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What is Endpoint Protection? How Does It Work?

The world has drastically changed after the pandemic of 2020. New cultures have been adopted by everyone and it is no different in the workforce industry. About 12.2% of U.S. workers work remotely, and 28.2% have chosen to work in a hybrid schedule. 

This spike in the trend of remote work has also given rise to new cyber threats that companies are not equipped to handle resulting in great financial damages. This is evident in IBM’s “Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023” which reveals that the average data breach costs $4.45 million, representing a 15% increase over the last three years. 

To reduce these financial damages and create a safe cyberspace for everyone, it is essential to protect all endpoints that are linked to a network. In this article, we will discover what Endpoint protection is and why it is important for you to include it in your company. 

What Is Endpoint Security?

Endpoint security is a cybersecurity approach focused on protecting devices such as desktops, laptops, and mobile devices from malicious activities. It involves deploying security solutions like endpoint protection platforms to detect and prevent security threats like malware attacks. 

It also includes investigation and remediation capabilities to respond effectively to security incidents. With the increasing number and complexity of cyber threats, endpoint security plays a major role in defending organizations against potential breaches and data leaks, ensuring the security of their networks and sensitive information.

What’s Considered an Endpoint?

An endpoint refers to any device that marks the termination point of a network connection. This includes devices physically connected to a network, such as laptops, desktops, mobile phones, tablets, servers, and virtual environments. Additionally, endpoints encompass devices that connect to a network wirelessly, like smartphones, tablets, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. 

Endpoints are any device that communicates with a network, either directly or through a connection, and can be located within or outside a corporate firewall. These devices facilitate data exchange and communication within a network, making them integral components of modern computing and networking systems.

Why is Endpoint Security Important?

Endpoint security protects valuable data and mitigates vulnerabilities associated with the growing number and types of endpoints, including those introduced by remote work and BYOD policies. It serves as a frontline defense against malicious actors, as they continually devise new methods to breach systems and steal sensitive information. 

The ITRC 2023 Business Impact report states that 73% of small and medium-sized business owners reported experiencing a cyberattack in 2022 or 2023. By implementing strong endpoint security measures, organizations can minimize the financial impact of potential breaches and maintain the integrity of their data assets.

This is especially important in today’s distributed work environment, where remote work trends contribute to the complexity of endpoints connecting to corporate networks, increasing the risk of cyber threats.

How Endpoint Protection Works?

Endpoint security works by protecting the data and workflows associated with individual devices connecting to a network. Endpoint protection platforms analyze files entering the network, utilizing cloud-based threat databases for efficiency and scalability. Administrators manage security centrally through a console, installing client software on each endpoint for updates, authentication, and policy enforcement.

EPPs employ application control to block unsafe or unauthorized applications and encryption to prevent data loss. They swiftly detect malware and threats, with some offering EDR for advanced threat detection and monitoring. EDR enhances visibility and response options through continuous monitoring. Endpoint security solutions are available in on-premises or cloud-based models, offering scalability and integration flexibility. 

They ensure data and workflow protection by examining files, processes, and system activities for suspicious indicators. A centralized management console allows administrators to monitor, protect, investigate, and respond to incidents efficiently. 

With the shift to remote work, cloud-native solutions have gained prominence, providing remote monitoring and management capabilities. These solutions utilize cloud-based consoles and agents to ensure security beyond traditional perimeters.

Types of Endpoint Protection

Different types of endpoint security aim to protect devices and data from various threats. 

Each type of security method serves a different purpose. Here are all the types of endpoint protection that you need to be aware of. 

Type of SecurityScopeDescription
IoT SecurityIoT SecurityProtects IoT devices, important as they could be used as access points to digital assets
Network Access ControlManages user and device access to the networkUses firewalls to control interactions with sensitive segments
Data Loss PreventionData SecurityEnsures secure data resources are protected against exfiltration through measures like phishing awareness and antimalware.
Insider Threat ProtectionAccess ControlControls internal access and monitors activities to mitigate risks from within the organization, often utilizing zero-trust network access tools.
Data ClassificationData ProtectionIdentifies and isolates valuable and vulnerable data, pinpointing critical attack surfaces.
URL FilteringMalware ProtectionBlocks potentially malicious websites to prevent internal users from accessing them, typically using hardware or software firewalls.
Browser IsolationBrowser ProtectionExecutes browser sessions within isolated environments to prevent malicious code from affecting protected assets
Cloud Perimeter SecurityCloud SecurityProtects cloud resources from unauthorized access by controlling user and device access using cloud firewalls and web filtering tools.
Endpoint EncryptionData EncryptionSecures device data through encryption, ensuring only authorized users can access it.
SandboxingTesting and SecurityCreates isolated environments to mimic user operating systems, protecting sensitive network areas
Secure Email GatewaysEmail ProtectionInspects incoming and outgoing emails for threats, preventing access to suspicious links or files.

Endpoint Protection Components

Endpoint Protection Components

Endpoint protection components are essential features that ensure the security and integrity of devices connected to a network. These components include various functionalities to protect against a wide range of cyber threats. Here are some key components of endpoint protection:

Exploit and Threat Protection

Endpoint Protection detects and blocks malware, ransomware, spyware, viruses, zero-day threats, and other exploiting software, preventing compromises to device security and data integrity.

Network Protection

It protects devices beyond their borders by implementing measures such as browser protections, email gateways, firewalls, and intrusion prevention, mitigating threats before they reach the device.

Application Protection

Protects applications running on endpoints through patch management, application blocklisting, allowlisting, and hardening features, reducing vulnerability surfaces and ensuring application security.

Data Protection

Ensures the security and privacy of sensitive data and corporate secrets through features like full-disk encryption, secure password management, file activity monitoring, and data controls to prevent leaks and breaches.

Intelligence and Analytics

Uses advanced technologies such as AI, machine learning, and behavioral analytics to perform sophisticated threat detection, anomaly detection, malware detection, forensic analysis, and root-cause analysis, enhancing endpoint security intelligence.

Centralized Management

Enables easy deployment, management, and monitoring of endpoint security solutions from a centralized portal, supporting features like endpoint detection, patch management, support ticket generation, threat hunting, and incident response, ensuring efficient and effective endpoint protection across the organization.

Endpoint Protection Platforms vs. Traditional Antivirus

Endpoint protection platforms and traditional antivirus serve distinct but complementary roles in protecting devices and networks from cyber threats. Here’s a comparison between the two.

FeatureTraditional AntivirusEndpoint Protection Platforms
Device CoverageIndividual devices (laptops, PCs)All connected devices across the entire enterprise network (endpoints, servers, virtual machines, etc.)
Protection from ThreatsFocuses on known threats identified by signature-based detectionOffers a holistic approach to security, protecting against various threats such as data loss, fileless and signatureless malware, phishing attacks, and known risks. Utilizes advanced technologies like behavioral analysis for threat detection.
Continuous ProtectionRelies on signature-based detection and manual updatesConnects to the cloud for automatic updates, ensuring users have the latest protection against threats.
Internal ProtectionCan block malware but may not prevent data loss or leakage through unauthorized actions by employeesOffers advanced internal protection mechanisms such as data encryption and access controls to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data.
Admin ControlRelies on manual updates by users, posing a risk of human errorShift admin responsibility to IT or security teams, providing centralized control and management capabilities for monitoring, configuration, patching, and issue resolution across multiple endpoints.
Enterprise-wide ControlProvides limited visibility and requires manual investigation of threatsOffer a centralized portal for admins to monitor activity, investigate threats, and resolve issues remotely, enhancing efficiency and scalability for enterprise-wide security management.
IntegrationOperates as a standalone programProvide integration of various security solutions within a suite for comprehensive and seamless protection.


Looking at how diverse the technological industry has become, companies must start adopting more advanced security measures. Modern security methods such as endpoint protection not only help to keep your endpoints secured but it is a proactive response to threat actors who are always on the lookout to harm your system.

We hope this article has helped you get a good understanding of endpoint security so that you can take that leap ahead and effectively protect your system from insider threats. 

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Anshu Bansal
Anshu Bansal
Anshu Bansal, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist, currently co-founds CloudDefense.AI, a cybersecurity solution with a mission to secure your business by rapidly identifying and removing critical risks in Applications and Infrastructure as Code. With a background in Amazon, Microsoft, and VMWare, they contributed to various software and security roles.
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