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What is endpoint security?

Aqsa Amir

Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

What is an endpoint?

An endpoint is any device connected to a network, such as the devices used by the employees to connect to the corporate network. Some of the most common devices are listed below:

  • Mobile phones
  • Desktops
  • Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Printer
  • Server
  • ATMs
  • Smartwatches

All interactions between humans and machines are established through these endpoints.

The various types of endpoints

Endpoint security

Growth in connected systems, such as the Internet of Things (IoT), and remote work supporting BYODBring your own device have increased the number and types of endpoints connected to a corporate network.

Every device that connects to the corporate network is a potential risk that cybercriminals can use to exploit the corporation. Hence, it is essential to deploy security measures that secure endpoints.

Importance of endpoint security

The following reasons make endpoint security necessary:

  • Endpoints create vulnerabilities for cyber crimes.
  • The number and types of endpoints have rapidly increased, posing a bigger threat for companies.
  • The endpoint landscape is constantly changing, making devices vulnerable to malware attacks.
  • Remote work has allowed employees to connect to the corporate network using different networks, creating a risk for the corporation.
  • Data is an organization's most valuable asset and must be protected at all costs.
  • Protection is required against sophisticated malware that is constantly evolving.

How does an endpoint security solution work?

Endpoint protection platforms (EPP) are deployed as a client-server model. A centrally managed security system is established to protect the network, and client software is installed on the user-end to secure the endpoints. The client software is usually delivered as a SaaSsoftware as a service that allows the administration to manage all the endpoints remotely.

EPP assesses each file that enters the network against its stored database. If any unusual pattern or activity is detected in the file, EPP doesn't allow it to enter the network.

It makes use of encryption and application control to establish these security protocols. Encryption prevents data loss, and application control prevents the user from accessing unauthorized applications that can create a vulnerability in the system.

Summary of an endpoint security system

EPP can be implemented in the following three ways:

  • On-premises: Security is delivered through a locally hosted data center that secures all the endpoints within the organization.
  • Hybrid: It is similar to the on-premises approach with the addition of some cloud capabilities.
  • Cloud-native: The security system is deployed on the cloud. This allows the administration to monitor and manage the endpoints remotely.

To detect more sophisticated and advanced threats, some solutions include a component of Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR).

What is endpoint security composed of?

Different endpoint security solutions consist of various components. Here is a list of some of the most common elements of endpoint security:

  • To allow safe browsing online, proactive web security makes an essential component.
  • The email filtration system protects against phishing and social engineering attacks.
  • Data loss prevention and data classification protect data from being harmed.
  • Email and disk encryption at the endpoints to protect against data exfiltration
  • A machine learning component that allows the solution to detect novel malware.
  • A centrally managed platform that ensures network visibility.
  • A firewall is essential to monitor the incoming and outgoing traffic from a network or a host computer.
  • Advanced, up-to-date antivirus software is installed on each endpoint to secure it.

Note: Antivirus is a component of endpoint security and there is a significant difference between the two software.

RELATED TAGS

cyber security
cloud computing

CONTRIBUTOR

Aqsa Amir
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Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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