How Cloud-Based Endpoint Security Works
Typically, endpoint security solutions function in one of two categories: prevention (before an attack) and response (after a cyberattack). Modern endpoint protection platforms (EPPs) such as endpoint detection and response incorporate both categories managed via a single, centralized interface.
Endpoint security solutions deployed from the cloud bring security policies to users and provide threat protection and visibility that are always up to date. Where point products of the past could only provide fragmented protection and visibility over an organization’s remote endpoints, a cloud service allows for a more holistic view at the environment surrounding an endpoint, which makes it easier for security to diagnose a potential security issue.
Using a management console through on-premises endpoint security solutions creates vulnerability. With such a technique, there are distinct gaps in visibility and, moreover, lapses in security coverage that leave you open to threats designed to exploit them. A cloud native architecture, on the other hand, provides a much quicker setup and implementation as well as more holistic protection against the new era of threats. And, like a SaaS solution, cloud endpoint protection lets you scale services according to your environment’s needs at any given time.
Types of Endpoint Protection
Endpoint security solutions fall into a few main categories based on specific capabilities and reach:
- Endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools search for and oust threats at the endpoint. As with all endpoint protection tools, security professionals map threat hunting capabilities to identify, investigate, and remediate threats before they can infiltrate an endpoint and cause damage.
- Extended detection and response (XDR) solutions go beyond typical EDR to unify protection across a larger list of security tools. Effectively, XDR provides threat protection wherever data travels—inbound or outbound—hence “extended.”
- Managed detection and response (MDR) products provide the same security functions as EDR or XDR, but an organization using MDR will also benefit from management by a security operations center (SOC), giving the organization a team of threat hunters in its corner.
Endpoint Security Components
The key components of endpoint security all focus on protection and control of the underlying network (if there is one), data, applications, and so on. The main characteristics of typical endpoint security software are:
- Device protection
- Network control
- Application control
- Data loss prevention
- Browser protection
Through these components and more, organizations can secure their endpoints and the data traveling through them by proactively searching for threats wherever they can.
What Is the Difference Between Endpoint Security and a Firewall?
Endpoint security tools typically monitor potential threat activity at the endpoint, whereas firewalls inspect web-based traffic that attempts to enter a network. Fundamentally, the question isn’t so much “endpoint security vs. firewall” but “endpoint security vs. network security.”
To reiterate, network controls are fundamental to securing endpoints, especially in a remote setting, but in instances where endpoints are connecting directly to applications by forgoing the corporate network, there really isn’t much use for a firewall. In these instances, data and application controls are much more vital to an endpoint’s security.
Firewalls were essential to endpoint security when employees went to the office and needed corporate network security to inspect traffic as they worked. Today, endpoints are everywhere and endpoints aren’t used the way they used to be—endpoint security methodologies have left the firewall behind.