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3 Best Practices for Implementing Illumio Endpoint

With attackers increasingly targeting end users as gateways to larger targets within organizations, traditional security tools such as EDR are no longer sufficient. Furthermore, remote work means securing endpoints has become more complex than ever.

As such, it is crucial for organizations to shift their focus from breach prevention to breach containment, adopting new strategies that prioritize endpoint protection to ensure the security of their entire environment.

One way to further secure endpoints is with Illumio Endpoint. In this article, we will explore the best practices for implementing Illumio Endpoint and how it can be used in conjunction with Illumio Core.

Illumio Endpoint: Visibility, easy integration, and secured remote devices

With Illumio Endpoint, you get three significant benefits:

1. Illumio Endpoint provides visibility into endpoints and how they communicate with servers, cloud workloads, and IoT/OT devices. Using this visibility, security teams can create security policies that restrict access between endpoints and the rest of the environment to prevent lateral movement by attackers. By implementing these policies, organizations can significantly reduce the risk of attacks and limit the damage caused by a breach.

2. Illumio Endpoint easily integrates with the entire Illumio ZTS Platform, including Illumio Core and Illumio CloudSecure. This not only helps security teams create security policies between endpoints, but it also provides an additional layer of security to ensure attackers cannot get to servers and cloud assets within an organization's environment.

3. Illumio Endpoint also protects laptops that are outside the corporate network. When a user is at a coffee shop, airport, or any other public location, their devices are more vulnerable to cyber threats. Attackers can exploit vulnerabilities in the laptop’s operating system or applications to gain access to sensitive data. With Illumio deployed, security teams can use natural language to enforce security policies, providing the same level of protection as when the laptop is in the corporate network.

3 best practices for deploying Illumio Endpoint

We will cover the three simple but effective steps required to secure your endpoints with Illumio.

1. Understand your endpoints

As with anything, you can only protect what you see.

The easiest way to gain visibility and understand your endpoints is by deploying Illumio’s agent, the Illumio VEN. This lightweight agent can be installed on Windows or Mac laptops. This helps your security team gain visibility into the traffic flows from the endpoints on and off the corporate network.

Through this process, security teams can also identify various endpoints in the organization, such as laptops, VDI desktops, jump hosts, etc. It can also help identify remote users who are more susceptible to malware because they are oftentimes accessing unsecure networks. This will ensure you have a clear understanding of your environment.

This step is also very important to understand any anomalous flows of traffic. For example, if you see RDP or SMB flows between two endpoints, you can immediately investigate it and block this malicious behavior with an exemption for your IT admins.

Additionally, Illumio provides visibility between endpoints and servers which helps security teams access the applications endpoints are accessing. Understanding these traffic flows help create thoughtful segmentation policies that are tailored to your organization’s specific environment.

2. Configure and test policies

Once you have a good understanding of your endpoints, you can configure policies using the Illumio Policy Compute Engine (PCE). The PCE makes it easy to build security policies by offering pre-built policies based on industry best practices.

Policies define which devices or applications the endpoints can communicate with. Upon simple integration with Active Directory, it’s simple to write policies to allow certain users to access certain applications.

For example, in a healthcare setting, providers should be able to access the EMR application, but the organization’s HR team shouldn’t be allowed to do so as this would be a violation of HIPAA compliance.

Moreover, Illumio makes it easy to test these policies before provisioning them using the draft view. This will help you easily identify issues or conflicts that may arise and ensure that the policies work as intended.

3. Continuously monitor your endpoint policies

Illumio helps in continuously monitoring and ensuring all the policies are in place. In some cases, if a malicious actor tries to tamper with the VEN by disabling or modifying the rulesets, the security admin will get alerted right away.

Moreover, in case of events where a user is constantly scanning for open ports, the Illumio admin can quarantine those hosts immediately.

Illumio can also integrate with and provide flows to third-party SIEMS and SOARs to provide meaningful analytics for security teams. This will further enhance the policy writing and anomaly detection capabilities with Illumio. In case a breach is detected, the SOAR platform can automatically use Illumio’s enforcement boundaries to kill the connection and contain a breach from spreading.

Illumio Endpoint is a simple and easy to use endpoint security solution that can be deployed quickly and efficiently.

Ready to learn more about Illumio Endpoint? Contact us today for a free consultation and demo.

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