Endpoint Protection solutions protect your
corporate devices from malware, malicious applications, and investigate security
incidents and alerts. They differ from commercial anti-virus software as they
allow admins to manage all devices and perform investigation and remediation
against threats. This allows admins to easily respond to security incidents and
Cyberattacks against business devices are on
the rise. For this reason, it’s absolutely crucial that your organization,
whether a fortune 500 company or a 5-person team, has an effective cyber security
plan in place to detect and stop attacks. An important part of this should be
implementing strong endpoint security on all of your company devices, with a management
portal that allows you monitor and update your endpoints from anywhere.
However, the endpoint security market is extremely crowded and there are a huge variety of vendors with different technologies to stop threats from reaching your corporate devices. Some are aimed at large organizations, while others are better suited to smaller and mid-sized organizations.
To help your organization fine the endpoint
security solution that works best for you, here’s our list of the top Endpoint Protection
platforms. We’ll cover their top features, target markets, price, what research
firms like Gartner have said about them, and cover some customer feedback.
The Best Endpoint Security Solutions Include:
- Avast Advanced Endpoint Protection, Bitdefender GravityZone Ultra, Crowdstrike Falcon, ESET Endpoint Security, Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection, SentinelOne, Sophos Endpoint Protection, Trend Micro, Webroot Business Endpoint Protection.
Avast Advanced Endpoint Protection
Avast is a global leader for providing cyber security solutions to businesses and consumers all over the world. Avast Advanced Endpoint Protection protects business customers against malware and ransomware threats. Avast uses cloud-based threat detection technology that stops threats against the endpoint in real-time. Avast claims to have the world’s largest threat detection network and threat database. They protect over 440 million endpoints and 10,000 servers which they use to collect and analyze threat data.
The Avast Endpoint Protection Platform takes a multi-layered approach, combing machine learning and artificial intelligence with 18 security layers including threat sandboxing, WiFi inspector and behavior shield. Avast also provides Business Patch Management, which aims to make it easier for organizations to manage their endpoint devices by identifying and deploying critical patches for Windows and other applications. However, despite these features the platform lacks some of the advanced endpoint detection and response features as some of the enterprise focused endpoint protection platforms covered on this list.
Avast Endpoint Protection is managed and delivered through ‘CloudCare,’ a cloud-based security platform with a single admin dashboard. It’s popular with customers, who praise it as an efficient anti-virus solution that does a good job of detecting viruses and ensuring that endpoints are free of threats. Users also praise it for being very secure but also very low impact, so that endpoints, whether desktop or mobile devices, don’t see any performance issues. However, some MSP customers have criticized Avast, arguing that their licenses can be a pain to manage. We’d recommend Avast to small and medium sized companies looking for a very light, easy to use endpoint protection platform with a good level of threat protection on offer.
Bitdefender GravityZone Ultra
Bitdefender Gravity Zone is an all in one endpoint protection platform, delivering both protection and threat detection and response. Bitdefender utilizes machine learning for behavioral monitoring and attack prevention, which they argue stops threats that traditional endpoint protection and anti-virus technologies will miss. They also offer enhanced endpoint control, with patch management, web threat protection and application and device controls to help organizations manage endpoint devices. Bitdefender can be delivered via the cloud, or on-premises.
Bitdefender’s key strengths are its threat research and ease of management, alongside strong threat protection. Behavioral based anti-virus can help to prevent attacks against the endpoint. Bitdefender also has a large R&D team, which helps to keep it on top of new and emerging threats. Bitdefender’s entire endpoint suite is also managed from one admin console.
Bitdefender customers praise the service for ease of use, strong threat protection and their lightweight endpoint client. Users suggest that using GravityZone in the cloud makes managing endpoints ‘seamless’. The central location to manage the application and end users’ stations is very popular with users. However, some customers have suggested that the service lacks some more advanced features offered by other endpoint protection vendors. The service is popular among small to mid-sized organizations, with some enterprise customers as well. We’d recommend it to organizations that need strong endpoint threat protection in an easy-to-manage solution.
Crowdstrike offer a comprehensive suite of Endpoint Protection options under their ‘Falcon’ name. They’ve turned Endpoint Protection into a service, with different options for Enterprise, small and midsized customers, each with unique detection and response AV capabilities. Crowdstrike were recently recognized by Gartner as one of the leading vendors for endpoint protection, and the company is rapidly growing. They’re operating in over 176 countries, with an increasing market share for endpoint solutions.
Crowdstrike protects against malware attacks and provides continues and comprehensive visibility across all of your endpoint devices. Crowdstrike can also identify and alert admins to unauthorized systems and applications in real time, to allow for faster remediation of threats. Crowdstrike also employ experienced cybersecurity analysts to can provide managed detection and response, and managed threat hunting. Key strengths of this service are the simple deployments, strong threat detection capabilities and the broad range of endpoints they can protect. The solution is fully cloud based, with no on-premise option.
Crowdstrike customers praise the service, with many complimenting the power of the threat detection and the real-time admin alerts. The solution is most suitable for enterprise customers, although Crowdstrike does offer a solution for smaller and midsized organizations. As a cloud-based endpoint solution, Crowdstrike is a good option for organizations looking for powerful endpoint security delivered as a service, with flexible pricing options and fast deployment.
ESET Endpoint Security
ESET offer a range of endpoint security solutions to monitor device performance and identify and block threats. ESET provide Endpoint Security, Endpoint Detection and Response, Zero-Day threat sandboxing and threat monitoring and threat hunting. These are all separate products, but are delivered as one bundle, ESET Targeted Attack Protection. ESET have a global customer base; they are prevalent in European, Latin American and Asia/Pacific regions.
ESET’s Endpoint Security is fully featured endpoint protection solution. Its key security features are protection against ransomware, targeted attacks and data breaches. ESET uses anti-virus technologies alongside additional security measures to improve the security of endpoint devices. They provide a two-way firewall, which prevents unauthorized access to your company network. ESET also utilize behavioral based security, which monitors system activity and uses a pre-defined set of rules to identify and stop malicious behavior. Gartner points out that a weakness with ESET is that the MacOS agent is lacking some functionality.
ESET’s combined Targeted Attack Protection bundle is best suited for global enterprise organizations who are looking for a comprehensive endpoint management and protection solution. However, ESET’s Cloud management portal is only available to small and mid-sized organizations at the moment, with an enterprise version coming in 2020. ESET has a large market share with SMB customers. We recommend that SMB customers looking for lightweight, cloud-based endpoint security with strong threat protection consider ESET Endpoint Security.
McAfee Endpoint Security
McAfee Endpoint Security provides an integrated, centrally managed endpoint protection platform, with advanced threat protection. They used advanced detection capabilities for threat detection, including machine learning and credential theft monitoring. McAfee also offers MVISION, a premium endpoint detection and response (EDR) platform, which is fully cloud based. McAfee’s endpoint solution works well with their wider suite of security products, which includes a secure web gateway and CASB solution.
The key strengths of the McAfee platform are its threat detection and response, which integrates well with windows. Gartner also reports that McAfee provides flexible cloud storage and retention options. McAfee have a focus on automation, using machine learning and behavioral analysis to allow endpoints to communicate and detect threats more quickly. This means that there is less of a need for manual detections and remediations, as McAfee can provide automatic analysis, containment and remediation of threats to your endpoint.
McAfee MVISION is suited to larger customers who will be looking for strong EDR solution with powerful and automated threat detection and response. McAfee customers praise the service for its ease of use for end users. However, some have suggested that the client itself takes up too much space on devices. McAfee’s anti-virus endpoint security is popular among mid-sized organizations.
Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection
Microsoft’s Endpoint Protection is tightly integrated with Windows 10. Microsoft describe it as being a unified platform for protecting devices with behavioral based anti-virus, post-breach detection, automation and response. Microsoft also provides an incident response console, which provides alerts and incident response activities across the Defender ATP program, as well as ATP, Office 365, Azure and Active Directory.
Defender ATP works natively with Windows 10 but is also available across different environments with a version for Mac and Linux. Gartner reports that Windows Defender Anti-Virus become the most popular business endpoint protection platform, making it the market leader in this space. However, they do state that the licensing is difficult to navigate, and that feature parity is not on par with third party endpoint protection solutions. This has been reinforced by independent research which shows Defender does not rank highly against competitors in terms of threat protection.
Customers online praise Microsoft Defender, with some reporting that since installing the service they have seen ‘greater security and efficiency.’. Windows Defender is a good option therefore for Windows customers who are looking for a solution to manage their Windows 10 endpoints, without wanting to use a third-party endpoint protection tool.
SentinelOne is described as an ‘Autonomous AI platform’ for defending against attacks to the endpoint. Through a single agent, SentinelOne detects, responds and stops threats across the endpoint. It’s designed with ease of use in mind; utilizing artificial intelligence to automatically eliminate threats in real time, saving IT security teams time and improving their security efficacy. The solution also provides detailed reports, giving admins teams enhanced visibility across their networks. SentinelOne’s platform has grown rapidly in the last few years, and was recognized by Gartner as one of the top endpoint protection vendors in 2019. SentinelOne can be deployed across cloud environments and as an on-premise solution.
SentinelOne’s key features are it’s highly automated endpoint threat protection capabilities, with a focus on innovative security approaches. SentinelOne deploys AI algorithms to protect against a wide array of threat vectors in real-time. They argue that this improves security efficiency, by eliminating cloud latency and the need for human intervention. SentinelOne also offers ‘Ranger’ which turns every endpoint into a sentinel which hunts rouge devise and can implement dynamic policies. SentineOne provides a high level of agent performance according to Gartner. However, they do caution that SentinelOne’s market presence is mostly in North American and the EMEA.
SentinelOne is popular with customers, with online reviews indicating high levels of customer satisfaction. Many praise its effectiveness of threat protection and the simplicity of the service. Users have also reported that deployment is very easy, with minimal impact on their production environment. SentinelOne is a good option for organizations looking for a new approach to endpoint security, with a more automated, simplified approach to endpoint security, without compromising on strong endpoint security functionality.
Sophos Endpoint Protection
Sophos Endpoint Protection aims to simplify endpoint protection for organizations, making it simpler to secure Windows, Mac and Linux systems. It provides protection from malware and malicious web traffic. It also allows admins greater control over web content, applications devices and data controls, with comprehensive policy enforcement. The platform can be deployed as a cloud-based console or installed on premise.
In January 2019, Sophos purchased DarkBytes, an endpoint forensics vendor. This service has been incorporated into Sophos’ managed detection and response platform. In October 2019, Sophos agreed to an acquisition by Thoma Bravo, who have said they intend to keep Sophos as a standalone company.
Sophos customers praise the security features offered, arguing that it ‘stops zero-day malware’ and provides advanced anti-ransomware functionality. Customers also praise Sophos for its ease of use. Sophos provides one single admin console, from which all endpoints can be managed, which Gartner argues is visually appealing. However, both customer feedback and Gartner’s report suggests that some customers have experienced slow installs and software updates. Sophos is a good option for mid-market and enterprise organizations to consider.
Symantec Endpoint Protection
Symantec is another of the market leaders for endpoint protection, with a large customer base of large company and enterprise. They provide a complete, integrated endpoint solution, which can be deployed on premise or as a cloud-based solution. Symantec Cloud Endpoint Security provides full endpoint protection, as well as cloud managed endpoint detection and response, which is delivered through a single agent. In August 2019, Symantec’s enterprise security division, including Symantec Endpoint Security, was purchased by Broadcom.
Symantec offer a fully featured endpoint protection solution, with strong threat prevention capabilities, including file-less attack protection, enhanced mobile application security, protection for cloud-connected users and the ability to monitor and block unauthorized access. Symantec utilizes AI to make policy updates easier and simplify workflows for admin teams.
Until recently, Symantec was the market leader in endpoint security, now it’s behind Microsoft with its market share still declining. The Broadcom acquisition has concerned cyber security analysts and many Symantec customers, who fear that cuts will be made to support. Broadcom have made it clear they will focus on growth in the Global 2000 market, which has concerned smaller organizations using the service. The overall effect of this has been that many customers are now looking for alternatives to the Symantec Endpoint Security solution. Other vendors are using this opportunity to their advantage, with some offering special offers to Symantec customers. Overall, Symantec offer a comprehensive and powerful endpoint security solution, but the Broadcom acquisition puts their suitability for small and mid-sized organizations into question.
Trend Micro offers a full endpoint protection suite. It protects physical endpoints, PCs and Servers, Mac computers and Point of Sale and ATM Endpoints. Trend MIcro is delivered as a single agent which provides automated detection and response and centralized visibility and control. Trend provides strong protection against malware and ransomware, with advanced protection capabilities to protect against both known and unknown threats.
Trend’s protects a wide range of endpoint devices, and it’s a suitable solution for newer endpoints and servers as well as legacy operating systems for users with older devices. Trend Micro customers praise the strong threat protection it offers, to protect shared files, hosts and servers from viruses malware and ransomware. Customers also suggest that it’s easy to install and lightweight. Trend is a good solution for mid-market to larger enterprise customers. It offers powerful threat protection and is available around the world, with a strong partner network.
Webroot Business Endpoint Protection
Webroot Endpoint Protection provides organizations with multi-vector endpoint protection. The Webroot solution is purpose built for SMBs and for MSPs, designed to provide fast and effective, as well as easy to use endpoint security. As an MSP and SMB focused solution, it provides enhanced automation and full scalability, as well as easy integrations with RMM platforms. Webroot endpoint protection installs to endpoints in 30 seconds and is managed by one single cloud-based management console. Webroot was acquired by data-protection provider Carbonite in February 2019. Carbonite themselves were acquired by OpenText in November 2019.
Webroot offer multi-layered user and device defenses to prevent viruses, malware, trojans, phishing, ransomware and spyware. It also provides strong controls to protect user identity as privacy, as well as dynamic risk prevention. Webroot uses machine learning to classify threats, and use BrightCloud’s threat intelligence services, which are trusted by 85+ network and security vendors around the world. Webroot works across endpoint devices and operating systems, supporting Mac, Windows and well as virtualization, terminal server, and Citrix environments.
Webroot’s SMB customers praise it for its ‘lightweight’ and ‘effective’ endpoint protection. They argue that the platform is easy to use overall, and doesn’t slow down devices, with no noticeable impact on PCs. MSP customers also complement the service, with many praising the effectiveness of the service and the positive customer feedback they get using the solution. We’d recommend Webroot to small and mid-sized organizations and MSPs in particular, who are looking for a powerful and easy to use endpoint anti-virus solution to protect their users’ endpoints.