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Get to The Endpoint
John Martin 270005GK9M firstname.lastname@example.org | | Tags:  tivoli risk security martin compliance manager john business_it_security threats endpoints resiliency swg
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Endpoints are so versatile these days. While they be found virtually anywhere and do almost anything, they can also make an organisation vulnerable to security threats.
Everyone is literally a target. An endpoint presents a valuable target for a cyber criminal.
So why are endpoints such a security risk?
Endpoints are dynamic environments with numerous programs and plug-ins that are really difficult to secure. They have unpredictable patterns of usage which make them appealing targets and difficult to defend. They're also very valuable: they have access to all the data needed to conduct the organisation's actual business in the least protected area of an organisation.
Even if the sensitive data isn't actually available, the endpoint's computing power and bandwidth is a valuable resource: if a criminal can infiltrate it, they can use it for distributed password cracking.
A good example of this is the recent Sony Computer Entertainment hacking scandal, where over 77 million account holders were affected by a large-scale security breach. During April 2011, personal details including names, birthdays and billing addresses of Playstation 3 customers were potentially exposed to hackers.
This case taught us all a valuable lesson: If a global corporation like Sony is susceptible to being hacked, then midsized businesses are most certainly open to the same risks.
But while endpoints are difficult to manage manually, companies like IBM can help even the smallest companies with relatively simple cost-effective solutions such as Tivoli Endpoint Manager. This software enables you to encapsulate those issues into a compliance framework and provides you with a holistic view of all your company endpoints. A robust framework that covers security risk and compliance can remediate a lot of the issues straight away. So while the risks are great and the threats seem complex, there are a number of relatively simple business solutions available.
Research from Secunia has shown that you can significantly reduce your security risk by identifying and patching the most vulnerable software programs in your network, many of which are also among the most prevalent applications.
Taking control of your endpoint security is crucial, but with reputable partners like IBM on your side, it can be simple and cost-effective to protect your organisation.