Endpoint Security FAQs
Endpoint security is software that can be installed on a device to ensure that it is protected against different forms of malware. The most common example of traditional endpoint security is antivirus software. However, endpoint protection is available in different forms, and choosing the right one is essential to keeping your devices secure.
Next generation endpoint security looks very different though. At CWSI, we’re looking into the future of endpoint security. We’re developing software that is more capable of recognising threats. The goal is to use AI learning and a much more responsive system to protect endpoints against modern threats.
While cybercriminals can disguise their malware by altering their programmed signatures to avoid antivirus software, they won’t be changing what the malware does on the endpoint. For example, encrypting, deleting, and even creating files is a clear sign of malware. Next-gen endpoint protection platforms have been programmed to recognise these actions to identify and attack malware by monitoring the endpoint’s processes.
In order to fully understand how end point security works, we need to first understand how malware works. Malware is designed by cybercriminals, which means that they can program their malware to complete various tasks or operate in a specific way — in other words, malware can be customised by cybercriminals, making each one unique.
When malware is sent to an endpoint, it manifests in different components. Initially, the malware will consist of two components. The first is the virus itself which is encrypted, and the second component is used to extract the encrypted file. When the malware is downloaded onto an endpoint, the extraction will autorun in the background of the device, which means that the user won’t know about the malware being installed on the endpoint.
When the malware has been extracted, two more components will be revealed. A persistence mechanism is the first element, which is used to take over the operating system processes — this allows the malware to start up everytime the device is switched on. The second component is the malware itself, which can have a range of functions from stealing user data to encrypting or deleting files.
Each of these components has a recognisable signature on the endpoint. Endpoint protection is used to recognise these signatures and then delete them from the device before they can cause any further damage. Endpoint security software is programmed to catch these signatures in their early stages before the malware is installed.
Cybersecurity is an incredibly important topic to dive into. Unfortunately though, most explanations are fa
You might be wondering what an endpoint is first of all, so let’s start off with the basics. An endpoint is defined as one end of a communications channel. In other words, it’s the source that communications originate from or end at. In more simple terms though, it’s a device that you can use.
Here are some examples of an endpoint:
- Mobile devices
- Smart watches
- Medical devices
- Digital printers
- Internet of Things (IoT) devices
Point-of-Sale (POS) systems
Antivirus software is part of traditional endpoint security. Endpoint protection is made up of several different types of software such as antivirus, firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and anti-malware tools.
However, antivirus software is somewhat flawed when it comes to sophisticated modern cyberattacks. The software has been programmed to detect malware signatures based on a library within the software. This allows the antivirus software to detect and delete known malware as soon as it is downloaded onto the endpoint.
However, the problem is that cybercriminals have full control over their malware, which allows them to alter signatures that antivirus software uses to detect them. If the cybercriminal changes the signature to one that the antivirus software does not recognise, the malware will be able to bypass the antivirus’ detection.
Enterprise Mobility Management FAQs
Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) is the solution. EMM is software that allows businesses to allow employees to use their mobile devices securely and productively. This gives your workforce more flexibility, and it allows them to get the job done whether they‘re in the office or not.
The goal of EMM software is to allow staff to work on their own devices, whether that’s a smartphone, laptop, or tablet. The EMM solution makes these personal devices more secure, and it allows staff to be more productive while they’re on the go.
The software is available in different branches, but generally, the software is packaged in an enterprise mobility suite which offers various mobile management services in different degrees – all depending on the type of security and control your organisation needs.
EMM essentially allows you to deliver the configurations and profiles that take this under control and at scale without overloading your team. It then brings a simple deployment of changes and updates to the estate as the target moves over time.
No software will ever be able to guarantee you complete safety from the latest trends in cybercrime. However, EMM solutions will give your business full device management at scale.
With the ever-increasing reliance on technology, the threat of cybercrime trails closely behind. In today’s world, there’s a higher risk of a devastating cyber attack taking place and inflicting a massive amount of damage on your businesses. Ransomware is perhaps the worst form of malware your business could encounter, and it’s becoming far more common than you might expect.
Cybercrime can cause damage to your business network, and the last thing you want is a series of setbacks that will affect your entire team’s efficiency and productivity. Oftentimes human error is the biggest risk to any organisation, whether it’s intentionally sharing information or falling victim to phishing scams.
EMM will help your business to prevent that from happening, with the ability to contain sensitive data and protect it from external threats. Having control over personal devices will give your company peace of mind while allowing your staff to have mobility and increased flexibility with the flourishing BYOD initiative.
There are several different branches to the enterprise mobility network. Understanding what each one is and what it does is important to get the most out of your enterprise mobility suite. You can employ just one of these functions, or all of them depending on the security needs that your business has.
- Mobile Device Management (MDM) – MDM relies on an agent app (installed on an endpoint device), and server software (running in the organisation’s data centre or the cloud). The business can set different parameters, and policies, and configure different settings through the application installed on the endpoint device. The app on the endpoint device will then enforce these settings by integrating with the device’s operating system.
- Mobile Application Management (MAM) – MAM works on a smaller scale than MDM. Rather than configuring settings and policies for the entire device, the administrator can set policies for specific apps, or a subset of apps. This will allow the organisation to control specific elements of the device.
- Mobile Content Management (MCM) – MCM allows the business to control which applications are allowed to access and transfer company data. For example, you can prevent employees from sending sensitive business information over instant messaging apps and social media.
- Identity and Access Management (IAM) – IAM allows your employees’ devices to remain user-friendly even with parameters in place. This function lets you set policies based on how, when, and where company and app data can be accessed or transferred.
MDM, Mobile Device Management is the foundation of EMM solutions. MDM allows the administrator (the business) to configure different profiles and settings on the endpoint device – which manages all features on the device. This can only be done if an application is installed on the endpoint device.
With the profile (application) installed on the endpoint device, the administrator can encrypt various areas of the device remotely. This will also allow them to erase all data and information from a smartphone or tablet if it has been stolen or lost for example.
With MDM installed, the administrator can also gain insight into the device’s details such as storage, OS, configuration, settings and more. This would allow the IT department to remotely troubleshoot any issues with the device.
EMM on the other hand manages the entire device and provides policy compliance, data and document security, as well as app customisation.
Open Source Intelligence FAQs
The first step in launching a cyberattack is to get a clear understanding of the target by using a penetration test. Cybercriminals will try to gather as much information about a person or a business as they possibly can. However, they will need to do this without the target’s knowledge, and without triggering their security measures.
Gathering intelligence about their targets usually starts with assembling information from public sources. This is known as Open Source Intelligence, or OSINT for short. The easiest way to gather this information is through anything available online such as social media platforms for example — which is one of the best sources of OSINT.
However, OSINT is not just limited to social media platforms. There are other sources that cybercriminals will use to assemble information about their target. Anything of value can be used from videos, press conferences, reports, books, and even articles in newspapers.
OSINT is usually gathered from any kind of free public source, which is why cybercriminals can gather this crucial information without your knowledge. The information they use can be found by anyone on the internet.
OSINT is information that’s widely and freely available, so what possible use could it have in the hands of a cybercriminal? Modern cybercrime is much more advanced than you might expect, and any kind of information about a target can be put to good use.
Cunning cybercriminals can use OSINT to their advantage and allow them to craft a precise plan for their cyberattack. The problem is that while they are gathering this intelligence and planning their attack, you will be unaware of their plans and how they will be launching their cyberattack against your organisation.
Cybercriminals will be able to gather crucial information about your organisation which allows them to build a profile and identify possible areas of vulnerability that they can exploit. It’s very much akin to how a military attack would be coordinated. Intelligence and information are gathered first — preferably without the target’s knowledge. The next step is to use that information to develop a plan of attack. Once the information is structured and the plan has been perfected, the attack will be launched against the target.
OSINT is completely legal because it only uses information that is available through “open sources”. This means that it doesn’t include information that is kept within your organisation’s database, but rather just information available from public sources.
From social media to news articles and press conferences, the information gathered by OSINT is available to everyone. There’s a vast array of information spread around the internet, and any of this information can be found. While everyone has access to this information, OSINT simply allows a cybercriminal to gather all the information they need in a more precise and efficient way.
This is done through various tools and techniques. In other words, a cybercriminal doesn’t have to sit behind their computer screen for hours on end searching for relevant information, there’s software that gathers all the intelligence for them. Because they’re not breaching your security, there’s nothing illegal about OSINT.
Cybercriminals don’t have all the time in the world to gather their intelligence and form a plan of attack. Instead, they use a wide range of tools to gather the information for them as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Cybersecurity researchers have started keeping track of these various tools on the OSINT Framework. This framework gives you an overview of the various tools available whether it’s for gathering intelligence on the dark web, collecting email addresses, or even searching social media.
The tools are divided into their respective categories, and links are provided to each of them. If you’re looking for some of the popular OSINT tools that are used by cybercriminals to assemble a profile of their target, this is a great place to start.
OSINT tools are the various instruments that can be used to gather information from the internet. The most obvious tool would be a search engine such as Google. However, the problem is that there are several different search engines on the Internet, with each one throwing out different results based on the search query.
Hunting for information in each search engine would take far too long. As always, there’s a solution to this problem. Searx is a metasearch engine that will allow you to anonymously draw results from over 70 different search engines. Instead of searching the same query 70 different times, you’re able to get the best possible results with just one search. This is a much faster method when it comes to gathering public information from different sources.
There are hundreds of different OSINT tools available, and new ones are being developed on a daily basis. You can find similar tools for social media, PDFs, Word Documents, presentations, and so much more.
The best way to find these OSINT tools is through popular cybersecurity Twitter accounts. Scrolling through Twitter to find the correct and relevant information is not always easy, but of course, there’s another OSINT tool available here. Twinx allows you to anonymously gather information on Twitter, without even having to sign up to the platform. This tool allows you to search for Tweets based on the user who posted them, the time frame, their geo-location, and tons of other parameters.
There are two main OSINT techniques that cybercriminals can use to gather information about an organisation and their security measures. The first is passive recon, which is mostly what’s been covered in this article. Passive recon will gather the information that is widely available to the public. This information can be put together without directly engaging the target.
The other OSINT technique, known as active recon, is much riskier. This technique will actively engage the target’s system through tools like NMap and will provide much more accurate and up-to-date information. However, there is the possibility of triggering intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) while scanning for vulnerabilities in the system. Therefore active scanning is more likely to be noticed by the target, giving them time to take action.
It might seem like OSINT is only used by cybercriminals to gather information about their target and to find their weaknesses. However, your organisation can use OSINT to bolster its own cybersecurity measures.
Using OSINT to build a profile of yourself or your business will help you to identify the weaker areas of your security, as well as the information that you’re giving to everyone else on the internet (and potential cybercriminals). Gathering information about yourself from public sources can help your security team to develop better defensive measures and strategies.
The information they can find using OSINT will allow them to build up effective phishing attacks against your employees using social engineering. Social engineering is the act of manipulating and deceiving a victim by posing as a person or company that they might know and trust. If you’re aware of these elements and the potential phishing attacks that might come your way, you can proactively prevent them from being successful.
If you’ve identified a threat to your security, you can also use OSINT to build up a profile of the attacker. Gathering information about them, as well as their tactics and targets will help you to have a better understanding of how they operate and the type of cyberattacks they might launch against your organisation.