Check Point and Palo Alto are providers of effective endpoint detection and response tools to allow you to surpass detection-based cyber defense and improve your organization’s ability to manage cybersecurity risk. But which tool is best for you?

checkpoint vs paloalto
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What is Check Point?

Check Point Harmony Endpoint (previously SandBlast Agent) is an exhaustive endpoint security solution that prevents imminent endpoint threats like ransomware, phishing and drive-by malware while reducing attack impact using autonomous detection and response. Harmony Endpoint protects the remote workforce from today’s evolving threat landscape.

What is Palo Alto?

Palo Alto Networks Traps is an endpoint solution that prevents and responds to threats to ensure cyberattacks fail by coordinating enforcement with cloud and network security. It combines effective endpoint protection technology with vital EDR capabilities in one agent. Through monitoring attack behaviors and techniques, Palo Alto blocks known and unknown exploits, malware and ransomware.

Check Point vs Palo Alto: Feature comparison

Feature Check Point Palo Alto
Real-time prevention Yes No
Identification Yes Yes
Unified management configuration Yes Yes
Zero-trust approach Yes Yes
Shared threat intelligence Yes Yes

Head-to-head comparison: Check Point vs Palo Alto

Ransomware and malware prevention

Check Point prevents malware from reaching the endpoint through web browsing and email attachments without impacting user productivity. Each file received passes through Check Point’s Threat Emulation sandbox for malware inspection. Check Point’s Threat Extraction process uses content disarm and reconstruction technology to sanitize files in milliseconds. Check Point also automatically restores ransomware-encrypted files from snapshots to maintain business continuity and productivity and keep away ransomware variants.

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Palo Alto reduces the attack surface to improve the accuracy of malware and ransomware protection by preventing malicious executables, DLL files and Office macros. This approach mitigates endpoint infections by known and unknown malware. Palo Alto uses machine learning to perform local analysis of file characteristics. It examines hundreds of characteristics without reliance on prior threat knowledge to provide immediate verdicts before handling threats.

Palo Alto also uses WildFire inspection and analysis to examine unknown files. WildFire uses dynamic, static and bare-metal analysis to provide thorough and evasion-resistant threat identification. It also scans and remediates dormant malicious files without opening them, but itcan generate false positives from time to time.

Block exploit and file-less attacks

Exploit attacks capitalize on system vulnerabilities to hijack or steal resources and data. Check Point’s Anti-Exploit feature prevents legitimate applications from being compromised and their vulnerabilities leveraged by protecting them from exploit-based attacks. It detects both zero-day and unknown attacks. Anti-Exploit identifies dubious memory manipulations in runtime to discover exploits. When it detects an exploited process, it remediates the entire attack chain.

Palo Alto focuses on blocking the exploit techniques of an attack as opposed to individual attacks. Threats are left ineffective by blocking exploit techniques at each step of an exploit attempt, ultimately breaking an attack lifecycle. Palo Alto uses pre-exploit protection to block reconnaissance and vulnerability-profiling methods that precede exploit attacks to prevent attacks.

For zero-day exploits, Palo Alto implements technique-based exploit prevention to thwart attack techniques to manipulate legitimate applications. It implements kernel exploit prevention to prevent exploits that target operating system vulnerabilities to devise processes with system-level privileges.

Behavior-based protection

Check Point’s Behavioral Guard takes an adaptive approach to the detection and blocking of malware mutations. Blocking occurs based on the real-time behavior of mutations. Blocking of malware mutations, along with their identification and classification, is also based on similarities between minimal process execution trees.

Harmony Endpoint Anti-Bot protection is part of Check Point’s behavioral protection. The Check Point Endpoint Anti-Bot component prevents bot threats to ensure users are safe from denial-of-service attacks and data theft while ensuring that their productivity is not impacted by irregular bandwidth consumption. It utilizes the ThreatCloud repository to classify bots and viruses as it has more than 250 million addresses previously analyzed for bot discovery. Check Point also uses behavioral protection to detect and prevent ransomware.

Palo Alto enacts behavioral threat protection to detect and halt attack activity. It monitors for malicious events across processes and terminates detected attacks. Palo Alto also uses Granular Child Process Protection to block fileless and script-based attacks that deliver malware. Since child processes can be used to bypass traditional security, Granular Child Process Protection blocks known processes from launching various child processes.

Choosing between Check Point and Palo Alto

As much as Check Point offers a modern endpoint solution that is part of a broad and integrated product portfolio, its range of attack surface reduction features is modest. It is however cheaper than the Palo Alto endpoint solution.

Check Point should be considered by enterprises that are subscribed to Check Point’s non-endpoint products to reduce vendor relationships and overhead and get the most out of Check Point’s integrated portfolio. Palo Alto’s EDR product is best suited for enterprises with the most crucial security needs that require a sophisticated solution and have a greater budget at their disposal.