What is endpoint protection? Endpoint security explained

August 12, 2020 | Mark Stone

This blog was written by a third party author.

5G is here and changing the way business is done. With this comes an increase of devices to take advantage of low latency and high bandwidth that will allow businesses to truly transform. Because of those devices, the attack surface is also rapidly expanding and will increase opportunities for bad actors.  This new wave of endpoints presents both a business opportunity and a business risk. The need for proper endpoint protection is more important today than ever before! But what is endpoint protection and how do you protect endpoints?

What is endpoint protection?

Endpoint protection is the ability to protect the assets that are the last touch point of the network it is connected to. Endpoint protection can also be called endpoint security.

Some may have heard the saying “You can’t secure what you can’t manage, and you can’t manage what you can’t see.” With the growing number of endpoint devices inside of a business, it’s even more important to make sure endpoints are managed to help reduce the attack surface. Only once a device is managed, can we begin to think about how to secure the device from today’s evolving threat landscape.

What is endpoint management?

Endpoint management is the process of centrally managing endpoints, and should include detection, provisioning, deployment, updating, and troubleshooting. The term “hardening” is also used to explain good endpoint management.

But what is an endpoint?

An endpoint is much more than the laptops or mobile devices that are used every day. An endpoint is any remote device sending and receiving communications within an organization’s network, and include:

  • Desktops/Workstations
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Smartphones
  • Servers
  • POS Systems
  • BYOD Devices

Endpoint protection is only possible when you are properly managing your endpoints – and only then, can you begin to think about the security on those devices.

Endpoint protection vs. antivirus: What’s the difference?

The role of antivirus (AV) software is to detect and remove malware, which can include ransomware, trojans, viruses and keyloggers. AV represents only a small component of your organization’s security solution.

Endpoint protection, on the other hand, includes not only antivirus detection but also comes in the form of firewalls, anti-malware software, IDS (intrusion detection systems), data loss prevention, and sandboxing (testing devices and patches in a non-production environment). Endpoint security takes into account the entire security infrastructure.

Why is endpoint protection so critical today?

One of the most compelling arguments for robust endpoint security in today’s environment is that 70 percent of the most successful breaches originate at the endpoint. And, in today’s work from home (WFH) landscape, more employees are connecting to internal networks from endpoints outside the office than ever before.

The endpoint represents one of the greatest threats to an organization’s vulnerability and can be an easy path and entry point for cybercriminals. Through an endpoint, attackers can use your company’s assets to execute code or exploit vulnerabilities.

Because endpoints represent every device connected to your network, an attack can become unmanageable quickly if endpoints are not properly managed and secured. ,

Why is endpoint protection difficult to achieve?

With critical threats arriving consistently, prioritizing the most harmful ones is a constant struggle.

Attacks today are smarter and more challenging to detect. Ponemon’s The State of Endpoint Security Risk study reports that for 68 percent of respondents, the frequency of attacks has increased over the last year. Unfortunately, just over half of respondents admit their organizations are ineffective at managing threats due to weak endpoint security solutions that can’t keep up with advanced attacks.

The definition of a secure endpoint has morphed over time. For example, as endpoints weaken over their lifespan, their security diminishes as well. And, when 80 percent of successful breaches are new or unknown zero-day attacks, combined with a remote workforce and smarter attackers, a recipe for potential chaos is created.

6 key benefits of endpoint security and endpoint protection

A reliable endpoint management system should provide a unified approach in managing and securing endpoint devices.

With the right endpoint protection solution, your organization can yield the following benefits:

  1. Unified security and management - Your business-critical devices — including mobile devices, fixed endpoints, and server environments —should be easily managed and secured through a single pane of glass.
     
  2. Safeguard against key threat vectors — When mobile endpoints are protected against key threat vectors, work environments — at home and at the office — are more flexible and customer engagement improves.
     
  3. Identify and close security gaps — With better visibility of your endpoints on the edge of your business perimeter, security gaps that may have been overlooked can be brought to light.
     
  4. Simplify management - By leveraging a virtually seamless deployment and engaging in ongoing endpoint management, you can focus on your business instead of using precious resources managing the devices.
     
  5. Protect your reputation - With the confidence that goes with having highly secure endpoints, your organization can be kept out of the headlines and maintain its reputation.
     
  6. Maintain control with Zero Trust — With a robust endpoint security offering that incorporates the core principle of zero trust, you get the peace of mind that access to data is proper, authenticated, and easily controllable.

How do I choose the right endpoint security partner?

When investing in a security solution, careful consideration is required; this is a critical business decision. The company you choose to partner with must be trusted with protecting your critical data and provide an endpoint management solution to last well into the future. You don’t want to find yourself in a position of evaluating and deploying an endpoint solution soon after doing it the first time.

Choosing the wrong endpoint management solution can have serious repercussions. For example, a product that promotes a false sense of security for your company can be as equally detrimental as not having a solution at all.

Ultimately, you’ll want to ensure the solution is easily manageable and not overly complicated.

Remember: the road to strong endpoint security can be long and full of twists and turns. With the right partner, planning, resources, and training, a solid cybersecurity foundation can be built.

Mark Stone

About the Author: Mark Stone

Mark Stone is a content and copy writer with over a decade of experience covering technology, business, and cybersecurity. Earlier in his career, he was a cybersecurity analyst in the public sector. He lives in Kelowna, BC with his wife and two black cats.

Read more posts from Mark Stone ›

TAGS:

‹ BACK TO ALL BLOGS