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Enterprise Networks Demand New Endpoint Security Considerations

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Blog - Enterprise Networks Demand New Endpoint Security Considerations

With the proliferation of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and remote working, endpoints have become more prevalent within enterprise IT landscape. Organizations are solving the demands of the ever-growing mobile workforce, allowing more and more laptops, desktops, servers and mobile devices onto their networks. These endpoints need to be protected from breaches, regardless of both their footprint (virtual or physical), as well as location (on or off-premise, in data center or in the cloud). According to TechRepublic, the cost of cyberattack against enterprise endpoints have risen to more than $9 million dollars per attack.

Part of the challenge of securing an endpoint is because it is where humans and devices interact continuously. This creates additional opportunities for malicious attackers and their exploits. A simple example is the reactive responses of employees bypassing security policies due to temporary business intent, which would create vulnerabilities that could be exploited by malicious actors. The exposure created by such vulnerabilities not only causes loss of IT and end-user productivity / local theft of data from the endpoint, but it also creates an entry point for the malicious attacker to penetrate the rest of the enterprise network and wreak more havoc. Additionally, as there is a call for many organizations to increase a more work-from-home posture, ensuring that endpoints are adhering to up-to-date security policies is imperative.

Network Endpoint Security

Furthermore, most organizations are trying to get away from approaches that rely on reactive security solutions and be more predictive. This approach can only be effective if the endpoint solution is assessed proactively and thoroughly against possible and existing breaches. Additionally, one needs to keep in mind that this type of validation is done against the endpoint landscape that is constantly changing - it should account for flexible, continuous and automated insight to detection, prevention and mitigation of the attacks.

CyberFlood Data Breach Assessment – Endpoint

CyberFlood Data Breach Assessment is an emulation-based solution that proactively provides in-depth, continuous and automated assessments of an enterprise’s security posture. The assessments are done through agents that can be installed throughout the network (e.g. DMZ zone, Data Center zone, etc.) or on endpoints (e.g. physical or virtual Windows 10). This allows assessment of endpoint security with continually updated threat intelligence, powered by Spirent TestCloud™. The emulation-based breaches are performed within designated segments / endpoints of the network and logs are automatically correlated to assessment security events. Users have the option of further disguising those breaches with evasion techniques, view live reporting, final reporting, or follow up with various actions such as filing tickets with popular incident tracking systems.

Let’s take a look at one simple use case that illustrates the need for continuous, automated assessment of endpoints.

  • A. Windows 10 Defender Firewall default policy is to disallow incoming connections.

  • B. Employee decides to temporarily modify Windows 10 Defender Firewall policy by opening ports to test an app.

  • C. Above action is not undone as the employee is distracted to perform other daily tasks.

automated endpoint assessment

This is a simple, yet prevalent incident within today’s enterprise network. With Data Breach Assessment-scheduled automated assessment in place, the SecOps team of this enterprise would have complete visibility to vulnerabilities that employees’ actions have created and can take action based on Data Breach Assessment reports.

Consider above timelines with Data Breach Assessment solution in place:

  • A. Initially, with Windows 10 Defender Firewall default policy, all the breaches launched towards the endpoint are blocked - which can be confirmed from Data Breach Assessment reporting.

  • B. User modification on Windows 10 Defender Firewall would make the endpoint vulnerable to certain attacks that are based on the ports that were opened for app testing.

  • C. Subsequent automated reporting of Data Breach Assessment would show attacks that are no longer blocked due to actions previously taken by employees. This reporting can be leveraged by the SecOps team to take necessary actions through CyberFlood Data Breach Assessment. An example for such actions is filing an incident ticket directly from CyberFlood Data Breach Assessment to rectify the employee laptop security state and rerun the assessment to confirm the expected security posture when the issue gets resolved.

Using CyberFlood Data Breach Assessment end-to-end security assessment and reporting brings real-life incidents and observations to validation of your real network, helping close security gaps. Learn more about how Spirent CyberFlood Data Breach Assessment can help in validating enterprise network infrastructure security postures.

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Tags: Security
Reza Saadat
Reza Saadat

senior technical marketing engineer, application and security group

Reza Saadat is a Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at Spirent in the Applications and Security group, with over 25 years of experience in computers and data communication technologies. At Spirent, Reza works with the Product Management, Engineering and Sales teams to bring to market new, cutting-edge applications and security testing solutions for network equipment manufacturers, enterprises, and service providers. His in-depth industry, market and software development knowledge as well as collaborative design and development skills have resulted in the creation of numerous  hardware and software solutions, which have been successfully released at companies such as IBM Corp, Cisco Systems and many more.