Endpoint attacks are one of the primary reasons for data loss, exfiltration, or theft. You can foil these attacks with the help of endpoint security practices and tools, which leverage technologies like next-generation antivirus, endpoint detection and response (EDR), and threat intelligence.
This article covers everything you need to know about endpoint security—what it is, what types of endpoint threats can be protected with endpoint security tools, how it protects you against a data breach, and what technologies you need to secure your endpoints.
In this article, you will learn:
Endpoint security is a strategy designed to protect your network perimeter and the endpoints located on that perimeter. An endpoint is any device that connects your network to a wider network, such as the Internet. For example, laptops, workstations, smartphones, servers, or Internet of things (IoT) sensors, are all endpoints connected to networks.
Endpoints are effectively gateways into your system. This makes endpoints useful targets for attacks and cybercriminals. Endpoint security aims to stop these attackers from breaching your perimeter and gaining access to your systems and data. When the exterior of your network is protected, you significantly reduce the harms that can be caused by an attack.
There are many types of endpoint threats that you need to be aware of and protect yourself from.
Data is a highly valuable asset to modern business and its loss is a significant threat. Endpoints are a risk for data loss in two ways. One, attackers can use endpoints to access data stores within your system. Any data stolen can be passed through this same compromised endpoint. Two, endpoint devices often contain local data that can be valuable. For example, a payment terminal might contain a cache of the most recent transactions.
Phishing is a tactic criminals use to gain sensitive information, such as financial information, ID information, or credentials. This is typically done in the form of emails that appear to come from legitimate sources. In these emails, criminals ask users to log in to seemingly real user portals, to confirm details, or to click on tampered links.
Many users are familiar with these tactics but many still fall for phishing. This is especially true since criminals have started using social engineering to appear more believable. Social engineering uses information gained from social media and other Internet sources to appear more realistic. To learn more, check out our guide about social engineering prevention.
Unpatched vulnerabilities provide an opportunity for attackers to exploit weaknesses in your system. This is particularly true if the vulnerability is publicly known and older. Most of these vulnerabilities you should be able to patch immediately or at least soon after a patch is made available.
One exception to this is vulnerabilities on user devices. Many organizations have implemented a bring your own device (BYOD) policy. These devices can be difficult for security teams to monitor and are likely to contain out-of-date components. Attackers can use these components to attack devices and gain access to sensitive data or to your systems via saved credentials.
Malware infection is a method commonly used by attackers. To infect a system, attackers may manually inject malware, send infected files through email, or embed files in ‘legitimate’ downloads. Frequently, users unknowingly download malware and install it for attackers.
To prevent malware infections, you need to be filtering user access and permissions. For example, you can set administrative controls restricting downloads. If you do not limit your chance for malware infection, you open your systems up to data mining, resource abuse, and ransomware.
Endpoint security has evolved as systems have become larger and more complex. Below are some highlights of the evolution of endpoint security.
Endpoint protection platforms are tools designed to protect systems from threats. These platforms incorporate a variety of security tooling into centralized controls. EPPs can be used to protect against both traditional malware threats and modern threats such as zero-day vulnerabilities or fileless attacks.
Security tooling that is commonly included with EPPs includes:
When protecting systems, EPPs typically apply the following methods and technologies:
EPP and EDR are two solutions that are often confused. This is especially true since EDR solutions are now being added to EPPs to create a unified product.
The primary difference between these two solutions is the focus of each. EPP focuses on preventing attacks and hardening systems against threats. EDR focuses on detecting attacks and blocking or responding to threats. EPP is intended as a defensive layer for your systems while EDR is an offensive layer.
You can learn more about the connection between EDR and EPP in our comprehensive guide to EDR security.
To fully understand how endpoint security tools can protect your devices, systems, and networks, you need to understand what capabilities are possible.
Pre-attack capabilities focus on proactive measures and include the following:
Attack detection capabilities focus on early and accurate threat identification and include the following:
Although NGAV can be considered a part of both detection and response capabilities, its importance to protecting systems makes it stand out. Many attacks are started or aided by malware and NGAV capabilities specialize in neutralizing these threats. In particular, NGAV helps protect your network with:
Response and remediation capabilities focus on applying detection data, alerting security teams to threats, and automating responses. These capabilities include the following:
Cynet 360 is a holistic security solution that protects against threats to endpoint security and across your network.
Cynet’s intelligent technologies can help you detect attacks by correlating information from endpoints, network analytics and behavioral analytics with almost no false positives.
With Cynet, you can proactively monitor entire internal environments, including endpoints, network, files, and hosts. This can help you reduce attack surfaces and the likelihood of multiple attacks.
Cynet 360 provides cutting edge EDR capabilities:
Learn more about our EDR security capabilities.
In addition, Cynet 360 provides the following endpoint protection capabilities:
Learn more about the Cynet 360 security platform.
There’s a lot more to learn about EDR. To continue your research, take a look at the rest of our blogs on this topic:
Cloud Endpoint Protection: Protecting Your Weakest Link
It may look like there is less of a need for endpoint security, as organizations move their workloads to the cloud. However, the opposite is true. As workloads move to the cloud, endpoints change more frequently, the number of endpoints grows exponentially, and you have less central control and visibility. Each cloud endpoint is a potential entry point for attackers, and should be protected with a consistent layer of endpoint protection.
Trend Micro Endpoint Security: Solutions at a Glance
Trend Micro provides a wide range of endpoint security solutions, offered as part of a package, or as individual products. You can use Trend Micro endpoint security solutions on-premises or as Software as a Service (SaaS). Popular modules include endpoint encryption, endpoint security, web security, and mobile security. This article explains how Trend Micro Endpoint Security packages are structured and the key features provided by each product.
Endpoint Protection for Mac: Why it’s Critical to Secure Your Macs
Although Macs are not subject to all of the same issues as Windows devices, built-in Mac security cannot protect from everything. To cover the remaining gaps, you need to apply best practices such as layered security and endpoint protection. For the corporate network, this means retaining as much visibility and control and possible through the implementation of endpoint security.
Top 6 Endpoint Protection Platforms and How to Choose
Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP) are necessary to defend your organization’s workstations, mobile devices, servers and containers. Modern EPP solutions include advanced preventative measures, such as Next-Generation Antivirus which can block both known and unknown malware, and active defensive measures known as Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR). This article reviews the key capabilities of EPP, presents the top 5 EPP solutions, and explains how to actively test and evaluate EPP before you buy.
EndPoint Security McAfee: Products, Capabilities and Features
The McAfee MVISION Endpoint Security Platform includes protection for desktops running Linux, Windows, or Mac, mobile devices, EDR capabilities, and a central management console called ePO. The McAfee Endpoint Security suite includes several products that protect desktop devices, cloud-native endpoints, and mobile devices. The suite provides capabilities like advanced threat protection, broad endpoint support, and an integrated solution.
ESET Endpoint Security: Platform at a Glance
ESET Endpoint Security is a platform that protects endpoints running Android, Linux, Windows, and Mac. ESER endpoint platform has a comprehensive feature set, but does not include EDR. ESET offers EDR as a separate product and prices separately. This article explains how ESET endpoint security solutions are structured and the key features they provide.
Read more: ESET Endpoint Security: Platform at a Glance
Symantec Endpoint Protection: Platform at a Glance
The Symantec Endpoint Security Suite provides attack prevention, detection and response for endpoints. It provides a broad set of features including traditional and machine-learning based prevention, EDR, application control, and deception technology. Additional features of Symantec Endpoint Security include firewall and intrusion prevention, application and device control, mobile roaming user protection, network integrity protection, and more.
EPP Security: Prevention, Detection and Response at Your Fingertips
Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP) are solutions deployed on endpoint devices to detect malicious activity, prevent file-based malware attacks, and provide the required investigation and remediation capabilities. EPP includes both the preventive aspects and also EDR components that allow security teams to respond if a security breach has also occurred. This article explains what are EPP platforms, compares between the preventive features of EPP vs. EDR, and explains how to evaluate and select EPP solutions.
Kaspersky Endpoint Security Suite: Editions Structure, Pricing and Features
Kaspersky offers a robust set of endpoint security solutions, suitable for small, medium and large organizations. These solutions provide preventive protection against malware and advanced threats, EDR that helps respond to endpoint attacks, and security awareness training. The Kaspersky Endpoint Security solution helps companies secure endpoint devices like servers, workstations, and mobile devices. Main capabilities include adaptive endpoint security, security awareness, endpoint detection and response.
We have authored in-depth guides on several other security topics that can also be useful as you explore the world of network attacks.
EDR is a set of tools and practices that you can use to detect and respond to security attacks on your network. EDR defends endpoint devices, including workstations, smart devices, routers, and open ports.
See top articles in our endpoint security guide:
A network attack is an attempt to gain unauthorized access to an organization’s network, with the objective of stealing data or perform other malicious activity. Once inside, hackers will combine other types of attacks, for instance compromising an endpoint, spreading malware or exploiting a vulnerability in a system within the network.
See top articles in our network attacks guide:
Advanced threat protection (ATP) is a set of solutions and practices you can use to detect and prevent advanced attacks or malware. Typically, ATP solutions include a combination of malware protection systems, network devices, endpoint agents, email gateways, and a centralized management dashboard.
See top articles in our advanced threat protection guide:
Incident response is a growing priority at organizations. Technology platforms are essential for making incident response efficient and effective. Incident response platforms help security teams quickly identify and investigate incidents, manage their work on a case until closure, and automate incident response tasks to provide a faster response.
See top articles in our incident response guide:
Incident response services can help you detect and respond to cyber-attacks. These services generally operate based on an incident response retainer that specifies a fixed monthly cost and a certain scope of security services.
See top articles in our incident response services guide: