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What is endpoint detection and response (EDR) software?
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) software helps organizations continuously monitor, investigate, and respond to active threats that target network endpoints.
An effective EDR system should include the following capabilities:
- Incident data search and investigation
- Alert triage or suspicious activity validation
- Suspicious activity detection
- Threat hunting or data exploration
- Stopping malicious activity
The benefits of EDR software
Network breaches are becoming more prevalent and most of the breaches are initiated via endpoints such as desktops, mobile devices, or servers. A well-implemented EDR strategy offers tremendous benefits, such as:
- Real-time protection against new threats: AV-Test, an IT security company, registers over 350,000 new malware and potentially unwanted applications every day. EDR software collects endpoint data that offer granular visibility around patterns, behavior, and other clues to identify and highlight potentially harmful applications and new malware in real time. Availability of real-time information can help IT teams safeguard networks from both existing and new threats.
- Proactive cyber defense using data analytics: EDR solutions are not just restricted to securing endpoints and networks—they also help in investigating threats. EDR solutions continuously monitor online and offline endpoints, and collect data on historical events that can be used to map out guidelines to prevent future incidents. These solutions also provide intelligent feeds to IT security teams that can help them avoid critical damage before it’s too late.
Typical features of EDR software
- Alerts/notifications: Send alerts and notify critical stakeholders whenever the solution discovers a threat or anomaly in the network.
- Anomaly/malware detection: Scan and detect potentially dangerous and harmful software that can disrupt or damage an endpoint or gain unauthorized access to a network.
- Reporting/analytics: View and track metrics related to network security.
- Remediation management: Identify and implement steps to restore systems to optimal conditions.
- Behavioral analytics: Continuously track the behavior of the systems connected to a network to check for anomalies.
- Continuous monitoring: Continuously assess and monitor system health and application usage.
Considerations when purchasing endpoint detection and response software
- Basic vs. high-end EDR solution: EDR software typically begins by collecting, storing, and analyzing large amounts of data which it uses to offer security insights to IT teams. Basic solutions may simply collect data and present the information on the screen; the decision to quarantine or delete infected files depends on the in-house security experts. Advanced solutions, on the other hand, may analyze the scan results and then self-clean the system.
- Cloud vs. on-premise: Cloud deployment of the software offers benefits such as a lower upfront cost, faster service delivery, and remote management. But it stores your data on third-party servers, which limits your control over your data. If you’re willing to share your business and security data with a third-party service provider, opt for cloud-based option; otherwise, go with on-premise deployment.
Relevant EDR software trends
- EDR market to grow: The EDR market is expected to grow at almost 50% annually through 2020 , and most large enterprises will have EDR capabilities by 2025.The growth will be driven by the fact that current EDR implementation spans only 40 million endpoints; there are over 711 million desktops, laptops and other devices that can still utilize this software.
- EPP and EDR to consolidate: Endpoint protection platforms (EPP) will consolidate with EDR in the near future, triggered by businesses no longer solely relying on protection solutions; they need more advanced solutions that can detect and respond to live threats while constantly protecting the networks. Approximately 40% of EDR deployments are using both EDR and EPP from the same vendor. Going forward, vendors will bundle their EPP and EDR offerings into one consolidated application.
- Machine learning and AI : EDR applications collect huge amount of data every minute. It’s not possible for humans to manage and analyze such volume of data. That's why vendors are now adding AI capabilities to their solutions to speed up the scanning process and proactively detect threats. Machine learning helps identify new practices of attacks and update the application based on ever-changing user and endpoint behavior.