Endpoint security and Antivirus, two terms are from the same industry and have many fundamental things in common in between them. However, these two similar yet technically different software are often confusing to a lot of decision-makers, let alone the mass. Differentiating and choosing the right fit for your need can often be baffling. So, today, you will get to know more about these two similar yet different software which will help you decide to pick the one better suited for your convenience.
Before jumping into the technical details and all, let’s look at some data regarding cybersecurity in small and medium-sized businesses. In mid-2019, global communication giant Verizon published a DBIR (Data Breach Investigations Report ) which indicates, 71% of data breaches are motivated to gain some kind of a financial benefit and 43% of total data breach victims are indeed small businesses.
However, a survey conducted by famous Forbes magazine showed more than half of the SMBs believe that they are not a lucrative figure on the radar of the cybercriminals even though one in five of all the small business owners reported some sort of a cyber attack on their organization.
It seems like, small and medium businesses consider other risk factors like a fire incident or even a robbery and take precautions against them. When, in reality, a cyber attack can wreak havoc and prove to be disastrous for an initiative. Therefore, the investment in cybersecurity should be one of the primary focuses for every SMB. Keeping that in mind, let’s take a look at the options for an enterprise cyber security solution.
What is an Endpoint?
For ease of understanding, let’s think of a personal computer device. This pc is owned by the organization but given to a certain employee for his official purpose usage. When working for the office, this pc is connected to a broad official network. Here, the PC we are talking about is an endpoint for that network.
Therefore, we can say, any device (that can be a laptop, desktop, tablet, mobile phone etc.) sitting at the end of a communication network can be considered as an endpoint. Understanding about endpoint is important because every endpoint is a probable vulnerability that can be a target for cybercrime. Intruders usually take an entry from a single endpoint and gradually infect more machines connected to the network. Today, more and more endpoints are adding continuously from external locations by the means of new device log in to a network parameter and working as an IoT or Internet of Things.
How Does An Endpoint Security Function?
An endpoint security software ensures cyber security for all the endpoints connected to the network. This may include email protection, web protection, creating a firewall, intrusion detection or even an antivirus!
Endpoint security solution like this is centrally managed so that any administrator can authenticate logins, support remote software deployment and updates from a central console. This is more suited for business or commercial use where a large number of pcs are connected in a single network may be under a single roof or connected from home.
What is an Antivirus?
When compared between endpoint solution / endpoint protection/ endpoint security and antivirus, usually antivirus is a term more used and well known to the mass. But, how does it work? In simpler words, this is a software that is able to protect a pc from malware by detecting and removing it before it does any harm.
The question might arise as what is malware? Well, a malware is a broad term used to define all types of malicious and unwanted code that can harm a computer. A computer virus, worm, trojan, keylogger or ransomware all are different forms of malware. And, an antivirus’s job is to detect and restrict any type of function of the malware on the pc it’s giving protection to.
How Does A Stand-alone Antivirus Software work?
The work process of an antivirus is computer virus definition and signature-based. There is a database for the antivirus software to look for where numerous virus definitions and signatures are written. What the antivirus software does is, it keeps running in the background of the machine (PC, tablet, mobile, servers etc) it’s installed in, and continuously scans files & directories. At the same time, it taps the database and cross-match the definitions of viruses and if it happens to find a match, it blocks or quarantines that file right away thus protects the machine from a probable attack.
This is the reason, signature update of an antivirus is essential. For every new malware created, there need to be a signature update and antivirus provider companies constantly update their existing databases accordingly.
Antivirus is usually available as a stand-alone product, however, it often comes as one component of an endpoint protection solution as well. So, endpoint security and antivirus comes hand in hand in some cases
So, after knowing all these, it’s decision-making time, which is a better plan for you? Well, it mostly depends on the size and the type of your organization. Antivirus software is more of a one-to-one solution. This software is targeted to find and remove malicious codes and apps but on a personal level. As the name indicates, this software is dedicated to providing you protection against computer viruses. Some modern and advanced antivirus also provides a safety net against worms, trojans, or ransomware. However, there is no central control for a stand-alone service like this.
You should choose a stand-alone antivirus software for your cyber security if you only require real-time, manual scanning for threat identification and elimination on a personal level. For micro-sized start-ups or small teams working under the same roof, this might be convenient. An antivirus software should also provide you web protection and alerts & notification for any threats. Do keep in mind to turn on the automatic update option else it will continue to rely on old virus definitions which might be dangerous for your cyber safety.
On the contrary, endpoint security provides a more holistic protection for each machine connected to the network. The idea of an endpoint security product is to take a bunch of computers under a single network and provide cyber safety to each of them. So centralized management console is a fundamental feature here.
So, to ensure cybersecurity ask yourself specific questions, does your organization have a lot of inter-connected PCs? Is the Internet of Things (IoT) in rapid growth in your environment? Does it require network-independent, real-time monitoring? Are there remote workers in your company? Or does it have a “bring your own device” policy in effect? If all or most of the answers are yes, then you need to invest in an endpoint security solution.
With all the discussions above, we hope you now have a precise idea on which one to choose between endpoint security and antivirus. For any confusion or consultation, feel free to leave a comment here on the comment box below or contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook and LinkedIn for recent cyber security trends, updates and information.