In a network security architecture, endpoints are whatever devices or equipment are used to access the corporate network. As mobile devices and Internet-enabled devices proliferate in enterprises of every size, endpoint security becomes increasingly important for keeping networks and data safe.
Part of that effort involves endpoint threat prevention and response, a term coined just a few years ago by Gartner research analyst Anton Chuvakin. The designation covers the tools that detect and investigate suspicious activities found on endpoints. Here's what else you need to know about this emerging strategy:
Not all endpoint threat prevention strategies are the same.
Since it was first introduced, "endpoint detection" has evolved from a general umbrella term into a more robust strategy incorporating preventative tactics that can feature an array of tools that are customized for a specific network environment.
That means one company might be doing endpoint protection with a software application that detects unusual activity on mobile devices, while another company is using a more comprehensive combination of analysis, risk management, access logs, and forensic functions.
Both are focusing on endpoints, but the extent of that monitoring and the results of those efforts will likely differ in terms of scope and response ability.
There's a common purpose to every tool and tactic.
Even though endpoint threat prevention strategies and tools may differ, all share the same goal: to maximize security protections as well as determine whether endpoints on a network are being compromised in some way. This could involve unauthorized access from an outside system, inappropriate access by current or former employees, or the sudden presence of malware on the device.
Seeing these potential threats is crucial for enterprises and organizations of every size. Malware's reach is increasingly affecting not just mobile devices and desktop computers but also printers, point-of-service retail devices, and even copiers.
Anything that's Internet-enabled can be considered an endpoint, and all of them must be secured because they provide an access door to a corporate system.
Prevention requires constant vigilance.
Guarding againts suspicious activity on endpoints is impossible to do without automation and always-on monitoring functionality. Like any part of network security, protection is at its peak when risks are prevented instead of handled after they turn into threats.
Enterprises and organizations may recognize the need for endpoint threat prevention if they're seeing security issues with devices, struggling with visibility into security across the network, or spending too much of IT budgets on security response actions.
Any endpoint strategy should play well with others.
Although endpoint tools are useful on their own, they work best as part of a comprehensive security strategy that provides quick response and proactive protection.
This might mean pairing these tools with data encryption, access controls, application delivery, general information security and disaster recovery. The best way to determine how endpoint threat prevention can benefit a specific corporate environment is through a security assessment that can determine what endpoints are in use and what risks they pose.
With the number of endpoints in the corporate environment, security has become a dominant concern. Being able to block intruders through endpoint protection, is an essential part of safeguarding networks against outside malicious attacks and insider threats.