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What is EPP?

Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP) Explained

Learn more about Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP) and how they use anti-virus, data encryption, and intrusion prevention technologies to protect endpoints from hackers.

In this 101, we’re going to cover:

No matter what business you're operating, endpoint security is essential. All endpoints must be secure, from the computers powering your workforce to Internet-of-Things-connected devices. 

WHAT IS AN ENDPOINT PROTECTION PLATFORM?

Endpoint protection platforms (EPPs) are suites of tools used to secure endpoint devices. EPP technology includes anti-virus protection, data encryption, intrusion prevention, data loss prevention, and more. These tools allow businesses to detect and stop various threats at the endpoint. It's a practical approach that gives a broad view of connected devices and how they are protected and updated. An EPP allows all these technologies to be controlled and monitored from a centralized source, making it easier for analysts and IT staff to manage the level of protection for each device. 

WHAT IS AN ENDPOINT?

An endpoint is a device that's part of a network. These include:

  • Desktop computers
  • Laptops
  • Servers
  • Printers
  • Smartphones
  • Tablets
  • Internet-of-Things devices

These represent potential entry points for cybercriminals looking to execute code, exploit vulnerabilities, and steal sensitive information. With workforces becoming more remote than ever, businesses must protect all endpoints. Criminals could use these entry points to access valuable information on an organization's network, upload malware, hold data for ransom, take control of the device, or carry out other malicious actions.

HOW IS EPP DIFFERENT FROM EDR?

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) focuses on detecting and responding to threats, while EPP focuses on prevention. Because no EPP can block 100% of threats, EPP and EDR businesses typically use them together. If something manages to make its way past that first line of defense, EDR can detect the threat and shut it down as soon as possible.

EPP uses anti-virus, data encryption, and intrusion prevention technologies to protect endpoints from hackers. EDR can step in to kill processes, quarantine files, and isolate endpoints as needed to protect the network if a threat slips that net. It also allows analysts to pinpoint where the threat began and make necessary changes to secure the vulnerability. 

EDR provides visibility to security teams, allowing them to react more quickly to an attack. That's important for identifying the entire kill chain and can reduce the time needed to identify which endpoints have been affected.

BENEFITS OF AN ENDPOINT PROTECTION PLATFORM

A reliable EPP can help your business secure endpoint devices across the network. The benefits of these platforms include:

  • Manage all mobile and fixed endpoint devices through a single system
  • Safeguard against threats while keeping endpoints flexible for users
  • Identify and close security gaps
  • Simplify management for analysts and IT staff
  • Protect business reputation with secure endpoints
  • Improve business resilience

HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST ENDPOINT PROTECTION PLATFORM FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION

When looking for an endpoint protection platform for your organization, think about your end-users needs and the protection level appropriate for your network and its devices. Here are some things to consider.

ENDORSEMENTS AND REVIEWS

Look for third-party tests and endorsements from trusted sources. This information helps shine a light on the platform's quality and performance against others.

FEATURES

Consider the features you need in your EPP. Most platforms include:

  • Malware protection
  • Data encryption
  • Application control
  • Behavior analysis
  • Data loss prevention
  • Anti-virus
  • Intrusion prevention

To see how Cybereason works, take a look at this live EPP attack simulation.

INCIDENCE OF FALSE POSITIVES

A false positive is a file alert that's genuinely not malicious. While we can expect some false positives, keeping these to a minimum is essential not to disrupt the standard working order. Look for a product that can minimize false positives — this can stop analysts from wasting time on needless investigations.

SYSTEM FOOTPRINT

Security programs vary widely in how many resources they use. Look for one that doesn't hinder performance by using unnecessary disk space, memory, or processing power. You'll need something offering maximum protection without impacting users too heavily.

EASE OF MANAGEMENT

With any EPP, it's essential to manage all endpoints from a central console and push updates, automate tasks, and configure reports. That allows IT staff and security analysts to reduce the time spent updating, managing, and maintaining endpoints while maximizing protection.

SUPPORT

Look for a platform with clear documentation that's easily accessible should you run into any problems or need to use advanced features. Many providers also offer dedicated support if you need to ask questions.

Take time to demo different EPPs to work out which might be right for your business. It helps if you also consider the needs of your analysts, IT staff, and end-users.

HOW IS CYBEREASON EPP DIFFERENT?

Cybereason goes beyond simple endpoint protection—it combines the features of an EPP with EDR tools and much more. With extended detection and response (XDR) capabilities, Cybereason provides complete system visibility into threats at all levels. It offers endpoint protection and extended attack surface protection, security operations optimization, and incident management.

That's future-ready protection that's operation-centric, not alert-centric. This feature allows analysts to protect endpoints and respond to threats without being overwhelmed by alerts from different systems.

EPP is a vital tool in the fight against cybercrime. Endpoints are vulnerable to attack, so all organizations should employ this technology to protect those devices. This technology is powerful when combined with detection and response tools such as EDR or XDR.

Schedule a demo if you'd like to learn how Cybereason can help protect your organization.

 

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