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Endpoint protection is a term describing cybersecurity software used to protect endpoints such as laptops, smartphones, servers, or any other connected devices, from exploits, malware, data-loss, and other cyber threats. The term "endpoint protection" is often used interchangeably with "endpoint security".
An endpoint protection platform (EPP) is a solution categorized under endpoint security technologies that protects endpoints by detecting and preventing security threats like file-based malware attacks and malicious activity. EPP functionality includes antivirus, data encryption, and data loss prevention. Modern EPP solutions use multiple detection techniques and are mainly cloud-managed and cloud data-assisted to help in preventative and proactive security functions.
In the first generation of endpoint security, enterprises operated their security strategy with an on-premises approach built around a datacenter-based security perimeter. This approach also applied to EPP, which used a hub-and-spoke model built with the datacenter at the center. Endpoints were protected using various agents from a central console, thus creating silos and limiting the visibility and manageability of endpoints outside of the datacenter perimeter. This model does not scale for modern, hybrid networks. Thus, cloud-native solutions were adopted to support the work-from-anywhere workforce and bring your own device (BYOD) policies.
Today cloud native EPPs, and all endpoint security solutions, are secured through a central console in the cloud and connect to devices through agents placed on the endpoints, which work independently when endpoints are offline. This approach improves security performance and expands policy enforcement oversight. Additionally, the fewer the agents needed to be deployed, the better for performance scalability reasons.
For most modern security practitioners, EPP is no longer enough. EPP solutions are being integrated with and bundled within newer endpoint security solutions that offer expanded threat detection capabilities. Such examples of these newer endpoint security solutions include Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) or Extended Detection and Response (XDR).
Qualys offers Multi-Vector EDR and Context XDR, both of which include endpoint protection platform (EPP) functionality. Learn more about Qualys' about Endpoint Security Solutions and which one is right for your organization.