Everything you need to know about endpoint network security and how to conduct an endpoint security audit.
What is endpoint network security?
Endpoint security refers to the security measures placed on each endpoint of the corporate network. Endpoints are devices such as laptops or mobile devices that can access the network remotely. As more companies adopt BYOD (bring your own device) policies at work, endpoint security is becoming more and more important to protect the network from these added vulnerabilities. An important part of an information security protocol is regular audits. With this added emphasis on endpoint security, you should consider conducting an endpoint security audit to make sure your software and protocol are effectively protecting your network. Here’s how to conduct an endpoint security audit:
Before the network security audit
Establish a security protocol: The purpose of an audit is to see if you are complaint with your security protocol and goals. Make sure your protocol is up-to-date so the audit can be an accurate representation of your compliance. Find the right auditor: Interview several audit firms to see which one is a good fit for your business and objectives. Different firms will have different specialties, so find one that matches your security goals. Set objectives and parameters: Define the goals of the audit and establish any boundaries. For instance, do you want the audit firm to actually exploit a vulnerability they find to prove their point, or just point out the risk they detected?
Endpoint Security Audit Steps
An endpoint security audit will include at least five areas. To show your compliance and security strength, all endpoints will have to be tested in these areas.
- Patch status of all endpoints - Review of new patch notification process - Review of patch install compliance for all applications - Wait time from patch availability to install
Device Setup Compliance
- Review of all endpoints configuration - Configuration exception approval process
- Review of antivirus tools and installation/update process - User permissions – Can users disable the antivirus engine?
- Review frequency/schedule of vulnerability scanning - Review process for updating your vulnerability database
- Review encryption compliance for mobile/remote devices
Endpoint Security Audit Benefits:
An endpoint security audit is an excellent way to ensure your network is protected from vulnerabilities created by your numerous endpoints. An audit can point out weaknesses that you can then work to correct. The validation of external audits can give your customers confidence in your system. Ultimately, the time and cost of an endpoint security audit is less than the fallout from an information security attack that could damage your organization’s resources and reputation.