As the cyber-crime statistics continue to shoot upwards with every passing year, people and companies are looking for newer and more effective ways to repel those invading threats. With this has come a great need to re-think traditional ways of protecting devices and networks from intrusion. Sadly, the average anti-virus software isn’t enough, and more serious solutions are needed. That’s where advanced endpoint protection comes into play. It has the potential to be a real game-changer, so let’s learn a little bit more about this subject.
What Is Advanced Endpoint Protection
The term “endpoint protection” is one that can cover a whole lot of ground. It includes pretty much every piece of security software that is installed on your machine. This is the case because your machine is technically considered to be an “endpoint.” The term “endpoint” (in this context) refers to any point of access for a particular system or network.
Normal endpoint protection includes things like anti-virus programs, firewalls, and security scanners. But, of course, we are not talking about normal endpoint protection here. All of these standard tools fall short of reality’s needs because they can only detect known threats. Advanced endpoint protection, on the other hand, uses machine learning to go a lot deeper than your daily scan. Most of these programs are driven by some type of AI, allowing them to be more self-sufficient than ever before.
How Does Machine Learning Benefit Security?
Machine learning brings a lot to the table when it comes to security. For many years, hackers and other cyber-criminals have had to constantly change their methods. As old loopholes close and new ones open, software and methods have had to change constantly. And, of course, those of us who want to be safe from these criminals have also had to play a neverending game of “catch-up.” Machine learning has the potential to change all of that.
For one thing, an AI can build a pattern-based profile of the typical activities on that device. It can learn what apps and programs you use the most, and it can analyze the ways in which you use them. This is especially useful for work computers, where the same tasks are generally performed daily. Eventually, the computer will come to recognize anything outside of its accepted patterns as a potential threat.
As we have often said, you can’t count on anything to stay the same for very long in the world of cybersecurity. Some studies report 82% of all new malware threats will disappear within a single hour. About 70% of all malware attacks will only be detected once before disappearing.
This trend explains why signature-based malware detection has proven to be so ineffective. An AI can potentially do a lot better because of the fact that it doesn’t need to look at software signatures or any other easily-spoofed details. When you update an anti-virus program, you are mostly just downloading new signature information guidelines, but we can already see that this will not prevent the vast majority of attacks.
Securing Endpoints: The Key Factors
Although we hate to repeat an old cliche, not all endpoint security solutions are created equal. Some of them are much richer in features than others, and not all features are needed. Let’s consider some of the key features and factors that you need to know about before choosing any of the options that are out there.
Multiple Levels Of Access
Much like the government or military, you can use multiple levels of access to compartmentalize sensitive info. This will keep an attacker from using a low-level user as a backdoor with which to infect the whole network. Obviously, the majority of endpoint users will be relegated to the lowest grade and will be unable to make any changes to the system or its settings.
We have already talked about signature-based detection and why it doesn’t work so well. One method that works a lot better is application whitelisting. Like a firewall, this feature is meant to block everything that isn’t on a pre-approved list. While a firewall does this with inbound and outbound connections, your endpoint security program should do it with applications.
You should only allow installation from sites and sources that are known to be trustworthy, as nearly all hacking attacks require the infection of an endpoint device with malware. One great thing about this is the fact that it can detect fakes more accurately than the human eye.
Network monitoring has always been a very important part of cybersecurity, but it has always required the eyes of an expert. When you are looking at the internet in its raw form, it is just a constant flow of data packets, which can be confusing. Without the knowledge to understand what is happening, the whole thing can look like a big mess. Not only that, but who wants to sit at the computer all day?
Machine learning, on the other hand, automates the process and allows the end-user to concentrate on other goals. Being a computer, the AI speaks the same language that your device does, making it far easier for the data to be interpreted. That means a faster alert when something goes wrong and a faster response time overall. Response time is always important when a cyber-attack hits, so you need to minimize that. Managed IT support services can also monitor your network, but that will probably cost more.
A lot of people understand the basic concept of endpoint protection, but we want our readers to be better-informed than that. AI-driven security tools are probably the future of the industry, so it pays to learn about them now. If you need the services of a good IT support provider (or if you just have questions regarding the above), you can call PCH Technologies at (856) 754-7500. Thank you for reading, and have a good day.