Cyber threats and security breaches are increasing rapidly with time. Information theft, brazen attacks and system compromise are familiar adversaries for organisations and companies who rely on electronic and smart devices for their workflow. These aspects give rise to the need for having a security solution. When a traditional antivirus utility fails to provide complete security to a company’s network, there’s a need for more advanced and sophisticated security infrastructure. And here Endpoint Security Solutions come into play.
The first malware was coded in the early 1970s and historians call it the “Creeper Worm”. And to counteract such malware Andreas Lüning and Kai Figgeinvented the first antivirus software in 1987. Since then malware evolved drastically, along with advanced penetration techniques to deploy the virus. And so did security solutions.
Endpoint and Endpoint Security
Any device connected to a network is considered as an endpoint. And it involves the more commonly thought devices such as laptop, tablets, smartphones, smartwatches, printers, servers, ATM machines and many other electronic devices.
On the other hand, to protect endpoints on a network or in a cloud from malicious cyber-attacks and campaigns, Endpoint Security or Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) is employed. This practice ensures that no endpoint is exploited, keeping the company’s network safe.
Endpoint Security usually uses security software located on a centrally managed or accessible server or hub present on the network and also installed on every device accessing the network. This ensures that every endpoint in the corporate network is monitored. This practice uses encryption for endpoints to access the network and also updates the security solution installed locally on the devices.
Modern EPPs are harnessing the power of the cloud to have quick access to threat information and keeping the devices in the network up to date.
Components of EPP
Endpoint Security has an extensive collection of components which make it sophisticated and advanced to counter the most notorious cyber-attacks.
Machine-learning classification to detect zero-day threats in near real-time
Advanced anti-malware 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 Security v/s Antivirus
Unlike EPP, antivirus is a centralised security solution.
Antivirus programs are designed to protect a single-endpoint. However, EPPs manages a diverse collection of endpoints present on a network.
As mentioned earlier, EPP has a central management hub which means that every endpoint can be monitored from the server, whereas antivirus utility can only be configured from the device it is installed on. Moreover, with the help of cloud service EPP can now automatically and remotely update definitions on the endpoints which is not possible in antivirus.
Endpoint Security ensures that every device on the network is updated according to the threat information which nullifies the risks of cyber-attacks. EPP also uses behavioural analysis to detect threats. On the other hand, antivirus programs have a narrow security landscape.
EPP has evolved from traditional antivirus to comprehensive security solutions to provide protection from sophisticated malware and combat the day-to-day evolving threats.
What is the need for Endpoint Security?
Because of growing BYOD (bring your own device) policies and IoT, the number of endpoints in a network increases and reaches to tens of thousands. This enhances productivity and improves workflow in an organisation, nevertheless rendering the company vulnerable to notorious cyber-attacks through those endpoints.
Every device which becomes an endpoint in a corporate network poses as an entry for cyber actors. Thus, require more advanced and sophisticated solutions to monitor every endpoint which accesses the network. On top of that, employees working from home or connecting to the Wifi create more endpoint vulnerabilities and make the network porous than ever. Today when major breaches are made through endpoints, centralised security protection like antivirus doesn’t go far.
Hackers are coming with new ways to penetrate the system, get access to the data and steal sensitive information from the company’s database. Considering the viewpoint from the business’ perspective, the most crucial asset of an organisation is data. And looking at a large number of endpoints in a corporate network, it becomes a need for enterprises to employ endpoint security.
No matter how large a company is, it is always beneficial to have an EPP either for the network or solely for your system if that’s the only endpoint in operation.
Ayush Dubey is an engineering student from IIIT Jabalpur. He has a comprehensive background in technology. Cybersecurity being his primary field of interest. He loves to meet people who are always in a hustle to learn new things.
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