Endpoint Security: What It Is and Why It’s Important

Laptops, tablets, and smartphones are all types of endpoints that need to be secured.

You’ve likely heard the term “endpoint security” before, especially with the recent uptick in remote work, but what is it exactly and why is it important? Let us explain.

What Are Endpoints?

Any device—desktop computers, laptops, cell phones, iPads, etc.—can be considered endpoints. An endpoint is essentially any kind of computing device that communicates and is connected to a network. An endpoint on a network, in other words. Servers in a data center are also considered endpoints.

What is Endpoint Security?

Endpoints are full of data and sensitive information, which leaves them vulnerable to hacking. Some of the most common examples of endpoint security services include:

  • Antivirus software: Prevents, detects, and removes malware from a device.
  • Web/URL filtering: Restricts web browsing to trusted websites, preventing you from harmful content or downloads on your network.
  • Email filtering: Monitors email messages for suspicious content to prevent phishing attacks.
  • Application control: Controls permissions within applications to prevent malicious or compromised apps from running. 
  • Network access control: Determines what devices can access and do within a network’s infrastructure.

Why Do I Need Endpoint Protection?

Without it, cybercriminals can easily swoop in and gain access to your valuable data which can be detrimental to your customers, employees, and your business. Hacks can be costly both financially and in terms of the amount of time needed to clean up the mess. Small businesses are at even greater risk because cybercriminals know endpoint security is often not a top priority until something goes wrong. 

If I Have a Firewall, Do I Still Need Endpoint Security?

Yes. Although they seem like one in the same, there’s a reason a firewall isn’t listed above as an example of endpoint security. That’s because a firewall is in place to stop malware before it gets inside your network. It blocks malicious traffic from entering the network, versus endpoint security solutions that remove malware once detected. Having both is best because it gives you multiple levels of protection.

Unfortunately, having firewalls and endpoint security in place is often not enough. Make sure you are also offering a solid security awareness training program to employees. To learn more or set up a consultation to discuss your current and future cybersecurity needs, contact us.