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My InfoTech Journal: Decoding the Networking Enigma: OSI vs. TCP/IP Reference Models

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What is Endpoint Security

 My InfoTech Journal: 

Endpoint Security 

What Is Endpoint Security?

Endpoint Security refers to protecting your endpoint devices connected to your network from external threats targeting the vulnerabilities from these endpoint devices.

Endpoint security is the practice of securing endpoints or entry points of end-user devices such as desktops, laptops, and mobile devices from being exploited by malicious actors and campaigns. Endpoint security systems protect these endpoints on a network or in the cloud from cybersecurity threats. Endpoint security has evolved from traditional antivirus software to providing comprehensive protection from sophisticated malware and evolving zero-day threats. 1

Organizations of all sizes are at risk from nation-states, hacktivists, organized crime, and malicious and accidental insider threats. Endpoint security is often seen as cybersecurity's frontline, and represents one of the first places organizations look to secure their enterprise networks. 1

As the volume and sophistication of cybersecurity threats have steadily grown, so has the need for more advanced endpoint security solutions. Today’s endpoint protection systems are designed to quickly detect, analyze, block, and contain attacks in progress. To do this, they need to collaborate with each other and with other security technologies to give administrators visibility into advanced threats to speed detection and remediation response times. 1

What are Endpoint Clients?

Endpoint Clients refer to devices that your end-users use. These are devices like: Computers (Desktop or Laptops), iOS devices (iPhone, iPad, iWatch), Smart Phones, Smart Tablets, Smart Watches, Point-Of-Sales (POS) devices, Automated Teller Machines (ATM), Medical Instructions, Servers and a lot of other devices that are connected to your network.

Photo Credits: McAfee

Endpoint Security Risks

These Endpoint Devices are target entry points from external threats like malware, phishing, social engineering, identify theft, and other threat vectors. 

The vulnerabilities of these endpoint devices can be exploited to gain unauthorized access to your network and to eventually gain control of your  systems.

Recent events proved that if these vulnerabilities are not resolved or patched and if no security control measures are in place, there will be higher risks and high probability of your systems being breached.

News of companies being attacked with ransomware has been reported to have doubled in the second-half of 2021. 

Here is a statement from Michael Sentanos, Chief Technology Officer at CrowdStrike as published by Forbes in the article: Ransomware Double: the Trouble in 2021

“Without fail, ransomware has continued to be at the forefront of cybersecurity concerns in 2021. The 2020 CrowdStrike Global Security Attitude Survey revealed that 56% of organizations surveyed worldwide suffered a ransomware attack in 2020. Among these organizations, 27% of them chose to pay their attackers, costing on average $1.1 million per ransom.

Ransomware remains a high-priority threat, continuing in much the same way that 2020 left off. However, the stakes are even higher in 2021. Significant ransomware attacks in the first quarter of the year are already trending toward especially high payout demands, with a recent record-breaking ransomware demand reportedly amounting to $50 million. To stem the tide of these growing threats, organizations must understand the evolutionary trajectory of ransomware and bolster their defenses comprehensively to safeguard their funds, data and customer trust.” 3 

Endpoint Security Project

I was once an Account Security Office for an outsourcing project. 

For this outsourcing agreement project that I was assigned to, there was a deliverable as part of the contract to implement an Endpoint Security solution for the entire conglomerate.

This client was one of the top conglomerates in the Philippines. This client has businesses in the different industries: Telecommunications, Manufacturing, Airlines, Retail, Realty, Banking, Media, and Petrochemical. 

From the outsourcing project side, we (together with the Security Project Team which is composed of representatives from the different companies), came up with a well-defined and well-thought of criteria that will be the basis for our Endpoint Security solutions assessment and decision making.
These criteria includes the technical requirements as well as economics or financial considerations

For the technical requirement, this scope will vary depending on your specifications and financial capabilities. Here are some areas for your reference:
  • Virus / Malware Protection 
  • Data Loss Protection (DLP)
  • Network Protection 
  • Application Protection 
  • eMail Protection 
  • Web Protection
  • Desktop Protection
  • Mobile Security 
  • Access Control 
We have invited several companies providing Endpoint Security solutions. 

Each of these Endpoint Security Solutions Providers were given a chance to present their assessment of our requirements and how they will provide solutions to these requirements.

To cut the story short, we were able to shortlist two vendors that meet all our defined requirements, both from the technical and financial aspects.

We focused our efforts on the head-to-head testing of these two Endpoint Security solutions.

We setup a test environment to simulate the Endpoint Security solution’s central management system. 

We have done stringent tests to simulate deployment of Endpoint Security clients; turnaround time for patch and updates deployment; reporting capabilities; ease in generating reports; report contents and what information are useful for management reviews; etc.

We have also done stringent tests for the Endpoint Security solution’s efficiency and effectiveness. Like for example creating duplicate copies of infected hard drives (HDD) and having these HDD checked by both Endpoint Security solutions. We measure a lot of criteria like how many viruses detected, how many cleaned, how long it took to clean or inoculate the infection, and other criteria as defined in our technical requirements list.

It was a close competition between these two Endpoint Security Solutions. 

At the end of the day, it was one of these shortlisted Endpoint Security solutions provider that got approved by the board for implementation..

Gartner Report: Endpoint Protection Platforms 3

When you are given a task to review an Endpoint Security Solution, you can start with checking the Gartner Reports. This will provide you a very good reference on what companies are considered leaders in this area. 

Then you can drill down to comparing each of their respective Endpoint Security Solutions. These will be your basis for verifying which solutions will best fit your company’s requirements

Gartner has named these companies as Leaders in the Endpoint Protection Platforms:
  • Microsoft 
  • CrowdStrike
  • TrendMicro
  • SentinelOne
  • McAfee
  • Sophos 
In summary, these companies were evaluated and rated according to their ability to execute and the completeness of vision.

End Notes

3 Gartner Reports: Microsoft; McAfee


This article is a result of my personal research and is not a substitute for legal advise. 

Please consult your Legal Team, Ethics & Compliance, or Regulatory Team for the interpretation of  specific CyberSecurity requirements.

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