by July 5, 2008 0 comments



Technological innovations have simplified data storage and access problems
largely. The adoption of technologies by businesses that drive them to higher
planes is at an all time high. Nowadays, businesses are moving towards
virtualization for seamless integration of data and saving costs and resources.
Portable communication and storage devices are not only being adopted by the
tech savvy executives, but have also become an integral part of the IT
architecture.

Today’s businesses demand for real time access to data spread across multiple
sources has driven users to adapt and adopt the latest technologies. The use of
such portable storage devices pose a huge security risk to networks at the End
Points and securing these End Points has become a major area of concern for IT
Security implementers in Corporate as well as Small and Medium Enterprises. To
ensure security from all types of threats, enterprises need to incorporate
measures that can provide complete protection from Internal as well as External
threats. In such scenarios, the perimeter level security alone does not provide
foolproof security to the network.

Business Enterprises are investing heavily in network and antivirus software,
firewalls, emails, and Web content security in order to protect themselves from
external threats at the network perimeter. Most solutions miss the importance of
securing networks from internal threats. These internal threats are from the
natives working within the enterprise. Security at both entry and the exit
points of data allows preventing network security breaches from within the
organization.

Out of the various security solutions available, very few address Endpoint
concerns. The simplest forms of Endpoint security programs include firewalls or
anti-virus software that can be distributed throughout the organization and then
monitored and updated from a centralized point. As against the complex forms of
Endpoint security solutions, a simpler solution should make use of Network
Access Protocol (NAP), which authenticates a user before he/she uses any kind of
data access device. It should work when a device tries to establish contact with
the network. It should validate the user credentials followed by scanning the
device. Once, it is convinced that the user meets the specified norms of the
corporate security policies it allows access. The devices that are not relevant
to the policies are given limited or denied access to the system.

Securing the Endpoints does guarantee the security of the network. It should
be followed with implementing security policies at the organizational level.
Lack of security policies in organizations, is the reason why news of customers
data being leaked due to negligence at the security end has become an every day
bulletin. Such types of breaches affect thousands of individuals leading to loss
of intellectual and confidential data resulting in not only financial losses but
also affects the trustworthiness of the enterprise. These enterprises range from
financial institutions to BPOs, from where customer data is stored and accessed
in large volumes. These vulnerabilities can be dealt with effectively if the
security at the Endpoints is given top priority.

Necessity of endpoint security
When we talk about enterprises and their computing environment all the devices
are considered endpoint devices. In such a scenario, today’s IT environment has
become vulnerable to threats that arise from internal as well as external
sources. IT implementers today must give top priority to safeguard the Endpoints
by creating policies that might curb such security breach instances as Endpoint
is the most vulnerable node in the enterprise network. Protection of network
resources has become virtually impossible with the number of people working from
various locations and using a variety of devices. This is the reason why
Endpoints have become potentially unsafe. The trend of demanding access to
network resources from any location has become necessary for today’s businesses.
Here, enterprises need to focus on providing perimeter level security and
protecting Endpoints, which will help minimize security issues.

Spam or junk mails have also become an area of concern today. These
unsolicited emails hit the system in bulk quantities resulting in bandwidth
loss, productivity loss and lay the ground for Phishing attacks to succeed. The
need for a solution that has the ability to intelligently learn and classify
emails by the behavioral pattern analysis of the users comes very handy.

Securing endpoints
Most of the companies today rely on Internet filtering programs, intrusion
detection software, and firewalls, which prove to be useful only for protecting
networks from outside threats. Today companies are facing major problems from
threats at Endpoints. These Endpoints can be secured by making the right choice
of technology and implanting certain policies, which will help minimize the
security threats that arise due to use of portable storage devices. Similarly,
the need to communicate with individuals globally has made Internet an integral
part of businesses today. Use of Internet with negligence might affect your
networks adversely.

Internet is a major source of virus, rootkits, adwares and spywares that are
all set to infect the network the moment Internet is accessed. There are various
companies in the market, that promise complete protection from all types of
threats but only some manage to cope up to that level of protection. A
technology needs to be developed at the WinSock Layer, which will prevent
malicious content from entering the system well before it enters the application
layer. This prevention method is better, than healing the system after it is
infected.

In short, secure the network by securing the Endpoints too.

While enterprises plan to implement a new security technology for their
networks, they should judge the past, present, and future threats before taking
a step further. Such evaluation will help them to keep a pace at securing their
networks from all types of advanced and upcoming threats. Therefore, it is in
the best interest of Enterprises to think about the future and prepare
themselves to safeguard their networks from security breaches.

Govind Rammurthy, CEO and Managing Director, MicroWorld

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