What is an endpoint?
Endpoints are physical devices that connect to a network system such as mobile devices, desktop computers, virtual machines, embedded devices, and servers.
Endpoint security best practices
Safeguarding endpoints can help keep organizational data secure. Follow these best practices to defend against cyberthreats.
Employees are the first line of defense in endpoint security. Keep them informed with regular security and compliance training, and alerts.
Keep track of all devices that connect to your network. Update your inventory frequently. Make sure endpoints have the latest software updates and patches.
Adopt Zero Trust
Support a Zero Trust security model. Manage and grant access with continual verification of identities, devices, and services.
Strengthen security with encryption, which adds another layer of protection to devices and data.
Enforce strong passwords
Require complex passwords, enforce regular password updates, and prohibit the use of old passwords.
Keep systems, software, and patches updated
Conduct frequent updates of operating systems, application, and security software.
Learn more about Microsoft Security
Complete endpoint security
Discover how to secure Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, iOS, and network devices against threats.
Flexible endpoint management
Get endpoint security and device management in a unified management platform.
Secure remote work
Extend protection to devices using Microsoft solutions so remote employees can stay secure.
Endpoints are devices that connect to and exchange information with a computer network. Here are some examples of endpoints:
- Internet-of-Things devices like cameras, lighting, refrigerators, security systems, smart speakers, and thermostats
Devices that a network runs on are not endpoints—they’re customer premise equipment (CPE). Here are examples of CPE that aren’t endpoints:
- load balancers
- network gateways
Endpoint security covers a range of services, strategies, and solutions including:
Endpoint protection helps protect endpoints—devices like laptops and smartphones that connect to a network—from malicious actors and exploits.
Cybercriminals target endpoints because they can help attackers gain access to corporate networks. Organizations of all sizes are vulnerable because attackers are constantly developing new ways to steal their valuable data.
Endpoint protection helps keep customer data, employees, critical systems, and intellectual property safe from cyber criminals.
An application programming interface, or API, is a connection that makes it possible for computers or computer programs to interact with each other. APIs allow us to share important data between applications, devices, and individuals. A useful way to think of APIs as a waiter in a restaurant. A waiter takes a customer’s order, gives it to the cook, and brings the meal to the customer. Similarly, an API gets a request from an application, interacts with a server or data source to process a response, and then delivers that response to the application.
Here are a few examples of common APIs used in everyday life:
- Weather apps use APIs to get meteorological information from a third party
- Paying with PayPal uses APIs so online shoppers can make their purchases without logging into their financial institutions directly or exposing sensitive information
- Travel sites use APIs to collect information on flights and share the lowest price options
An endpoint is a device like a smartphone or laptop that connects to a network.
An API endpoint is the URL of a server or service.