Shortcomings of Endpoint Security in Securing Business Email

Businesses now recognize that 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 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 attack to rely solely on endpoint protection - which should be viewed as the last line of defense - to secure their email, and that a comprehensive, proactive email security solutions capable of intercepting malicious attack attempts, protecting against human error and fortifying an organization’s email infrastructure as a whole are needed to make email safe for business 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 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 risk has 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 platforms, and distracted remote workers, and are launching sophisticated phishing and ransomware attacks designed to trick users into sharing sensitive credentials or lock 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 scams exploiting unaware users, those days are over. Modern 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 threats, which often employ advanced social engineering techniques to manipulate psychology and stealthy fileless tactics which exploit legitimate, trusted system tools to bypass endpoint protection. 

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

Cyberattacks and breaches are becoming increasingly prevalent and challenging to stop, and no organization can afford the data 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 Endpoint Protection Falls Short in Securing Business Email

In this modern digital threat landscape, it has become apparent that endpoint protection alone is not enough to keep users and sensitive data safe. Here are some critical areas where endpoint 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. They also include the cloud, network, and log data, which all must be secured to prevent compromise. Endpoint 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 protection takes a non-specific, retrospective approach to addressing email risk, leaving the responsibility of identifying and responding to these 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 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 security needs. 

The “one-size-fits-all” approach that is characteristic of endpoint protection fails to assess and cater to each organization's varying risks and requirements. Endpoint security providers do not evaluate and specifically address factors such as the key people within an organization who are at the most significant risk of being targeted in an attack, a company’s security history, and other considerations 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 SMBs - lack the in-house cybersecurity 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

Email security is not a commodity. Instead, 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 of a company or failing to supplement these solutions with the caliber of protection required to make email 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 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 protection and make email safe for business.

  • Prepare your business for cyberattacks to make sure employees stay safe online.
  • Improve your email security posture by following best practices 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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