What Is EDR?

Endpoint detection and response combines real-time, continuous monitoring , endpoint data collection, and advanced correlation to detect and respond to suspicious activities at host and endpoint connections. This approach enables security teams to rapidly identify and correlate activities to produce high-confidence detections with both manual and automated response options.


Endpoints are some of the most vulnerable points in your network. According to a recent study by the Ponemon Institute, 68% of organizations have been affected by one or more endpoint attacks ending in compromised data or the entirety of an infrastructure. Further, the same report revealed that 68% of workers in IT found that said attacks had increased from the year before.

With ransomware and malware attacks becoming more frequent and aggressive, having an endpoint detection and response system in place to help pinpoint possible threats and investigate them is integral to organizations of every size.

Endpoint detection and response helps mitigate these threat campaigns by continuously scanning for suspicious behavior and alerting your security team to any possible threats that need to be neutralized. EDR allows you to monitor both endpoint, server, and host access points constantly, while perpetually searching for anything that could be a threat.

EDR security solutions record all the activities and events taking place on an endpoint. Some vendors may also extend this service to any workloads connected to your network as well. These records, or event logs, can then be used to uncover incidents that may otherwise remain undetected. Real-time monitoring detects threats much faster, before they can spread beyond the user endpoint.

The benefits of endpoint detection and response include the ability to speed up investigations, rapidly identify vulnerabilities, and respond quicker using manual and automatic options to any malicious activity.

However, with the advancement of XDR solutions — that go beyond a single vector to include additional security layers like email, network, cloud workload, and more — EDR is quickly becoming a siloed approach. It isn't the be all and end all to your detection and response strategy, as it exists as another data input to XDR. A simple way to look at how endpoint detection and response systems work is by considering the door of your home an endpoint.

Simply put, endpoint detection and response is an important strategy when it comes to mitigating risk in a secure environment, but it’s important to consider other security layers when building a strong risk management strategy.

Continuous and comprehensive visibility

Your network’s security team has an important job to do. On top of ensuring the network is stable and secure, they must monitor any possible threats or issues that occur over time.

With endpoint detection and response, your security team receives real-time alerts about possible issues that may arise over time. This may include unexpected endpoint activity or potential attempts to infect your endpoints with malware or ransomware. Because cybersecurity threats continue to grow each year, it is prudent to provide your security team with the tools they need to keep a constant, watchful eye on everything happening within your network.

Detect, investigate, and review

With EDR, your security technology can detect and track the movement of potential threats in the environment. Once detected, these issues can be delegated to your security team for further investigation. Because EDR security solutions can monitor endpoints, servers and workloads, the ability to investigate and respond to threats that are detected is key for providing a secure platform for your business.

EDR can uncover stealthy attackers thanks to its continuous and comprehensive visibility across all your endpoints. This means you’ll get a comprehensive view of activity happening on your endpoints, and can easily respond to any anomalies that arise.

Some examples of useful information EDR can provide your security team:

  • User accounts that have logged in, both directly or through remote access
  • Any changes made to ASP keys, executables, and other usage of administrative tools
  • A list of process executions
  • Records of file creation, including .ZIP and .RAR files
  • Usage of removable media, such as USB drives
  • All local and external addresses that have connected to the host

EDR gives you complete oversight of your endpoint’s security-related processes. This expanded coverage allows your security team to focus on issues in real time and observe any commands or processes that may be in use on your endpoint.

Proactive defense

Endpoint detection and response enables more proactive defense for your network by allowing threat hunters to search for threats that may appear on your network and at various endpoints. These hunters can search for and investigate any threats the system detects and advise your security team of the issues and activities so that it can be taken care of quickly.

Alert fatigue

Security alerts are a critical component of cyber threat management. While they offer up-to-the-minute visibility over what's occurring within your environment, they can also create alert fatigue, which can negatively affect key performance indicators like mean-time-to-respond (MTTR) and mean-time-to-detect (MTTD).

Alert fatigue can occur when a security team is regularly exposed to an excessive number of alerts. Over time, this can overwhelm analysts and impact response time.

On their own, alerts usually nothing to get too worried about. But when several alarms sound at regular intervals, analysts can spend most of their time investigating false positives, letting the potential costly or devastating security incidents fall by the wayside.

When it comes to day-to-day monitoring, analysts will ultimately be sifting through multiple alerts meant to help mitigate cyber risk. Over time, this can lead to burnout as security teams struggle to stay on top of what can often be an overwhelming number of alerts to respond to. EDR and a selection of optimized automated responses can help to reduce alert fatigue.

Leaving continuous monitoring and the collection of endpoint data, as well as customized automated responses to an EDR security solution can reduce stress on analysts and leave them to perform their job duties in a much less stressful manner.

Accelerated remediation

Endpoint detection and response uses the implementation of deep analysis and forensics. Because the EDR technology is handling the heavy lifting, your security team can focus on taking response actions against any issues that arise as quickly as possible. This leads to accelerated remediation, which means less time for potential risks to cause problems within your network. With EDR, your security team can identify and handle threats before they become a full-on breach.

Prevention can’t stop all threats

If you don’t have an EDR solution in your security stack , you may not be doing all you can to proactively monitor possible issues. If traditional point products and prevention systems fail, without EDR, bad actors can have access to your system for weeks, maybe even months, without your security team’s knowledge. EDR helps reduce this possibility by providing real-time monitoring to help weed out any issues that might slip through your preventive measures.

As noted, without technology in place to monitor your environment continuously, bad actors can gain access to your network and then return at will. This opens the door for malware and ransomware to collect data or for outsiders to access confidential data. With EDR, your system will always be under a watchful eye. That means any threats that make it through will be identified and can be handled before they grow larger in scope.

Data isn’t enough

Collecting data about threats on your endpoints isn’t always enough. Your security team should be outfitted with all the tools they need to handle any issues or threats that arise. Without actionable intelligence, the threats cannot be handled, which could leave bad actors with access to important data.

Further, EDR will allow your security team to take full advantage of a new set of tools that might not have been previously available to them. EDR can open the doors that your security team needs to be able to perform at their highest quality and speed. Acting on threats quickly is just as important as identifying the threats.

With EDR, your team can combine the real-time monitoring systems with the data they already have to help pinpoint where threats came from, how they gained access to the system, and even what kinds of systems might have been affected by the threat. This is key, especially as you fight back against the growing cybersecurity issues plaguing many companies today.

Additionally, EDR allows your security team to expedite the process. Remediation, when it takes too long, can prove to be quite costly. It can cost you data, and possibly even money if ransomware is involved in the attack. With EDR, your system will be constantly monitored so that your security team can focus its efforts on dealing with threats before they get access to sensitive data and cost you time and money.

Protection in the cloud

Most EDR systems are delivered through cloud-based solutions. This is an important element, as cloud-based solutions ensure there’s no impact on endpoints. If a threat is detected or if an endpoint is taken down, cloud-based EDR systems can operate as normal, as your security environment maintains the same level of complete monitoring and protection from potential risks.

Additionally, a cloud-based EDR system means that real-time monitoring and other important security aspects can never be bogged down by issues that arise across various endpoints.

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