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In today’s world, every enterprise has numerous security loopholes in the form of endpoints. ‘Endpoint’ is nothing more than a term used to describe devices connected to any network – work computers, personal computers, central servers, employee cell phones, and the like.
In the era of the Bring Your Own Device culture, the number of endpoints any organization has is constantly increasing. Therefore, investing in the best firewall, VPN, and antivirus solutions can fall short if these endpoints aren’t secured – and that’s what we’re here to help your enterprise with.
Endpoint Security refers to the practice of protecting each endpoint in a network from getting targeted and exploited by malicious parties. These parties could be individuals, rogue organizations, or legitimate corporations that pose a threat to your enterprise.
As offensive technology has advanced enough to enable thousands of threats to emerge daily, so has defensive technology. Today, numerous groups and individuals are working to create security solutions that offer proactive, real-time protection to computer networks.
Getting a centralized security system for all endpoints makes the protection of your entire IT infrastructure convenient as tools don’t have to be installed on every device individually. Endpoint security, therefore, saves time, effort, and money invested in enterprise security.
Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP) work by assessing the intended behavior of objects when they enter a network and forwarding them to their destination only if nothing seems suspicious. They operate on client-server models and use central databases that contain information about known threats, to determine whether the object is safe or not.
Since this analysis takes place in real-time, EPPs are highly effective against zero-day threats as well. The integration of custom scripts, artificial intelligence, and cloud storage in SaaS-based products makes the usage of EPPs by system administrators in large enterprises very easy and convenient.
Components such as web security protocols, integrated firewalls, antiviruses, disk, and email encryption make Endpoint Protection Platforms 360° solutions. To understand how this is implemented, go through our in-depth guide here.
Effective endpoint security tools should have the ability to detect, analyze, block, and contain in-progress attacks before any major damage can be done. They do so by utilizing application control and encryption techniques to monitor access, and block devices connected to their network. Application control is important as it prevents the installation of unauthorized applications, and encryption of data is necessary as it prevents data loss and data leaks through endpoints.
The following key features are necessary for the centralized, continuous implementation of security policies in any enterprise:
- Customized deployment: Before the functionality of any tool can be assessed, its compatibility with the organization’s environment must be determined. An ideal tool would therefore have an option between cloud-based and on-premise deployment.
- Device control: This enables data and resources to get accessed only by verified devices, reducing the chances of undesirable uploads or downloads.
- Behavioral monitoring: The usage of advanced machine learning enables behavior-based analysis of objects, offering protection against both zero-day and memory-based attacks.
- Protection against malicious web browsing and emails: Even when certain devices are authorized to perform various activities within a network, their owners might be targeted for web-based attacks. This feature enables real-time analysis and blocking of suspicious objects detected by scanning incoming and outgoing traffic on the network.
- Timely communication: Endpoint security tools active within a network must be able to communicate with each other, in a timely fashion, to ensure that every tool is aware of threats that have been detected.
- Endpoint detection, investigation, and remediation: To be effective and minimize the negative consequences of attacks, these tools should have the ability to detect intrusions, access violations, and suspicious activity at very high speeds. Following detection, they must successfully trace all related activity to enable isolation of the affected endpoints and users, before remediation can be carried out successfully.
- Reporting: When the above-mentioned processes are taking place, the system administrator needs to be alerted. The provision of dashboards and real-time vulnerability reports offer visibility into the network’s security status.
Where traditional network security depended on antivirus software for the signature-based detection of suspicious activity, modern endpoint security tools protect enterprises proactively by identifying threats as they enter the system, and by mapping out the scope of threats that managed to stay undetected for some time.
Some widely used tools that achieve these functions effectively are listed below:
Built on zero trust architecture, Comodo AEP makes use of its automated containment feature to analyze every file without interrupting the end-user. It is available as both, a SaaS and an on-site Windows Server-based solution.
(Image source: Comodo Advanced Endpoint Protection)
AEP can be used as either an online service or an on-site application running on Windows. For the latter, however, a .NET framework and SQL server will need to be installed, after which it can be accessed via a web browser. Endpoints running on Windows, Mac, and Android are supported.
Running as a Linux Server or SaaS, Cybereason’s enterprise package is an all-rounder endpoint security solution that provides services such as active hunting, detecting, monitoring, and assistance while allowing customized detection and remediation.
(Image Source: Cybereason Enterprise)
To assist first-time users, Cybereason has provided a Sandbox that contains some malware, along with instructions on how to identify them using the product. It can be used for Windows, Mac, and Linux endpoints.
Integrating technologies such as automated threat hunting, endpoint detection, and response, and threat intelligence automation in a highly customizable format, this SaaS agent includes modules such as:
(Image Source: Crowdstrike Endpoint Protection Enterprise)
Offering key features such as attack indicators, behavioral protection, immediate response with zero endpoint impact, and insights, Crowdstrike Endpoint Protection Enterprise is a highly attractive package that uses a cloud-based instance to provide real-time protection to Windows, Mac, and Linux based endpoints.
This Windows Server-based product aims to make up for the limitations present in traditional security systems by offering autonomous monitoring of all endpoints. It allows the administrator to put custom, fine-tuned systems in place, thus maximizing flexibility.
(Image Source: Stormshield Endpoint Security)
Combining endpoint prevention and detection (EPP and EDR), Stormshield Endpoint Security dynamically adapts to the security policy of the enterprise to provide an optimal level of protection to Windows endpoints.
Giving enterprises the flexibility to choose which services they wish to deploy, Bitdefender’s GravityZone Enterprise Security Solutions offers overall endpoint protection in a customizable manner.
Its key features are:
(Image Source: Bitdefender GravityZone Enterprise Security Solutions)
Real-time visual reports about functions such as endpoint risk analysis, root cause analysis, email security, application control, and network attack defense amongst others make this product highly suitable for enterprises of all sizes.
Offering products for businesses of all sizes, Kaspersky Enterprise Security Solution contains modules such as IoT and Embedded Security, Hybrid Cloud Security, Integrated Endpoint Security, Threat Management and Defense, Industrial Cybersecurity, and Fraud Prevention.
(Image Source: Kaspersky Enterprise Security)
ESET EPA supports a wide range of environments such as
- Windows Vista and later
- macOS 10.9 and later
- Debian and RedHat based distributions
- Android 5 and later
- iOS 8 and later
- File servers like Windows, Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise, CentOS, FreeBSD and Sles
- Virtual environments like VMware vSphere, vCenter, NSX Manager, and Guest Introspection
This bundled solution includes the following products:
(Image Source: ESET Endpoint Protection Advanced)
It makes use of machine learning-based automated security management to offer online and offline features such as attack indicator, behavioral detection, firewall, web filtering, and network attack protection amongst others.
This cloud-based solution has capabilities including, but not limited to endpoint detection and response (EDR), vulnerability management and assessment, and automatic investigation and remediation.
(Image Source: Microsoft Defender for Endpoint)
Allowing quick and easy deployment, configuration, and management, MS Defender for Endpoint offers real-time analysis of sophisticated threats. Automation enables the remediation of advanced attacks and the detection of zero-day attacks with ease.
SentinelOne Singularity unifies functions such as EPP, EDR, IoT Control, and Workload Protection to deliver a comprehensive security solution for any enterprise.
(Image Source: SentinelOne Singularity Platform)
Accessible to users in administrator or help-desk roles, this platform uses dynamic execution patterns to detect at-risk endpoints. After detection, it can quarantine files and kill processes – recording and storing everything centrally under the EDR protocol.
Offering deployment options such as on-site, cloud-based, and hybrid solutions, this artificial intelligence-powered solution is a brilliant choice for both, traditional endpoints and mobile devices.
Symantec provides proactive protection at each cycle of possible attacks, in the following manner:
(Image Source: Symantec End-User Endpoint Security)
This comprehensive product helps you prepare for the worst-case scenario and provides in-depth insights along with remediation each step of the way.
Trend Micro’s Apex One has a multi-level EDR workflow which guarantees a highly efficient all-in-one solution to enterprises. Its usage of cross-generational threat techniques enables the following:
- Pre-execution and runtime machine learning.
- Accurate detection of advanced malware, including ‘file-less’ malware and ransomware.
- Behavior analysis based prevention of injection, memory-based attacks, scripting, and browser attacks.
- Reduction of false positives because of multilayer noise canceling.
(Image Source: Trend Micro Apex One)
Its administrator console allows central monitoring of the entire organization’s security – increasing visibility and efficiency.
Moving beyond endpoint security, Palo Alto Networks’ Cortex XDR provides the industry’s first ‘Extended Detection and Response’ – merging endpoint, network, and cloud security into one. It correlates data from different platforms, to speed up the detection-investigation-remediation process.
(Image Source: Palo Alto Networks Cortex XDR)
Its machine learning-based techniques succeed in efficiently detecting the stealthiest of attacks by continuously profiling the entire IT infrastructure while offering flexible response options.
While there is an endless number of endpoint security solutions for enterprises of all sizes, it is important to be familiar with the features offered by them. This helps you decide which product suits your enterprise’s needs the best – and that is necessary for effective protection. This guide provides a consolidated list of tried and tested solutions that have fulfilled critic and customer expectations, proving their worth across organizations of all sizes.