Modern-day organizations, irrespective of size, are highly vulnerable to severe cyberattacks from numerous sources. These sources, ranging from malicious insider threats to hacktivists to organized crime units and others, present critical security threats to business operations on a global scale.

The corporate world is seeing an increased number of endpoint breaches owing to advanced actors that can bypass the conventional antivirus solutions. Studies have found the average cost for every endpoint breach in 2019 was in excess of $9 million, a marked increase of more than $2 million since 2018.

Numerous cybersecurity experts claim that most organizations are unable to tackle sophisticated cyberthreats, as their enterprise security systems cannot detect advanced attacks in time.

Given this situation, the endpoint security market plays an important role as a prominent frontline cybersecurity measure, owing mainly to its comprehensive suite of security tools and solutions.

Endpoint protection platforms in the modern technological era are designed to perform an array of cybersecurity tasks, ranging from detection, analysis, obstruction, and containment of anticipated attacks.

Endpoint Security

Endpoint security, also known as endpoint protection, is a term commonly used to describe a host of cybersecurity solutions that address security issues at endpoints, thus safeguarding them against attacks, data leakage or theft, or zero-day exploits, among other vulnerabilities.

Conventional antivirus systems do not have the tools necessary to thwart persistent threats and targeted attacks. This makes endpoint protection solutions an integral component in full-spectrum security suites for many of the leading businesses across the globe. Endpoint security systems can offer cyber safety solutions that can be controlled via a central management platform and can shield endpoints, such as mobile devices, servers, and workstations that connect to the business network.

Endpoint protection platforms (EPPs) are touted by various technical experts as an innovative solution to assimilate endpoint device safety functionalities, such as anti-spyware, application control, antivirus, personal firewall, and much more, into a single, unified security solution.

Robust EPPs possess the ability to integrate with other security features, such as patch, vulnerability, and configuration management properties, thus giving rise to a more proactive cybersecurity approach. These solutions deliver data protection functionalities, including data loss prevention, file and disk encryption, and even device control.

Security Perimeters

In the earlier days of the internet, when computing technologies were just coming to their own, particularly in business settings, local networks had to adhere to rigid and clear perimeters. Access to servers and repositories was limited, requiring physical proximity to the office and entry through a common portal.

However, with rapid technological shifts leading to the emergence of software-as-a-service and cloud hosting among other technologies, the landscape of modern workplace security has changed drastically. Technological innovation has boosted remote connectivity to business networks by partners, employees, and vendors using their own devices from various locations.  

While it has been beneficial to organizations on the whole, especially in terms of ease of operation, this growing remote access has also introduced a host of new cybersecurity concerns that can present a major challenge to global businesses. In fact, reports have suggested that cybersecurity breaches witnessed a considerable surge from 23 million in 2011 to almost 100 million in 2018.

The burgeoning use of external storage devices and the rising adoption of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) concept have contributed to the expansion of security perimeters for modern businesses, making them almost undefinable. With the number of potential endpoints that can connect to an enterprise network at any time growing consistently, the need for higher control and visibility is more urgent than ever.

Endpoints are among the most common entryways for cyberattacks, given that they can act as easy access points for network breaches and theft or compromise of sensitive data. Phishing attacks and ransomware are major security threats associated with endpoint vulnerability, with myriad reports of such attacks being recorded over the years. For example, in 2017, WannaCry, a highly classified National Security Agency (NSA)-developed ransomware hacking tool was stolen from the agency and was published online, leading to a widespread cyberattack by many hackers ransoming machines across 150 nations in a matter of hours. Despite a patch being rolled out instantly by Microsoft, the ransomware spread at wildfire speed across the globe, causing billions of dollars in damages across industries, including private companies, governments, and hospitals, to name a few.

Attacks such as these indicate that in the absence of an all-inclusive endpoint protection system, businesses are at high risk of losing control over their sensitive data, as soon as it is accessed through external devices or networks via unsecured endpoints. Endpoint security, therefore, is a core component in modern-day business security, augmenting the functionality of other security measures in order to deliver optimum data and network protection.

Modern Solutions

Cybersecurity threats in the current landscape have long surpassed the capabilities of conventional antivirus solutions, driving security and risk professionals to seek advanced endpoint security solutions that can provide maximum resiliency against these risks. Despite relatively scant innovation in the industry in the early stages, recent years have seen a rapid emergence of several next-generation endpoint protection solutions. Furthermore, the increasing penetration of sophisticated technologies, such as deep learning, AI, behavior analysis, etc., is giving cybersecurity solutions the boost they need to stay in step with the evolving cyber threats.

A notable example of this would be the integration of advanced endpoint protection features by cybersecurity firm Bitdefender in its unified endpoint detection, prevention, and response platform, GravityZone, in 2019. The latest release allowed the GravityZone platform to expand its endpoint protection by detecting and blocking fileless and network-based attacks and other malicious behaviors and exploits before they infiltrated the endpoint resources. These new enhancements to the endpoint detection and response (EDR) leveraged embedded intelligence to make visualization of complex cyberthreats easier and, subsequently, speed up the responsiveness of administrators.

Top endpoint security industry players are also rallying to address the ever-growing security challenges worldwide. For instance, in December 2019, cloud-based endpoint security provider CrowdStrike® Inc. chose Telefónica Cybersecurity Unit, ElevenPaths to join its Elevate Partner Program. This partnership enabled ElevenPaths to deliver CrowdStrike’s Falcon® platform to its global customer base, giving them access to robust endpoint protection in real time and simultaneously elevating CrowdStrike’s presence and distribution reach across prominent economies, including Latin America, Middle East, Europe, and the U.S.

Furthermore, joining the Elevate Partner Program allowed ElevenPaths to integrate the CrowdStrike Falcon platform, which is an AI-powered endpoint security solution that brings together next-generation antivirus (NGAV), EDR, proactive threat hunting, cyberthreat intelligence, and IT hygiene properties into its cybersecurity portfolio to offer customers a cloud-native EPP delivered through a single lightweight agent.