The rise of remote and hybrid work, BYOD policies, and cloud solutions empower SMBs to provide better products and services to their customers while creating a more flexible workplace for employees. Unfortunately, these changes increase a business’s attack surface, making SMBs more vulnerable to cybersecurity threats: in one study, 60 percent of SMBs reported at least one cyberattack in the past year and 18 percent reported six or more.
Legacy endpoint security solutions that rely on manual updates and analysis cannot scale to effectively protect SMBs from increasing risks at the network edge. By contrast, AI-based endpoint security that identifies and protects systems from unknown and zero-day threats as well as known threats enables SMBs to successfully prevent breaches, reduce costs, recover staff time, and quickly deliver ROI, even as the number of endpoint devices grows. MSSPs responsible for securing enterprise systems for multiple clients may realize similar or even greater benefits because of the economy of scale.
Key Security Challenges
Organizations without modern endpoint security typically rely on multiple uncoordinated solutions. These legacy systems present operational and financial challenges that include:
- An inability to prevent breaches without deploying additional resources. Without endpoint security, organizations are vulnerable to phishing and ransomware breaches that older security solutions cannot prevent. Even if a threat is detected quickly before it causes significant damage, businesses will still incur costs for investigation, recovery, and future prevention, as well as the possibility of regulatory- and compliance-related costs.
- Difficulty maintaining signature-based protection. Organizations that use traditional signature-based protection require staff time to review threats and deploy updates (which require server downtime.) As a result, teams are always reacting to known threats without the ability to prevent new ones.
- Inconsistent solutions across different operating units. Organizations that deploy a patchwork of solutions across business units are vulnerable to ineffective oversight, reduced compliance, and potentially redundant costs. This situation is especially common after mergers and acquisitions when businesses are faced with integrating multiple mature IT ecosystems.
- An inability to protect all install assets with a single solution. The increasing kinds of devices accessing business infrastructure range from personal mobile devices and specialized sensors and monitors to manufacturing control computers, network transmission equipment, and more. As the “Internet of things” grows, businesses will be expected to support even more devices without a proportional increase in security resources. Security teams will benefit from solutions that can scale to secure growing numbers and different kinds of endpoint devices seeking access to network resources.
Benefits of AI-Based Endpoint Security
Modern endpoint security solutions can address these challenges by replacing older signature-based protection with AI capabilities that can address known, unknown, and zero-day threats without requiring patches and updates. As a technical consultant in the manufacturing industry recently remarked:
“We wanted to go in the direction of an algorithm and not a pattern so that machines would not be connected to the Internet and have to pull any updates. Years of experience with products have shown that whenever there are updates, you can run into errors.”
Overall, effective AI-based endpoint security solutions enable businesses to:
- Discover and stop potential threats with minimal oversight.
- Manage security across growing devices and operating systems, including personal devices and USB drives.
- Minimize impact on system performance with lightweight disk and memory resource requirements.
Case Study: AI-Based Endpoint Security Delivers Substantial Financial Benefits
A recent Forrester study evaluated the potential economic impact of an AI-based endpoint security solution. For the composite organization modeled in the study, Forrester estimates that the endpoint security solution would achieve 100 percent ROI on the initial investment within six months and deliver the following financial benefits over a three-year period:
- Nearly a $1.3 million reduction in the overall cost of security breaches.
- More than an $800,000 reduction in subscription costs for decommissioned legacy endpoint software.
- Recovery of more than 8,000 staff hours by eliminating traditional antivirus updates. Additional time-saving opportunities include eliminating the need to review false positives or reimage infected devices.
In addition, Forrester estimates that payback on an initial investment in endpoint security would be achieved in less than six months. To learn more about the study, click here. To learn more about the ways that endpoint protection from BlackBerry can expand our partners’ capabilities and customer confidence, click here.