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Endpoint Security Overview

Endpoints are often central to a business' success because they provide a way to access important files, processes, a variety of digital assets, and other people in the organization. However, they can also be key to an attacker’s strategy. If a network is like the human body, endpoints are the orifices through which cyber diseases can be introduced. Without adequate protection and a strong cyber immune system, it is easy for disease to spread.

What Devices Are Classified as Endpoints?

Any device that people interact with while it is connected to your network is classified as an endpoint. The various types of endpoint security software are designed to protect these kinds of devices, including:

  1. Laptops
  2. Cell phones
  3. Tablets
  4. Printers
  5. Servers
  6. Medical devices
  7. Handheld scanners
  8. Robots
  9. All Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices

Why Endpoint Security is Critical to Your Business

Your endpoints are all exposed to humans on a constant basis. In many cases, a breach is accidental—a result of a simple error. A well-meaning employee may leave their device unattended while they are still logged in to a sensitive area, leave a password on a desk, or access an unsecure network, such as one at an airport or a public hotspot. 

Endpoint security protects you from attacks resulting from both carelessness and intentional, planned breaches.

What Are the Different Types of Endpoint Security?

There are several types of security you can implement to protect your endpoints. Here are 11 of the most effective examples of endpoint security.

Internet-of-Things (IoT) Security

Software that protects Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices is one of the most important types of endpoint security for enterprises. The more IoT devices you have—including ones operated by customers that may interface with your network— the more thorough you have to be when it comes to your security fabric. Each one could be used as an access point to your digital assets.

Network Access Control (NAC)

Network access control (NAC) focuses on managing which users and devices gain access to your network, as well as what they do and which segments they interact with. It uses firewalls that are positioned between users, devices, and sensitive sections of your network.

Data Loss Prevention

A data loss prevention (DLP) strategy focuses on ensuring that your most secure data resources are protected against exfiltration. One of the best ways to safeguard these assets is to keep employees informed about phishing tactics, as well as installing antimalware to prevent data loss from malicious programs hackers install on your endpoints.

Insider Threat Protection

Insider threats come from those within your organization. Controlling who has access to which area of your network, monitoring what they are doing, and ensuring all sessions are properly terminated can protect your endpoints. It is important to use zero-trust network access (ZTNA) tools to control who on the inside of your company can access sensitive areas.

Data Classification

Companies use data classification to isolate the most valuable and vulnerable data and then identify the endpoints that can be used to gain unauthorized access to it. For example, an organization may have several customer service representatives who work remotely and have access to sensitive customer financial information. In this situation, data classification may help pinpoint a critical attack surface.

URL Filtering

Uniform Resource Locator (URL) filtering involves blocking potentially malicious websites so internal users cannot access them. This is often accomplished using either a hardware or software firewall.

Browser Isolation

With browser isolation, the sessions run by your users’ browsers are executed within an isolated environment. This prevents any malicious code downloaded during the session from impacting the digital assets you need to protect.

Cloud Perimeter Security

Cloud perimeter security in endpoints involves protecting your cloud resources from devices and users that can access them. You can use a cloud firewall to control which people and devices have access to your cloud resources. You can also use cloud-based web filtering tools.

Endpoint Encryption

Endpoint encryption secures the data on your devices by ensuring anyone who does not have a decryption key cannot read it. This works for many types of endpoints, providing worry-free browsing and downloading and even access to sensitive financial information.


With sandboxing, you create an environment that mimics your typical end-user operating system while isolating it from sensitive areas of your network. This can work with most types of endpoints because you can sandbox specific applications.

Secure Email Gateways

A secure email gateway (SEG) inspects the messages that go in and out of your email system, checking each one for potential threats. When a suspicious link or file is detected, the gateway prevents the email from being accessed.

How Fortinet Can Help

FortiClient automates the protection of your endpoints by:

  1. Reporting device status information
  2. Enforcing application control, Universal Serial Bus (USB) control, firmware upgrading, and URL filtering policies
  3. Providing malware protection
  4. Facilitating secure and encrypted connections
  5. Sandboxing suspicious files

In this way, FortiClient protects not only your endpoints, but also the users that interface with them and the rest of the organization’s network. Your endpoints, the data on them, and the other devices that they interface with are all kept safe with one solution.


What are the key components of endpoint security?

Endpoint security protects the data on your devices as well as data users interacting with those devices may access.

What is considered endpoint security?

Endpoint security includes the protection and monitoring of endpoints, which are any devices that connect to your network. Endpoint security also involves shielding network assets from potential threats introduced via endpoints.

What are the types of endpoint security?

The types of endpoint security include:

  1. Internet-of-Things (IoT) security
  2. Network access control (NAC)
  3. Data loss prevention (DLP)
  4. Insider threat protection
  5. Data classification
  6. Uniform Resource Locator (URL) filtering
  7. Browser isolation
  8. Cloud perimeter security
  9. Endpoint encryption
  10. Sandboxing
  11. Secure email gateways