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8 steps to for PC cyber security in your veterinary hospital

By December 6, 2021June 9th, 2022No Comments

End-user devices such as laptops, servers, handheld scanners, printers, smartphones, desktop computers and tablets have become part and parcel of running a successful veterinary practice. These devices are, however, prone to cyberattacks, and cybercriminals consider them as some of the most effective entry points to your veterinary practice networks when launching attacks.

To protect these devices, we use endpoint security systems to prevent malicious actors from accessing networks and launching attacks.

 

What is endpoint security?

By definition, endpoint security is the practice of securing end-user devices such as desktop computers, laptops, smartphones and tablets from cybercriminals and malicious actors. Endpoint security can be employed in areas such as your veterinary practice’s network or cloud.

Endpoint security is usually regarded as the cybersecurity frontline in the fight against cybercriminals, and in most instances, represents one of the first places cybersecurity experts look to secure in their networks.

Importance of endpoint security

Any device connected to your network is a potential attack vector that is capable of providing an entry point for cyberattacks. Endpoint protection has therefore become a vital part of cybersecurity strategies meant to address any threats from cybercriminals, hacktivists, nation-states, organized crime and accidental insider threats that may compromise your network.

Policies such as bring your own devices (BYOD) and remote working have also complicated the threat landscape by making perimeter security increasingly insufficient, creating new avenues for vulnerabilities in your network that are much harder to deal with. These policies have also increased the number of endpoints to protect, further complicating endpoint protection from malicious actors and cybercriminals.

The past two years have also seen a rise in human-operated cyberattacks that are more complex and mostly target endpoint devices to gain access to networks and computer systems, further complicating endpoint protection.

The aftermath of attacks resulting from endpoint compromise may also be severe and may include financial costs used to address cyber threats, compliance violation costs if hackers successfully steal data from your veterinary practice, and reputational costs, where your clients can no longer trust you to keep their data safe.

To avoid these risks, cybersecurity experts recommend having endpoint security solutions as part of your strategy for combatting cyberattacks aimed at your veterinary practice.

Types of endpoint security

Endpoint security will protect you from attacks resulting from both intentional and unintentional breaches.

There are different types of endpoint security solutions you can use to protect your veterinary practice from attacks. These solutions can be used individually or in combination with other solutions depending on your needs. Therefore, it is important to know which types of endpoint security solutions best describe your cybersecurity issues. Here are some of the most effective types of endpoint security solutions you should consider implementing in your practice.

 1. Antivirus solutions

Antivirus is the most basic and most popular form of endpoint protection solution. The endpoint solution is mostly installed directly on endpoint devices such as laptops, desktop computers and smartphones, and can help detect malicious software such as ransomware, isolate them and remove them from the network.

However, when used alone, antivirus endpoint solutions cannot detect attacks such as zero-day vulnerabilities and human-operated cyberattacks.

2. URL filtering

Most malicious software in a computer system are a result of drive-by downloads caused by staff and users of endpoint devices. URL filtering tools allow veterinary practices to prevent their staff from visiting sites known to contain unwanted software.

Although the URL filtering tool is effective in controlling the types of websites that users visit to reduce chances of downloading malicious programs, they are an ineffective endpoint security solution when employed alone in a network, hence why it is recommended to combine the tools with other types of endpoint solutions.

 3. Browser isolation

It is a fact that most malicious software are a result of drive-by downloads, and this cannot happen without the help of web browsers, which are among the most prevalent attack vectors in these types of attacks.

To avoid this, your veterinary practice can use browser isolation endpoint solutions that involve executing browsing sessions in isolated environments located either in servers or endpoint being used. Remote Browser Isolation (RBI) can also be used to access the internet, where browsers are only accessed remotely outside the veterinary practice’s network.

4. Endpoint detection and response solution (EDR)

EDR solutions are able to detect all files and applications entering all your endpoints and alert users of any threats if detected.

The EDR solution is also able to offer cybersecurity experts granular visibility, threat investigation and detection of malicious software, making them an effective tool to analyze endpoint threats that a network is facing.

5. Application control

This solution can help you blacklist, whitelist and graylist applications that can access your network. By doing this, you can prevent malicious software from accessing your network and resulting in loss of data or cyberattacks.

6. Network access control

Giving users different privileges and access ensures that only people with enough privilege access some sections of your network. Therefore, if one user or their endpoint devices are compromised, then the entire network is not at risk, and you can be able to correct the problem swiftly without compromising your network.

 

7. Endpoint encryption

 Endpoint encryption is probably one of the most effective modes of securing your endpoints available right now.

It involves encrypting data to and from your endpoints. This can help prevent data loss during file transfers or interception by malicious cybercriminals. It also helps prevent data leaks during transfer and also keeps cybercriminals away from your data.

8. Secure email gateways

Attacks such as phishing are propagated through emails. To prevent these types of attacks, which mostly end up directing users to drive-by download sites containing malware, consider a secure email gateway endpoint solution that monitors your incoming and outgoing messages for suspicious behavior and prevents attackers from being able to deliver the emails.

Secure email gateways can also help prevent phishing, spam and malicious emails, further reducing the number of successful attacks on your veterinary practice.

Are you worried you don’t know how to implement these solutions in your hospital?

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