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October 17, 2021 - No Comments!

What is Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR Security)?

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), also termed Endpoint Threat Detection and Response (ETDR), is an endpoint security tool integrated into your cyber system to give you a real-time continuous monitor for malicious activity. It does this while collecting endpoint data for behavioral analysis with a rule-based automated response.

This term was suggested by Anton Chuvakin at Gartner to describe emerging advanced security systems and tools primarily focused on detecting and investigating suspicious activities on hosts and endpoints. These tools employ a high degree of automation that enables your security team to identify and respond to these cyber threats quickly.

EDR is a relatively new category of solutions that can be compared to Advanced Threat Protection (ATP) in terms of giving overall security capabilities. It is an emerging technology that gives you continuous monitoring and a response system to remediate threats on an advanced level. Arguably, it can be termed as a form of advanced threat protection.

This is an essential tool, and its primary functions include:

  1. Monitor running processes and collect activity data from endpoints indicating a threat
  2. Analyze this data through behavioral analytics to identify any threat patterns
  3. Automatically respond to the identified threats by either removing or containing them and notifying the security team of the managed detection
  4. Provide remediation suggestions
  5. Using forensics and various data analytics techniques to research the identified threats and search for any more suspicious activities

How Does It Work?

Endpoint Detection and Response tools monitor the endpoint and network events while recording the information in a central database where further analysis, investigation, detection, reporting, and alerting if the data breach occurs. The software agent installed on the host system should provide the foundation for monitoring and reporting security-related events.

This continuous monitoring and detection process is facilitated with the use of analysis capabilities. This is an essential element that identifies tasks that help improve the company’s overall security state from both internal and external attacks.

Different Endpoint Detection and Response tools work differently and offer different capabilities. For example, some perform more analysis on the agent, while others focus more on the backend through a management console.

Some Endpoint Detection and Response tools vary in terms of collection timing and scope in their ability to integrate the threat intelligence providers. However, all these tools perform the same essential endpoint security solution functions with the same purpose.

Adoption of EDR Solutions

The adoption of EDR by security teams is projected to increase over the next couple of years significantly. According to Global Market Outlook statistics (2017-2026), the uptake of Endpoint Detection and Response and EDR solutions sales, both on-premises and cloud-based platforms is expected to reach at least $7.27 billion by 2026, with a projected annual growth rate of close to 26%.

One of the leading factors driving the continued rise in EDR adoption is the rise in the number of endpoints that are attached to networks. Another leading factor is the increased sophistication of cyberattacks, which often focus on endpoints since they're easier to infiltrate the network.

The New Types of Endpoints and Endpoint Attacks

The average security teams in an IT department manage thousands of endpoints across their network. These endpoints include desktops and servers and smartphones, laptops, tablets, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, smartwatches, and digital assistants.

The SANS EPR survey shows that 44% of IT security teams manage between 5,000-500,000 endpoints. Those endpoints can become an open door used for cyberattacks; therefore, endpoint visibility is quite critical.

Today's standard antivirus software solutions can identify and block various new types of malware; however, hackers are constantly getting more creative. Many of the advanced malware are difficult to detect using the standard methods. For instance, a recent development known as fileless malware operates in the computer's memory to avoid malware signature scanners.

To boot up on security, an IT department should incorporate either of the endpoint security solutions, with other security applications, over time. However, consider that using multiple standalone security system tools can complicate the cyber threat detection and prevention process, especially when they overlap and produce similar security alerts. A better approach to this would be to use an integrated endpoint security solution.

Key Components of EDR Security

Endpoint Detection and Response Security tools provide an integrated EDR solution for the collection, threat hunting, and analysis of endpoint data. It also coordinates alerts and responses to immediate threats. EDR tools have 3 basic components:

  • A real-time analytics engine that uses algorithms to evaluate and correlate large volumes of network traffic data, searching for threat patterns
  • Forensics tools enable IT security analysts to investigate past data breaches to understand better how advanced threats work and penetrate security. The forensics tools are also used to hunt for threats in the endpoint devices system, such as malware and other exploits that might lurk on an endpoint

New EDR Capabilities that Improve Threat Intelligence

There are new features and services within the EDR solutions that detect and investigate cyber threats. For instance, third-party threat intelligence services increase the efficiency of endpoint security solutions that mitigate attacks. In addition, threat intelligence services have memory access with a global pool of information on the current threats and their characteristics.

This collective intelligence helps increase the EDR's ability to identify exploits, especially in multi-layered and zero-day attacks. Additionally, as part of their Endpoint Security solution, many EDR security vendors offer threat intelligence subscriptions.

Additionally, the new investigative capabilities in some EDR solutions can use AI and machine learning to automate the investigative process. These process creation can learn the organization's baseline behaviors and use the information and other threat intelligence sources to interpret the findings.

Within these environment variables, the focus is on mainly identifying patterns and characteristics that don't change regardless of the minor changes on an exploit. For example, details such as registry modifications, IP addresses, and domain numbers change frequently. However, an attacker's methods usually remain the same. An EDR uses these similar patterns to identify the threats that may have been altered.

The Endpoint Security Market

According to Gartner, an Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) helps prevent file system-based malware. It will detect and block malicious activity from both trusted and untrusted applications and provide the analytical and remediation capabilities needed to respond to security incidents and alerts dynamically.

Back in 2018, the endpoint security market was valued at $11.18 billion and predicted to reach $19.69 billion a value by 2024. This market is mainly characterized by:

  • High enterprise adoption of the SaaS-based or cloud-delivered endpoint security solutions that's slowly growing. The benefits attracting these companies include reduced costs, computing scalability, and having low maintenance demands
  • A growing number of more endpoints that carry more sensitive data and with the increased connectivity, data sharing, and collaboration, there's a much higher chance that an organizational endpoint will carry sensitive data
  • Endpoints can be an open gateway for attackers and in the past two decades. Organizations have been investing major resources in trying to safeguard their network perimeter. Attackers find it much easier to penetrate organizations by sidestepping the network defenses and directly penetrating through the endpoints
  • Multiple security tools were installed on endpoints in the past, but today there's an endpoint agent consolidation. This is where one platform with one software footprint is installed at the endpoint to provide multiple security solutions that enable central management of all security functions
  • Consolidation of the EPP and EDR platforms that are no longer considered two separate systems since the Endpoint Protection Platform has been expanded to include EDR.

Frequently Asked Questions on Endpoint Detection and Response

1. What's the goal of using Endpoint Security?

EDR systems help secure endpoints and entry points in end-user devices such as laptops, desktops, mobile devices from being attacked by malicious campaigns. Modern Endpoint protection systems are designed to detect, analyze, block quickly, and contain any suspicious behavior or advanced attacks in progress.

2. What is the difference between SIEM and EDR?

The difference comes in the 24/7 threat response. No matter how well equipped IT security teams are, they cannot consistently provide security monitoring on emerging threats or detect suspicious system behavior without using targeted threat response tools.

Essentially SIEM centralizes the security alerts and logs while the EDR monitors malicious activities on endpoints. Combined with expert data analytics techniques, SIEM and EDR tools provide round-the-clock network monitoring and response solutions.

3. Which are the common endpoint cyber threats?

  • Vulnerability exploits
  • Ransomware
  • Drive-by downloads
  • Email phishing
  • Watering holes

4. What is the main difference between an EPP and EDR?

Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) gives you the traditional anti-malware scanning. In contrast, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is an advanced security system that covers more of the advanced persistent threats and sophisticated attacks with remediation actions that have the ability to restore affected systems.

5. What is an exposed JSON endpoint?

An exposed JSON endpoint is a term that's given to a publicly available URL, with query or path parameters you've added at times, that you can send an HTTP request to, and it can return a JSON from the remote server that's related to the request that you sent.

Published by: Jacky Chou in Software

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