Never sacrifice security: 5 tips for building an endpoint fortress

September 18, 20173 Minute Read

Every day it seems like there’s a new story about a security debacle decimating another business. How do you keep that from happening to you? How do you know when you have enough security? Maybe it’s time to reexamine your security on a system-by-system basis.

When it comes to endpoint security, you’ve probably got it all figured out. You have antivirus and anti-malware software on each PC, and you keep it updated religiously. That’s a huge first step. Unfortunately, there’s a lot more to endpoint security than that.

Let’s explore ways to keep your business data safe from the bad actors of the world.

1. Full disk encryption

More and more companies are requiring each PC to be fully encrypted. This means that all the data is protected, and if a PC itself is stolen, the data would be unusable. The caveat is that you’ll have to train your users to perform a two-step log-in every time they boot up their systems.

It’s just a quick additional step, and the return on that time investment is priceless.

2. Application whitelisting

Application whitelisting is a means of controlling what applications can execute on a user’s PC. After taking an inventory of the approved applications on a PC, a whitelisting solution will then compare any application trying to launch against that list. If the application is not on the list, it’s not allowed to run. This prevents so-called “drive-by downloads” that install malicious software without the user even knowing, just by visiting a corrupted site. It also has the side benefit of preventing users from downloading and installing unapproved software, so you have fewer support tickets dealing with unsupported applications that conflict with business-critical programs.

3. User management

User management is simply the process of making sure all your users are not Windows administrators on their own PCs. Someone who’s a user can’t install rogue applications or make any changes to a system that compromises your security. This countermeasure must be deployed with care—any employees who are not on-site may encounter productivity issues if they cannot update or manage their own systems. But, if most of your workforce is on-site, managing their permissions can be a valuable security tool.

4. Printer security

What’s printer security doing on this list? Printers have become endpoints as they penetrate the network landscape more fully. They have their own lists of exploits, where hackers can use the network connectivity to access private business data. That’s why HP LaserJet printers for business come with built-in security features that can help prevent malicious activities and recover automatically from an attack.

5. Document security

If you’ve ever printed out anything sensitive at work, you know all about “Print and Sprint”—the mad dash from your desk to the printer to make sure you’re the one to grab the document. The Print and Sprint is more than an inconvenience, though—those sensitive documents can provide a world of security issues. Beyond random people in your organization gaining access to an employee’s performance review, you could be in violation of privacy regulations. HP’s Private Print puts an end to the Print and Sprint and all the security woes that accompany it.

Private Print sends your job to the printer, but it holds the job there. You simply walk over at a leisurely pace, enter in your access code, and the printer will finish the job for you and deliver the documents directly into your hands. And it’s easy to sign up for a free Private Print account.

Endpoints everywhere

Endpoint security is more important than ever before, as the number of devices and systems that can be called “endpoints” grows at a rapid pace. The Target breach occurred because of undefended HVAC endpoints, and the growing reliance on the Internet of Things only underscores the need for a comprehensive security solution that encompasses every endpoint. If you’re using internet-connected thermostats, door or window locks, or any other devices, you’re creating endpoints that need to be secured. So don’t stop at your PCs, or your printers—keep a sharp eye out for the security of all your endpoints.

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