Challenges of endpoint security
With the increasing mobility of employees and the growing range of devices connected to networks, endpoint security has become an increasingly central issue in recent years. The diversity of mobile devices such as laptops and smartphones, as well as different operating systems do not make managing or securing devices any easier.
As employees often have to access the company network flexibly even when they are on the move, from home offices and from abroad in a wide variety of scenarios, IT administrators are faced with the challenge of protecting endpoints in accordance with the company's own guidelines, even without direct access to the device.
Preventative strategies include raising employee awareness of current threats and technical measures such as network security, device management and data encryption. New end devices must be integrated into the network and subsequently checked for compliance with existing policies each time they connect.
Beyond approved and current operating systems and antivirus software, the use of a VPN client with personal firewall is one of the most important prerequisites for secure access to the company network from end devices. If these requirements are not met on an end device, the device will be moved to a quarantine zone with reduced local privileges and limited Internet access until, for example, the operating system or antivirus software is updated to comply with the policies.
Client server model
In practice, these checks are implemented by a central server and clients on the end devices. When a device attempts to connect to the company network, the server checks the device for compliance with existing security policies and, if necessary, denies access.
Industrial Internet of Things poses new challenges
With increasing connectivity in the industrial sector, more and more devices are connected to the company network without an end user. These can be network-compatible devices such as barcode scanners, printers or POS terminals, as well as machines, entire production chains, vehicles, wind farms and countless other scenarios. In this environment, the differences in operating systems, protocols and infrastructure requirements are even greater than enterprise IT.