Endpoint vs Network Cybersecurity: What’s the Difference?

Cybersecurity solutions and activities are often classified as either endpoint or network, depending on where exactly they protect against cyber threats. Hackers use a variety of channels to perform cyber attacks. While both endpoint and network cybersecurity are designed to protect against cyber attacks, they aren’t necessarily the same. Rather, endpoint and network cybersecurity protect different platforms against cyber threats.

What Is Endpoint Cybersecurity?

Also known simply as endpoint security, endpoint cybersecurity involves protecting computers and other end-user devices from cyber threats. It works by both preventing and eliminating cyber threats on end-user devices.

Antivirus software, for instance, is frequently used as an endpoint cybersecurity solution. It’s installed directly on a device, after which it protects the device from viruses and malware. Another common endpoint cybersecurity solution is data encryption software.

Endpoint cybersecurity covers all types of end-user devices, some of which include the following:

  • Desktop computers
  • Laptop computers
  • Tablet computers
  • Servers
  • Smartphones
  • Smartwatches
  • Printers
  • Fax machines
  • Point-of-sale (POS) terminals
  • All other wireless devices that can send and receive data

What Is Network Cybersecurity?

Network cybersecurity, on the other hand, involves protecting networks from cyber threats. It refers to a broad group of solutions and activities that seek to protect a network from cyber threats.

A common network cybersecurity solution is a firewall. While firewalls can protect end-user devices from cyber threats as well, they are deployed on a network where they scan incoming and outgoing traffic for cyber threats. Firewalls typically operate using a set of rules. If the traffic fails to pass a rule, the firewall will flag it as a cyber threat, thus blocking the traffic from the network.

Using the right security standard for a Wi-Fi can also protect the network from cyber threats. WPA2, for instance, is a newer and more secure standard than WPA. Therefore, it’s typically recommended over the older and less-secure WPA standard.

What About Internet Cybersecurity?

A third classification of cybersecurity solutions and activities is internet cybersecurity. As you may have guessed, it involves protecting against cyber threats that occur on or over the internet. The internet has become a common channel used by hackers to steal data, distribute ransomware and conduct other cyber attacks. Internet cybersecurity is a broad term that covers all solutions and activities that seek to protect against internet-related cyber threats.

The internet is technically a network, so internet-related cybersecurity solutions and activities are often classified as network cybersecurity.