What is EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) and Who Needs It?
Look around your office or business, and you’ll see that staff uses different types of end-user devices like laptops, desktops, and smartphones for work-related purposes. Did you know that devices can form significant weak links that cybercriminals may leverage to launch all sorts of attacks? That’s right – this is known as an Endpoint attack, and it occurs where a hacker targets the user systems rather than the servers by compromising or infiltrating the exposed endpoints.
Thankfully, there’s a way to detect, analyze, block, and contain cyberattacks on endpoints, protecting your computer systems and valuable data. EDR or Endpoint Detection and Response is a modern version of the conventional endpoint security, and it’s equipped with more outstanding visibility capabilities, enabling faster response times.
Curious to discover what EDR is, its key capabilities, and why your organization needs the solution to enhance your cybersecurity posture? Keep scrolling, and you’ll find out!
What is EDR?
Essentially, EDR is an integrated endpoint security solution that continuously monitors computer systems in real-time as well as collects and analyzes endpoint data with a view of detecting security breaches and initiating a quick response to potential or visible threats.
EDR’s goal is to unmask and contain the threat at the endpoint, preventing it from spreading to other parts of the network and IT infrastructure. But there’s more to endpoint detection and response than the mere prevention of attacks. Earlier, we mentioned that EDR is an upgrade to traditional endpoint security. And that’s true because the solution is designed to detect even the most advanced threats, thanks to its greater visibility enabled through machine learning integration.
EDR combines data and behavioural analysis to detect and prevent even the most deeply-rooted attacks from occurring. It achieves this feat by:
- Recording and storing endpoint systems normal behaviours
- Using the most advanced data analytics techniques to detect unusual systems behaviours
- Conducting further investigation over the anomaly to provide contextual analysis
- Categorizing unusual behaviours as malicious and blocking them
- Suggesting remedy actions to contain the attack and restore compromised systems
EDR Capabilities that Set It Apart from Conventional Endpoint Security Solutions
Most conventional endpoint security solutions like antivirus only do as much as preventing malicious activities from entering a network. But what if the threat manoeuvres its way past the antivirus? Wouldn’t it cause far-reaching damages to the entire network and IT infrastructure? Not if you have an EDR solution!
Here are the top EDR capabilities that enable it to prevent threats from moving past endpoint devices as well as detect threats that slip past the endpoints and raise the alarm, allowing experts to contain the spread:
Judging by the latest cybersecurity stats, it’s not a question of whether you may experience a security breach, but when the cybercriminals will come knocking. So threat detection is an elementary fundamental cybersecurity measure – and EDR executes it superbly.
An EDR solution analyzes your files continuously and in real-time, unmasking any maliciously behaving files at the very beginning. That’s not even the best part. A file may be acting in a generally acceptable manner for some time but suddenly begins exhibiting malicious activities. In that case, the EDR solution will detect the anomaly and signal your company immediately for remediation.
And in case you’re wondering how EDR is capable of detecting malicious files, it’s all thanks to cyber threat intelligence. This is nothing short of evidence-backed information collected with the assistance of machine learning, large-scale data, and advanced file analysis, and it helps detect threats.
It is common knowledge; after a threat has been detected, it should be contained promptly to prevent further spread. That’s precisely what EDR does to malicious files that may infect several applications, systems, and users when left alone.
You’re probably debating upon yourself; why not just segment the entire data centre to prevent threats from moving laterally? Segmentation can be a helpful solution in such circumstances. But it’s considerably inefficient, bearing in mind that an EDR solution can contain an ill-intended file before spreading to all the corners of the segmented network.
Ransomware is an excellent example of a cyber threat that needs containment since it can be troubling to remove. Thus, your EDR tool needs to be able to contain it 100%, especially if it already has encrypted information.
After your EDR solution detects and contains a suspicious file, the next assignment is to investigate it to determine if it’s malicious. Perhaps the cyber threat intelligence noticed a never-seen-before behaviour because an application is outdated and needs updating. Hence, the investigation won’t find any malicious activity.
However, if a suspicious file already sneaked its way past the endpoint, the chances are that it’s a vulnerability. So the investigation will be aiming to discover any loopholes in your endpoint systems and seal them to prevent similar future compromises.
The investigative process is never complete without sandboxing – a security strategy for separating IT systems, including endpoints, to mitigate vulnerabilities or failures. Thanks to sandboxing, a malicious file can be isolated into a simulated environment for testing and monitoring. EDR will then try to understand the nature of the file in the controlled setup without risking the larger environment’s safety. After a thorough assessment, EDR will communicate to the cyber threat intelligence to adapt to similar future threats.
An EDR solution that can detect, contain, and investigate a malicious file but draws the line at the elimination stage isn’t good enough. For an EDR solution to be able to eliminate a cyber threat, it must possess top-level visibility, enabling it to answer the following questions:
- Where did the malicious file come from?
- Did the file interact with any data applications? If so, how many?
- Has the file duplicated?
Visibility is critical in threat elimination. If you have the file’s entire timeline inside your systems, then you’re better positioned to remediate your network almost immediately. Thus, an effective EDR tool should be able to provide appealing data on the file’s lifespan. The data can be helpful in promptly remediating the systems back to their original position before the attack.
Pure IT is Your No.1 Cybersecurity Consultant in Calgary
Cybersecurity breaches continue to cause an absolute nightmare world-over, with businesses and organizations being on the highest receiving end. Such cyberattacks as phishing, ransomware, business email compromise, malware, etc., are rampant and can cause far-reaching damages if left alone.
The good news is that the attacks are 100% preventable through the right tools and procedures. Endpoint detection and response is a proven technique that can help prevent cyber threats from infiltrating your systems in the first place. At Pure IT, we provide EDR, among other solutions, to protect Calgary businesses from all sorts of cyberattacks.
Schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our experts today to find out how we can help enhance your cybersecurity posture.