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Defensive Security Handbook by Amanda Berlin, Lee Brotherston

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Chapter 12. Endpoints

Endpoints, devices that an end user operates such as a desktop, laptop, tablet, or cellphone, are increasingly becoming a target for malicious individuals who seek to compromise a network. With an increasingly mobile workforce, growing numbers of knowledgeable workers, and rapidly falling prices for storage, the availability of vast quantities of data that are either stored on endpoints or available to endpoints via the repositories that they access (i.e., shared drives) is becoming more and more substantial by the day.

In what may appear to be a counterintuitive response to this increased availability of data, demands are high for ease of access to that data to be increasingly low friction, often in the name of productivity or agility of the organization.

Endpoints are, of course, also the location at which most people conduct activities such as web browsing, instant messaging, reading email, and clicking any random links or attachments that seem appealing to them at the time. The number of vectors available to attack the endpoint is large, and they are filled with targets for whom security is not necessarily the number one priority.

This has unsurprisingly led to endpoints being increasingly targeted, not only by malware and ransomware, but in more precise spearphishing and hacking campaigns.

In this chapter we will explore steps you can take on most endpoint devices to drastically reduce the chances of an endpoint being compromised, and to minimize the ...

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