Endpoint Protection

What is endpoint security?

Endpoint security refers to securing the endpoint devices such as mobile phones, laptops, etc. Endpoints are the end-user devices. This type of security protects these end-point devices from being exploited by cyber threats. These devices are at the end-points on the cloud or the network. It protects you from malware and any of the potential cyber threats and attack vectors. It is the approach of protecting computer networks that get remotely bridged to client devices. The end-point devices create attack paths for the attackers to reach the corporate network. This approach helps the endpoint devices to follow certain compliance standards.

What is endpoint security management?

Endpoint security management is a software approach. This approach helps to identify and manage the user’s computer access over the corporate network. This allows the network administrators to allow access to certain websites. This allows them to maintain the compliance, policies, and standards of the organization. The components involved in aligning the endpoint security management systems include a VPN (Virtual Private Network). Also, it involves a secure operating system and updated antivirus software. Computer devices that are not in compliance with the organizations are provisioned with limited access.

The endpoint system operates on a client-server model. This model was already programmed and controlled by a centrally managed host server pinned with a client program. This client program is installed on all the network drives. Yet there is another model called software as a service (SAAS). The security program and the host server are maintained remotely. In the payment card industry, the result from both the delivery models is that the server program verifies and authenticates the user login credentials and perform a device scan. This scan checks if the endpoint devices comply with the corporate security policies. This is done prior to permitting the network access.

Difference between endpoint protection and traditional malware detectors

Firstly, we need to understand the technologies used behind these approaches. The traditional malware detectors work on the principle of signature-based detection. While the endpoint protection works on the basis of behavior-based detection. The signature-based approach or various antiviruses are well known. This software is around for more than 30 years and is very widely used.

Signature-based detection

The way that these malware detectors work is signature-based. They scan the files for malicious content based on the patterns, hashes, etc. Basically, they are looking for the signatures that a known malicious file has. So as the file drops down into your system, it will check for the hash against the file. This determines whether the file is known to do something malicious. This used to give us quite a good protection rate against the traditional types of malware. But the technology and bad actors have improvised over the years. This results in unmanageable and unscalable amounts of cyber threats rising.

There are thousands of new malware developed every day. It is very easy to change a piece of known malware to an unknown piece of malware. This gets achieved by changing the source code without changing the intent of an exploit. It is very hard to manage with the signature-based approach in this rising era of potential cyber-attacks.

So, rather than just looking at the behavior, it is better to use a multitude of different levels of technology.

Behavior-based detection

In behavior-based detection, we use behavioral modeling and artificial intelligence. We use this to look and the behavioral patterns of files, rather than just looking at the digital signatures. Using artificial intelligence and behavioral-based monitoring, we can precisely identify the intent of malicious files. Basically, by the use of machine learning algorithms, the behavior of a file is analyzed. How the malware affects an operating system is the basic method of this approach.

Best approach to complete security

The best approach to complete security is baking the above approaches into a single one. Both traditional malware detectors can be embedded into endpoint detection. This will result in completely securing an OS from potential cyber threats. For example, a DDoS attack cannot be stopped by using traditional antivirus. But based on the endpoint approach, the service gets detected and immediate action will be taken.

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