What Is An Endpoint Protection Platform?

An Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) is designed to protect the various endpoints in an enterprise IT environment, such as PCs, laptops, tablets, or smartphones, from various threats. The software has functions to protect against viruses, malware, spyware, or phishing. In addition, firewall or IPS and IDS functions, as well as other security technologies, can be integrated.

What is an endpoint protection platform?

An Endpoint Protection Platform, abbreviated EPP, is a comprehensive solution for protecting various endpoints in an enterprise IT environment. It consists of several software components and uses different technologies to ward off threats such as viruses, spyware, malware, or phishing. Endpoints protected by EPP include PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets, and, in some cases, smaller servers.

Other features that may be included in the EPP solution to protect devices include firewall, IPS or IDS capabilities, encryption capabilities, and data loss prevention capabilities. Depending on the type of endpoint protection platform, detection methods are static or supported by artificial intelligence (AI).

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Administration of the clients installed on the endpoints is centralized via an internal network or cloud-based. Authorized administrators use central management tools to make settings, configure security policies or monitor the status of the end devices. An endpoint protection platform provides an additional layer of protection in an enterprise environment. In combination with other protective measures such as central firewalls or central IDS and IPS solutions, it provides comprehensive protection for the entire IT system.

Functions of an Endpoint Protection Platform

An endpoint protection platform can combine many different functions. In addition to protecting stationary or mobile devices against malware threats, Trojans, or ransomware, can have functions for monitoring all processes running on the devices and preventing potentially dangerous actions. For example, inter-process communication in memory or rights acquisition through overflows can be prevented.

Other EPP functions include URL filtering, data loss prevention (DLP), data encryption, intrusion protection systems (IPS), firewalling, or sandboxing. Not all endpoint protection platforms from the various manufacturers offer all the functions described here.

Administration of an Endpoint Protection Platform

An endpoint protection platform usually consists of various components. The most important components are the agent installed on the endpoint and the central management tool. The agent implements the security policies configured via the management tool and assigned to the endpoint device on the devices.

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The management component is installed on on-premise equipment or in the cloud and connected to the agents via the network. Agents not only receive their configuration via the management tool but also regularly report their status or set alarms for suspicious actions.

The Endpoint Protection Platform and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

An endpoint protection platform that acts purely statically offers only limited protection, as only already known malicious code or known attack scenarios are detected by the system. Modern platforms use artificial intelligence and machine learning to detect sophisticated attack methods on their own.

Algorithms constantly analyze the systems and identify potentially dangerous actions using statistical methods and machine learning. Thanks to artificial intelligence, the systems are self-learning and provide increasingly better protection as the runtime increases.