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Endpoint Security

What Is Endpoint Security?

Endpoint security is the practice of securing endpoints or entry points of end-user devices such as desktops, laptops, and mobile devices from being exploited by malicious actors and campaigns. Endpoint security systems protect these endpoints on a network or in the cloud from cybersecurity threats. Endpoint security has evolved from traditional antivirus software to providing comprehensive protection from sophisticated malware and evolving zero-day threats.

Organizations of all sizes are at risk from nation-states, hacktivists, organized crime, and malicious and accidental insider threats. Endpoint security is often seen as cybersecurity's frontline and represents one of the first places organizations look to secure their enterprise networks.

As the volume and sophistication of cybersecurity threats have steadily grown, so has the need for more advanced endpoint security solutions. Today’s endpoint protection systems are designed to quickly detect, analyze, block, and contain attacks in progress. To do this, they need to collaborate with each other and with other security technologies to give administrators visibility into advanced threats to speed detection and remediation response times.


Endpoint security components


Typically, endpoint security software will include these key components:


  • Machine-learning classification to detect zero-day threats in near real-time

  • Advanced antimalware and antivirus protection to protect, detect, and correct malware across multiple endpoint devices and operating systems

  • Proactive web security to ensure safe browsing on the web

  • Data classification and data loss prevention to prevent data loss and exfiltration

  • Integrated firewall to block hostile network attacks

  • Email gateway to block phishing and social engineering attempts targeting your employees

  • Actionable threat forensics to allow administrators to quickly isolate infections

  • Insider threat protection to safeguard against unintentional and malicious actions

  • Centralized endpoint management platform to improve visibility and simplify operations

  • Endpoint, email and disk encryption to prevent data exfiltration

Endpoint protection platforms vs. traditional antivirus


Endpoint protection platforms (EPP) and traditional antivirus solutions differ in some key ways.

  • Endpoint Security vs. Network Security: Antivirus programs are designed to safeguard a single endpoint, offering visibility into only that endpoint, in many cases only from that endpoint. Endpoint security software, however, looks at the enterprise network as a whole and can offer visibility of all connected endpoints from a single location.

  • Administration: Legacy antivirus solutions relied on the user to manually update the databases or to allow updates at pre-set time. EPPs offer interconnected security that moves administration responsibilities to enterprise IT or cybersecurity teams.

  • Protection: Traditional antivirus solutions used signature-based detection to find viruses. This meant that if your business was Patient Zero, or if your users hadn’t updated their antivirus program recently, you could still be at risk. By harnessing the cloud, today’s EPP solutions are kept up to date automatically. And with the use of technologies such as behavioral analysis, previously unidentified threats can be uncovered based suspicious behavior.

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