16 top endpoint protection platforms

Looking for a better endpoint protection platform to protect remote staff working on Windows PCs, Macs, smartphones or even Linux? One of these might be the answer.

A robotic hand activates/manages a network of integrated security.
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Endpoint security has long been an important part of cybersecurity within any enterprise’s overall security architecture, particularly to provide protection for remote devices that connect to an enterprise network. When laptops, smartphones, or desktop computers connect to a network, they establish network nodes and create points of vulnerability. Endpoint security might also be used with on-premises desktops to act as an additional layer of security or as a last line of defense designed to catch whatever threats slip through other network protections.

Improving network security technologies like next-generation firewalls and zero-trust models have diminished the role of standalone endpoint protection tools in recent years. However, the importance of endpoint security has risen with the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. With organizations of all types embracing telework, the number of endpoints suddenly connecting remotely to core networks has grown by millions. Cybercriminals have taken notice and are targeting these new endpoints as a potential bridge into enterprise networks.

Good endpoint security should be centrally managed and able to exist alongside other network protections. It should shield endpoint devices with advanced security features such as machine learning, artificial intelligence, dynamic threat identification, automation and other technologies.

The following are 16 of the top endpoint protection platforms available today and the features that they offer.

1. Avast Business Antivirus Pro Plus

The Avast endpoint solution centers around its antivirus protection, with the business version allowing for the management of Windows, Mac and Linux machines from a central, cloud-based console. From the main console, administrators can see if endpoints are up to date and any protection actions that have been taken. They can also take actions like triggering active scans on protected remote endpoints.

Additional features include behavioral protection, sandboxing, adding a firewall and automatically capturing suspicious but unknown files and sending them to Avast for expert human analysis.

2. Bitdefender GravityZone Ultra

In addition to protecting endpoints from active threats, Bitdefender GravityZone Ultra also continually monitors endpoints and analyzes risk. It can then prioritize actions to proactively increase security and reduce the attack footprint before an aggressor can strike. If allowed to do so, GravityZone can take automatic actions to improve endpoint security without user intervention. It covers all enterprise endpoints running Windows, Linux or macOS, in physical, virtualized or cloud environments.

Its risk analysis extends to user behavior, including things like poor password management or transferring data in an unencrypted state. That can be a great advantage for organizations that suddenly must support thousands of new teleworkers, allowing training to be given for users who need a better understanding of security.

3. Check Point Endpoint Security

Check Point Endpoint Security packs a lot of features designed to protect Windows and macOS devices into a single platform that can be managed through a central console. This includes detection and response capabilities where the platform can automatically respond to attacks made against endpoints while also blocking them from moving up the chain to the core network. Because security is as much about protecting data as it is devices, Check Point Endpoint Security secures data on endpoints both at rest and in transit.

It also is able to secure and protect VPN connections, which is how many remote workers are connecting to their core networks these days.

4. ESET Secure Business

The endpoint security platform from ESET includes protection for Windows, Mac and Linux computers as well as Android and iOS mobile devices. You can also include on-premise systems, with everything managed from a central console.

ESET protects against the most common attacks aimed at endpoints like ransomware as well as the newest types of threats like fileless malware. It even incorporates advanced protections like monitoring and setting encryption policies on all protected systems and the ability to secure mail gateways to prevent threats from ever reaching endpoints in the first place.

5. F-Secure Protection Service for Business

Provided as a service, the endpoint security solution by F-Secure is managed through a cloud-based portal and is easily installed on endpoints using an email based process. It can be fully managed by a service provider or directly by the organization deploying it.

In addition to the ability to stop malware attacks and zero-day exploits using artificial intelligence and behavior monitoring, the F-Secure protection comes with a patch management system. The operating systems as well as approved software programs on protected endpoints are monitored to ensure that all the latest patches are applied.

6. FireEye Endpoint Security

FireEye Endpoint Security takes a three-pronged approach to stopping attacks made against endpoints. First, common malware is stopped with a signature-based antivirus engine. Signature protection has fallen out of favor, but can still block many attacks. This is paired with a machine learning engine to stop advanced threats based on their characteristics. Finally, a behavior analysis engine can stop exploits and compromised processes based on anomalous behavior.

The platform also comes with tools designed by cybersecurity experts that can be used to combat active threats quickly. After a breach is mitigated, FireEye Endpoint Security provides analysis tools to support deep-dive investigations, security audits and enterprise threat hunting.

7. G Data Endpoint Security

G Data’s Endpoint Security platform includes tools for exploit protection, anti-virus, heuristic threat algorithms, keylogging protection and behavior blocking.

The platform, which is managed through a central console, includes a new technology the company calls DeepRay, which combines constantly updated machine learning with artificial intelligence designed to unmask camouflaged, fileless and other advanced malware. Finally, G Data provides patch management and constructs a firewall to secure every protected endpoint.

8. Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response Optimum

The Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response Optimum platform helps organizations build a defense in depth around their critical endpoints. It does this with a toolkit that, the company claims, makes it simple to apply security policies to endpoints and set up automatic response capabilities.

Threats that are detected on endpoints by the platform are not only blocked, but are given a full report for security staff. This includes the methods that a threat has used to attempt entrance to a protected endpoint as well as the techniques employed to bypass other protections. It also defines how dangerous threats it encounters are and ways to prevent them from infecting other endpoints in the future.

9. McAfee MVISION Endpoint Security

MVISION Endpoint Security from McAfee provides centrally managed endpoint protection using continuous monitoring and multi-sensor telemetry to stop malware. It also analyzes the entire network of endpoints looking for vulnerabilities and ranking them based on their severity.

Its ability to prioritize risks can consider things like your organization’s industry, region and current security posture when reviewing potential threats. It can even predict if your organization could counter any given threat should it begin attacking the network. Finally, it will prescribe a fix so that potential threats can be countered before anyone even tries to attack a protected endpoint.

10. Microsoft Defender Antivirus

While not technically a full endpoint security platform, Microsoft Defender provides good antivirus protection for free on any Windows desktop running Windows 10. Defender, formerly known as Windows Defender, is often ranked as high or higher than other paid antivirus programs, and smart organizations can add it to their enterprise monitoring, forcing endpoints to have the latest version of the program and the most up-to-date virus definitions before joining a network.

11. Seqrite End Point Security

The Seqrite End Point Security platform is loaded with protection features and gives administrators good control over Windows and Mac-based endpoints. This includes the ability to configure devices for better security, restricting websites, scanning for vulnerabilities and defining what programs and applications are allowed to run on protected endpoints. It also constantly monitors those endpoints and alerts administrators should any of them drift out of their tight configurations.

Given the draconian levels of control, Seqrite End Point Security is probably not suitable for protecting devices owned by users. For company-issued and -owned Macs and PCs, it can lock them down and protect them from both outside threats and bad user behavior.

12. Sophos Intercept X Endpoint

The Sophos Intercept X Endpoint platform not only provides protection using antivirus and exploit protection, but also supports advanced threat hunting as if the endpoints were a part of the core network. It does this with a querying engine that enables threat hunters to ask questions about the state of security, or almost anything else, on the network of endpoints. The platform will then analyze the endpoints and respond.

Intercept X Endpoint also supports threat response by providing a team of experts who can take action on behalf of any company employing that part of the service. This is perfect for organizations whose internal cybersecurity teams are stretched thin or operating at a reduced capacity.

13. Symantec Endpoint Security 

Probably one of the most well-known security platforms on this list, Symantec End-user Endpoint Security, now owned by Broadcom, can protect assets on-premises, in the cloud or as part of a hybrid environment. It does this from a single console and works with almost any computing device, including mobile endpoints. In a sense, it extends enhanced protection out to all endpoints and allows them to be managed as if they were part of the core network.

The protection includes artificial intelligence, policy management, credential security and continuous monitoring. The entire platform works by installing a single agent on every endpoint that needs to be protected.

14. Trend Micro Apex One Endpoint Security

The Apex One Endpoint Security Platform from Trend Micro blends a host of detection technologies that can stop scrips, injections, ransomware, memory attacks and advanced threats like fileless malware. It also provides response capabilities and the ability to corelate events across endpoints, email, servers and cloud workloads that can unmask seemingly unrelated events as a coordinated attack.

Perhaps one of the most advanced and unique capabilities offered by Apex One is its host-based intrusion prevention system. Once that system locates a vulnerability on an endpoint, it can automatically apply a patch to fix the problem if one is available. If no official patch exists, it can create a virtual patch to protect that asset until an official fix is released.

15. VMware Carbon Black Cloud Endpoint Standard

VMware Carbon Black Cloud Endpoint Standard employs advanced techniques like heuristics, machine learning and behavioral analysis to uncover malicious activity on protected endpoints. It also saves data about endpoints so that it can hone its detection capabilities over time. It can provide a complete timeline of both suspicious and normal activities to help security teams take appropriate actions when needed.

In addition to protecting endpoints from a single console, users of Carbon Black Cloud Endpoint Standard are provided with the latest threat reports and intelligence from an in-house team of experts. This includes remediation tips, new cybersecurity techniques and reports about emerging threats so that cybersecurity teams can continue to train and improve their skills as they use the platform.

16. Webroot Business Endpoint Protection

The Webroot Business Endpoint Protection platform provides endpoint security through a cloud-based console. The platform is centered around contextual threat intelligence, showing what risks exist on endpoints as well as any active threats.

Webroot also gives administrators a deep view into endpoints, down to what scripts are running in those remote environments. It can prevent malicious JavaScript, VBScript, PowerShell applications and even macros from harming a protected endpoint or using it as a platform to get into the core network. It can even protect against fileless script attacks. To prevent false positives, Webroot Business Endpoint Protection allows for whitelisting business related or unusual scripts that may be required. Everything is managed through an intuitive central interface.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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