What Is Endpoint Protection and How It Can Help My Business?

Publication date: Jul 17, 2022

Last Published: Jul 18, 2022

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Would you be able to sleep soundly at night without closing the front door to your house?

Of course, you wouldn’t. Anyone could walk right in and steal your belongings without you noticing until it would be too late to do anything about it.

Even though most business owners feel the same way, they keep leaving the digital doors to their businesses wide open. These doors are the devices employees use to connect to enterprise networks and do work.

To securely lock all desktop computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and other so-called endpoints in order to prevent cybercriminals from sneaking through them, businesses need robust endpoint protection. Let’s go over what it is and how it can help.

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What Is Endpoint Protection for Security?

The definition of endpoint protection is an approach to securing network endpoints, the end-user devices that communicate back and forth with the network, to which they are connected. This approach sees every endpoint as a potential point of entry for cybercriminals and their malware.

To implement robust endpoint protection, businesses can take advantage of modern Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions like Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and Microsoft Defender for Business, which seek to protect endpoints by combining various cybersecurity defense capabilities, including:

These and other cybersecurity defense capabilities of modern EDRs are accessible from a centralized portal that provides the organization with a bird’s–eye view of all endpoints connected to its network.

Endpoint Protection vs. Antivirus Software

Both endpoint security and antivirus software share the same objective: secure employees’ work devices. The difference is in how they accomplish this objective.

Antivirus software solutions detect threats by analyzing their file signatures, which are like digital fingerprints. When antivirus software fingerprints a file and finds a match in its database of known threats, it flags the file as malicious and quarantines it.

These days, more and more cybercriminals rely on fileless malware, which abuses legitimate, trusted tools like Microsoft PowerShell, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), and Office macros to gain elevated privileges and access to protected resources.

Fileless malware attacks typically start with a phishing link leading to a website infected with code that exploits a known vulnerability without downloading any file to the victim’s device. Since there’s no file to fingerprint, antivirus software solutions can’t do anything but such attacks.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions can detect fileless malware and other advanced threats because they look for suspicious behavior. When they detect that something fishy is happening on the network, they automatically respond to the threat.

Why Is Endpoint Protection Important?

Enterprise networks are no longer confined to office walls. They extend to employees’ homes, cloud service providers’ server rooms, and other locations. Today’s sprawling enterprise networks consist of more endpoints than ever before, and attacks on them are becoming increasingly common.

A Ponemon Institute study revealed that 68 percent of organizations were victims of endpoint attacks in 2019, an increase from 54 percent of respondents in 2017.

Without robust endpoint protection, businesses risk costly, reputation-damaging data breaches—not to mention steep fines for non-compliance with data protection regulations like the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA).

Improve Your Endpoint Security Today

Endpoint security has become a critical part of a broader cybersecurity program.

The good news is that even SMBs with modest IT budgets can painlessly implement this approach to securing network endpoints thanks to modern Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions like Microsoft Defender for Endpoint and Microsoft Defender for Business.

If you would like to learn more about them or endpoint security in general, schedule a meeting with OSIbeyond today,

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