Endpoint Antivirus vs. Endpoint Security

Endpoint Antivirus vs. Endpoint Security

The difference between endpoint antivirus and endpoint security

Antivirus and endpoint security are the same thing, right? The answer is: yes and no. Typically, you’re more likely to hear the word “antivirus” in the home user space, while “endpoint security” or “endpoint protection” is more common as a term in the business space. In part, that’s because one is a single component of the other.

Also known as anti malware, antivirus is software that is specifically designed to be installed on an individual device, such as a computer, tablet, mobile phone, or server, to detect and remove viruses and other malware. Today’s antivirus software can protect users from a variety of threats, such as keyloggers, rootkits, Trojans, worms, adware, and spyware. Some products may include other features, such as anti-phishing protection or malicious URL blocking.

Typically, endpoint security includes antivirus/anti malware protection, but is not limited to this level of protection. Endpoint security extends beyond antivirus, including next-generation protection features like advanced persistent threat detection, investigation, and response, device management, data leak prevention, and others. Additionally, antivirus software is meant to be installed on an individual device basis, whereas endpoint security is usually installed on multiple machines that are networked together, and is managed centrally by an IT administrator. Therefore, endpoint security offers a centralized administration portal from which admins can deploy and manage protection for numerous devices at once. Antivirus, as a more simplified solution, typically does not offer this kind of management capability.

Which solution is right for your business?

Depending on the size and needs of your business, either an antivirus or endpoint security solution could do the trick. Here’s the quickest formula for deciding which type of product you need.

Do you need to protect 5 or fewer devices?
If you only have 5 or fewer end users or devices to secure, and don’t expect to scale up to have more, you may want to stick with a business antivirus.

Do you need to protect typical endpoints only, such as PCs and smartphones? Or do you also need to protect servers and virtual environments?
If you only need to protect 5 or fewer computers, laptops, or mobile devices, antivirus sounds like the solution for you.

Do you need to protect remote workers or additional worksites, or are all your machines in the same office?
If you can physically see all the systems you need to protect, we recommend antivirus.

If you need to protect more than 5 devices, need security for virtual environments and servers, or need to be able to centrally manage security for remote workers or different offices/worksites, you’ll want to look into an endpoint security solution. Although business antivirus is capable of providing adequate protection for these cases, it won’t have the kind of management/deployment options IT admins would need to run a streamlined security operation.