What Is Endpoint Security? and Why Is It Crucial Today?

What is Endpoint Security

 

About Endpoint Security

Endpoint Security (or) Endpoint Protection refers to the approach of protecting a business network when accessed by remote devices like smartphones, laptops, tablets or other wireless devices. It includes monitoring status, software, and activities. The endpoint protection software is installed on all network servers and on all endpoint devices.

With the proliferation of mobile devices like laptops, smartphones, tablets, notebooks etc., there has been a sharp increase in the number of devices being lost or stolen as well. These incidents potentially translate as huge loss of sensitive data for enterprises which allow their employees to bring in these mobile devices (enterprise-provided or otherwise) into their enterprise.

To solve this problem, enterprises have to secure the enterprise data available on these mobile devices of their employees in such a way that even if the device falls into the wrong hands, the data should stay protected. This process of securing enterprise endpoints is known as endpoint security.

Apart from this it also helps enterprises successfully prevent any misuse of their data which they’ve made available on the employee’s mobile devices. (Example: a disgruntled employee trying to cause nuisance to the enterprise or someone who may be a friend of the employee trying to misuse the enterprise data available on the device).

Endpoint Security Definition

Endpoint Security is often confused with a number of other network security tools like antivirus, firewall, and even network security. In this page, we list some of the differences between endpoint security (or) endpoint protection and the network against various evolving security threats of today.

Why Is It Called ‘Endpoint’ Security?

As you can realize, every device which can connect to a network poses a considerable danger. And as these devices are placed outside of the corporate firewall on the edge of the network using which individuals have to connect to the central network, they are called as endpoints. Meaning endpoints of that network.

As already stated endpoint can be any mobile device ranging from laptops to the notebooks of today, which can be connected to a network. And the strategy you employ in security these endpoints is known as ‘endpoint security’.

Endpoint Security Is Not The Same As Antivirus

Although the objective of endpoint security solutions is the same – secure devices – there is a considerable difference between endpoint security and antivirus. Antivirus is about protecting PC(s), – single or many depending upon the type of antivirus being deployed – whereas endpoint security covers the entire picture. It’s about securing every aspect of the network.

Endpoint security usually includes ‘provisions for application whitelisting, network access control, endpoint detection and response’, things which are usually not available in antivirus packages. It can also be said that antivirus packages are simpler forms of endpoint security.

Endpoint Security Is Different For Consumers and Enterprises

Endpoint security solutions can be broadly classified into 2 different types. One for the consumers and the other for enterprises. The major difference between the two is that there’s no centralized management and administration for consumers, whereas, for enterprises, centralized management is necessary. This central administration (or server) streamlines the configuration or installation of endpoint security software on individual endpoint devices and performance logs and other alerts are sent to the central administration server for evaluation and analysis.

What Do These Endpoint Security Solutions Typically Contain?

While there’s certainly no limit to what endpoint security can contain – and this list is only going to expand in the future – there are some applications which are core to any endpoint security solution. (Because, well, securing a network is altogether a different ball game from securing a computer).

Some of these applications are firewalls, antivirus tools, internet security tools, mobile device management tools, encryption, intrusion detection tools, mobile security solutions etc, to name a few.

Traditional Vs Modern Endpoint Security

This is a no-brainer. Yet something which needs to be pointed out. Because enterprises are often reluctant to changes. Even if it is for their own good. But endpoint security is one area where enterprises have no choice but to adopt the modern endpoint security. Because they are much more than just an anti-malware tool which can go a long way in securing your network against various evolving security threats of today.

Difference between Endpoint Security and Antivirus

Antivirus is one of the components of endpoint security. Whereas endpoint security is a much broader concept including not just antivirus but many security tools (like Firewall, HIPS system, White Listing tools, Patching and Logging/Monitoring tools etc.,) for safeguarding the various endpoints of the enterprise (and the enterprise itself against these endpoints) and from different types of security threats.

More precisely, endpoints security employs a server/client model for protecting the various endpoints of the enterprise. The server would have a master instant of the security program and the clients (endpoints) would have agents installed within them. These agents would communicate with the server the respective devices’ activities like the devices’ health, user authentication/authorization etc., and thus keep the endpoints secure.

Whereas antivirus is usually a single program responsible for scanning, detecting and removing viruses, malware, adware, spyware, ransomware and other such malware. Simply put, antivirus is a one-stop shop for securing your home networks, and endpoint security is suitable for securing enterprises, which are larger and much more complex to handle.

Difference between Endpoint Security and Network Security

Endpoint security is about securing your enterprise endpoints (mobile devices like laptops, smartphones and more) – and, of course, the enterprise against the dangers posed by these endpoints as well – whereas network security is about taking security measures for protecting your entire network (the whole IT infrastructure) against various security threats.

The main difference between endpoint security and network security is that in the case of former, the focus in on securing endpoints, and in the case of latter, the focus is on securing the network. Both types of security are important. Ideally, it’s best to start from securing the endpoints and building out. You wouldn’t leave the doors to your home open, just because there’s a security guard out there, would you? In the same sense, both are important and should be given equal importance, starting from the endpoints and slowly building out.

In very simple terms, your network would be secure only if your endpoints are secured first. This you should make note of before starting to look for endpoint security and network security products.

Difference between Endpoint Security and Firewall

Firewalls are responsible for filtering the traffic flowing into and going out of your network based on ‘a set of security rules’. Like, for example, restricting traffic flowing into the network from a particular potentially dangerous website. Whereas endpoint security concerns itself not just with network filtering but performs many other tasks like patching, logging, and monitoring etc., for safeguarding the endpoints.

Both antivirus and firewall are crucial elements of endpoint security. Their objective remains the same, though the model adopted (client/server model) and the number of computers they protect differ. And within the endpoint security model, operating with other security tools, they become even more efficient.

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Difference between Endpoint Security and Endpoint Protection

Both are pretty much the same. Their primary objective is the same – to safeguard the endpoints as well as the enterprise against the dangers they pose. But there is a subtle difference. Endpoint security usually refers to an on-premise solution. Whereas Endpoint Protection refers to a cloud-based solution.

An on-premise solution is a solution which has to be installed on the network for deployment and a cloud-based solution is one which is available in the cloud and enterprises have to subscribe to it.

Windows 10 and Endpoint Security

Windows 10 although proclaimed to be the safest Windows OS is not without its flaws. Security experts have proved that the in-built security features of Windows like Windows Defender, Firewall etc., too are proving ineffective. Therefore enterprises making use of Windows 10 OS need endpoint security for safeguarding the various endpoints which connect to the network and for safeguarding the network itself.

Why Your Windows – Not Just Windows 10 – Needs Endpoint Security?

Inbuilt Windows Security is never going to be sufficient. Because the security attack vectors of today are just too many to be handled. Which means we no longer live in a world where e-mail attachments or web downloads are the only sources of malware infection. Simply put, your windows OS needs additional layers of protection in the form of antivirus for windows or, maybe, much more, depending on your requirements.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at how you can protect your Windows OS from various security threats:

  1. Keep Your Windows OS Up-to-Date: Today it’s Windows 10. Tomorrow there’ll be another new version. Whatever it may be, ensure your PC is updated to the latest version. This is probably the next best thing you can do apart from providing antivirus for windows. Because the latest update is usually the one which safeguards users against all known security vulnerabilities.
  2. Ensure Other Applications Are Up-to-Date: What’s inside of your Windows OS too matters. We mean other main programs and applications. Ensure all of them are updated and contain the latest security patches. Because it’s a well-known fact that hackers try to exploit popular software like Java, Adobe Flash, Adobe Acrobat etc.,
  3. Use Proactive Security Solution: Unfortunately traditional antivirus alone is not going to be enough. Especially when it comes to combating modern-day malware which employs sophisticated methods. Therefore to tackle the ever-changing cybersecurity threat landscape, users need proactive security solutions like internet security (for home users) and endpoint protection (for enterprises).
  4. Use Local Account Instead Of Microsoft Account: If you are using Windows 10, it’s best to avoid Microsoft account and instead opt for a Local account, as using Microsoft account means saving some of your personal details on the cloud, which is not such a wise thing to do. To opt for a local account, visit: Settings>Accounts>”Your info and select ‘Sign in with a local account instead”.
  5. Keep User Account Control Always Turned On: UAC (User Account Control) is a Windows security responsible for preventing unauthorized changes (initiated by applications, users, viruses or other forms of malware) to the operating system. It ensures changes are applied to the operating system only with the approval of the administrator. Therefore keep it turned ON always.
  6. Perform Regular Back-Ups: Prepare yourself with the ‘worst’ in mind when it comes to dealing with security threats. Therefore perform regular backups of your system (both online and offline) so that all your data is not lost in case your PC(s) are badly affected by security threats or encounter an irreparable hardware issue.
  7. Keep Your Browser Updated: Browsers are what we use to access the internet. Therefore security vulnerabilities in them mean entry path for security threats. Therefore, just as with OS and other applications, keep your web browser updated as well. Other security measures you can take: 1) opt for private browsing mode to prevent sensitive details from being stored 2) prevent or block pop-ups 3) configure web browser security settings to improve security etc.,
  8. Turn Off Location Tracking: If you are using Windows 10 or any other version which contains Location Tracking, it’s best to turn it Off or use it only when it is absolutely necessary. For example, if you want to know about the local weather or the various shops nearby etc., To turn off Location Tracking, go to Privacy >> Location >> click Change button and move the slider from On to Off.
  9. Use The Internet Wisely: All of the security measures listed here would become useless if you don’t exercise caution while online. Therefore ensure you don’t click on dangerous looking links, download malicious email attachments or other web downloads, avoid visiting suspicious looking websites and any other action which the current security practices deem as unwise.

Windows OS is probably the best and that is why it is hugely popular and has so much following – despite the security threats. And there’s nothing wrong with sticking to your favorite OS. Just ensure you beef it up with the right security products like Comodo Endpoint Protection and follow the security best practices. These will ensure your Windows OS stays safe no matter what.

About Comodo Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP)

Comodo Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP), which comes equipped with impressive security features, is the best endpoint protection or security tool available in the IT security market. Backed by Containment technology, all the unknown (and therefore suspicious) files are run within virtual containers without affecting the host system’s resources or user data.

Security Features:

  • Antivirus Scanning:Comodo Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP) has an antivirus scanning feature capable of scanning endpoints against a massive list of known good and bad files compiled from years as the world’s largest certificate authority and from the 85 million endpoints deployed worldwide.
  • VirusScope behavioral analysis: Uses techniques such as API hooking, DLL injection prevention, and more to identify indicators of compromise while keeping the endpoint safe and without affecting usability
  • Valkyrie verdict decision engine: While running in auto-containment, unknown files are uploaded to a global threat cloud for real-time analysis, returning a verdict within 45 seconds for 95% of the files submitted.
  • Human analysis: In the 5% of cases where VirusScope and Valkyrie are unable to return a verdict, the file can be sent to researchers for human analysis who make a determination within SLA timelines.
  • Host intrusion prevention: Rules-based HIPS that monitors application activities and system processes, blocking those that are malicious by halting actions that could damage critical system components.
  • Personal packet filtering firewall: Provides granular management of inbound and outbound network activities, hides system ports from scans, and provides warnings when suspicious activities are detected. Can be administered remotely or by a local administrator

Device Management and Application Security

Device management and application security are central to endpoint security. And both these factors are given equal importance. ‘Strong mobile policies, easy-to-implement default profiles, over-the-air enrollment, antitheft provision, remote data wipe and many other features ensure comprehensive device management. Whereas features like ‘application inventory, application blacklisting and whitelisting, remote management, patch management ensure comprehensive application management as well.

Minimum System Requirements

Comodo Application Endpoint Protection (AEP) is extremely lightweight and therefore has minimum requirements. They are: 384 MB available RAM, 210 MB hard disk space for both 32-bit and 64-bit versions, CPU with SSE2 support, Internet Explorer version 5.1 or above.

Compatible With All Operating Systems

Comodo AEP is compatible with all versions of Windows. Be it Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista or XP. Compatible with Android, Linux and Windows server editions (like Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2 etc,.) as well.

Comodo Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP) Related Statistics

Our Comodo AEP performance survey indicates that each year 85 Million endpoints are being protected our security software. Its verdict on analyzing unknown files correctly is an astounding 100% and the time taken to return each individual verdict is only 45 seconds. If these stats fail to impress you, you can try out Comodo AEP for a free 30-day trial period and see for yourself how it performs.

Or if you prefer to set up a demo or proof-of-concept project, contact us at EnterpriseSolutions@comodo.com or +1 888-256-2608.

Download Comodo Advanced Endpoint Protection (AEP) Now!

Secure Your Enterprise Endpoints!

What Is Endpoint Security

What are the Main Challenges to Enterprise Endpoint Security Today?

Enterprise Endpoint Security

Endpoint security is a security approach that concentrates on locking down endpoints, like individual computers, tablets, phones, and several other network-enabled devices, in order to keep networks safe. In many ways, endpoint security is the direct descendent of the first forms of computer protection in the earliest days of IT.

But it is a rapidly developing category, as organizations focus on coordinating control of the PCs, phones and servers on their networks to keep out intruders and malware. In this present digital age, enterprises are constantly haunted by a wide range of attacks that aim at their data security and integrity.

Enterprises must treat security to be an extremely crucial task and they should opt for an endpoint protection service provider capable of providing advanced security protocols and features.

One of the biggest challenges presently experienced by enterprises refers to the potential of endpoint security solutions to guarantee a solid security posture in all types of environments in which it gets deployed in, whether virtual or physical endpoint.

Conventional security solutions frequently deploy the same full-fledged security agent within virtual environments just as they do on physical endpoints. This can indeed result in major performance issues, causing more problems than they fix. The challenge here is to discover a security solution that allows organizations to completely embrace the power of virtualization and cloud, without compromising security.

Increased threat sophistication and attack vector diversification refer to the fact that organizations will also have to focus on visibility inside their infrastructure, and not just security, as it can help them detect potential signs of a data breach even before it occurs.

On the whole, endpoint security will have to be augmented by automated endpoint detection and response tools that not just identifies unknown or known malware, but automatically executes triage on security alerts. This allows overburdened security and IT teams to just focus on the most important security warnings.

It is possible to easily apply security automation to different areas of enterprise security. However, endpoints are the most targeted by cybercriminals, and this is the reason why organizations should start there when aiming to enhance security posture.

Organizations that focus on protecting their endpoints must break the attack kill chain before the attacker achieves his objectives. This deals with deploying a number of defense layers that can anticipate, prevent, identify and respond, investigate, and also remediate any security issues found.

malware analysis definition

The Top 5 Endpoint Security Vendors to Watch in 2019

Endpoint Security Vendors

In 2018, endpoint security solutions and vendors experienced a new wave of threats and challenges from a changing threat landscape and new enterprise demands. endpoint security faced more challenges than ever encountered before, and 2019 will create even greater obstacles for vendors. The field thus seems poised for even more fiscal risks, innovations, and sudden market shifts in 2019. Keeping this mind, given below are Top 6 Endpoint Security Vendors to Watch in 2019:

  1. Comodo: Comodo Advanced Endpoint Security software offers 7 layers of defense that include antivirus, firewall, web URL filtering, host intrusion prevention, auto-sandbox (containment), file reputation and viruscope (behavioral analysis). All these layers are together offered for customers of all sizes with the aim to protect them from both unknown and known threats. Comodo Advanced Endpoint Security also permits you to control and centrally manage security endpoint protection via the application of operational templates or policies.
  2. Bitdefender: Bitdefender’s very recent 2018 activities specify a serious preparation for the future. Recently, the vendor purchased RedSocks, a security analytics vendor, highlighting that they are preparing to face the future blurring lines between the different cybersecurity fields. Furthermore, Bitdefender updated its GravityZone Ultra solution to incorporate stronger EDR capabilities. Bitdefender was recognized as a Leader in the Forrester Wave for Endpoint Security Suites Report for Q2 2018.
  3. Carbon Black: Carbon Black has established itself to be one of the most prominent in both next-generation endpoint protection and threat research. Besides the addition of capabilities, like threat hunting, the company has also developed new partnerships in its Cb Connect network along with several other solution providers. 
  4. Druva: Druva specializes in cloud security, backup and disaster recovery, and the digital cloud perimeter. Druva made its very first acquisition this year when it bought CloudRanger (an Amazon Web Services backup and disaster recovery company). This could highlight the need for incorporating backup into endpoint security. Druva’s distinct cloud perimeter security and research is expected to continue into 2019.
  5. Endgame: Endgame was recognized as a visionary in the Gartner Endpoint Protection Platform Magic Quadrant for 2018. At the beginning of this year, Endgame also made an announcement of the first macOS endpoint protection against unknown threats, a key step in the endpoint security solution market.
  6. LogMeIn: LogMeIn provides a comprehensive endpoint management and security solution indicative of the blurring lines between the traditional endpoint perimeter and identity security. The LogMeIn Central solution security portfolio includes patch management, proactive alerts, anti-virus, computer health monitoring, and software inventory, thus providing a comprehensive package for enterprises struggling with visibility issues or perimeter security gaps.

What is Computer Security

How to Choose the Best Endpoint Security for your Organization

best endpoint security

Protecting your endpoints from cyber threats is a significant aspect of securing your organization’s network. The very first step in choosing the best endpoint security solution is to understand what your business requirements.

Sector

An organization’s choice of endpoint security solutions could be influenced by Regulatory requirements. For instance, government and military sectors have extremely strict security policies and requirements to which companies must adhere.

Other sectors such as finance, healthcare, and technology have specific regulations when it comes to securing data. Hence, enterprises may need specific types of endpoint security solutions in order to comply with the security regulatory requirements of their respective industries. Industries that are mostly targeted by hackers may decide to use stronger endpoint security protection capable of surpassing the minimum regulatory requirements.

Budget

While endpoint security is essential when it comes to securing an enterprise’s data, there are IT leaders who instantly admit that budget considerations have forced them to compromise on security features.

Even though this is an issue experienced by all enterprise, large enterprises often have the financial capability and inclination to heavily invest in endpoint security. On the other hand, small and medium-sized businesses mostly have smaller IT budgets and need an inexpensive solution capable of helping them to reduce overhead, accelerate growth, and overcome business challenges.

Capacity and Scalability

When the organization is bigger, the number of endpoints also increase, making capacity a vital factor to consider. For bigger organizations, the endpoint solution must have the potential to manage an increasing number of users.

For businesses anticipating rapid growth, scalability should be another key factor, whether startups, large and established enterprises, or SMBs.

best endpoint security

Company work policies

Considering your company’s work policies is another factor that plays a vital role when choosing the best endpoint solution for your organization. These policies could deal with whether employees are allowed to work remotely.

If the company has a remote work policy, you will then have to look for an endpoint product that permits secure remote access.

Thus, after narrowing down your options and determining which security products are best suited for your organization, do your research to make sure that the products have a decent reputation.

The best endpoint security solutions are available with the right mix of prevention capabilities. In the existing age of extremely sophisticated cybercrime, organizations need endpoint security solutions containing next-gen security capabilities. Since prevention is the main priority, the best endpoint security solution is one that can protect organizations from different all kinds of malware, APTs, and zero-day threats.

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IoT: Why it Matters to Endpoint Security

IoT Endpoint Security

The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to any product, item, or gadget that can connect to a network or to the internet at large. Every new IoT device connecting to your enterprise becomes a new part of your digital perimeter, the very first point of entry for hackers wanting to steal your data or destroy your IT environment.

Even when IoT devices become mass produced and more widely available, there a minimal number of manufacturers who are investing the resources or time to implement endpoint security into their products. Hence, a number of items come to the market and are purchased even before an individual realizes the security issues that come along with them. These are not just idle issues. Experts have proven that hackers could hold entire heating systems hostage through ransomware. Additionally, even when the manufacturers do implement firmware security into their devices, these are mostly weak and or produces security integration issues with legacy endpoint security solutions.

endpoint security solution

Just plugging an IoT capable device into your network and then walking away is considered to be a rough equivalent of installing a new entryway into your home. When left on their own, these devices will not have access to the essential software and firmware updates necessary to their defenses. Furthermore, ignoring IoT devices generates visibility issues, as they become blindspots in your security perimeter. Hackers will be able to easily establish a foothold into your network without your security team even realizing it.

Users and their endpoints are extensively considered to be the most vulnerable targets for cyber attacks. However, instead of assisting companies in proactively fortifying these at-risk targets and avoiding infection in the very first place, a number of the new solutions being offered encourage companies to agree to the fact that infection is bound to happen no matter what you do. Hence, the wiser investment, that line of thinking goes, is to concentrate on enhancing your potential to detect and respond to attacks after the fact.

A next-gen endpoint security solution is the need of the hour because legacy endpoint security solutions, given their age, are just not equipped to manage the IoT in the same way they are not equipped to manage modern threats. Hence, only a truly next-gen endpoint security solution will possess the capabilities and the threat intelligence to provide visibility into IoT devices and protect them from external threats. These endpoint protection solutions will be able to create alerts for your IoT devices and implement machine learning in order to prevent your security team from becoming overworked.
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