Endpoint Security is the sum total of the measures taken to implement security concerning endpoints. These measures include assessing risk to protect endpoints, such as with client antivirus and personal firewall, and protecting the network from the endpoints themselves, such as with quarantine and access control. Also, Endpoint Security logically extends to the management and administration of these security measures, as well as to the risk, reporting, and knowledge management of the state and results of these measures.
The Ever-Growing Threat
The growing number and variety of threats to endpoints, as well as threats that use endpoints as a vector, has made endpoint security a “hot topic.” Current threats include viruses, Trojans, worms, the use of endpoints as DDoS zombie hosts, and spyware. New threats emerge on a regular basis. These threats take advantage of a growing number and variety of endpoint vulnerabilities. These vulnerabilities include the familiar, such as buffer overruns; the more insidious, such as keystroke-loggers and instant-messaging worms; and the most recent, such as vulnerabilities in the security software itself.
Enterprises end up with extreme vulnerability to a bewildering array of threats that increase each day. Endpoints are where the typical enterprise conducts most of its business, and disruption to endpoints is a huge impact to enterprises in terms of cost and lost productivity. Since endpoints are now a primary target of these threats, enterprises are forced by necessity to confront Endpoint security as a core business issue.
In reality, endpoint security is both an enterprise goal and an enterprise practice. To achieve the goal, each enterprise has to determine its own best practices to meet business goals and regulatory requirements. By taking this approach and considering all options, the enterprise is able to define its own requirements, tools, and practices for endpoint security and achieve its own goals to secure the extended network.