As companies increasingly rely on technology, securing their digital assets is more critical than ever. Endpoint protection is a set of tools and practices that allow organizations to defend their endpoints against cyber-attacks.
Any device connected to a network, such as servers, laptops, mobile devices, printers, and IoT devices, is an endpoint.
In this article, we will explore:
- The basics of endpoint protection
- Importance of securing endpoints
- Key technologies organizations use to protect their networks
What is Endpoint Security?
Endpoint security is securing endpoints, including laptops, desktops, servers, and mobile devices, from cyber threats. Endpoints are the gateways to a company’s network, making them an attractive target for cybercriminals. Endpoint protection helps organizations manage software deployment, enforce security policies, and protect networks from malware.
Endpoint protection involves using advanced security tools and processes to secure various endpoints connected to a corporate network. These tools and processes include
- email protection
- malicious web download protection
- exploitation protection
- data loss prevention
- application and device control
- reports and alerts
- incident investigation
Why is Endpoint Security Important?
Endpoint security is more important now because more people are working remotely and using unprotected routes to access a company’s network. As per Global Workplace Analytics, at the height of the pandemic, 69% of U.S. workers were operating from home. In remote and hybrid work environments, employees often use personal devices to access company data. This exposes the company’s network to cyber threats.
Endpoint security is critical because endpoints are often the weakest link in a company’s security chain. Unauthorized people can access company information if they compromise, steal, or lose a business’s laptop or mobile device. An attacker can exploit this access to launch a cyber-attack that compromises the network as a whole.
The Significance of Endpoint Security
Endpoints, including laptops, servers, printers, and mobile devices, are crucial to a company’s network. Every additional endpoint incorporated into a business network broadens its security boundary. Securing these endpoints is more critical than ever, with companies relying on technology now more than ever.
Endpoint protection is essential to organizational security, helping businesses defend against cyber-attacks. Endpoint security allows organizations to manage software deployment, enforce security policies, and protect networks from malware.
The Different Types of Endpoints
Endpoints involve exchanging and disseminating data with other gadgets and end users across a network. These devices are gateways to a company’s network, making them an attractive target for cybercriminals.
Some of the most common types of endpoints include:
Laptops are among the most commonly used endpoints in organizations. A compromise, robbery, or misplacement of a business’s laptop can provide unapproved individuals with entry to corporate data and details.
Hackers can launch cyber-attacks using the laptop’s login credentials. People can sell confidential reports on the laptop for a high sum on the dark web. It makes laptops an attractive target for cybercriminals.
Many people use tablets and smartphones for work email and basic office tasks. However, they may not have registered their devices with the company’s IT department yet.
Using unsecured devices for office work poses serious security risks as per company policy and protocol. This is especially true when employees freely browse the internet.
Internet of Things (IoT) Devices
Internet of Things devices are small-scale computers that utilize sensors for data gathering and machine learning to enhance their efficiency and functionality. Due to their internet connectivity, these devices are susceptible to cyber threats such as malware and hacking.
Hackers can also utilize printers to launch a cyber-attack. Printers, as part of the printing procedure, hold and transfer data, making them essential data centers.
Not updating your printer and using the right security software puts your home or office network at risk of data theft.
Server systems are essential for numerous tasks, such as accessing emails and establishing internet connections. Cybercriminals breaching a server system can result in significant financial damage to a business.
A weak password or no antimalware can let hackers in and cause loss of important business data and functions.
The Difference Between Endpoint Security and Network Security
Endpoint and network security are two critical components of a complete cybersecurity defense. Network security protects data, devices, files, and information on a network using tools and technologies.
Network security aims to protect information integrity, confidentiality and availability and ensure only authorized people can access a particular network. Through proactive measures, network security persistently identifies, obstructs, and nullifies threats, thereby stopping them from reaching a destination point.
Endpoint protection, on the other hand, entails using advanced security tools and processes to secure various endpoints. This encompasses servers, workstations, and portable devices that link to a business network. Endpoint protection and network security work together to provide comprehensive cybersecurity defense.
What Does Endpoint Security Do?
Endpoint protection is critical in preventing internal and external threats from using endpoints as an attack surface. Contemporary endpoint security solutions enhance conventional antivirus solutions that identify viruses through their signature.
Advanced endpoint protection platforms detect and stop viruses, ransomware, polymorphic codes, and DDoS attacks. These threats can harm a company’s finances and reputation.
Endpoint protection helps organizations secure their endpoints and protect the data on these endpoints from theft.
Multifactor authentication and biometric identification safeguard the company’s network, allowing only approved individuals to gain access. Endpoint protection tools also offer advanced threat protection, detecting and neutralizing threats at an early stage.
How Does Endpoint Security Work?
Endpoint protection tools combine different security solutions into one package to provide complete protection, including antivirus, firewalls, and intrusion prevention.
Businesses use Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPPs) to manage their endpoints, combining multiple security products into one.
EPP platforms have tools for managing vulnerabilities, patches, configurations, encryption, backups, disaster recovery, and more. Besides overseeing operational procedures and log files on multiple endpoints, EPP solutions can autonomously scrutinize discrepancies and rectify incidents.
Endpoint protection tools now provide complete protection against cyber threats. They achieve this by combining features of traditional antivirus tools. Additionally, these tools utilize cloud computing and remote monitoring capabilities.
Endpoint security is crucial in protecting a company’s digital assets and preventing cyber threats from compromising its network. Securing endpoints is now more important due to increased reliance on technology and remote/hybrid work environments.
Businesses can protect their data, reputation, and finances by using advanced security tools and processes to defend against cyber-attacks. Keep your endpoint protection updated to stay ahead of cyber threats that are always changing. Companies can protect their important assets and keep their business running smoothly by using both network security and endpoint security.