What is an Endpoint Device? Overview for IT Professionals

What is an Endpoint Device?

Endpoints can be found in a variety of industries and settings, but we’ll be focusing on endpoint devices within IT environments. In this article, we provide a general overview about what endpoint devices are, the purpose they serve, as well as how you can better manage and protect these devices within your organization.

What is an endpoint device?

An endpoint device refers to any device that physically connects to the network and that the network can access. Endpoints are the components located at the end of a communication channel with the network and are used to exchange data back and forth with it.

Different types of endpoint devices include:

  • Desktops
  • Laptops
  • Workstations
  • Tablets
  • Mobile devices
  • Servers
  • Virtual machines
  • IoT devices

What is an API endpoint?

An API endpoint is not considered a traditional IT endpoint. An API is a gateway which allows for the passing of information between two systems. Some APIs will even allow you to connect to outside pieces of software or outside integrations, which is often how software solutions with outside integrations accomplish this. An API is a connection application that allows data to travel back and forth, but it is not a physical endpoint. Even though APIs are not physical endpoints, it’s still important to follow the latest API security best practices to ensure that your data remains protected.

What is not an endpoint device?

Other common IT devices that are not endpoints include input devices and infrastructure devices. Infrastructure devices are used directly for network monitoring, and they consist of devices like a server, router, network interface controller (NIC) switch, hub, and modem.

What is the purpose of an endpoint device?

Endpoints are used to communicate information to and from the network. They are types of computers that enable users to enter, receive, or manipulate information. Without endpoints, users would have no direct way of communicating with the network or accessing data from it.

Within a business, endpoint devices are used for productivity purposes and to actively control or manipulate business operations. These devices are essential for members of an organization to complete their job responsibilities and are typically the main tool that they use, so it’s important to keep endpoints healthy and secure. A process designated for this very purpose is endpoint management.

What is endpoint management?

Endpoint management consists of monitoring, remediating, and securing the endpoints in an IT environment. The number of endpoints within organizations continues to grow, with enterprises managing an average of 135,000 endpoints.

It is essential for a business to keep track of any endpoints connected to their network. A healthy endpoint contributes to the well-being of the IT environment and the overall success of an organization’s IT environment, while an unhealthy and vulnerable endpoint can be the gateway for a whole host of issues that may snowball into the rest of the business.

How does endpoint management work?

Endpoint management can occur either on-premises or remotely. However, cloud-based remote management has increased in popularity due to its convenience and ease-of-use. Gartner predicts that more than 90% of clients will be using cloud-based unified endpoint management (UEM) tools by 2025.

The process of endpoint management works by, first, locating all endpoints within an organization. With NinjaOne, these endpoints then have an agent placed on them. This allows you to effectively access and control various monitoring and maintenance actions on an endpoint. Once endpoints have the agent installed, then they will be able to connect to your central endpoint management console. From the console, you are able to complete monitoring and management tasks in a unified, single-pane-of-glass display.

5 best practices for endpoint management

1. Manage all organizational endpoints

The endpoint management process is most effective if you ensure that every single endpoint device is accounted for, monitored, and managed. When you initially set up endpoint management software, systematically identify all endpoints within your business, and ensure you have software set up to discover new endpoint devices.

2. Monitor in real-time

Real-time endpoint data lets you know exactly what’s currently happening on an endpoint at any given point in time. You can monitor the health, security, and efficiency of your endpoints to support optimal performance and protect them from potential malicious cyber threats.

3. Maintain full visibility

Make sure that you can see the status of all your endpoint devices in one location, such as a unified console. This gives you quick information about endpoints in your IT environment without having to switch back and forth between screens.

4. Apply automation where possible

Since there’s typically lower stakes involved when handling endpoints, endpoint management thrives off of IT automation. Automate patch management, endpoint maintenance, software deployment, and more using an endpoint management solution like NinjaOne.

5. Remediate issues promptly

One issue on an endpoint device can have a snowball effect and cause a variety of other issues, so it’s important to remediate issues promptly when they’re identified. Endpoints also serve as a gateway to your entire network, so it’s important to ensure they’re in good health and protected so threat actors can’t take advantage of a weak system.

How can endpoint devices be protected?

Because endpoints give users direct access to your organization’s IT network, they pose a security risk to your entire IT environment. If one of the endpoints somehow got into the hands of a threat actor, that attacker could potentially wreak havoc on your entire business. Ponemon reported in 2020 that 68% of organizations experienced an increase in cyberattacks over the past year.

Endpoints can be protected through endpoint security. Endpoint security is the process of protecting your endpoints through device hardening, vulnerability mitigation, and securing the OS. Learn more about specific actions you can take to improve your endpoint security process.

Manage your organizational endpoints using NinjaOne

NinjaOne’s unified endpoint management software simplifies and streamlines the way you monitor and manage your organizational endpoints. It is 100% cloud-based and consolidates many of the products or tools IT teams use into one solution. Sign up for a free trial today to discover the peace of mind that comes with knowing all your endpoints are effectively managed.

Next Steps

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.
Learn more about Ninja Endpoint Management, check out a live tour, or start your free trial of the NinjaOne platform.

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