If you're paying attention to your business's cybersecurity, then you've probably come across endpoint security. It's the hip new thing in the world of network protection. But what is it? And can you just use antivirus instead?
In this post, we're going to answer these questions and more, so let's get into it.
What is endpoint security?
First things first, what is endpoint security?
Put simply, endpoint security is how your business protects its endpoints against cybersecurity threats. An "endpoint" is any place where your network "ends".
For instance, an employee's laptop is an endpoint. If your network is a web of connections, then this laptop is on the outermost edge of that web.
As such, this makes it a great entry point for threats and attacks. It can be like an unguarded doorway to the rest of your network. And that's why you need endpoint security. It's the lock on your door, the security camera, the guard at your door, and more.
Why endpoint security is important
Aside from the points we just mentioned about endpoint security, there are several reasons why it's essential for your business.
Any endpoint can be a vulnerability
Unfortunately, any endpoint at your business can become an exploited vulnerability. Each presents a cybersecurity risk, and therefore each one needs the utmost protection.
The IT industry is rapidly becoming aware of how important endpoint security is. In 2020, 77% of SMB decision-makers reported feeling worried about an endpoint attack within the next six months. With cybersecurity threats on the rise, that percentage has no doubt grown.
Protecting endpoints is a unique challenge
Another reason that endpoint security is important is that your endpoints present a unique challenge. Unlike the majority of your network, which is a series of automatic background processes, your endpoints are typically mixed up with human interactions.
In other words, it can be more difficult to secure your endpoints due to human errors, interactions, and unpredictable scenarios. Endpoint security software is designed to account for these challenges, providing you with the security you need.
The number of endpoints is rising
Lastly, the number of endpoints is rising rapidly. As we use more connected devices every day, work from home on personal devices, and generally attach more devices to our networks, the number of cybersecurity vulnerabilities rises, too.
For this reason, investing in endpoint security is essential. It keeps your business safe as it continues to grow, allowing you the freedom to expand without worry.
Endpoint security software vs antivirus software
By now you are probably wondering if antivirus software isn’t the answer to endpoint security. In fact, antivirus represents one of the first forms of endpoint security. The threats we face on endpoints, have however evolved beyond viruses, meaning that the way in which we protect endpoints needs to evolve as well.
While protection against viruses still forms an important part of endpoint security, we now need to go further. Modern endpoint security solutions now fall into two broad categories, namely Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP) and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR). EPP focuses on the measures needed to prevent known threats, while EDR focuses on the detection of threats, based on endpoint behavior, and the response when a threat is detected. EPP focuses on individual endpoints, while EDR observes behavior across an entire fleet of endpoints. In practice, a lot of modern endpoint security products combine the features of EPP and EDR in a single product.
Endpoint security systems protect your data, not just your endpoints
An endpoint security solution offers more comprehensive coverage over antivirus software. Namely, it protects your data along with your endpoints, not just your endpoints.
It does this by monitoring access to data, preventing tampering, loss, or theft of data before it can even take place.
Endpoint security systems can sandbox a compromised endpoint
Next, endpoint security systems can sandbox an endpoint which has been attacked. Sandboxing means isolating the apps and operating systems a person is using. That way, if anything malicious happens within an app or OS, it stays there rather than spreading to the rest of your network.
While antivirus software often only goes as far as “quarantining” infected files, modern endpoint security solutions can go much further to isolate suspect applications or entire systems.
Responding to threats instead of just flagging them
Most antivirus solutions are just built to flag threats and soft-block them when they can. They generally don't provide sophisticated and automated responses to threats facing your system.
EDR systems, on the other hand, do. They can instantly respond to threats with automated solutions, stopping threats in their tracks. And when an automated option won't do the trick, they send a message to your IT system right then and there.
Must-have features of endpoint security software
While endpoint security solutions are the right move for businesses in 2022 and beyond, not all solutions are created equal. To make sure you get the best of the best, here are the key features to look for.
API and integration driven
You need an endpoint security system that’s API and integration-driven. That means finding a solution that will integrate with your existing systems, devices, services. Furthermore, your endpoint security solution must also integrate into your broader security ecosystem.
This will not only offer the highest level of protection but will also ensure that you have a smooth and consistent experience. The right endpoint security system will be able to integrate over the cloud with the tools you already know and love, keeping things simple and effective.
Most EDR solutions provide automated triage. Triage is the set of processes that determine how important each alert you receive is and then to assign a priority to each one.
This allows your team to address each threat by its true priority level rather than just clearing your alerts in the order in which they occur.
Integrate your endpoint security into your broader security ecosystem with Samurai XDR
While endpoint security is a crucial component of any organization’s security ecosystem, it is only one part, which needs to be integrated into a broader whole. Upgrading your endpoint security to a solution which includes both EPP and EDR features is an essential step. Once you have addressed endpoint detection, the next step is to integrate that capability with the rest of your IT estate. Samurai XDR provides the integration you need with major EDR solutions to provide threat detection and response across your entire IT estate. Reach out to our team today to learn how Samurai can keep your business safe.
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