Endpoint security solutions protect business networks that are accessed by remote devices like laptops, smartphones, or tablets. Endpoint protection software needs to be installed on the enterprise network as well as on all endpoints. Today, the average corporate employee is equipped with at least one mobile endpoint: commonly a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. The ‘mobile’ nature of these devices means that they can be lost or stolen easily, potentially translating into a huge loss of sensitive business data.
How Does Endpoint Security Help?
To deal with situations like the one described above, it is imperative that enterprises secure the data on their mobile devices to ensure that it is protected even if a device is lost by an employee. Securing enterprise endpoints in such a way is called ‘endpoint security.’ Endpoint security also helps enterprises prevent misuse of the business data available with employees on their mobile devices. For instance, endpoint security solutions from Symantec prevent employees from accessing or sharing data without proper authorization.
Endpoint Security vs Antivirus
Although the prime objective of both endpoint security solutions and antiviruses is the same—to secure devices—there are a few noteworthy differences between an antivirus and an endpoint security offering. An antivirus is more limited in scope: its objective is to protect a device from malicious programs. On the other hand, endpoint security solutions, like those developed by Kaspersky Lab, secure every element on the network through advanced features such as network access control, application whitelisting, and endpoint detection & response.
Features of Endpoint Security
In an enterprise setting, it is critical to detect threats as early as possible. By spending a long time on a business network, a threat can spread more widely and cause greater damage. With adequate endpoint protection, like that provided by Cisco, enterprises can deploy software efficiently and enforce IT security policies effectively. IT administrators also leverage endpoint security for numerous other functions, such as:
- Protection from email attacks by scanning every email attachment for malicious content
- Protection from infected web downloads through the analysis of incoming and outgoing traffic
- Easy control over which applications and devices can download or upload data, access different hardware, or modify the registry
- Advanced machine learning (ML) capabilities that analyze huge repositories of good and bad files with an aim to block new threats before they infect endpoint devices
- Protection against memory-based attacks and zero-day vulnerabilities
- Use of ML to analyze user behavior in order to preemptively locate and block risks
- Data loss protection (DLP) to mitigate access violations caused by employees as well as to prevent data loss in case of a system breach—with DLP, organizations can block files that are sent over instant message or email or uploaded to the Internet
- Reports and alerts to provide prioritized warnings regarding vulnerabilities as well as a dashboard for visibility into endpoint security
- Centralized tools to offer automated incident response and guided workflows to investigate security incidents
- Flexible deployment options according to the needs and environment of the organization—on-premise, cloud, or hybrid
- Cross-platform endpoint security
Unlike other modern technologies that may or may not have applicability across industries, endpoint security is crucial for every vertical. No enterprise can afford to allow its critical business data to fall into the wrong hands, and endpoint security solutions are an important step towards ensuring complete security of this sensitive information. Regardless of organization size or nature of the industry, all businesses must aim to implement endpoint security solutions as per their requirements.