What is Endpoint Security and how it works?

Endpoint security is the process of securing Endpoints like laptops, desktops, mobile devices from threat actors and malicious cyber attacks. Gone are the days where employing an antivirus solution was enough to protect and secure endpoints. As threat actors constantly discover new methods of targeting organizations, it is equally vital to ensure that organizations possess the necessary tools to counter such attacks. Endpoint Security is an Umbrella under which each and every module works to prevent cyber attacks. From vulnerability management, browser security, device control, application control to BitLocker management, Endpoint Central's Endpoint security module has it all.

Endpoint Security software is a platform that caters for proactive and reactive security measures to protect your endpoints from possible cyberthreats. Endpoints are constantly connected to the internet and they offer a gateway for cyberattacks. Endpoint security is simply the process of protecting your endpoints, be it inside or outside the corporate network. This thwarts any deliberate exploitation via cyberattacks. You can easily protect your endpoints by employing an endpoint security software and patching them regularly, implementing proper security protocols and adhering to security compliances. Unlike an antivirus that primarily detects existing threats in the network, endpoint security software goes a step further and reduces the chances of any threat in the first place.

This endpoint security guide covers the following:

What is Endpoint Security?

Endpoint Security or endpoint protection pertains to protecting endpoints like desktops, laptops, tablets, etc., to prevent any entry points for cyberattacks in the corporate network. Organizations, irrespective of the size, have endpoints and a traditional antivirus solution does not meet the requirement of handling new and evolving malicious cyber threats. Hence, endpoint security management is an essential part of any organization. Enterprise cyber security is fortified with the help of an endpoint security solution that prevents, identifies and rectifies the cyber threats immediately.

How does endpoint protection work?

Organizations regularly update their endpoints (laptops, desktops, smart phones, tablets, etc., to patch any vulnerabilities and to ease this process, they use an endpoint security software. When a remote end user tries to access network-critical resources, a simple SSL VPN is not enough. A client to monitor the activity serves the functionality of endpoint security well. Thus further adding the importance of endpoint security. Generally, an endpoint security software operates using an agent-server communication model. The agent application is installed on all the endpoints and it regularly collects and updates data, such as, unpatched vulnerabilities, missing patches, etc., to a centrally hosted server. The system administrator can have an over-arching view of the system health of all the endpoints and manage specific endpoints from a central location, such as, configuring the policy settings, blocking certain websites, etc. An endpoint security software can take care of the security requirements, however, administrators increasingly use a Unified Endpoint Management and Security solution to manage all their endpoints from a single console.

Endpoint security Vs network security

On the one hand, network security protects the entire network of an enterprise. It could be done in various ways, such as, implementing DNS protection, encrypting all communication, hosting honeypot servers as decoy, etc. On the other hand, endpoint security protects each endpoint. For example, deploying security configurations, checking license compliance, etc.

Is Endpoint Security an antivirus?

While Antivirus software helps in eliminating viruses and other malicious software that is already present in the system, an endpoint security software will secure the vulnerable points across the network and help patch various systems to prevent any paths that can lead to security breach. Thus, endpoint protection software focus on safeguarding whereas antivirus eliminate existing threats.

How does endpoint Security management differ between businesses & customers

Endpoint security solutions for consumers cater to the needs of devices at home whereas endpoint security solutions for enterprises cater to the requirements of an organization. The former usually tends to have far fewer features than the latter. Endpoint security for business is mandatory for all enterprises since all of the sensistive data are stored on endpoints that are prone to cyberattacks. In recent times, data breaches have become very common and an unprotected endpoint becomes an easy target. An endpoint protection tool enhances the overall cyber hygiene of an organization and shields the endpoint and the enterprise from cyberattacks and data breaches. Endpoint security for business are well-designed to address almost any administrative needs, such as, patching, vulnerability detection, software inventory alerts, etc. 

Endpoint security software features to look for in 2023

  • Securing devices, especially USB ports
  • Report generation
  • Device-based and user-based security policies
  • Application Control
  • Remote patch installation to fix critical vulnerabilities quickly
  • Strong encryption algorithm for secure communication
  • Receive notifications on security/status of a configuration
  • Browser management
  • Blocking threats to Mail servers, file servers, and collaboration servers
  • Two-factor authentication

Endpoint Security Platform by Endpoint Central

Endpoint Central is a Unified Endpoint Management solution from ManageEngine to help address the needs of IT administrators comprehensively. It supports Windows, Mac, Linux, tvOS, Android, iOS and Chrome devices. In any organization, endpoint protection plays a crucial and endpoints pose threats, especially in an organization where Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy has been implemented. Here are some of the Endpoint Central's features available in the endpoint security platform that admins can use to improve endpoint protection and safeguard their network better:

Endpoint Central aims to bridge the age-old gap between endpoint management and security with its latest Endpoint Security add-on. This add-on focuses on proactively securing aspects of endpoint security that are often overlooked by traditional anti-virus and other perimeter security solutions. Empowered with the Endpoint Security add-on, Endpoint Central is now a complete solution for unified endpoint management and security. The add-on actively covers 5 aspects of endpoint security such as vulnerability management, browser security, device control, application control, and BitLocker management. For a detailed break-down of the features in each of the 5 modules, refer our Endpoint Security add-on feature page.

  • Vulnerability management and threat mitigation: Regularly scan all your managed endpoints for known vulnerabilities, threats, and default/poor misconfigurations to seal the entry points of cyber attacks with our thorough vulnerability assessment and mitigation features.
  • Browser security: Browsers are probably the most neglected endpoints and the most common entry points for malware. Monitor and enforce security measures on the browsers used in your organization with our inclusive set of features for browser security.
  • Device control: Say goodbye to stray USBs in your network. Secure endpoints by regulating, and restricting peripheral devices in your organization. Closely monitor file transfer in and out of your network with our carefully curated features for device control.
  • Application control: Unauthorized applications posing a risk to your organization's security and productivity? Use our comprehensive set of features to control applications by blacklisting, whitelisting, or greylisting applications with ease.
  • BitLocker management: Enable data storage only in BitLocker encrypted devices in order to protect sensitive/corporate data from theft. Monitor BitLocker encryption and TPM status in all managed devices.
  • Anti-Ransomware: Secure your endpoints from ransomware attacks. Anti-ransomware provides machine learning-based behavior analysis to detect ransomware attacks accurately. Gain complete insights into the root cause of attacks while providing immediate incident response and also prevent similar future attacks. One-click rollback of files that were encyrpted via patented recovery process. Avail Early Access now, click here!
  • Endpoint DLP: Diligently scan your enterprise data and categorize them based on the criticality using DLP's pre-defined or custom templates. Curate DLP policies to prevent sensitive data transfer via cloud uploads, email exchanges, printers, and other peripheral devices. Receive instant alerts for unapproved data transfer instances, detailed reports on your enterprise data movement and single-step solutions to remediate false positives.

Don't let your security budget drill a hole in to your pocket. Get endpoint management and the benefit of six security solutions bundled into one at the best price possible with Endpoint Central + Endpoint Security add-on. The other features in Endpoint Central that helps secure your endpoints are listed below:

  • Modern Management capabilities for Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices:
    • Corporate Wipe - Erase all the corporate data if needed.
    • Complete Wipe - Perform complete wipe remotely to erase all the data completely from your device.
    • Geo tracking - Know the real-time location of your devices anytime.
    • Setting a device on the KIOSK mode - Allow users to use only a certain set of applications in the devices.
    • Device enrollment - Devices can enrolled using any modern enrollment technique, such as, email enrollment, self enrollment, etc.
  • Automated Patch Management: Automate the patching of your devices.
  • Configurations: This module helps secure your USB devices, block certain websites, configure firewall, execute custom scripts, etc.
  • Software Deployment: Whether it is licensed or open source software, install the required software easily across the network from a central location.
  • Inventory Management: Keep track of all the software licenses, hardware warranty information and monitor the usage of different software for individual systems in your organization.
  • Remote Control: Remotely connect to a desktop and resolve issues. Multiple technicians can join the remote desktop connection to collaborate efficiently. Using this feature, technicians can also connect to computers with multiple monitors.
  • OS Deployment: Administrators can automate OS imaging and deploy the OS to workstations for seamless OS migration.
  • Mobile Device Management: Features such as Email Management, Content Management, Profile Management, Containerization, etc., are available to manage different devices running on OS platforms such as Android, iOS, Windows, etc.

What are the endpoint security best practices?

Endpoint Security Management is a collection of practices conducted and measures put in place to protect the various endpoints in the organization from being breached by an external entity - malicious or others. With growing number of endpoints in both number and diversity; cyberattacks also pose greater peril than ever before. Thus, Endpoint Security Management can be a hectic task for administrators. On top of it, administrators may have other urgent requirements to be addressed that can take up a considerable chunk of their time. Therefore, it is advisable to perform standard routine checks across the devices in the network and it is highly recommended to use one endpoint security platform to get a holistic view of the network improving endpoint protection. Here is an endpoint security checklist that can help administrators to protect their devices better from security threats:

Checklist to secure endpoints

  • It is advisable to enable the basic security perimeters such as configuring firewall settings for your network to filter the network traffic, device authentication, etc.
  • Regularly scan the devices in your network for vulnerabilities and update them with the latest patches. This practice will protect the devices from most of the security threats.
  • Multi-factor Authentication can be implemented to authenticate the users.
  • Frequently educating the employees about the security measures effectuated across the organization.
  • A strict VPN access policy must be enforced to connect to the organization's network.
  • Collect information regularly regarding the IT hardware's warranty expiration date. Scan the systems for the usage of unlicensed software.
  • Block the applications that can cause downtime in productivity or/and can cause bandwidth choking. For example: Games, downloading via torrents, etc.

Thus, administrators can implement these endpoint security and management practices to ensure their endpoints are secure.