Endpoint Hardening - Why It's Essential for Cybersecurity

If you want your organization's endpoint security to be top-notch, endpoint hardening is essential.  “Endpoint security” refers to securing end-user devices – such as desktops, laptops and mobile devices. Endpoints also serve as potential points of access to your network, and attackers can exploit these points of entry within unsecured endpoints to gain access to your network. Endpoints are routinely one of the most exploited routes of entry, but there is a solution.

By hardening your endpoints, you can ensure that your organization's devices are secure, and safe from malicious actors. One of the strongest methods for hardening endpoints is employing regular security updates, or patches, to remedy vulnerabilities within your network – including endpoints.

What Is endpoint hardening?

Protecting endpoints is becoming an increasingly important task in the modern landscape. In the past, most data breaches involved the network itself – but today, endpoints are a key route of entry for attackers. For organizations that want to stay secure and breach-free, endpoint protection hardening is a must. But what does that really mean? Simply put, it means strengthening your endpoints to prevent attack.

There are many things organizations can do to help keep endpoints (and the rest of the network) secure, but an efficient patching strategy is widely considered one of the strongest methods of endpoint protection hardening. If you want your endpoint security to be at its best, patching has got to be on your list. Failure to patch is a major vulnerability, regardless of your organization's size.

Understanding patch management

Patching is the process of fixing security vulnerabilities across your network and endpoints. And patch management is key to ensuring your patches are deployed correctly to all devices on your network. Unpatched vulnerabilities are one of the top drivers of data breaches for a reason: They're an easy target. Leaving critical vulnerabilities untouched is like leaving your front door wide open, yet even large organizations tend to delay patching. If you want endpoint hardening, you need to patch – and you need to patch in a timely fashion.

In 2017, the Equifax breach exposed personal data for over 143 million Americans. That breach could have been prevented with timely patch deployment. As it turns out, that costly exploit had a patch that became available months prior to the Equifax attack.

For patching strategies to be successful, time is of the essence. While many companies prioritize concerns about deploying new patches and system down-time, the cost of a data breach will easily exceed that of any lost work time.

IT professional working on endpoint hardening cyber security

Patch management best practices

Patching has gotten a bad rap over the years. In the past, it was an arduous and time-consuming process that required professionals to do things manually. Even just trying to keep track of all endpoints has been a challenge for many organizations.

It is no surprise that so many people put off patching until the last minute, if they patch at all. Manual endpoint management is virtually impossible, especially with the number of endpoints that exist on networks today.

But today, this process can be automated  and streamlined with tools such as Automox. While there are many solutions on the market, Automox is a unique platform that allows users to remediate threats directly, while also providing increased endpoint visibility and monitoring. With Automox, you can see what is and isn't in compliance – and take action to correct any issues, all with the same tool.

This makes timely patching far more accessible, and much more realistic to achieve. When users can see what's happening on their network in real-time, a world of possibilities opens up. See what devices need further remediation, see where your vulnerabilities are, and take control of when and how patches are deployed.

Patch management is integral to endpoint security, and timely patching is crucial for patch management best practices.

Patching for endpoint hardening

One challenge many organizations face is ensuring that patches are deployed across all endpoints. This is where endpoint visibility comes in. While many tools promise to increase your endpoint visibility, being able to see all the endpoints on your network is just one piece of the security puzzle. The next step is being able to take action and remediate vulnerabilities within those endpoints. Endpoint hardening depends on good patching protocol; if your endpoints aren't getting patched, they're not secure.

With Automox, users have the ability to choose when and how patches are deployed, they can see what's happening on their network in real-time and much more. As an automated patch management tool, Automox offers full visibility into patch status, and power over patch application as well as automation --- giving users the control they need to tailor their patching protocol for their organization.

Endpoint protection hardening is essential to protecting your organization against attackers – and for many organizations, it is also essential for meeting industry-specific security standards.

Cyber hygiene for all endpoints

If you had bad hygiene, you'd want someone to tell you. Cyber security can be a tough subject; many organizations knowingly put off patching, believing they are taking a “calculated risk” by relying on firewalls and antivirus programs. While these tools have their uses,  many of the threats we face today are far more savvy and sophisticated – and are easily able to skirt around older security technology.

In today's tech landscape, patching is an essential part of good cyber hygiene practices. Regardless of your organization's industry or size, getting your patching game on point is going to be key for a good cyber security strategy. Keeping endpoints secure is a top priority these days, and a good patch management tool can help. Attackers are growing more savvy, and many use their own automated tools to engage in malicious activity. Using your own automated tools can help your organization beef up its network security, minimize the attack surface and reduce the risk of being exploited.

Automox for Easy IT Operations

Automox is the cloud-native IT operations platform for modern organizations. It makes it easy to keep every endpoint automatically configured, patched, and secured – anywhere in the world. With the push of a button, IT admins can fix critical vulnerabilities faster, slash cost and complexity, and win back hours in their day. 

Grab your free trial of Automox and join thousands of companies transforming IT operations into a strategic business driver.

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