What is endpoint in cyber security
August 28, 2019 / GuidesFor Team
What is endpoint in cybersecurity?
Endpoint or the endpoint of devices has slowly but steadily made itself hugely visible on the radar of cybersecurity professionals recently. Many of these cyber warriors have marked the endpoint as a potential risk or entry point of harmful agents like viruses An endpoint is the point of entry wherein a mobile device connects itself to the more complex and vast computer network of an organization. Their endpoints allow a desktop computer, a laptop, tablet, a smartphone, a tablet, and other similar devices to plug themselves into the main computer network. It seems too easy or innocent to most of us who are used to downloading emails and documents from our office server into our newest android device. But unless we put in the necessary security tools, we can open ourselves and our company to a deadly cyber-attack.
These are just some of the ways how endpoint threats can enter our computer systems and cause almost incalculable damage:
- Phishing: The most deceptive because it is the most subtle. This social engineering form of attack comes as an email apparently from a friend or colleague that pops into your email box. The title sounds important and you automatically click to open the email. The message asks you to click on a link which turns out to be malicious. Clicking the link triggers a malware which invades your computer and the others connected through it. It can steal a lot of important data such as log-in credentials and credit card information. Through phishing, hackers have sold medical records on the dark web and used other people’s credit cards to make lavish purchases.
The cost to the company’s reputation and standing in the business community can be almost irreparable, once word leaks of a successful attack.
- Malvertising: These unsolicited, annoying ads that suddenly pop up on your browser will do more than just slow down your productivity. They can without your knowledge connect your website to other sites on the net which carry more harmful viruses. What makes this worse is that they can also suddenly invade the other browsers of your colleagues without warning. The cumulative effect is a deterioration in the bandwidth speed of your computers, your corporate website’s inability to respond to customer interaction, and its possible paralysis because of too many pop-ups.
- Drive-by-Downloads: This is one of the most silent attacks, and yet the deadliest. Possibly because it is the smartest, and allows the hacker using it to bide his time. The attack of malware or phishing can be seen in a matter of hours, if not within the day. Drive-by-downloads is a long-term cyber spy infiltration. The hacker using it again infiltrates your computer network through one of the employee’s endpoint devices. But instead of immediately grabbing all the confidential data he can find, it burrows in and digs deep. This allows the hacker to study the company’s day-to-day cyber operations, exploit its weak links, and dive into its hidden treasures. Then once he finds the crown jewel of the company — like the key to its newly established million-dollar cryptocurrency — he activates its sleeper to attack, right at the cyber heart of the company.
These are the risks that the organization’s anti-hacker security agents see when they look at the workforce’s devices and their endpoints. They have devised solutions like anti-spyware and firewalls that protect the endpoint itself, and not just the overall network. This system of protection has led to the development of Endpoint Security solutions which prevent breaches from happening in the various endpoints that the company is exposed to.