Did you know that traditional Antivirus Tools are no longer fit for purpose? Could you use a safer solution?

Did you know that traditional Antivirus Tools are no longer fit for purpose? Could you use a safer solution?


The way employees work has changed greatly in recent years. Whilst hybrid and remote work is now commonplace, not all businesses have taken appropriate measures to secure their workforce. The changes to the workplace model have also facilitated changes to the ways that cybercriminals target organisations. In order for businesses to protect themselves from these advancements in attack methods, they need to implement layers of security. One of the final layers is endpoint security. Here we explain how endpoint security works and how it compares to a traditional antivirus solution.

What is endpoint security?

An endpoint is any device that is connected to a network or IT system. This includes laptops, mobile phones, desktops, IoT devices, servers, and virtual environments. Endpoint security is important because endpoints can be points of entry for cybercriminals. If a hacker gains access to an endpoint and executes malicious code, they can potentially access private data or launch a larger attack. In the past, endpoint security was primarily focused on antivirus solutions, but as the threat landscape has changed, the scope for endpoint security has broadened with an emphasis on user behaviour.

The importance of endpoint security

One of the greatest security challenges your business faces in 2022 is a constantly expanding attack surface. In the past it was important to secure your business’s physical location and a handful of devices held there, including servers, desktops, network devices and printers. However, as employees started working from home, the attack surface expanded to include their home network and any home devices that can access company files. Every one of these is a potential entry point for cybercriminals, and when your employees work from home, you have less visibility, increasing cyber risk.

If one of these endpoints is vulnerable, it can lead to a variety of cyberattacks, including ransomware or a data breach. Cyberattacks such as these can be difficult to recover from, both in terms of the cost of remediation, and damage to your reputation. For this reason, you should be investing in endpoint security as one of your layers of security.

How endpoint protection works

There are many endpoint protection solutions, or Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPPs) available on the market, each with its own set of features. However, most solutions aim to manage threats and vulnerabilities, reduce the attack surface, provide endpoint detection and response, and auto investigation and remediation.

For threat and vulnerability management, the EPP checks each endpoint for known software vulnerabilities, as well as aggregating application, operating system, network, account, and security control data to view how secure the device is. It will also recommend what actions the IT administrator or IT provider should take to improve cybersecurity.

Endpoint protection solutions reduce the attack surface through the configuration of rules that target certain software behaviours. Some of these behaviours may include launching executable files and scripts or performing behaviours that apps don’t typically initiate. Reducing the attack surface makes it less likely that the endpoint can be targeted by a cybercriminal.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is one of the key technologies within an endpoint protection solution. It works by detecting attacks based on endpoint behaviour, including process information, network activities, user login activities, file system changes, and more. Abnormal behaviours can be detected in near real-time, allowing for either manual or automatic live response capabilities. As EDR uses behavioural-based classification, it is also possible for it to detect zero-day threats, before they cause greater issues.

Many EPPs can also complete automated investigation and remediation. Therefore, once a potential threat is found, the solution can perform automated remediation actions, such as sending a file to quarantine, stopping a service, removing a scheduled task and more. This greatly reduces the chance of a business falling victim to a cyberattack whilst there are no IT administrators actively checking the system.

Endpoint Protection Platforms vs. Traditional Antivirus

Whilst traditional antivirus solutions share some similarities with modern Endpoint Protection Platforms, as they both aim to secure endpoints, modern EPPs are substantially more powerful. The key difference is that traditional antivirus solutions use signature-based detection to find malicious executables and files. This is effective in protecting against known malware. However, it offers no protection against zero-day exploits and is not effective unless the software is regularly updated. Whereas an Endpoint Detection Platform can protect against zero-day exploits with behavioural detection.

Also, EPPs offer stronger protection as they make use of more data points. A traditional anti-virus solution is only checking for files and applications, and if it finds something malicious it will quarantine it. An EPP checks for files and applications, as well as other data points, such as the operating system, the network, account information, and security controls. This enhances visibility over all endpoints within a business and greatly reduces the chance of falling victim to most cyberattacks.

How Extech Cloud can help protect your business

Endpoint security should be a major component of your business’s cybersecurity strategy. However, it should not be the only consideration. To reduce your cyber risk as much as possible, you need a multi-layered security solution. Contact us today to find out how we can protect your endpoints, and more.

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