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What is endpoint security?

The threat of cyberattacks has never been greater. Businesses and consumers are facing new risks every day, and it’s only getting worse. This doesn’t have to be a losing battle, though: if you’re looking for new ways to protect yourself or your company, endpoint security could be the answer.

What is endpoint security?

What does endpoint security mean?

Endpoint security is a means of protecting networks by securing the phones, laptops, and other devices that access them. The larger a business is, the more potential risks it faces; each piece of connected hardware could be a target for hackers.

Endpoint security is often referred to as a “two-pronged” approach that, despite its potential complexity, boils down to these essential elements:

  • Encryption
  • Remote application control

Why is endpoint security so important?

Businesses are in a constant arms race with hackers. Updating and enhancing their strategies and tools for data protection is a continual and necessary process.

One big change in many modern industries is the introduction of the BYOD – Bring Your Own Device – practice.

Many employees use their personal phones and laptops for work instead of relying on company-issued hardware. This can be more convenient and less expensive, but it makes it a lot harder for a business to ensure that all endpoints are properly secure.

Compounding the BYOD problem is a marked increase in people working from home or abroad. Most of these remote workers will be using vulnerable internet connections. Whether it’s their own home Wifi or a hotspot in a shared space – like a coffee shop or a train – these connections are access points for hackers and malicious actors.

If endpoint hardware is the outermost wall of a company’s infrastructure, then that first line of defence is crumbling.

How to improve your endpoint security

Trying to work out how to secure your networked devices can be overwhelming. Here are three simple things to enhance your endpoint security:

  • Application Control

Application control means monitoring and restricting the applications employees use on their devices. In practice, this can be done using a centralised management platform linked to software on each connected device. A company can then block high-risk sites or specific forms of file sharing, ensuring that users don’t accidentally download malware.

  • Antivirus Software

Antivirus software can protect individual devices from malware and other threats, but it can’t keep the entire network airtight on its own. Even with application control in place, there’s always a risk of users accidentally exposing themselves to viruses or downloading dangerous content. Antivirus software can plug the gaps in app control, but it works best in tandem with other measures.

  • VPNs

Encryption is one of the two “prongs” in an endpoint security system. A great way to effectively encrypt your data is with a VPN. NordVPN already offers NordLayer, a service specifically tailored for enterprise customers. With a VPN on an employee’s endpoint device, their data will be wrapped in next-generation encryption.

Corporate vs. consumer applications

The most obvious targets for hackers are large corporations – they have more endpoints to access and more assets. Let’s not forget the consumer, though.

Individuals can still benefit from applying basic endpoint security protocols in daily life. Every time you connect to a public network or even use a hotspot at home, you’re probably a lot more vulnerable than you realize.

Antivirus software is a good way to protect your devices, but installing a VPN can really strengthen security too. What is a VPN? You can encrypt your data, hide your location, and enjoy a range of other benefits.

Combining antivirus protection with a good VPN will provide robust personal protection and keep your various endpoints safe. NordVPN also has the Threat Protection feature that helps you identify malware-ridden files, stops you from landing on malicious websites, and blocks trackers and intrusive ads on the spot. NordVPN also offers Meshnet, a feature that allows users to safely access devices remotely.