What is Endpoint Security? How it works and why it’s important

What is Endpoint Security?

Endpoints can serve as doorways for cybercriminals to gain access to a company’s network. As companies grow and connect more devices to their network, the risk of a cyberattack also increases proportionally. That’s why businesses should monitor all their endpoints for anomalies and suspicious behavior in order to contain threats before they snowball into a disaster and disrupt business activities.

Endpoint security involves the use of advanced security tools and processes to secure various endpoints like servers, workstations and mobile devices that connect to a corporate network.

The endpoint protection tools of today combine the features of antivirus (AV) and antimalware (AM) tools with the capabilities of technologies like automation, cloud computing and remote monitoring, to provide comprehensive network and endpoint security.

What is an example of an endpoint?

Endpoints are devices that are connected to a corporate network and can communicate with it and other endpoints on that network. Endpoints include, but are not limited to, laptops, desktops, servers, workstations, tablets, smartphones, IOT devices, network switches, modems, routers, printers, POS systems and BYOD devices.

Why is endpoint protection important?

All businesses, regardless of size, need endpoint security, which means they also need a centralized means of managing that security. Cybercriminals never stop working on new ways to take advantage of end users, sneak around defenses, launch malware, and steal data or hold it for ransom.

Because so many more employees work remotely, they need to be able to access corporate data from anywhere. Without adequate device security, an employee catching up on work using the public WiFi in a coffee shop or airport could unwittingly give criminals access to sensitive corporate data, or even the network itself. Effective endpoint protection is crucial to make sure your employees (and your business) are safe no matter where they are or what device they’re using while working.

Criminals target endpoints to:

• Use them as entry and exit points to a company’s network
• Access information stored on the endpoints
• Launch DDoS attacks that overload the servers, causing businesses to halt for hours

As the security perimeter becomes more fluid, companies require greater visibility and control over their endpoints. They require tools that will allow them to monitor, oversee and secure even off-premises endpoints. Furthermore, endpoint protection is as important for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as it is for large corporations. Cybercriminals often exploit the fact that SMBs don’t consider themselves attractive cyberattack targets and hence do not implement adequate security measures, leaving their endpoints vulnerable and unprotected.

What are the benefits of endpoint protection?

An endpoint protection tool has several advantages that are crucial for ensuring business continuity.

Unified security management: The modern endpoint protection system does away with traditional, siloed security systems where endpoints are managed separately. In addition to being time-consuming, the old process created significant security gaps that were difficult to identify. A modern endpoint security tool allows sysadmins to manage hundreds of endpoints from a single interface. With a greater understanding of the endpoints and network map, security weaknesses can be identified quickly and addressed in less time.

Protection against key threat vectors: There are a variety of attack vectors that cybercriminals use to deliver malicious payloads into a victim’s system. Compromised credentials, phishing emails and inadequate or missing encryption are examples of attack vectors. An endpoint protection tool is effective at identifying and neutralizing a number of attack vectors.

Simplified security management: With the power of automation, endpoint protection tools can perform a variety of security tasks without requiring human intervention. Endpoint protection tools enable technicians to provision, register, manage, update and retire hundreds of endpoints at the click of a button. Not only does this make the entire security process far more efficient with a greater success rate, it also frees up the IT experts to focus on high-value, business-critical tasks.

Better business resilience: To stay competitive, businesses must implement stringent security measures, especially as workforces become more dispersed, work environments get more varied and cybercrime increases at an unprecedented rate. Cyberattacks are unavoidable. The right endpoint protection tools can help protect your data, and digital forensics incident response capabilities can also help you retrieve affected data quickly.

Business reputation: The damage a breach can cause to your business or reputation is far greater. In the wake of a data breach, 60% of companies fail or go out of business.

How does endpoint protection work?

A company’s security requirements vary depending on its business. An endpoint protection tool can enable companies to leverage policy settings to achieve the required level of security. For example, IT administrators can use endpoint protection tools to block access to sites that are home to malware or other malicious content. Or, in the event of a cyberattack, for example, when an employee downloads a malicious file from a phishing email, an endpoint solution quickly identifies the infected endpoint and isolates it from the rest of the network while attempting to resolve the issue.

Cloud-based endpoint management solutions continuously monitor, protect and prevent threats on each endpoint. The latest behavioral heuristics features analyze files and executables, stopping threats proactively and predictively in real time. Therefore, next-generation solutions are significantly more effective at protecting endpoints than the more traditional, reactive endpoint management solutions.

Is endpoint protection alone enough?

Many companies presume having an endpoint protection solution is sufficient. In reality, this solution meets only one aspect of your security setup. An organization must also put in place a variety of other security tools, solutions and processes to ensure complete security. A company should have data backup and recovery tools, email scanning tools to prevent phishing and even cybersecurity training sessions to prevent risks that can sometimes arise from employee error.

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About Plow Networks

Plow Networks is a leading IT services provider, connecting businesses to technology since 2012. With deep expertise in network, cloud, and end user support services, we partner with clients to leverage technology in ways that simplify operations and fuel growth. Plow Networks is based in Brentwood, Tennessee.

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