Sunday, May 19, 2024

Endpoint Security’s Role in Cloud Security

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You’ll hear tech experts say that “we live in a world without perimeters.” Meaning, in a landscape based on cloud computing – with edge computing connecting countless devices – it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact technical boundary between entities. What’s “inside” a business’s area of protection when employees log on to numerous third party web-based services? Or when we’re all working – and socializing – remotely. Is work at home or is home actually the workplace?

At the core of this challenge is endpoint security. Those myriad endpoints that may or may not be secured – and which are the hallmark of a remote, cloud-based world.

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In this webinar, we’ll discuss a core question: what is the relationship between endpoint security and cloud security? How can improving one improve the other?

To provide insight into endpoint and cloud security, I’ll speak with two top experts:

Jamie Zajac, VP Product Management, Carbonite

Dave Dufour, VP Engineering and Cybersecurity, Webroot

Download the podcast:

Top quotes from the full discussion:

Is Cloud is Actually Safer than On-Prem These Days?

Zajac: So I think that we really have to think about how people approach the different environments. What I found is that when people are using clouds like Azure or AWS, they tend to implement more modern code, more modern practices, using Platform as a service component, using tooling that’s specific for that environment. You can use a lot of those same tools or comparable on-prem and a lot of good practices. So I think I don’t look at it as more as which one is inherently more or less secure, but I think that people need to understand the practices that they’re taking in either environment and the tools, and then make sure that they’re appropriate and up to the job that they’re trying to ask that tool to do for them.

Dufour: I completely agree that right now, cloud, potentially, is more secure depending on the infrastructure. But security’s like a shark, stops swimming, it dies. And so I think from an engineering perspective, I’d give the cyber criminal some time, and I think we’ll see some breaches in some areas.

Endpoint Security and Cloud Security

Zajac: So I think endpoint security has benefited from the hyperscale of the cloud, that this has really allowed the transformation from signature-based files or signature-based detections to using the power of machine learning of AI, of the hyperscale clouds, to do that and to make it accessible to, fundamentally, every business and every consumer at this point.

And we’ve seen that trend over many years, and we’ve obviously seen it accelerate this year to the factors that we all are aware of. And so I think having the cloud be available and having endpoints get their intelligence from the cloud helps those devices be more protected than they could’ve been, say three or five years ago, or definitely 10 years ago.

Dufour: We have a cloud-first vision on our security because it’s just so much quicker and easier. We see a zero day. We maybe capture it on one endpoint, we’re able to update the entire base that we’re trying to protect simply by making that change up to the cloud. Now, one thing that’s interesting with the pandemic, people working from home, is we’ve seen a huge uptick in the use of endpoint security, where people maybe at home had let stuff lapse, now all of a sudden they’re that perimeter defense and the IT departments can no longer lock down the office.

The Pandemic and Endpoint Security

Zajac: So the endpoint is the new edge. There is no edge to the corporate network anymore. One of the big things too is a lot of people are susceptible not just to malware and file-based threats, but a lot of web threats and phishing attacks. So phishing attacks are usually the… I think they’re the number one most successful technique used to have a successful breach, social engineering, going after humans. And I think in the pandemic, what I’ve noticed is the level of distraction that employees now have when they’re trying to work, they’re trying to babysit, they’re trying to teach their children, they’re doing laundry, all these things, it makes it harder for you to be vigilant in what emails you’re getting and what links you’re clicking.

Dufour: We’ve seen a massive increase in emails around getting your check from the government, “Hey, fill this out. There’s a stimulus check coming. Give us your information, we can get you that check faster.” So there’s a lot of stuff that’s really playing on COVID and people are just really having to pay attention.

Best Practices for Endpoint Security, Cybersecurity in the Cloud

Zajac: I think sometimes, people fool themselves into thinking that there’s a silver bullet, that there’s a single tool that if they buy or they implement, that they’re protected. You really gotta do a proper assessment of understanding what data do you have, where is it, who has access to it, and how are you protecting it? And I think if you really ask some of those key questions for every application that you’re running, for every server that you’re running, whether it’s a SaaS application, whether it’s on-premise, whether it’s running in a public cloud, if you know what you have, who has access to it and how you’re securing it, yeah, you’ll probably scare yourself into making some different decisions, ’cause you’ll realize that by default, you didn’t use the best practices, or by default something was wide open or more open than you wanted it to be. So I think you really start with those key questions and do a self-assessment.

Zajac: I think automation is key ’cause if you’re relying on humans, humans make errors. We talked about them being distracted, that’s really common. So the more you can automate and put into templates and make rinse and repeatable, the higher compliance you’re gonna have.

Dufour: But something that is critical that we haven’t even spoke about here, depending on the type of attack you’re experiencing, a data breach is one thing, but most places nowadays are experiencing a lot of ransomware issues simply because ransomware, people can make money. And the number one way to protect yourself there is to make sure you’ve got good back-ups. Back-up is a cornerstone to actual cybersecurity, and it’s just something that we all need to be aware of, we need to take care of.

Future of endpoint security and cloud security

Zajac: So my crystal ball says it’s gonna be all about the network and the web and the internet traffic. It’s not gonna be about files, it’s gonna be about someone trying to be nefarious, someone trying to trick you on a website, trying to get in via malicious traffic. I think that’s gonna be paramount. Protect your network, not just your firewall, your internal network, but inspect it and have a good solution for looking at the traffic on your endpoint devices itself.

Dufour: So I think we’ll always have some type of endpoint solution that’ll try to protect us from phishing files and things, but I completely agree with Jamie. We’ve gotta get more to a network-based security posture where we’re able to detect threats that are in transit, both file-borne, phishing-borne, but also like data extraction and things like that. The network I really think will become more and more important because it’s gonna become nearly impossible to put endpoint solution on all of the types of mobile devices, all of the IoT devices, just everything, it’s just the network is where it’s gonna be at.

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