Guarding a business’s‘ essential systems and sensitive data against the possibility of malicious attacks is of the essence. Cybercriminals may infect your computers with malware to damage the devices or stop them from working. Security is about maintaining the continuity of business operations, not about data and privacy. In other words, you must put stronger protections in place. Antivirus solutions have long been a cornerstone of protection for enterprises of all sizes, but the ever-changing landscape requires more advanced and comprehensive security measures. Suppose you’re using Norton 360, one of the most feature-rich antivirus applications. Your business might need an endpoint solution.
Not sure what’s best for your company? You’re lucky because this article explains the difference between these modern equivalents so that you can choose the right solution for your business.
Antivirus software is a security program that prevents, detects, and removes malware, i.e., any program or file that is intentionally harmful to a computer network or its sub-components. More often than not, it’s included as part of a security package, but it can also be purchased as a standalone option. Antivirus software can be installed on desktops, laptops, smartphones, and even servers to mitigate the risks of cyber threats. Malware is released daily, which means that no antivirus program is capable of offering detection and protection against all threat vectors.
Some of the most important features of software include but aren’t limited to:
- Persistent, ongoing scanning
- Web protection during the use of the Internet
- Disinfecting infected files
- Alerts/notifications about scans and updates
- Updated files & and patches are downloaded when available
According to the experts at 2GO software, cyber threats can originate within the organisation or in remote locations. At any rate, having a reliable antivirus program allows you to defeat adversaries who can breach or infiltrate your network to attack system data, steal sensitive information, spy on system resources, or degrade system performance. The antivirus automatically blocks pop-ups and spam coming from malicious websites.
Endpoint protection, commonly referred to as endpoint security, is the practice of securing endpoints, that is, any device used by the end user. Servers, desktops, laptops, smartphones, and workstations can create entry points that cybercriminals can exploit. Endpoint protection is basically an approach to identify malicious network activity and other types of cyber-attacks. It’s aimed at businesses rather than individuals or home computers. Endpoint protection has evolved from limited antivirus software to a more advanced, comprehensive defense. Third parties can gain access by means of authorized endpoints, therefore, bypassing corporate firewalls and other perimeter security controls.
Some of the most important features of endpoint protection include but aren’t limited to:
- Response/report to vulnerabilities
- Multi-layered malware protection to catch all threats
- Alerts/warnings about critical vulnerabilities
- Reporting, tracking, and finding the cause of incidents
- Remediation to control the spread of malware
- Third-party risk management tools
Every device that employees use to connect to business networks is a potential threat that malicious actors can exploit to get their hands on corporate data. Remote work is at present a standard for many professionals, yet the rising popularity of the practice of employees doing their jobs from a location other than the central office operated by the employer corresponds to a rise in cybersecurity incidents.
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So, Which Is Better?
Although the terms antivirus and endpoint protection are used interchangeably, they’re not the same. The main differences accounted for are:
- Antivirus software protects an individual system/device from malware-wielding offenders. Endpoint protection safeguards the data and workflows linked to individual devices connected to a network from various threats.
- Antivirus software is a more traditional approach to security installations – it’s managed and operated independently. The program must be installed on each computer individually. Endpoint protection is a centrally managed security solution, which means it’s deployed across your organisation’s network to offer robust, active protection.
- Unlike endpoint protection, antivirus software doesn’t provide data access hierarchies to set up levels of access. No user can define the security level.
- Antivirus software doesn’t use encryption to protect data when sending or downloading files, meaning it can be accessed by unauthorised parties. Endpoint protection leverages complex encryption algorithms to protect data on different devices used by people remotely.
- Antivirus software is mostly for non-commercial purposes, i.e., residential usage. It can be used by very small organisations as well. Endpoint protection is mostly used by large enterprises as part of a broader cybersecurity program.
If you only have a few devices and users to secure, an antivirus program will do the trick. On the other hand, if you need to monitor, oversee, and secure off-premises endpoints, endpoint protection is important because it provides a central administration portal from which you can manage several devices. Regularly scan your managed endpoints for known vulnerabilities, threats, and poor configurations to seal entry points.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to finding the best solution for enterprise security. For instance, if your firm relies on proprietary information (trade secrets) or stores confidential information that should only be accessed by authorised employees, you need a more comprehensive and sophisticated cybersecurity solution. Take into account the possibility of using antivirus software together with endpoint protection to get better protection that’s coordinated across the organisation. There’s no need to choose between the two. Defence in depth is critical for protecting your business from increasing cyberattacks.
Investing in cybersecurity is a sturdy business enabler, as you can protect critical assets, streamline compliance, and revamp your IT infrastructure. Organisations of any size and infrastructure complexity have to work hard to block threats. Antivirus software and endpoint protection are the foundations of your cybersecurity, so employ these unique components to secure your organisation’s data. If malicious actors want to access the data, they must break through multiple layers of security. It’s not recommended to have two antivirus programs installed on an endpoint because they can easily conflict with one another. Threat hunting is so much easier, as you can track and record all relevant events.