Endpoint protection software provides security solutions to oversee and manage devices that have access to a company’s or person’s private network. These software tools protect against a number of security threats and attempt to normalize security measures across multiple devices.
IT system administrators are given a central console that allows them to view endpoints connecting to a specific network. Administrators are provided with a number of security mechanisms to protect against attacks, hacks, and zero-day attacks, among other threats. These applications provide a variety of safeguarding tools such as antivirus, firewall, or virtual private networking.
Endpoint security tools provide a simplified, centralized interface to monitor and deploy devices connected to a network. From the main management console, administrators can view nearly all of their network infrastructure, depending on the endpoint security product. They are also able to view activity, create reports, and run system scans to continuously protect against any and all threats that may arise.
Since modern network systems often require security for different operating systems and device types, endpoint protection adapts to the user’s needs. Bring your own device (BYOD) applications are the fastest-growing and most dynamic endpoint security tools on the market. Administrators must approve devices before they receive system access. They also have the ability to set requirements and protocols for users to control what programs their users can access.
If an endpoint device is compromised or infected, endpoint protection software alerts administrators and often provides advice on how to combat the issue. These programs can instantly disable access from suspicious devices and often produce records detailing the activities suspicious users conducted prior to the termination of their access. The ability to remedy infections or revert actions varies depending on the depth of intrusion and scope of activity.
Key Benefits of Endpoint Protection Software
Different companies will face different threats based on the nature of their business, so it is important to decide what type of potential security breaches you may anticipate. If you are simply looking for an antispyware or antimalware protection platform, you may consider a more lightweight, less intensive solution that simply scans, detects, and eliminates potential threats.
For businesses that have sensitive or confidential data, it may be more important to choose an elaborate endpoint protection package that offers data encryption and a series of layered defense options. Either way, it is important to understand what types of threats are necessary to avoid and narrow down choices based on that information.
Increased security — Endpoint protection software can significantly improve a company’s cybersecurity strategy. These tools are designed to help users know what they are protected against and how they may be vulnerable. Vulnerabilities can be identified and remedied as threat protection improves. Automation features and scheduled updates can also improve security but may not be offered by every endpoint protection tool.
Improved IT management — Antivirus and antimalware technologies are a must for modern businesses, but endpoint management solutions can help businesses standardize and manage antivirus solutions for their various devices. Endpoint detection and response tools can also simplify the detection and remediation of compromised devices. Cybersecurity suites can centralize all of those capabilities into a single platform.
Endpoint Protection Suites — Endpoint protection suites or endpoint security systems combine the capabilities of each subgroup in the endpoint protection category. These platforms help protect against various threats including computer viruses and malware. They also improve management capabilities and help businesses create and enforce security standards across various connected devices. Detection and response capabilities will improve a company’s visibility of existing and emerging threats while providing the tools to remediate issues as they arise.
Antivirus Software — Antivirus software is the simplest and most commonly used endpoint protection tool by both businesses and individuals. These tools help identify and block web-based threats such as viruses, malware, spyware, and other potentially dangerous programs. They can improve device security and malware identification while monitoring device health.
Endpoint Management Software — Endpoint management solutions typically serve as an IT and endpoint asset management solution, often containing patch management and network monitoring capabilities. These tools improve security visibility and administrative control over endpoints and a user’s access privileges. Endpoint management improves compliance through standardization, which can be a difficult task in the era of BYOD workplaces.
Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) Software — Companies use EDR tools to inform security personnel of threats and simplify the remediation process. The tools are used to analyze systems for abnormalities and detect anomalies with their network. Response capabilities simplify, and often automate, the malware removal process. They can also help companies maintain security standards while scaling and can reduce a company’s risk for data leakage and system failure through security automation.
Device Control — Manages user network accessibility on laptops and mobile devices.
Web Control — Filters websites and manages whitelisting to enforce compliance protocols for users accessing the internet within the network.
Application Control — Blocks endpoint users from accessing restricted applications.
Asset Management — Keeps records of each network asset and its activity. Discovers new assets accessing the network.
System Isolation — Cuts off network connection or temporarily deactivates applications until incidents are remedied.
Endpoint Intelligence — Analysis for users to examine threat intelligence data specific to their endpoint devices.
Firewall — Protects endpoint devices from a variety of attacks and malware threats.
Malware Detection — Provides multiple techniques and information sources to alert users of malware occurrences.
Incident Reports — Produces reports detailing trends and vulnerabilities related to their network and infrastructure.
Security Validation — The product has a recurring examination process to update your intelligence reports as new threats emerge.
Compliance — Monitors assets and enforces security policies to audit asset and infrastructure security.
Scale — The amount and type of endpoints that need security is another major consideration for businesses. If you are a small-business owner and you only need to protect a few PCs or laptops, you will be making a vastly different decision than enterprise-sized companies that need to protect hundreds to thousands of endpoints ranging from mobile devices to servers. Those attempting to protect a large amount of endpoints should take into account the manageability and scalability of a platform when choosing an endpoint protection solution.
Resources — Endpoint protection solutions are often noisy and intrusive, which can impact the performance of your device. It is a good idea for you to evaluate whether or not you can support a resource-intensive platform while still maintaining a high level of productivity from the end user. The key factors here are the amount of memory available on your devices and the amount of memory the security solution consumes.
Accuracy and Efficacy — The purpose of endpoint protection, or any IT security solution, is to defend your network, so if a platform has a low detection rate, it can be counterproductive. While you want a solution with high-level detection capabilities, you also do not want it to be overly aggressive and produce false positives, which can waste time and resources over a nonissue. It is important to find a proper balance between the two in order to best secure your system.
Administration and Deployment — Some endpoint protection suites offer a centralized administration console that can be used to deploy updates on all endpoints or monitor issues from afar. These suites nearly always require an administrator dedicated to overseeing the platform and all the devices associated with the network. This is most convenient for large or fast-growing companies and those who can afford to allocate a team member to endpoint security. This approach may not be as practical for smaller companies, who could be better off with a simple, one-time deployment method that they then proceed to let work without interruption.
Many network security and web security products contain tools for endpoint protection but rarely provide the range of coverage present in endpoint-focused security programs. Device lockdown is a feature almost entirely exclusive to endpoint protection software. It can quickly identify network penetrations or compromised devices and restrict access while configuring solutions. Access control and device management are helpful features as well. Access control comes in handy when administrators need to grant different levels of access to networks across a wide base of users. Platform coverage is also helpful when users access networks on different kinds of computers, phones, tablets, and other smart devices.
Role of Endpoint Security in Threat Detection — Continuous monitoring and scheduled system scans are the two main ways endpoint protection software identifies threats or intrusions. Scans can often be scheduled periodically or run continuously to ensure the quickest level of action. When something is abnormal, such as unapproved access grants or suspicious activity occurring, notifications are sent in a variety of ways, such as in-app, email, and text alerts. From there, system administrators have the information necessary to understand what happened and how to fix the situation.
The variety of threat protection a product possesses is the system’s first line of defense. Common threat protection tools are antivirus, antispyware, firewall, kernel-level protection, and device control. If one of these preventative measures fails, the application’s first duty is to locate the source of intrusion. From there, the application references its virus definitions and policy protocols to determine the fastest and most effective way to combat the issue.
IT Security Integrations — While endpoint protection is crucial for security, pairing it with other protection solutions only strengthens network safety. Some other types of valuable solutions include mobile device management and data loss prevention, which are beneficial for enforcing security policies and preventing potential data leaks. Also, layering defense with a firewall ensures that malicious content and viruses need to fight harder to make a negative imprint on your network. Some vendors offer the option of controlling all security solutions from the singular administration console used to deploy endpoint protection. As threats continue to become more advanced, it can be reassuring for your business to be covered from all angles.