Endpoint Detection Response (EDR): A New Way to Protect Your Endpoints

April 28, 2022

By Victor Aranda and Timothy Beatty

Today, cyber threat is a constant concern – and bad actors are growing more sophisticated every day. According to IBM, 2021 had the highest average cost for data breaches in the last 17 years. Many threats nowadays use patterns that are not easily identifiable by the previous antivirus protections, rendering more traditional practices ineffective. As a response to this, many companies are integrating endpoint detection and response, better known as EDR, as the primary security tool to protect their company endpoints. EDR provides a proactive cybersecurity approach that can be more effective in identifying never before seen threats.

What is EDR?

The key functions of an EDR security tool are to monitor, detect, and respond to threats so they can be deleted or isolated for further investigation. Unlike traditional antivirus protection and recognized as the next level of protection for endpoints, EDR uses multiple investigative tools, continuously monitoring for any suspicious system activities that can potentially become a threat.  EDR can also be configured to automatically contain and restore a compromised endpoint.  Usually, most of the data collected are stored in a database locally or in the cloud. This information is used to help the EDR’s artificial intelligence (“AI”) learn and adapt to new threats.

What is the difference between EDR and a traditional antivirus protection?

A traditional antivirus protection can only find the indication of a compromised endpoint.  EDR is designed to expose the system behaviors or actions that could potentially turn into a threat.  A traditional antivirus is generally focused on file-level scanning and detection using a signature-based database.  Often, live monitoring and scheduled scans can only detect threats based on the antivirus’s signature database after an infection has occurred. A traditional antivirus protection can only try to clean up or repair the infection after it has started, often leaving the system in an inoperable state.

EDR can use all forms of detection, investigation tools, and virus signature databases, and continuously monitors all system activities, scanning memory, running processes, and network connections. Utilizing AI, machine learning, global databases for newly identified threats, and common attack routines, it is designed to proactively stop the threats before they are able to change any files or extract any data. With all this information, the EDR platform can visually display a chain of attacks, thus helping to prevent future evolution of methods and strengthening an organization’s security posture.

Why is EDR needed?

 Today's growing security breaches including zero-day attacks and persistent cybersecurity threats are a serious issue for any business or organization.  These malicious threats are usually unknown and much harder to prevent with a traditional antivirus solution.  EDR represents the next wave in security tools for combatting these newly sophisticated threats. With EDR’s forensic and investigative tools, attacks can be recorded and tracked.  This allows the security analysis to focus on the process of proactively trying to destroy the method of attack. 

EDR is one of the most effective tools available to help organizations quickly monitor, detect, respond, and prevent suspicious activities running on their endpoints.  EDR’s AI-based analytics with machine learning provide an almost perfect solution to minimize today’s security threats; and feeds the EDR’s ability to learn and improve its ability to detect and prevent future versions of new threats.

About Victor Aranda

Victor Aranda is a seasoned IT professional who, for more than 20 years, has focused on technology solutions and he has embodied the gamut of the ever-changing IT industry using his skills.