How Unknown Endpoints Create Security Gaps

  • Team Omega
  • October 1, 2022

There are few trends quite as prevalent in cybersecurity as unknown endpoints as we and 94% of IT decision-makers learned in 2022. As your business grows, so does your attack surface through the constant additions of more endpoints. When you introduce an unknown endpoint into your network, you risk creating security gaps for threat actors to exploit and compromise your network. Instead of inviting breaches, it’s time to prioritize endpoint protection and management.

What are Endpoints in Cyber Security?

Endpoints are the physical devices your organization’s team uses to trade information with and connect to your network. These devices can be the laptops or desktop computers your staff is using to conduct work, as well as the phones, embedded devices, servers, and virtual machines also occasionally used as necessary. IoT devices like smart speakers, office light fixtures and thermostats, cameras, and security systems, are also considered endpoints.

How are Unknown Endpoints Created?

There are a variety of ways unknown endpoints can be created, but the most common is through the act of someone adding a device to the shared network without notifying the proper IT teams. This is much like someone opening a door to a secure building, then leaving it open without alerting the security team.

For example, if you’re working in a company with multiple offices across states or with remote employees across the country, a hiring manager may add a new employee or new device to the shared network without communicating with IT. If a tech leader in the Chicago office isn’t in contact with their colleague that’s in charge of onboarding in Denver, then endpoints can easily be missed and security gaps then created, all without the applicable parties ever knowing.

How Unknown Endpoints are Compromised

Unknown endpoint creates a blindspot in your security posture because it prevents your IT team from detecting, preventing, and/or alerting on cyber attacks. Additionally, proper asset management helps ensure that the appropriate patches will be applied further hardening your security posture. This can include:

  • Ransomware or malware that may compromise data or hold important information for ransom
  • Outdated software patches can expose a system’s vulnerabilities
  • Drive-by downloads via insecure rogue access points that occur without the user ever knowing
  • Exploitation of a lost or stolen device leading to a data breach

While a certain level of human error can be accounted for, it’s impossible to do so when unknown endpoints are present, creating massive security gaps in your system.

The Benefits of Comprehensive Endpoint Security Strategy

While proper asset management is the first step to ensuring you have a clear view of your endpoints that mitigates your associated risks, you should also prioritize endpoint security where possible. This will further enhance your cybersecurity posture, making you a much more difficult candidate for threat actors to target.

When you create a process for your endpoint protection that’s aligned with your overall cybersecurity strategy, you’re committing to a unified and simplified security strategy that benefits more than just your asset management program. With a comprehensive endpoint security program in place, your business will have the protection you need to guard against key attack vectors that could lead to an organizational compromise and potential data breach that tarnishes your reputation, costs you precious time and money.

In the current cybersecurity landscape, businesses with effective security and asset management measures in place stay competitive in their market. Implementing an endpoint security solution is no longer an optional choice, but a necessity to keep your systems hardened and data secure.

Defensive Endpoint Protection Practices to Adopt

Safeguarding your corporate and organizational data goes hand-in-hand with ensuring you don’t have any missed endpoints. A few simple practices you can implement to do this include:

  • Implementing full disk encryption of your endpoints for an extra layer of protection
  • Require the use of strong, complex passwords in accordance with industry standards and regular password updates
  • Keep your systems, and software up to date
  • Track all devices connected to your network and ensure their software is up to date, as well
  • Adopt a Zero Trust security policy and only grant access after identity and device verification

Whether your organization provides the endpoints used to access your system, or you operate on a bring-your-own-device ecosystem, if you prioritize endpoint management and implement an endpoint security solution, you’ll minimize disruptions and attacks, and proactively mitigate risk. As your attack surface grows, your endpoint protection should be just as critical as any other aspect of your security strategy.

Trust Omega Experts with Your Endpoint Protection

Together with the Omega ATC team, you’ll have the visibility of your attack surface that you need to safeguard your network and create an endpoint management strategy that will help you avoid joining the 69% of organizations hacked via their unknown endpoints. When you’re ready to prioritize your endpoint defense, contact Omega to schedule a demo of our endpoint security solution today.


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