What is an endpoint? How to protect this type of device?

In IT, an endpoint is the point of entry in a communication channel (communication endpoint) or a device that is part of a network security structure (endpoint security).

Information security and data protection are increasingly discussed by IT teams. With so many devices and the constant evolution of technologies, new cyber threats affect the daily routine of companies and individuals.

To increase protection, endpoint security is a critical practice. But what is an endpoint and what is it for?

This article will cover the basic concepts of endpoints, providing information about the main differences of endpoint security and other related terms, such as API, antivirus, and firewall.

If you don’t know what endpoint security can do for your company, read this article carefully.

You will learn:

  • What is an endpoint?
  • What is endpoint security for?
  • What’s the difference between an endpoint and an API?
  • What’s the difference between an endpoint and an antivirus?
  • What’s the difference between an endpoint and a firewall?
  • What is the difference between endpoint and network security?
  • Why should your company have endpoint security?
  • Key benefits of endpoint security
  • How to protect an endpoint

Enjoy the article!

What is an endpoint?

An endpoint may have different meanings in computer science.

In IT, endpoint can be used in different contexts. In communication protocols, for example, an endpoint refers to a terminal for the connection between an API and the client.

We will explain the two main contexts of an endpoint below.

What is endpoint security?

Endpoint security is an approach to the protection of an enterprise network, showing the status of monitoring, software applications, and activities.

In this case, an endpoint is the device connected to the network, such as a laptop, tablet, smartphone, computer, IoT devices, or other wireless devices. 

Endpoint security x Communication endpoint

Unlike security endpoint, communication endpoint refers to communication protocol connections and is often confused with an API.

It is, for example, the URL to access a certain service, which may or may not be created through the API.

In this concept, endpoints are the two ends of a TCP connection, such as a user’s browser at one end and a web server at the other end.

What is endpoint security for?

The main differentiator of an endpoint security system is proactivity. This resource, once installed and configured on the server and on all devices, looks for vulnerabilities and repairs flaws even before an attack occurs.

With the elimination of breaches, endpoint security can more effectively keep up with the evolution of cyber threats.

In addition, endpoint security is a smarter way to scale device security. It’s like an antivirus product installed on each computer.

The installation, maintenance, and update of these programs are a problem for the IT staff, as they need to monitor the systems in a timely manner.

On the other hand, such monitoring can be centralized with endpoint security. In addition, it can keep up with malware evolution, making it a system that won’t probably become obsolete.

A company without a security policy is subject to digital threats that not only jeopardize strategic information, but can cause an impact on the company’s operation, causing real material damage.

What’s the difference between an endpoint and an API?

Regarding communication endpoints, many professionals have trouble understanding that an endpoint is different from an API.

In an attempt to explain the concepts, we will use a simple analogy. Imagine that you at a restaurant for lunch. You are the user and the restaurant kitchen is the server.

You can’t always go to the kitchen to place an order and pick up your lunch. Usually you need a waiter, who will mediate this communication.

In this case, the waiter is the API. You (the user) and the kitchen (the server) would be the endpoints, the two ends of this service.

If you access your lunch via a browser, for example, the URL of your dish would represent that endpoint, regardless of whether or not you have the waiter (an API).

What’s the difference between an endpoint and an antivirus?

Now, let’s talk about the concept of endpoint security. Endpoint security basically ensures the security of computers and other devices connected to the corporate network.

The difference between an endpoint and an antivirus is that an antivirus protects a specific computer (or several computers, depending on which service is implemented). In the case of endpoint security, it involves a planning to protect the entire infrastructure.

Then, endpoint security considers other protection tools besides an antivirus. It uses a server-client service model, with instances installed on each of them (a main instance on the server and agents on the devices).

With this integration, multiple accesses can be validated or blocked, keeping endpoints secure. On the other hand, an antivirus uses a single program, which is installed on the device to scan, detect, and manage malware, such as ransomware and others.

What’s the difference between an endpoint and a firewall?

Another common confusion is between endpoint security and a firewall.

Firewalls monitor the traffic that flows on the network, based on security criteria and rules. For example, a company can block the access to certain sites, considered dangerous.

But, as we’ve seen, security goes beyond network filtering; it should also consider monitoring of status, logging, patching, and so on.

So, firewall is a tool that can be used in the endpoint security planning, but they are not the same thing.

What is the difference between endpoint and network security?

These two concepts may seem very similar if it weren’t for one detail: endpoint security is about protecting devices while network security focuses on protecting the network itself.

Imagine that your home is your device, and the street is the network. First you need to ensure the safety of your home, because if the street is dangerous, having a security guard at your door may not be enough. Maybe you need window security bars, alarms, and cameras, right?

In short, if your endpoint, i.e. your device, is secure, the chances of a network intrusion are reduced as well.

Therefore, if you already have a network security policy in place but don’t have endpoint security protocols yet, it’s time to review these concepts.

Why should your company have endpoint security?

If you have read our articles, you know that information security is commonly discussed here, especially now, with the GDPR in force. 

Information security has been a recurrent topic among IT, marketing, and sales teams, and other professionals. Once and for all, managers of companies need to rethink their security policies; not only for the protection of customer’s personal data, but especially for the protection of the competitive advantage of the business. Can you imagine having strategic and confidential data being shared without authorization?

Or being a victim of threats that prevent the work of your team, causing serious damage to the company? Not to mention credibility issues with an impact on the company’s image.

Investing in an endpoint security solution can protect your company’s information at different levels, in cycles of continuous improvement to keep up with new technologies.

Key benefits of endpoint security

The protection of your company’s data and equipment would be enough to justify the implementation of endpoint security.

But we provide below additional benefits from using this type of solution:

Cost reduction

An endpoint security system only requires an investment in server software and device agents. It is much cheaper than providing individual security mechanisms.

Easy to install

Endpoint security systems are often easy to install. Just configure the main instance on the server and install the software on the client’s system to start monitoring.9

Control of unwanted actions

Some companies have security policies that prevent the use of external devices, such as a flash drive. But it’s not always possible to effectively prevent these actions.

However, with an endpoint security system, the manager can block these unwanted activities that can increase the vulnerability of devices.

Easy integration with new technologies

System update is easier and faster as it is performed in a single program. This way, it is possible to detect new needs, updating all devices quickly.

Centralized management

Network administration is now managed by the endpoint system. Then, the infrastructure manager uses a single system for authentication, authorization, block, monitoring, and reporting.

How to protect an endpoint

Endpoint security refers to a number of best practices for the prevention of vulnerabilities and protection from cyberattacks.

These practices include investment in reliable software, use of appropriate technologies and updated devices.

We’ve highlighted several times the importance of not using pirated software and always having applications updated to their latest versions.

An asset management system is an efficient method to do this.

Another tool you can use for endpoint security is a network scanner. It allows you to monitor all devices connected to the network, blocking access from unknown devices.

Learn about Milvus

The Milvus platform is a complete system for your company’s IT management.

With solutions that automate routines and processes, including ticket management, asset inventory, and device security, it is ideal for companies of all sizes.

For a company from another sector investing in IT or for companies offering this type of service (such as IT consultancy or outsourcing), Milvus enables efficiency gains and increased productivity.

See below some features available in the system:

  • File transfer via remote access;
  • Device monitoring;
  • Asset lifecycle management;
  • License manager;
  • Asset geolocation;
  • Link monitoring;
  • Network scanner;
  • OneClick – exclusive technology;
  • Multichannel for ticket generation;
  • Automatic SLA management;
  • Contract management;

Take a 7-day free trial to test the Milvus system. It is not necessary to provide your credit card number.


Endpoint security is a topic that should be addressed by companies. Technological evolution and increasingly complex changes of digital threats put an entire operation at risk.

Due to theft of strategic information or physical damage to equipment, the security of corporate networks should be a priority.

Some systems are fully focused on endpoints, but you can also find simple solutions that offer several mechanisms. When they work together, they create an efficient and effective protection mesh.

Related Posts

Try it out, optimize your management and relationship with your customers

Use all features without worry, test the system for 7 days free.