This Halloween, escape from endpoint security nightmares

Celine Jones

Oct 31, 2022

8 min read

Imagine setting up a timer on your smartwatch to keep track of time while your pie for the office potluck is in the oven. But you forget that your home network is not as secure as your workplace. It’s quite easy for the next-door neighbour’s geeky kid to hack into it and bug your watch. Your pie is set ablaze. You are now left with no choice but to repeat the whole process or order in. The spirit of Halloween was in the air and you got tricked.  

Sounds like a nightmare? 

It’s closer to reality than you think. Technology is now oriented toward normalcy. There are children as young as five digging into their Xbox accounts for bugs and reporting major security flaws. We have also witnessed a big bend in the curve of working patterns during and after the pandemic.

As much as this change is inevitable, so are the evolving vulnerabilities. The onset of the holiday season pretty much keeps IT admins and security architects tied in a tug of war. Either save for the treats or get tricked! 

Paranormal activities to look out for

Around this time of the year, your inbox will be chiming in new emails from work, e-commerce websites, your favourite newsletters, banks with their offers, people-who-still-use-email-to-connect and HACKERS!! There are many “paranormal activities” to look out for in the cyber world. 

Social Engineering attacks

It is an umbrella term for all sorts of attacks that involve psychological manipulation to trick people. If an email looks too good to be true (unless it’s an email regarding your promotion from a trusted source) then hit the ‘report’ button immediately. Usually, the offender who commits a social engineering attack will have your general information to form a crafty, undeniable offer or a request to get their hands on your credentials.  

They would definitely nail the best duping costume at any Halloween party. 

Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)

When a threat actor targets an organization’s online activities using resources from numerous, distant places, the attack is known as a DDoS. DDoS attacks typically focus on launching attacks that interfere with network services and equipment functioning normally or even by design. 

IoT Botnet

A network of Internet of Things (IoT) devices that have contracted malware and are under the control of hackers is known as a botnet. IoT botnets are well-known for being used to perform distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks against target companies in an effort to interfere with their business operations and services. Due to the crucial role that routers play in networks; fraudsters have more opportunity to utilise IoT botnets to launch more devastating assaults. 

Advanced persistent threats

An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a targeted cyberattack that lasts for a long time and involves an intrusion into a network that goes unnoticed for a considerable amount of time. Instead of attempting to enter and exit the targeted network as fast as possible, the majority of APT attacks aim to gain and keep continuing access to it. 

Ransomware attacks

The most cinematic attack out of all…a race against time…to unlock your data before time runs out. Jokes apart, ransomware is malicious software that sits in your system and blocks access to your data. As a result, the attacker demands a ransom in return for access after payment. 

Zero-day attacks

A zero-day attack is one that takes advantage of a major software security flaw that the vendor or developer might not be aware of. Typically, you have ‘zero days’ to act on it. These security flaws can also be sold on the dark web for a lump sum amount. 

Endpoint security nightmares: The risks that make it a reality

Truth be told, the list of causes behind cyberattacks will barely come to an end. The giant leap in work culture brought in by WFH, BYOD, COPE etc is expanding the diversity in technology for enterprises. Combining it with the skill gap in cybersecurity today, it may get difficult for organisations to keep up with the current trends. Some of the most common factors that result in a cyber-attack are– 

  • Weak credentials 
  • Unpatched applications 
  • Social engineering 
  • Insider intel 
  • Physical damage/loss 

Apart from these, it is often reported that public and home networks are very prone to get our devices infected. Similarly, when employees bring their own devices to work, there is a risk of corporate resources being accessed from non-compliant devices. 

The amulets of cybersecurity

Cat hacking GIF by KittyKatCookie from tenor

Endpoint security refers to the method of securing the data and operations related to the specific devices that link to your server. Management and security are the two fundamental pillars that let enterprises manage and safeguard their endpoints.

Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) enables centralized management of all mobile devices, wearables, computers and endpoints of any kind. It’s essential that enterprises have access and control over all endpoint environments from a single console. UEMs offer them control over an ever-growing spectrum of endpoint and IoT needs. 


Understanding UEM

Organisations have come a long way from equipping a stationary workforce. With the work-from-anywhere model becoming the new normal, efficient device management methods have become indispensable. This is where UEM solutions make the whole shift easier to settle with.

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On the other hand, Unified Endpoint Security, is a layer added to UEM systems that combines additional security capabilities provided by technologies like Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP), and Mobile Threat Defense (MTD). 

Endpoint security vs Antivirus

Antivirus software is made to protect just one endpoint, providing visibility and, in many cases, access to that endpoint alone. However, endpoint security software examines the company’s network as a whole and can provide traceability of every linked endpoint from a centralized area.

System administrators have access to a centralised panel through the EPP, which is installed on a network gateway or server and enables cybersecurity experts to remotely administer security for each device. The client software is then assigned to each endpoint; it can either be installed locally on the device or provided as a SaaS and controlled remotely. After the endpoint is configured, the client software can remotely manage corporate rules, authenticate log-in attempts from each device, and send updates to the endpoints as needed. 

Your cybersecurity plan must include technology that can detect threats and mitigate all risks rapidly and efficiently. Some examples are mentioned below- 

  • Sandboxing 

Sandboxing is a security approach in which suspicious files are sent to a secure setting so that their characteristics and behaviour can be examined. They are either launched or destroyed if their traits match those of malware. This method works especially well at stopping zero-day assaults. 

  • Response Automation 

Response Automation shortens the time it takes to respond to a cyber threat by expediting routine reactions and tasks. When it comes to decreasing the impact of an attack on your system, this can make a huge difference. While human involvement in disaster management is essential, automation works to reduce it as much as feasible. 

  • Machine Learning 

When used in cybersecurity, machine learning is a sort of automated data analysis that creates a model or algorithm that enables computers to discover hidden insights without being explicitly told where to look. A score is generated by statistical models for each security occurrence. 

  • Incident Containment 

You can restrict or manage network connectivity of endpoints under investigation and deny the attacker access to additional systems by isolating infected computers. This will stop lateral movement. EDR tools offer a safe environment that enables access to the compromised system for reliable investigations. When examining an endpoint attack, this capability relieves the task of separating harmful from legitimate material or executables. 

  • Threat Intelligence Feeds 

A threat intelligence feed (TI feed) is a continuous stream of information on risks to the security of an organisation, both possible and actual. Threats to security, including malware, botnets, and zero-day assaults, are covered by TI feeds. TI feeds are essential parts of the security architecture that help find and stop security breaches. 

Some #SquadGoals for your enterprise

Some squad goals to maintain endpoint security

The primary goal is to build an effective endpoint security architecture to escape from endpoint security nightmares. Hexnode can help you build an endpoint security infrastructure that can provide all-around protection throughout the clock. Some features are mentioned below- 

  • App security: Allow access to only those applications that are approved by your organisation. Blacklist apps that are unnecessary or whitelist only those applications that are needed. 
  • Distribute enterprise apps: Safely install and update enterprise apps and manage their updates. 
  • Access management: Manage users when it comes to accessing the content in real-time within a specified location. 
  • Email security: Identify emails that were sent to domains other than business ones. Allow only corporate-deployed apps to open attachments. 
  • Data security: Encrypt and lock devices or even wipe off the corporate data in a device. 
  • Location tracking and geofencing: Enforce policies that apply within a geofence and have all the location non-compliant devices automatically restricted. 

Creepin’ it real

The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the most frequent attack vectors in endpoint security, and its significance will only increase over time. Understanding not only the latter stages of the cyberattack kill chain but also focusing on the first attack vectors, such as endpoints, can provide a roadmap for matching preventive measures with current threats.  

Gone are the days of ‘qwerty’ and ‘password’ as passwords. Secure with a “ %ft4fgTIko#6^&2 ” and let the hackers go “brrrrrrr….”. 

Mads Mikkelsen GIF by andooga from tenor

Celine Jones

"Why you no doctor yet?" ~Mum

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