What is Endpoint Security and Why Does it Matter?
October 15, 2020
The purpose of endpoint security is to protect the network against a possible breach or exposure of data when accessed through a remote device.
The increasing reliance on the use of personal devices, i.e., smartphone, laptop computer, tablets in an office or corporate environment opens up the possibility of exposing protected information, some of which include company secrets and financial data.
With endpoint security, a company or organization protects its network through a series of activities, application and use of software, and regular monitoring.
Endpoint protection systems are installed on every network server within the company or organization, including all endpoint devices. The ever-growing dependence on mobile devices puts enterprise data and confidential files at risk of exposure when that device is stolen or lost. It’s hard to fathom how significant the loss could be for a company if this happens.
How Endpoint Security Works
The point is that businesses and companies must find a way to secure sensitive data that is transferred to an otherwise “unsecured” mobile device. There must be a safeguard against illegal access in case the mobile device falls into someone else’s possession.
But endpoint security isn’t just about protecting sensitive data in a lost phone or laptop. Companies take full advantage of its beefed-up measures to prevent the likelihood of misusing data. There are countless instances of disgruntled employees who were let go and sought revenge by using login details or even financial records as leverage.
How Is It Different to Other Security Tools?
Endpoint security is classified as a network security tool, which puts it on the same boat as an antivirus program and a firewall. However, that’s essentially the only similarity. The term “endpoint” means that it is more of a focus-driven approach.
Whenever a mobile device connects wirelessly to a network, it immediately opens up some vulnerabilities. Unlike the computers and other devices that are wired to the corporate firewall, smartphones and laptops that use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other wireless connections are situated outside of the protected network.
Since they are literally on the “edge” of the network while connecting to the central system, experts refer to them as “endpoints.” It means that they’re the endpoints of the corporate network. The strategy used in safeguarding and protecting data that goes through these endpoints is aptly called “endpoint security.
While the function of an endpoint security software is to “secure” mobile devices, it’s not the same thing as an antivirus program. Antivirus software is installed to protect one or a couple of computers; on the other hand, endpoint security casts a wider net as it works to protect the entirety of the corporate network.
The scope of endpoint security is broad enough that most people don’t even bother to understand it. But if you’re a business or company owner, CEO, or manager who has a genuine concern of protecting your most-guarded trade secrets and sensitive information, you will want to learn about what endpoint security covers.
A comprehensive endpoint security package includes network access control, application whitelisting, and advanced detection and response systems. Those are things that you usually don’t get in an antivirus program. Consequently, the antivirus program may form part of endpoint security. It is part of a broader scope of protection which typically includes firewall and monitoring tools, all to safeguard all endpoints.
Moreover, endpoint security embraces a server-client system to enable an efficient protection strategy for multiple endpoints. The server is the focal point (master) of the program, while the clients (endpoints) get specific representatives installed in them. These representatives connect to the server through each client’s device, monitoring activities from logins, authorizations, and others. Again, the objective is to keep each endpoint as secure as possible.
Meanwhile, the role of the antivirus program is to detect and get rid of a bevy of threats to a PC, including but not limited to adware, spyware, malware, and viruses. It works by periodically scanning the system to find out if there is any viable threat.
In a nutshell, endpoint security tackles a broader perspective compared to that of an antivirus program. Although they are similar in a way that they secure a network, the scale is quite different in terms of scale.
Importance of Endpoint Security
Employing an endpoint security strategy isn’t just for large corporations and enterprises; even small and medium-sized businesses that rely on IT infrastructure to access, store, and pass sensitive data must start embracing this practice. It’s not merely about data protection, but also fluidity.
The increasing reliance on mobile devices makes it a no-brainer for would-be data hackers and thieves to focus on them. Multiple endpoint vulnerabilities in a wireless network is a legitimate concern, which is why endpoint security is no longer just an option.
Back in the day, data and security breaches happened within and through the network. With the popularity of endpoints, centralized protection is no longer enough. So, if your business or organization relies on mobile devices to maintain a seamless operation, you have no choice but to make that crucial investment in endpoint security. Be reminded that security always takes priority over convenience and efficiency unless you’re not concerned about exposing your business or corporate data to the world.
No one will argue against the value of mobile or remote devices in a business or office setting, but don’t forget about the vulnerabilities that they present. Spending money on a premium endpoint security software gives you an all-in-one solution in preventing data loss.