What Is an Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP)?

What Is an Endpoint Protection Platform EPP

Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP), protect endpoint devices such as laptops, desktops and servers against cyber security threats such as traditional malware such as trojan horses as well as advanced threats like ransomware or zero-day vulnerabilities. They offer defense from traditional threats as well as advanced attacks such as ransomware or zero-day vulnerabilities.

But what happens if hackers bypass antivirus and other security measures? Discover what EDR is and why you need it to gain visibility into any malicious activity on your endpoints.

What Is an Endpoint Protection Platform EPP?

EPPs protect endpoints from malware and other threats by restricting execution of untrusted code based on rules set by system administrators. A modern EPP solution also uses advanced technologies such as machine learning to defend against increasingly complex threats; and can detect suspicious activity on networks by analyzing device and user behaviors for signs of an attack.

An effective EPP solution should integrate with other security tools to form an all-around approach to cyber defenses. Look for EPP solutions with integrations for mobile device management (MDM), cloud monitoring solutions, endpoint detection and response (EDR), forensics tools etc.

Maintaining all of your threat protections on a single, integrated platform provides more visibility into the health of your environment, as well as greater efficiency than using individual security tools that require analysts to switch screens in order to monitor each. A good EPP also features dashboard reporting so security teams have access to information necessary for remediating threats.

How EPP Solutions Work?

Endpoint protection platforms are designed to intercept cyber threats before they gain a foothold in corporate networks and cause irreparable harm. These solutions use real-time threat data to detect any malicious behavior and automatically respond to detected attacks, helping security teams contain breaches more rapidly while mitigating the effects of successful cyberattacks more effectively.

EPPs traditionally rely on antivirus components with signature-based detection to identify and protect against known threats, however with new malware variants emerging every day and existing threats evolving to bypass traditional protection methods, the most effective EPP solutions have now adapted beyond relying solely on signature detection to include more modern methods of detection such as heuristic analysis or machine learning-based analysis for advanced attacks.

An endpoint protection platform (EPP) should include features beyond EPP such as firewalls and intrusion prevention systems to monitor network activity for any suspicious behaviors, advanced threat intelligence to detect attacks evading traditional detection tools, consolidation of tools that must be deployed and managed, reduced IT overhead costs associated with managing multiple antivirus suites as well as streamlining security operations operations overall.

How to Choose an Endpoint Protection Platform

EPP solutions are essential for companies with any number of endpoints ranging from desktops and laptops to IoT-connected devices. The best EPP suites integrate seamlessly with other security technologies and provide one framework/interface for visibility and control.

An EPP solution should offer real-time threat intelligence from a global database in order to detect zero-day attacks and stop them before infiltrating your network. Furthermore, ensure your chosen suite can recognize attacker techniques which resemble normal behavior in order to bypass traditional security tools.

Cloud-based EPP solutions should have the capacity to scale, analyzing data from millions of endpoints for patterns that reveal sophisticated attacks. Consider your current and projected user population before searching for an EPP suite capable of meeting them all without negatively affecting performance.

Find an EPP solution with centralized management so that your IT team can access all the data it requires from one source and respond more effectively to threats, instead of getting bogged down with alerts from multiple systems. This makes responding quicker.

EPP vs EDR Solutions

EDR and EPP systems cover two different ends of the cybersecurity spectrum. While modern EPP solutions incorporate some element of EDR, EDR stands alone as an advanced threat detection and response solution that detects attacks that evaded prevention controls; collecting and monitoring endpoint device data while looking out for suspicious activity on endpoint devices to identify them, alerting security personnel of threats as soon as they appear and providing analysis and remediation support when necessary.

Integrated EDR modules offer additional layers of protection and visibility across an enterprise, while simultaneously lowering security infrastructure costs and making deployment and management simpler than standalone tools.

Traditional antivirus software may block common malware, but it cannot stop more sophisticated attacks like ransomware and fileless assaults. To combat those threats, an enterprise needs an endpoint detection and response (EDR) strategy in place that can detect, investigate, and stop their spread – similar to having fire sprinklers stop the flames spread when an alarm goes off. Some enterprises opt for managed endpoint detection and response (mEDR), which offers several advantages including reduced management overhead as well as greater visibility across their enterprise.

Endpoint Protection Platform EPP Features

An effective EPP solution goes beyond prevention by employing detection and response capabilities (commonly referred to as EDR), to identify advanced threats not detected by basic security tools like antivirus. When considering various solutions, look for third-party testing or endorsements showing they perform effectively against current attacks.

Cybereason goes beyond the typical features of an EDR by employing machine learning and event stream processing to detect attacker behavior, helping it detect attackers at all stages of their attack cycle, including after they have breached your network.

As many modern attacks use multiple techniques to bypass antivirus software, an EPP solution must also offer multiple detection capabilities: file integrity monitoring, behavioral analysis, vulnerability assessments and deception technology that creates threat dummy servers to fool attackers into thinking they are targeting real servers. It should also cover a broad spectrum of endpoints within an organization – from user workstations and laptops through server systems and mobile/IoT devices.

1. Real-Time Threat Data

EPP solutions employ multiple features to protect enterprise endpoints from malware infections, combining antivirus, next-gen antivirus, personal firewall, USB device control and vulnerability assessment into an all-inclusive platform that stops threats from entering the network.

Ideal EPPs will use API-first architecture and cloud capabilities to aggregate threat data from across your security stack, with recognition capabilities that quickly synthesize it into actionable insights quickly and efficiently. Furthermore, an effective EPP should support both automated and manual remediation through one central console to free security analysts from being forced to constantly change dashboards when managing alerts.

Effective EPPs rely on machine learning to go beyond basic signature-matching capabilities and detect more sophisticated attacks. They also proactively identify vulnerabilities and indicators of compromise (IOCs) to stop attackers in their tracks; this is crucial, given that hackers often alter malware much faster than security teams can update tools to detect it.

2. Integrations

EPP solutions that excel are built around a framework that integrates with existing security products within an organization, making it easier for security teams to monitor and remediate threats via one dashboard report. Furthermore, centralized consoles allow security and IT teams to remotely and efficiently manage endpoints; saving them the trouble of updating software manually on each device.

An effective EPP solution should be able to quickly detect malware, ransomware and data theft attacks in their early stages – this is important because attackers want your sensitive information so they can extort you for it. Traditional antimalware systems rely on recorded indicators of compromise and behavioral patterns as filters out activity; EPP solutions should use continuous data collection in order to detect new attack techniques quickly and prevent attacks from taking place.

Cybereason, for example, is an advanced EPP solution that unifies all the capabilities of EDR (and EDR+) tools into one platform, including extended detection and response, threat intelligence gathering, kill chain visibility as well as automated incident response.

3. Centralized Management

An EPP should provide centralized management of its capabilities, so security teams can use one console to monitor ongoing activity more easily and reduce alert fatigue – freeing security analysts up for more productive work.

Having a centralized console enables easier remote management and easier, quicker security updates at device level, while an EPP solution enables businesses to protect endpoints even when offline – when some cyber attackers attempt to gain entry.

An effective Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) solution should be capable of stopping most types of attacks against an organization’s endpoints, however since many cyberattacks can bypass front-line defenses, an EPP should also be supplemented by an endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solution to detect advanced cyberattacks that have bypassed EPP preventative measures and hunt down breaches once they’ve already entered your network. An EDR solution should ideally revert infected systems back to their pre-infected state for maximum effectiveness against attacks against infected systems being infected again by EPP preventative measures while hunting down breaches once they’ve entered your network and can detect advanced cyberattacks as soon as they enter.

Sam is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.