What is the device posture check?

The plague of widespread cybersecurity breaches that coincided with the Covid-19 pandemic has been a massive reminder to all internet users around the world of the growing importance of cybersecurity. While the pandemic has accelerated technology adoption, it has also exposed cyber vulnerabilities and our inability to prepare to counter cyber threats. While cyber risks continue to rank high, cyber security has become a board-level issue for businesses large and small.

As more and more workers choose to work from the comfort (and safety) of their home, overcoming cybersecurity challenges has become even more difficult. Although being online always carries some risk, at work you are usually using a network protected by anti-malware software, firewalls (opens in a new tab), and automatic backup systems. With all of this, a cyber threat such as malware is less likely to corrupt your software and you are less likely to fall victim to data theft.

At home, where workers use their own devices, it’s a whole different story, so finding a suitable solution to this security gap is essential. Learn about Device Posture Check (DPC), a solution that collects and inspects security-related data from all connected devices, allowing administrators to enforce application access, control policies, and disconnect any device deemed unsafe .

What exactly is CPD?

DPC can be defined as a procedure or software that performs checks on connected devices. It can run them once per connection or continuously at intervals programmed by the network administrator. The job of administrators is to ensure that only devices that comply with pre-established security policies can connect to monitored and maintained systems. The goal is to ensure that systems remain secure while allowing access to necessary applications and data.

These security policies may differ between different users and user groups, further ensuring that a network and its sensitive resources are protected by an additional layer of security. For example, an administrator can allow network access from devices with specific anti-virus software (opens in a new tab), possess a particular authorization file, have an encrypted hard disk or other appropriate certificates underlined by the administrator. After that, devices allowed to access the network are classified as trusted devices.

What is a trusted device?

Whether trusted or untested, a device is still a machine, whether it’s a smartphone, tablet, laptop, desktop or some other type of device. Internet of Things (IoT) device often used to connect to a company’s network. With the rise of remote work and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) becoming a global trend, the number of devices that can access a company’s computing resources has increased dramatically while cybersecurity has diminished.

To meet this challenge, it was necessary to classify devices as secure (or trusted) before they were allowed access to the corporate network and its resources. And, for a device to be marked as trustworthy, it must meet a particular set of security standards, some of which will be covered in the next section.

How do I get started with DPC?

There are many moving parts that an administrator must track while determining the security posture of a specific device. While proper software can do most of your job, to make it even easier, we’ve put together a brief checklist you can use to review and classify devices based on their security status. Also, although a desktop computer and a mobile device share many things, a DPC procedure differs in some areas.

1. Check if the software is patched and everything is up to date

An important part of DPC is ensuring that operating systems (OS) and applications are up to date with all patches installed. For example, if one of the workers logs in with their corporate credentials from a personal device running an unpatched operating system, this would create a vulnerability for the entire system. Although it may seem like a practical way to solve a current problem, it is likely to become a bigger problem for the company after a while.

2. Make sure anti-malware software is working properly

To secure sensitive data and ensure that your company’s systems, applications and data are properly protected, you want to be sure that anti-malware software (opens in a new tab) across all devices is up-to-date, compliant, and active. As an essential part of any security system, anti-malware protects its users against malware, phishing, ransomware attacks, data leaks, drive-by downloads, and exploits that use today’s vulnerabilities zero.

3. Make sure the device disk is encrypted

Disk encryption can protect your business from data theft or accidental data loss by rendering data stored on your hard drives unreadable whenever an unauthorized user tries to access your network. In short, it protects your data from hackers. So you want to make sure that device disks are encrypted and essential directories are protected.

4. Check if a firewall is configured on the device in question

Since firewalls act as barriers against outside cyber attackers, it is essential that they work properly. Firewalls also prevent malware from entering devices or networks through the internet and can be used to block data from certain locations, applications or ports. That’s why it’s important to constantly check for updates and ensure that firewalls are compliant and working.

5. Consult an SHA

When enabled, a System Health Agent (SHA) checks the status of system protection and updates on Windows systems and then provides feedback. As a system health validator, it includes information that a Network Access Protection (NAP) policy server can use to check whether a client computer is in the required state of health, allowing you to will give important information about connecting devices.

Why should you adopt the DPC and zero trust policy?

The zero-trust model is a security model requiring that all users, whether inside or outside a company’s network, be authenticated, authorized, and constantly checked for their security status before proceeding. be authorized to access company applications and data. The main concept behind this model asserts the “never trust, always verify” policy which implies that no device should be trusted by default.

By performing a DPC on all connected devices, you will gain clearer visibility into your business-critical assets and strengthen their security by preventing potentially insecure devices from connecting and allowing access only to compliant devices. to your cybersecurity posture.

The only effective way to prevent security breaches is to prevent them before they happen, and DPC will prove useful in this regard.

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