Email Security Intelligence - Shortcomings of Endpoint Security in Securing Business Email

Businesses now recognize that email protection that works at the client level on devices like laptops, desktops, and mobile devices is limited in safeguarding users and critical assets against phishing, ransomware, and other dangerous threats. Despite the widespread use of endpoint threat protection, cyberattacks and breaches - over 90% of which are initiated via email - are occurring at an unprecedented rate, with one in five businesses getting hacked daily.

There is too much for a company to lose in the event of a successful email attack to rely solely on endpoint threat protection, which should be viewed as a last line of defense to ensure a secure email. Having a comprehensive, proactive email security software solution capable of intercepting malicious attack attempts, protecting against human error, and fortifying an organization’s email infrastructure as a whole is needed to make email safe for businesses in this modern digital threat environment. This article will explore the limitations of endpoint security and how companies can bolster this protection with effective supplementary email security server defenses to mitigate the risk of suffering an attack or breach.

Be Cautious of Endpoint Security Limitations

Endpoint protection alone, which works at the client level on devices such as laptops, desktops and mobile devices, is limited in its ability to safeguard against cyberattacks and breaches, and should be viewed as the last line of defense.

Watch: Quick Overview of Endpoint Security Limitations

The Modern Email Threat Landscape is Dynamic and Complex

Email security risks have never been greater as we rapidly transition to an increasingly digital society. Attackers are exploiting businesses’ increased reliance on cloud email, inherently vulnerable and frequently misconfigured cloud cyber security platforms, and distracted remote workers. To make matters worse, cybercriminals are launching sophisticated attacks. A ransomware or phishing attack tricks users into sharing sensitive credentials or locking up critical files until a ransom is paid. Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a 600% increase in phishing attacks. Ransomware has also risen 232% since 2019, thanks partly to the pandemic, with 20 ransomware attacks attempted every second. The average cost of a ransomware breach was $4.54 million in 2022.

While email-borne cyber attacks were once simplistic “cookie-cutter” phishing campaigns exploiting unaware users, cybercriminals have since moved on. Modern types of phishing attacks have become so sophisticated and targeted that it is now difficult to blame the user for falling for a scam. After all, even the most security-aware individuals can be fooled by these dynamic, mysterious email threats, which often employ advanced social engineering techniques to manipulate psychology and stealthy fileless tactics that exploit legitimate, trusted cyber security tools to bypass endpoint threat protection. 

Malware and ransomware attacks are also becoming more complex and stealthy. Traditionally, the same malware would be sent to many users, and once these viruses were identified, endpoint security and antivirus companies used the file signature to identify new types of phishing attacks. This tactic is ineffective today, as attackers now generate a unique file for each recipient or avoid using executable files altogether.

Cyberattacks and email security breaches are becoming increasingly prevalent and challenging to stop, and no organization can afford the data loss and theft, downtime, recovery costs, and reputational harm that follow a successful attack. Over 60% of small businesses are forced to close permanently within six months of experiencing a cyberattack.

Where Does Endpoint Protection Fall Short in Securing Business Email?

In this modern digital threat landscape, it has become apparent that endpoint threat protection alone is not enough to keep users and sensitive data safe. Here are some critical areas where endpoint email security falls short in safeguarding businesses and their clients.

Critical security gaps leave corporate networks, cloud-based services, and sensitive data susceptible to attack. 

Corporate networks are more than endpoints, as they include the cloud, network, and log data, which all must be secured to prevent Business Email Compromise and other types of fraud. Endpoint threat protection is limited to the client layer and cannot intercept traffic between an attacker and a target. Thus, endpoint security must be the last defense against cyber thieves.

There are no preventative safeguards against human error. 

Endpoint threat protection takes a non-specific, retrospective approach to addressing email security risks, leaving the responsibility of identifying and responding to these email threats in the hands of the end user. Endpoint security providers get involved once a user has already received a malicious email and possibly disclosed sensitive credentials or downloaded malware ransomware. 

The high rate of false negatives in endpoint security solutions makes human error a significant risk. On average, Ponemon Institute reports that antivirus products fail to detect 60% of attacks.

Protection is not customized to meet businesses’ unique email security needs. 

The “one-size-fits-all” approach that is characteristic of endpoint threat protection fails to assess and cater to each organization's varying risks and requirements. Endpoint security providers do not evaluate and specifically address factors that are at risk, including the more highly targeted key people within an organization,, a company’s email security history, and other issues that must be considered to keep businesses safe.

Solutions are complex to manage and difficult to patch, leading to frequent vulnerabilities. 

Endpoint security solutions are separate from the expert ongoing system monitoring, maintenance, and support required to keep resolutions updated and critical business assets secure. The average time to fully deploy endpoint security patches is 97 days, and solutions frequently remain unpatched. Many businesses - especially small- to medium-sized businesses (SMBs) - lack the in-house cyber security tools, resources, and expertise needed to keep them safe, and endpoint security solutions cannot bolster companies’ IT security remotely to ensure they remain secure. 

Organizations need more visibility into their email security. 

Endpoint protection does not equip organizations with real-time insights into their daily risks and the email security required to make informed, proactive cybersecurity business decisions. As a result, organizations relying on endpoint protection alone frequently struggle with visibility gaps across their IT environment, organizational silos, and broken workflows that expose them to risk.

Bolster Your Email Security Strategy with Proactive Supplementary Protection

Maintaining a robust cybersecurity posture and experiencing longevity and success in any industry is more essential than ever. Too many businesses are making the critical mistake of relying on endpoint security alone to safeguard users and crucial assets, while others are failing to supplement these solutions with the caliber of email protection required to make it safe for business. While endpoint security is a great start, it is ineffective in combating today’s sophisticated and rapidly evolving threats without additional layers of proactive email protection accompanied by expert, ongoing system monitoring, maintenance, and support. This protection must anticipate and learn from emerging attacks and offer real-time cybersecurity business insights to improve decision-making and policy enforcement. 

Keep Learning About Improving Email Security

In strengthening their endpoint security, businesses must consider the future of cybersecurity. Comprehensive, proactive, and fully supported email security defenses are needed to fill the gaps in endpoint threat protection and make email safe for business.

  • Prepare your business for cyberattacks to make sure employees stay safe online.
  • Use the best practices for email security in order to improve your company's ability to protect against attacks and breaches.
  • Keeping the integrity of your email safe requires securing the cloud with spam filtering and enterprise-grade anti-spam services.
  • Learn more about the consequences of modern phishing attacks in our Phishing eBook.

How is your company closing the gaps in its endpoint security strategy to repel phishing, ransomware, and other dangerous, costly email attacks? Learn about a threat-ready email security solution that picks up where endpoint protection leaves off in securing business email.

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