A means to an endpoint

In a world where hybrid work is now the norm and millions of connected devices form the IoT ecosystem, endpoint security is one of the most important and often overlooked components of a company’s security strategy.

01 September 2023

Judy Winn, Peach Payments

According to new research from Transforma Insights, the number of IoT devices worldwide will almost double from 15.1 billion in 2020 to more than 29 billion in 2030. And even though many different industries use them, the biggest growth segment will be driven by the consumers with smartphones, computers and tablets. These connected devices are endpoints, used in the office and at home, or both, and are creating an attack surface comprised of different entry points for cybercriminals to exploit. In the office, any device that’s connected to the internet is vulnerable. From security cameras to printers and other plugand- play devices, IoT endpoints have become prime targets for hackers. The State of IoT Security, 2023 report by Forrester Research found that IoT devices were the most reported target for external attacks, more so than either computers or mobile devices. So how do you go about securing this complex IT ecosystem?

For Sikhumbuzo Mthombeni, a pre-sales and architecture manager at Dimension Data, endpoint protection is merely decoration without intelligence. “A business may be running a secure client and the latest signatures, but evading signature- based technology is very easy because it relies on known vulnerabilities or things that have been published that have signatures,” he says, “but if something comes through and it’s a zero day [attack], it’s almost impossible to pick up in advance.” It may be expensive, but Mthombeni says incorporating endpoint detection and response (EDR) should be standard. “EDR takes a different approach to endpoint protection. EDR assumes that you’ve already been compromised and starts to look at behaviours and how to mitigate that,” he says. “It’s being able to respond to an incident that’s already happened on the endpoint. If someone has compromised a certain application, and they’re trying to run the right to your registry, for example, EDR will be able to pick that up as anomalous behaviour.”

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