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How to protect endpoint data: think beyond anti-virus

July 19, 2018

Many companies think endpoint protection begins and ends with installing anti-virus software on employee laptops. The problem with this mentality is that it focuses exclusively on prevention by strengthening perimeter defenses.

But data attacks act just like real viruses and other types of infectious diseases. They evolve to find a way in.

It's impossible for anti-virus software to keep up with mutating adware, ransomware, keyloggers, worms, Trojans, spear phishing, whaling, and other malicious software that are part of increasingly sophisticated social engineering attack strategies. So, malware gets through perimeter defenses more often than we'd all like to admit. While it's good to focus on prevention—companies also need to think about treatment strategies for when they do get breached. When that inevitable hack happens, companies that are able to restore and recover from clean backups have an undeniable competitive advantage.

Anti-virus does not equal backup

“There’s a big difference between anti-virus and data security. If you value your data, you need to back it up,” says Kentrell Davis, Senior Client Support Services Analyst at Diamond Foods. That’s why Diamond Foods’ IT team have extra endpoint protection installed on over 350 of their employees’ desktop and laptop PCs.

Most companies have some kind of server backup solution, to help protect critical data on shared servers. But, critical data lives on endpoints too, and most endpoints aren’t half as secure as servers. Employee laptops and tablets are as mobile as employees themselves, and are therefore more prone to loss, theft and meddling.

“It costs a business more to lose or recover data on lost or stolen laptops than it does to protect that data,” says Davis.

Diamond Foods’ IT team experienced this first hand when the company was hit by crypto virus a couple of years ago. Davis credits his endpoint backups for saving the company from paying any ransom fees because employees’ endpoint backups didn’t get encrypted by the virus.

To read more about Diamond Foods’ data protection strategy, see our full-length case study of their story, here.

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