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Endpoint security is the practice of securing endpoints or entry points of end-user devices such as desktops, laptops, and mobile devices from being exploited by malicious actors and campaigns. Endpoint security systems protect these endpoints on a network or in the cloud from cybersecurity threats. Endpoint security has evolved from traditional antivirus software to providing comprehensive protection from sophisticated malware and evolving zero-day threats.
Organizations of all sizes are at risk from nation-states, hacktivists, organized crime, and malicious and accidental insider threats. Endpoint security is often seen as cybersecurity’s frontline, and represents one of the first places organizations look to secure their enterprise networks.
As the volume and sophistication of cybersecurity threats have steadily grown, so has the need for more advanced endpoint security solutions. Today’s endpoint protection systems are designed to quickly detect, analyze, block, and contain attacks in progress. To do this, they need to collaborate with each other and with other security technologies to give administrators visibility into advanced threats to speed detection and remediation response times.
An endpoint protection platform is a vital part of enterprise cybersecurity for a number of reasons. First of all, in today’s business world, data is often the most valuable asset a company has—and to lose that data, or access to that data, could put the entire business at risk of insolvency. Businesses have also had to contend with not only a growing number of endpoints, but also a rise in the number of types of endpoints. These factors make enterprise endpoint security more difficult on their own, but they’re compounded by remote work and BYOD policies—which make perimeter security increasingly insufficient and create vulnerabilities. The threat landscape is becoming more complicated, too: Hackers are always coming up with new ways to gain access, steal information or manipulate employees into giving out sensitive information. Add in the opportunity cost of reallocating resources from business goals to addressing threats, the reputational cost of a large-scale breach, and the actual financial cost of compliance violations, and it’s easy to see why endpoint protection platforms have become regarded as must-haves in terms of securing modern enterprises.
Endpoint security is the practice of safeguarding the data and workflows associated with the individual devices that connect to your network. Endpoint protection platforms (EPP) work by examining files as they enter the network. Modern EPPs harness the power of the cloud to hold an ever-growing database of threat information, freeing endpoints of the bloat associated with storing all this information locally and the maintenance required to keep these databases up to date. Accessing this data in the cloud also allows for greater speed and scalability.
The EPP provides system administrators a centralized console, which is installed on a network gateway or server and allows cybersecurity professionals to control security for each device remotely. The client software is then assigned to each endpoint—it can either be delivered as a SaaS and managed remotely, or it can be installed directly on the device. Once the endpoint has been set up, the client software can push updates to the endpoints when necessary, authenticate log-in attempts from each device, and administer corporate policies from one location. EPPs secure endpoints through application control—which blocks the use of applications that are unsafe or unauthorized—and through encryption, which helps prevent data loss.