. For instance, the actions and the relevant processes that follow when employees download malicious documents could be damaging to the business network or worse, result in ransomware attacks. 

Moreover, centralised security management and configuration monitoring and controlling agent settings are critical for any large infrastructure. Lacking this feature could delay responses to cyberattacks for hours or even days. Implementing a centralised system effectively searches for indicators or traces of compromise and attack activities in the infrastructure, whether on-premises or on the cloud. On top of that, a centralised structure can easily integrate and deploy the right solution for faster remediation of attacks.

Last but not least, with a good chronological representation of the events, companies will have a better understanding of the sequence of attacks. Thus, IT teams can quickly respond to them while making resolutions to determine the severity and the extent of damage caused by malicious attacks. This not only reduces time spent on deducing such events but also helps to minimise operational disruptions.  

Prevention as the integral line of defence

While businesses can respond and mitigate the impacts of cyberattacks, what are the best strategies for enterprises to strengthen their endpoint security? The answer is through threat prevention that proactively detect, manage and remediate potential attacks. 

Businesses should have active endpoint solutions that monitor and ‘sniff out’ any possibilities of attacks, malicious traffic or possible threats. One way to do so is to examine files as they enter the corporate network, compare them against ever-changing database of threat information, cyber patterns and behaviours while determining if each incident is a legitimate traffic.

Afterall, it is not about only patching your security when cyberattacks happen. It is about having proper security design planning in place at every corner of your corporate network, whether your business operations are on-perm or in the cloud. 

For instance, one of HKBN JOS’ customers in Singapore was undergoing new business expansion and required purchasing new IT infrastructure, including workstations, servers, network and internet connectivity. Factoring the shift to a hybrid workforce, it is crucial to achieve security optimisation and prevent endpoint threats through strict security compliance. 

Our team of experts helped the customer implement total endpoint security controls with host-based network access of roaming profiles. This end-to-end application can automatically mitigate threats at the device level before the virus spreads to the rest of the network. We also bolstered their equipment with a multi-layered network security approach and provided a segmented and secured enterprise Wi-Fi to detect and prevent any security compromises and malicious activities. 

Endpoint security is relevant in all facets of today’s digital economy so businesses can stay prepared to meet current and future threats. Cyberattacks nowadays don’t just target enterprise infrastructure and company data. Rather, most of time these attacks are carried out through humans and exploited through their endpoint devices. With the evolution of workforce culture and decentralising work locations, the past perimeter is no longer valid with businesses moving towards hybrid or full cloud in the future. The one constant is that customers’ assets continue to be accessed by employees through their endpoint devices. 

Endpoint protection is at a whole new level brought forward by more governance and compliance requirements, especially when malwares and cyberattacks are evolving at exponential speed. Companies today must always proactively prevent and have appropriate endpoint solutions in place and be adaptive in their approach to managing these endpoints. Most importantly, the new baseline is detecting threats and responding based on anomalies. That way, companies can ensure all the data is well protected and minimise potential business impact in the long run.

This article was contributed by Jayden Soh, Head of Solutions, HKBN JOS Singapore

About the author

Leading the Business Solutions Group at HKBN JOS Singapore, Jayden takes charge in designing and building solution suites for local government agencies and enterprises. With over 15 years of experience in the industry, he has a customer-focused vision that propels his team to constantly build new competencies, explore latest market needs and trends to be able to provide relevant solutions for customers.