Cybersecurity Glossary


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What Is an Endpoint?  

An endpoint is any physical device that resides at the end point of a network connection and can communicate on that network. In short, an endpoint is anything on your network that can receive and transmit data. 

Endpoint Examples

  • Desktops
  • Laptops
  • Servers
  • Mobile devices
  • Workstations
  • IoT technology

Why the Proper Endpoint Definition Matters 

If we limit what we consider an endpoint, then we risk missing essential visibility that can help an organization detect a potential threat. A successful approach to endpoint security is one that includes visibility into any physical device that can transmit and receive data on your network.   

Endpoint Cybersecurity Risks 

Endpoints pose a difficult challenge to an organization’s IT and security teams. The make and model of endpoints vary widely, as does the operating system, the apps or programs installed on them, and the security habits of each endpoint user. The rise of hybrid work has increased these challenges, as endpoints have become more mobile than ever before.  

Common attack types leveraged by cybercriminals against endpoints include phishing, ransomware, and malware. Endpoints are also frequently lost or left unattended, offering threat actors ample opportunity for exploit.  

How to Protect Endpoints 

While endpoints are a tempting target for threat actors, there are best practices your organization can implement to better protect them and, in turn, your entire environment. 

Enable Multi-factor Authentication (MFA) and Password Requirements

Passwords alone are insufficient in protecting endpoints. Too often, they are either weak enough to be guessed or cracked through a brute-force attack, or too complex to remember. Establishing strong password requirements, including minimum length and special character requirements, is necessary in addition to activating MFA.

MFA acts as an additional security measure to a login and is defined as two or more forms of verification factors that are needed to gain access. For example, entering a password and then approving the login attempt on your mobile phone. 

Adopt a Zero Trust Policy

With zero trust, every user is held to the same scrutiny when trying to access a system, program, or asset – all of the time. Zero trust is intended to shrink the potential attack surface during a breach by proactively limiting what users can access within a network or system. As the saying goes, “never trust, always verify.” 

Provide Proper Training

An effective security awareness training program encourages users to think of themselves as the first line of defense in securing their endpoint — because they are. 

Britt Serra

Britt Serra

Britt Serra is a Product Marketing Manager at Arctic Wolf, where she specializes in cloud security and IaaS/SaaS integrations. She has extensive experience with cloud products and building successful technology partnership programs. Britt is passionate about empowering organizations to take control of their security and fight back against cybersecurity threats.
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Additional Resources For

Cybersecurity Beginners