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Time to Get Serious about Endpoint Security

Created: 15 Dec 2013
Philip Routley's picture
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Time to Get Serious about Endpoint Security

 

Time. Whatever business you’re in, there’s just never enough of it. That’s why today’s host of computing devices are so invaluable to small businesses where agility, flexibility, fast turn-round times and lightning-quick responses are vital to success and survival.

Home, hotel, café, client site – with laptops, tablets and other mobile technologies now complementing the ‘traditional’ desktop, anywhere is good if you need to get busy, get an answer, get creative or simply get in touch.

But the many benefits of the endpoint explosion come with a health warning. And that’s because endpoint security poses a potential minefield that every small business needs to detect and defuse effectively.

 

ENDLESS ENDPOINTS – WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

Any endpoint used by any employee is a possible weak spot in your network – a potential route in for malware, a potential route out for confidential data and so a source of danger to the functionality and integrity of your business. And simple maths means that the more endpoints your employees use, the bigger the risk – a risk compounded by the fact that, attracted by the less formidable defences protecting many smaller firms, cyber-criminals are increasingly aiming their firepower away from larger enterprises. Over 35% of targeted malware attacks are now directed at small and medium-sized businesses.[1]

Cyber-criminals are also expert at exploiting complacency, loss of vigilance or sheer sloppiness – in fact, every kind of casual behaviour fostered by the endpoint explosion as more users work ‘on the run’ and blur the sharp edges that once demarcated office hours from leisure time. A single click by a single employee on an infected attachment or a link to a malware-infected website may trigger the tripwire and pollute your network or put it out of action, damaging your ability to do business and maintain your client base. Make no mistake – this threat is very real. 59% of smaller firms’ customers have taken their business elsewhere due to a supplier’s unreliable IT system.[2]

And there’s another problem too – our old friend, time. Every endpoint adds to the burden on your IT resource. Protecting each device, checking its security status, keeping pace with patches/updates – as more endpoints get deployed across your business, it all adds up to a task that’s ever more demanding, thankless…and ravenously time-hungry.

 

FINDING A MADE TO MEASURE SOLUTION

What every small business needs is endpoint security that’s effective and comprehensive, covering every desktop, laptop, tablet and file server too. But it also needs to be a perfect match for companies with limited IT budgets and limited in-house expertise. In other words, it’s a question of pinpointing a solution that delivers maximum benefit and minimal burden.

The first priority is to identify a single solution that can meet all your requirements, avoiding the need to rely on a piecemeal approach chaotically combining multiple offerings (perhaps from multiple vendors) and eating up management time as a result. But in a crowded market crammed full of promises, assurances, claims and impenetrable statistics, which solution should you choose?

In July 2013, Dennis Technology Labs, a fully independent hardware and software testing facility respected around the world, published some enlightening results.[3] Assessing five different market-leading anti-malware products, it awarded a triple-A rating to just one of them: Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013. As well as outgunning its rivals in terms of anti-malware protection, this was also the only solution of the five not to produce a single false positive.

 

TICKING ALL THE BOXES FOR SMALL BUSINESSES

As its name suggests, Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013 is specifically designed to meet the needs of small businesses. First and foremost, it deploys world-class anti-virus, anti-spyware, intrusion detection, data encryption and real-time behaviour monitoring under a centrally managed security umbrella – delivering benchmark protection no matter where employees or endpoints are located and no matter what private or public network they use to connect to the internet.

Leveraging the power of the Symantec Global Intelligence Network, this service defends you against unknown as well as known threats, with updates provided automatically via the internet to every endpoint every 5-15 minutes – and its pay-as-you-go subscription model ensures the financial predictability vital to sound cash flow management. Moreover, because the service is cloud-based (though an on-premise version is also available), no special hardware or management software needs to be installed on-site.

Crucially, it’s deliberately designed to minimise the load in terms of set-up and day-to-day administration. Set-up is a simple process taking a matter of minutes, while an easy to use, Web-based, access-anywhere console provides at-a-glance data covering each endpoint, its health and its security status. Extra endpoints can be added quickly and easily, with 24/7 support on tap to deal with any question or issues. All of this is perfect for the busy small business – just consider how one firm that uses the service estimates that a minute or two a week is all it takes to manage it via the administration portal.[4]

Safeguarding your company’s cyber-security is a serious business. And in Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013, you’ll find a solution custom-made to ensure that firms like yours can seize the benefits of the endpoint explosion while keeping the threats and frustrations at bay. This is a service that represents the arrival of the ideal endpoint security solution for small businesses. And it’s about time.

For a free trial of Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition 2013, click here