Understanding Endpoint Security:
Endpoint protection, also called endpoint security, is the practice of securing end-user devices from cyber threats and malicious activities. These devices are potential entry points for cybercriminals, making endpoint protection a vital part of an organisation’s cybersecurity strategy.
What Qualifies as an Endpoint?
When we refer to an “endpoint” in cyber security or overall technology terms, we mean any device that connects to and exchanges information with a computer network. Examples of endpoints are mobile devices, desktop computers, virtual machines, embedded devices, servers, and Internet-of-Things devices. Endpoints are often targeted by cybercriminals because they are doorways to corporate data and network resources.
How Endpoint Security Operates:
Endpoint security involves centrally managed security solutions that shield endpoints from exploitation. It examines files, processes, and system activities as they enter a network, continuously monitoring for malicious behaviour.
Typically, organisations employ endpoint protection platforms (EPP) on their network or server, allowing remote control over individual devices’ security. EEP may also be directly installed on the devices themselves. Once implemented, protective measures, like authentication for login attempts or blocking untrustworthy applications, can be enforced. Modern endpoint security often includes features such as machine learning to detect zero-day threats and email gateway protection.
Significance of Endpoint Protection:
Endpoint protection is critical for all businesses as it’s one of the key lines of defence that protects the valuable data that is both stored on these devices and that the devices have access to. A security breach can lead to data loss or leaks, resulting in severe consequences like financial losses and compliance violations. As each endpoint is susceptible to cyberattacks, safeguarding them is critical for businesses.
With the rise of remote work and “bring your own device” policies, ensuring endpoint security has become more challenging. Devices are connected to multiple networks, including public Wi-Fi, making monitoring more complex.
Types of Endpoint Security:
Various approaches to endpoint protection have emerged over the years:
- On-Location: This traditional method relies on a locally hosted data centre, reaching endpoints within a limited perimeter like an office.
- Cloud: The cloud-based approach manages endpoint security through a centralised cloud system, enabling remote device management and protection.
- Hybrid: Hybrid endpoint protection combines both on-location and cloud solutions, catering to businesses with remote workforces while maintaining on-location security.
Endpoint Protection vs. Antivirus:
While both endpoint protection and antivirus aim to safeguard against cybersecurity threats, they differ in scope and functionality. Endpoint protection offers a holistic view of an organisation’s network and all connected endpoints. In contrast, antivirus primarily focuses on safeguarding individual devices.
Additionally, endpoint protection is proactive, constantly detecting and responding to potential threats, while antivirus typically operates in the background, identifying and removing malware. Cybersecurity is paramount for all organisations. For comprehensive support, get in touch with us today!