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Productive Endpoint Security Solutions Should Contain These 5 Features

The words Endpoint Security overlaid on circuits protected by an endpoint security solution

The requirements for endpoint security have advanced beyond simple definition-based virus scans. Our definition of “endpoint” has also expanded beyond the laptops and desktops connected to your office’s corporate network. Now, that definition includes the variety of servers, applications, IoT devices, and cloud services that comprise your enterprise environment. The more endpoints on your network, the greater your attack surface - the sum of all the points at which an attacker could breach your network. That’s why you need an endpoint security solution that accounts for your growing attack surface and provides innovative features to better protect your network.


Let’s discuss the 5 features you should look for in the best endpoint security solutions.

5 Features the Best Endpoint Security Solutions Have

To ensure that your endpoint security solution can protect your organization from advanced cybersecurity threats, you should look for the following features:

1. Centralized Management

At a bare minimum, you need to be able to manage the security of all your endpoints from one centralized control panel. A holistic view of every device that connects to your network and every user that accesses your data and applications allows your sysadmins and security engineers to manage all endpoints from one place. They can proactively update threat definitions, install updates, and patch vulnerabilities on endpoints without needing to jump from system to system.

2. Cloud Integration

If any of your infrastructure or applications reside in the cloud, your endpoint security solution needs to support integrations with your cloud services and SaaS platforms. You may be tempted to use two separate endpoint security solutions for your cloud and on-premises infrastructure, either to save money or out of loyalty to a particular vendor. This would be a mistake, however, because you could be leaving a crucial gap in your security coverage: the data and traffic flowing between your cloud and on-premises resources. An endpoint security solution that supports on-premises and cloud integrations will provide full coverage of your entire enterprise environment.

3. Identity and Access Management (IAM)

A comprehensive endpoint security solution should either include identity and access management (IAM) as a feature or support integrations with your IAM provider. An IAM allows you to create granular access control policies to determine who has access to your systems, data, and applications. But what does this have to do with endpoint security?

First, both an IAM and an endpoint security solution are critical components of a holistic network security strategy. Second, your endpoint security solution will help enforce some of your IAM security policies - namely, using application control to limit which users can execute risky or unverified software and access sensitive data within those applications.

To best support your endpoint security solution, an IAM should include::

  • Multi Factor Authentication (MFA): Requiring users to provide a secondary means of verifying their identity, such as a rotating one-time passcode.

  • Least-Privilege/Role-Based Access Control (RBAC): Limiting access to only the resources a user needs to perform their task.

  • Zero Trust Security: Verifying a user or device’s identity and trustworthiness before granting it access to a system or application.

In an integrated deployment, the endpoint security solution applies your IAM policies across your cloud and on-premises infrastructure.

4. Automated Threat Detection and Remediation

You need your endpoint security solution to automatically scan your endpoints for threats and respond to them in real-time to prevent their spread across the network. The best solutions use machine learning technology to automatically discover devices on your network. Machine learning algorithms then create baselines by monitoring devices’ usual activity and continuously analyzing behavior to spot anomalies.

Beyond just detecting threats, you need your endpoint security solution to provide some automated remediation options. For example, an automated solution can isolate devices from the network, terminate malicious processes, lock suspicious accounts, and alert security personnel. This allows you to respond to threats in real-time, before they spread around your network and cause more damage.

5. User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)

User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) is an extension of the automated threat detection mentioned above. It uses machine learning to monitor every user, device, application, or other entity that connects to your network. UEBA determines baselines for normal behavior and uses dynamic, context-based threat modeling to spot anomalous activity.

For example, say a particular user account accesses a cloud application from a desktop PC in the office every day from 9am to 5pm. One night at 2am, that account tries to access the same cloud app from an unfamiliar laptop in Russia. This could be a legitimate connection attempt, but based on the context and the user’s previous activity, the UEBA would block the login, lock the account, and flag the issue for an administrator to review.

Endpoint Security Solutions are Just the First Step

Though an advanced endpoint security solution will help you protect the devices, applications, and users on your network, it’s only one piece of the puzzle. Even the best security tools require a comprehensive network, cloud, and data security strategy as their foundation.