Most modern organizations would benefit from the use of an endpoint management solution. Any business that uses computers, printers, tablets, or other such IT devices -- the titular endpoints -- need an efficient and reliable way to maintain, monitor, and secure those devices. That’s where endpoint management tools come into the picture, and tech-heavy industries like finance, healthcare, information technology, and engineering have much to gain by using the right endpoint protection/management methods and products.
What this article will cover:
What are endpoint management and endpoint protection?
Features of endpoint management tools
How to choose an endpoint management solution
Overview of 8 top endpoint solutions
Overview of endpoint management & endpoint protection
Endpoint management software continuously monitors the devices in an IT environment while checking and maintaining the status of devices connected to the network.
Endpoint management tools expedite and simplify the process by automating certain tasks, providing readouts of device health, and allowing for more proactive IT management. The software helps with asset management by allowing users to account for and track all endpoints and preemptively take action to update, protect, or replace devices. Automating or streamlining software updates is another function of most endpoint management solutions, as patch management is necessary for a secure IT environment.
Endpoint protection software provides additional security solutions to protect and manage devices on a company’s network. These are designed to protect against security threats that enter through or target the endpoint and work to normalize security measures across multiple devices. Endpoint protection is necessary for protecting against many modern attacks, such as zero-day attacks and ransomware, among others.
Endpoint solutions typically give IT professionals a central console that allows them to view and manage many endpoints at once. From this main management console, administrators can view nearly all of their network infrastructure, view user and network activity, run reports, and conduct system scans to continuously protect against cyber threats.
Endpoint management features
Many network security and web security products contain tools to help with endpoint protection. Unfortunately, these add-ons are rarely enough to provide sufficient coverage. It’s best to choose a purpose-built endpoint-focused security program for this task.
What could you miss out on otherwise? One example is device lockdown, a feature almost entirely exclusive to endpoint protection software. This feature identifies network penetrations or compromised devices and restricts further access until a solution is found. Another exclusive feature is the ability to fully control access and device management from the endpoint platform. Access control is important for security and compliance as administrators need to grant different levels of access according to the principle of least privilege.
The following are other endpoint management features that allow for optimal security:
Platform coverage -- Needed when users access the network on different kinds of computers, phones, tablets, and other devices.
Device Control — Additional management of user network accessibility on laptops and mobile devices.
Web Control — Website filtering (DNS filtering) that allows for whitelisting to enforce compliance protocols and minimize risky web browsing on the network.
Application Control — Blocks users from accessing certain specified applications.
Asset Management — Detects and tracks each network asset and its activity and maintenance.
System Isolation — Quarantines dangerous activity by cutting off the network connection or temporarily deactivating applications.
Endpoint Intelligence — Analysis for examining threat intelligence data and gaining insight into specific endpoints.
Firewall — Protects devices from a variety of intrusions and malware threats.
Malware Detection — Alerts users of the presence of malware and ransomware.
Incident Reporting — Generates reports around vulnerabilities, risks, and usage related to the network and infrastructure.
Compliance Assistance — Monitors and enforces security policies in regards to audits and infrastructure security.
8 top choices for endpoint management
Any organization with more than a few devices will benefit from using a dedicated endpoint management solution. Investing in this software eliminates the need to individually install software on every single computing device in the office. IT management becomes simpler and less resource intensive as well, as the software provides a single place to manage company security policies across your IT network, as well as set up filters, options, and features at scale.
So which endpoint management solution is best? There are many to choose from, and the best solution will be the one that fits your specific needs. The following is an overview of 8 of the top endpoint security tools available today.
NinjaOne offers purpose-built endpoint management software that helps you secure and protect your organization’s digital assets and information. Ninja Endpoint Management is a 100% cloud-based endpoint management solution with an intuitive user experience and centralized console. Our solution allows you to monitor, manage proactively, and remediate all your endpoints simultaneously through a single pane of glass.
Sequretek is a global cybersecurity provider that offers end-to-end security for threat monitoring, incident response, and access governance. Their AI-based endpoint platform includes three products that each contribute to a complete security stack:
Percept EDR combines endpoint detection and response with machine learning to keep malicious files from infecting endpoints.
Percept IGA is a cloud-based tool that helps ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and enables SSO and MFA capabilities.
Percept XDR protects against malware, phishing, web attacks, and emerging threats and offers SOAR-based Automated Incident Response.
3) MalwareBytes for Business
Malwarebytes’ EDR combines the prevention of an Endpoint Protection solution with a variety of tools to detect, investigate, and remediate security threats. This tool offers real-time protection from malware, ransomware, zero-day exploits, brute force attacks, phishing, and other threats. Malwarebytes EDR is cloud hosted and offers centralized management of endpoints while keeping the footprint on individual devices small.
4) Microsoft System Center
Microsoft System Center is part of the MS Cloud Management system that offers centralized endpoint management. This solution helps with the management of resources, automation, deployment, and effective monitoring. MSC can be used in both private and public cloud.
5) Webroot Business Endpoint Protection
The web-based Webroot Endpoint Manager notifies users of which endpoints require an update, as well as if any have been exposed to cyber threats. A last contact feature makes it easy to remove out-of-use endpoints from the device list. Installation is easy and non-intrusive, as Webroot EM is intended to be very simple to deploy and use.
Rippling offers a way to manage HR, IT, and Finance in one unified workforce platform. The idea is that connecting all of these business systems to one platform allows businesses to automate all of the manual work they normally need to do to make employee changes.
Using onboarding as an example, a user can set up most of a new employee’s payroll, health insurance, work computer, and third-party apps with a single click. It’s important to note however that combining tools sometimes results in spreading a solution too thin. At scale, Rippling may not have the richness of features and complete endpoint security focus to deliver the same level of protection that a more IT-centric tool can provide.
7) ESET Protect Advanced
ESET develops IT security software and services to protect businesses, critical infrastructure and consumers from sophisticated cybersecurity threats. They offer solutions that focus on endpoint detection and response, as well as encryption and MFA. Their tools are reportedly easy-to-use and provide unobtrusive 24/7 scanning and protection to keep users safe and businesses running. The ESET solution includes cloud sandboxing to help prevent zero-day threats, as well as disk encryption capability for enhanced data protection.
According to the developer, ESET Endpoint Security can detect malware before, during, and after execution, while using machine learning and big data to balance performance, detection and minimize false positives.
8) Symantec End-user Endpoint Security
Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP) is an endpoint solution designed to protect against malware attacks including targeted attacks, advanced persistent threats, and zero-day threats. Their tool fuses essential and next-gen technologies into a lightweight single-client, single-management console. This allows for both physical and virtual protection in most IT environments while facilitating orchestrated response at scale
What else to look for in endpoint management software
Most endpoint protection software uses a layered security approach, including firewalls and data encryption to identify and sequester potential cyber threats. You may need to consider additional advanced threat prevention features, such as sandboxing, to achieve the necessary level of security. (Sandboxing is a technique that quarantines suspicious files in a secure environment to prevent infection of your actual working systems.)
Real-time threat detection is another must-have in the modern cyber threat landscape. Most endpoint protection software will offer real-time threat analysis that captures security threats even if they’re emergent and undocumented. This feature helps you record new attack patterns and correlate them with existing data to detect and block even the newest attacks.
Reporting is an important feature, especially for organizations that must concern themselves with regulatory compliance. Your endpoint security solution should be able to generate custom, comprehensive reports about scanned networks and any identified vulnerabilities. The reporting function should ideally help you sort and collate data for analyzing and categorizing issues based on the degree of risk and exploitability.
Pricing and budget are always a factor, of course. Most endpoint tools use a pricing model based on the number of systems covered, the type of software, and the included features. Organizations can often shave a great deal off their IT budget by choosing an endpoint tool that’s bundled with their other IT essentials (like their RMM tool). This is why NinjaOne has become a top choice for endpoint protection solutions.
If your business has more than a few employees, you will probably need an endpoint management solution to ensure secure, smooth operations. Gone are the days when free AV products were effective enough to safeguard against threats. With more people using technology -- especially remotely -- and more endpoints for a cyberattack to target, the additional protections afforded by purpose-built endpoint protection and management tools are crucial.
Building an efficient and effective IT team requires a centralized solution that acts as your core service deliver tool. NinjaOne enables IT teams to monitor, manage, secure, and support all their devices, wherever they are, without the need for complex on-premises infrastructure.