Oftentimes, your organization’s endpoints can become key entry points for cyber attackers. With the evolution of workplace mobility and employees connecting to the Internet from their off-site endpoints across the globe, it should come as no surprise that devices are becoming increasingly vulnerable. And without the proper cybersecurity protection measures in place, malicious hackers can easily take advantage of any existing vulnerabilities. This is why the need for enhanced security tools that surpass traditional Firewalls and Antivirus solutions has emerged as an undeniably top priority for organizations large and small. EDR (short for Endpoint Detection and Response) is the term that encompasses threat hunting, prevention, and detection tools and has become the golden standard in cybersecurity.
In this article, I will try to elude what Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is and why it has become a vital part of your business.
Cybercriminals do their utmost to successfully target and attack your company’s endpoints for various reasons. They might want to exfiltrate your data or hold it for ransom, override your machines, exploit them in a botnet and conduct DDoS attacks, and much more.
What does EDR mean?
The term EDR stands for Endpoint Detection and Response (or Endpoint Threat Detection & Response). It was coined in 2013 by Anton Chuvakin, former VP and security analyst at Gartner, now security product strategist at Google:
“After a long agonizing process that involved plenty of conversations with vendors, enterprises and other analysts, I have settled on this generic name for the tools primarily focused on detecting and investigating suspicious activities (and traces of such) other problems on hosts/endpoints: Endpoint Threat Detection & Response.” – Anton Chuvakin, Gartner’s blog
Essentially, Endpoint Detection Response (EDR) systems have been created to detect and actively respond to sophisticated malware and cyber-attacks. EDR solutions can recognize suspicious patterns that can be further investigated later on. As implied by their name, these tools have been designed specifically for endpoints (and not networks).
Why is EDR important?
Compared to traditional security solutions, EDR provides enhanced visibility into your endpoints and allows for faster response time.
Furthermore, EDR tools detect and protect your organization from advanced forms of malware (such as polymorphic malware), APTs, phishing, etc. It’s also worth mentioning that EDR solutions are based upon machine learning algorithms designed to spot yet unknown types of malware, which will subsequently make behavior-based categorization decisions.
In essence, if certain files seem to behave maliciously (and similar to already known kinds of malware), they will not manage to bypass EDR solutions.
EDR vs. Antivirus – What’s the difference?
In the past, a traditional Antivirus solution may have sufficed to cover the protection of your endpoints. But as malware evolved into more advanced and pervasive forms, it became clear that Antivirus was no longer enough and that prevention and detection mechanisms needed to keep up with the ever-evolving threatscape.
EDR solutions have several unique features and benefits which conventional Antivirus programs do not deliver.
Compared to the novel EDR systems, traditional Antivirus solutions are simpler in nature and should be seen as an important component of EDR.
Normally, Antivirus tools accomplish basic tasks such as scanning, detection, malware remover.
On the other hand, EDR is superior to the traditional Antivirus (which uses signature-based threat detection methods). EDR tools are much broader in scope and should include multiple security layers such as attack blocking, patching, exploit blocking, firewall, whitelisting/blacklisting, full category-based blocking, admin rights management, and a next-gen Antivirus.
EDR security solutions are therefore more suitable for today’s businesses as the traditional Antivirus has become an archaic security tool in terms of guaranteeing complete security.
Simple Antivirus protection is no longer enough.
Thor Premium Enterprise
to organizational defense.
- Next-gen Antivirus which stops known threats;
- DNS traffic filter which stops unknown threats;
- Automatic patches for your software and apps with no interruptions;
- Protection against data leakage, APTs, ransomware and exploits;
The main characteristics and benefits of EDR
The features of Endpoint Detection and Response tools can vary from vendor to vendor, yet we can notice a few main characteristics that define EDR and that are considered essential. Each tool can have a certain degree of sophistication, but below I would like to point out the five major characteristics of EDR:
#1. Integration with multiple tools
EDR solutions always come in multiple tools/layers. They feed intelligence into each other to successfully protect your organization from multiple angles.
#2. Alerts, reporting, and a unified overview of your environment
A dashboard that provides access to your endpoints’ protection status should be a mandatory feature of any EDR solution. At the same time, you should be able to receive timely alerts and have the capability to identify and monitor endpoint security threats and vulnerabilities.
Also, running reports for compliance purposes is a crucial aspect of all EDR tools.
#3. Advanced response capabilities and automation
An EDR technology should provide you with specialized tools for assessing and reacting to security incidents, including prevention, detection, threat intelligence, and forensics. At the same time, automation capabilities are essential.
#4. Global availability
EDR should allow you not to be dependent on platform constraints and be able to manage your environment wherever you or your teams are, at the time of your choosing.
Last in order but not of importance, an effective EDR technology must offer prevention methods and adaptive protection against next-generation malware, based on behavioral analysis of incoming and outgoing traffic in your organization, in order to prevent and mitigate attacks that cannot be detected by reactive solutions like an Antivirus.
Why Is HeimdalTM’s EDR technology the best on the market? Introducing E-PDR, the next-gen approach to EDR.
We’ve combined an Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) with Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and achieved what we consider to be the golden standard in cybersecurity: E-PDR (Endpoint Prevention, Detection, and Response).
Below I will discuss the numerous ways in which you can benefit from our E-PDR technology, superior to other existing EDR tools.
First of all, HeindalTM’s EDR brings you real-time proactive security via DNS filtering, smart threat hunting, proactive behavioral detection, automated patch management, a next-gen Antivirus, and a module for automated admin rights escalation/de-escalation procedures. Thus, we deliver a layered security approach within a single and lightweight agent. Our customers get access to next-gen endpoint threat prevention and protection from existing and undiscovered threats, plus a market-leading detection rate and compliance, all in one package.
System admins waste 30% of their time manually managing user rights or installations.
which frees up huge chunks of sys-admin time.
- Automate the elevation of admin rights on request;
- Approve or reject escalations with one click;
- Provide a full audit trail into user behavior;
- Automatically de-escalate on infection;
Secondly, our dashboard always provides you with notifications and warnings for all active clients. It offers real-time threat and status reporting, delivered in the interval of your choosing. Your data will be graphed and scaled daily, weekly, or monthly and it can also be integrated into SIEM via API. The HeimdalTM Security Unified Threat Dashboard (UTD) stores the entire history throughout your customer lifecycle and helps you perform compliance audits and risk assessments. Alongside weekly reports, data exports, e-mail alerts, and built-in data drill down, the HeimdalTM UTD offers a powerful yet simple way to manage your environment.
Our platform also enables you to define policies for each of your components in great detail. For example, you can refine the blacklisting of websites, files, processes, or patches per active directory group of your HeimdalTM environment. This will give you the powerful option to individually tailor your IT environment and create policies to fit your exact needs across the Active Directory groups in your organization. Once configured, the HeimdalTM deployment is simple and easy and can happen through any MSI deployment tool.
Thirdly, because we’ve taken into consideration the evolving needs of the global enterprise, our E-PDR technology works anytime and anywhere in the world, for both on-site and remote work set-ups.
Last but not least, our multi-layered security suite combined into our E-PDR system comes in a user friendly and easy to deploy agent, that will be extremely lightweight on your systems and will certainly become the greatest time-saver for your sysadmins.
No matter which EDR solution you end up choosing, make sure it can be scaled up and down and that it fits your organization’s needs.