Endpoint protection - the ultimate guide in 2023

21 Nov, 2022 7 min read
John Tunay
John Tunay
Technical Product Marketing Manager

Calling all enterprises, endpoint management is changing. New endpoint protection platforms & AI-powered solutions are a game-changer for companies looking to enhance their security capabilities and remain bulletproof.

The worst of the pandemic appears to be behind us; however, enterprises are still adjusting to the post-COVID new normal. For many industries, remote work and the hybrid office remain essential adjustments that are not going back to normal. While this is a good thing in many ways, these adjustments are also increasing enterprise vulnerability to cyberattacks.

The problem is remote employees need to be connected to both the cloud and business network resources, but that often means they're operating from endpoints outside the organization's security perimeter. Adding further chaos is the rise of BYOD (bring your own device) which is adding profound complexity to enterprise protection requirements.

Enterprises need to remember that threat actors are watching. These attackers understand that the proliferation of enterprise endpoints offers an attractive vector for attacks, including ransomware, business email compromise, and phishing. That's what’s driving enterprises to look for better endpoint protection platforms that are capable of managing an effective and timely response.    

What is endpoint protection?

An enterprise's endpoints include any device that is connected to the organization's secure business network. Servers, desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones are all endpoints and each time a new device connects, a new endpoint is created.

It's easy to understand what endpoints are, however that doesn't mean they're simple to find or manage. If an employee brings their personal phone to the office and logs into their work account, congratulations: you've just spawned a new endpoint. While it’s likely there is no malice involved, the new endpoint is potentially unknown by your security team and outside your security perimeter and that means increased vulnerability. 

Endpoint protection and security solutions are deployed onto networks and endpoint devices to protect them against such threats. Systems vary, however, typical capabilities include:
  • File-based malware prevention
  • Automated detection of suspicious activity
  • Threat alerts
  • Investigation & remediation tools
The challenge to find the right solution however is heightened because the security landscape is always evolving. Organisations have traditionally taken an ad hoc approach to threat management, where a new threat spawns a new system, etc. However, this “building block” approach is cumbersome and unsustainable because new tools constantly need to be purchased and integrated with existing systems. As a result, the security budget bloats, complexity snowballs and friction builds to intolerable levels. The security “solution” ends up driving a larger security problem.

Enter an endpoint protection platform which unifies endpoint security management, monitoring, and response within a single console. Everything within the network is included, regardless of the operating system, location, or device type.

How do endpoint protection platforms work?

As attackers have developed ways to bypass traditional endpoint security solutions, the enterprise endpoint protection platform has evolved to provide new capabilities and consolidate complex security stacks. The result is a system that is both easier to manage and more effective in its enterprise security role.

An effective endpoint protection platform can protect networks and devices with a full roster of security capabilities, including:

  • Known attack detection: Also called signature matching, known attack detection works from a list of known threats to recognize and immediately stop malicious programs. This lightweight system is very effective against its targets, but much less effective against emergent threats and zero-day attacks.

  • Exploit mitigation: Application hardening techniques can prevent attackers from exploiting endpoint vulnerabilities. Stopping attacks from moving laterally or gaining root access is a key capability to prevent serious network compromise.

  • Automation features: Enterprise networks are sprawling, complex, and constantly in flux, so automating key security features is essential to avoid endpoint solutions becoming resource-drain. High-performing endpoint protection platforms provide automation for a wide range of operations, including:

    • Security alerts & notifications

    • Incident response & remediation

    • Pushing updates to all connected devices

    • Remote wiping of compromised devices

    • Support for simplified reporting & auditing

  • Investigation & remediation: A capable endpoint protection platform and a responsible risk management stance recognise that 100% effective protection is only a dream. Eventually, an attacker is going to break through. Investigation tools help you understand the nature of the attack, including its goals and remediation capabilities that are essential to limiting the damage. Together, they not only initiate the recovery process but also help security systems continuously improve.
  • AI-powered behavioural analysis: The highest-performing endpoint security integrates AI (artificial intelligence) and behavioural analysis for more comprehensive and adaptable protection. AI enables continuous real-time analysis that's ideal for detecting anomalous behaviours due to fileless and zero-day threats. AI can also take immediate action to contain threats, from automated investigation and remediation to generating alerts and activating human intervention.

Endpoint protection platforms vs standalone antivirus solutions

There is some overlap in functionality and applications between endpoint protection platforms and traditional, device-based antivirus solutions. However, there are significant differences that make a platform a better choice for enterprises:

  • Monitoring & detection are more comprehensive from an endpoint protection platform, which scans the entire network and connected devices for threats. Antivirus solely monitors the device it's on.

  • Threat identification is localised to individual devices with antivirus solutions using a signature-based approach that is ineffective against the full spectrum of potential threats. The right endpoint protection, on the other hand, uses a more robust approach that operates across the business network, to identify threats faster and with a higher degree of accuracy.

  • An automated response from antivirus programs is typically limited to an alert and the rest is up to the user. An endpoint solution, on the other hand, can automatically and immediately take action to respond to threats anywhere on the network or connected devices, including investigation, remediation, and remote device wipes. It can also support the work of the security team to neutralize threats before they can cause serious damage.

  • Integration can easily be managed with an enterprise endpoint protection platform which can be configured to work seamlessly with existing enterprise security and productivity stacks. An antivirus solution on the other hand is one more system that adds further complexity to workflows, or may even have incompatibilities that create process friction.

  • Data loss prevention is built into the core functionality of high-performing endpoint protection platforms, which have deep visibility into the network to monitor data flows, block suspicious traffic, detect anomalous behaviours, and apply encryption to sensitive types of data. On the other hand, antivirus solutions only offer passive security and do not have any data loss prevention capabilities.

  • Reporting for antivirus products occurs only on the individual device, and each device generates a separate report, which can be frustrating and tedious to manage. Endpoint platforms on the other hand centralize reporting and monitoring thereby creating a process that is simpler and requires fewer resources to manage.
When you decide how to choose the best endpoint protection for your business needs, understand that enterprise endpoint protection solutions are purpose-built for business users: they are comprehensive, have a built-in ability to scale, and can integrate with other solutions, processes, and workflows.

CatchPulse Pro extends your ability to protect users & devices

CatchPulse Pro is an AI-powered enterprise endpoint protection solution that is optimized for today’s business landscape. Performance is precisely tuned to offer the ideal combination of detection, control, security and insights. It integrates seamlessly with your existing security systems and business processes so there's no operational friction, and the icing on the cake is, it can scale on demand.

With CatchPulse Pro you get:

  • Always-on, real-time monitoring & protection

  • Complete protection against known & unknown malware threats

  • A centralized, intuitive dashboard

  • On-premise or online management modes
What sets CatchPulse Pro apart is its AI engine. This AI engine continuously manages an automated allow list that adapts to your business thereby allowing it to smartly deny by default without dramatically impacting business operations in unpredictable ways. It also sends automated alerts that allow your IT security team to understand potential threats and exercise total control over your business endpoints.

CatchPulse Pro adjusts to meet your security program maturity needs. For security teams that need a higher level of automation (or non-experts), it's a trusted guide that can continuously manage security and generate recommendations. For experienced teams, CatchPulse Pro is an informative ally that can support them with high-level security insights that drive continuous improvement.

Adversaries are continuously evolving their attack capabilities and endpoints remain a persistent vector for threats. Thanks to AI-powered endpoint protection platforms, enterprises have a new tool to fight back.

Visit our CatchPulse Pro page to find out more and start your free CatchPulse Pro trial now to see how it gives your organisation complete endpoint protection.

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