An Unboring Guide to Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) by@jtruong

An Unboring Guide to Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

Since the pandemic, many employees have switched to work from home causing organizations to put their top priority on creating a secure infrastructure for this new lifestyle. Endpoint security is more crucial now than ever because of many organizations transitioning to remote work. An endpoint is a device that is connected to a network and is monitored in real time to detect and eliminate threats as quickly as possible. EDR solutions use a client-server model protection which uses a centralized managed security solution to help protect the network and a client software that is installed locally on every endpoint device.
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Jessica Truong

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Endpoint security risks are on the rise. Since the pandemic, many employees have switched to work from home causing organizations to put their top priority on creating a secure infrastructure for this new lifestyle. There is always a need to secure remote access no matter where a user is working from (i.e. home, office, coffee shop). With users now distributed across the state and country, security is even more crucial. Work-from-home won’t work without endpoint security; this is a cybersecurity strategy that is needed to protect an organization from cyber threats and attacks. This article will discuss everything you need to know about endpoint security.

What is Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)?

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is an endpoint security solution that continuously monitors an endpoint in real-time to detect and eliminate threats as quickly as possible. It generates alerts to notify security professionals so that they can investigate and remediate the issues immediately. 

It should be noted that endpoint security solutions utilize application control and encryption to secure devices that access the company’s network. When encrypting data on endpoint devices and removable storage devices, we are protecting ourselves from any potential data loss and/or leaks. As for application control, this prevents any endpoint users from executing any unauthorized applications. 

EDR solutions use a client-server model protection. This uses a centralized managed security solution to help protect the network and client software that is installed locally on every endpoint device on the network.

What is an Endpoint?

An endpoint is a device that is connected to a network. Here are a few examples:

  • Laptops
  • Desktop PCs
  • Tablets
  • IoT devices
  • Smartphones 
  • Servers
  • And any other devices that communicate to the network 

Primary Functions of an EDR

The purpose of an EDR is to:

  • Monitor and collect the activity data from endpoints that may be a threat
  • Analyze the collected data to try and identify threat patterns
  • Determine the threat pattern and respond to these threats by containing them, removing them, and notifying security personnel 
  • Forensics and analysis tools can be used to help search for malicious activities and identify threats 

How Endpoint Protection Works

EDR protection solutions work by analyzing processes, files, and system activity for suspicious indicators. These solutions have a centralized management console where administrators can monitor, investigate and respond to any suspicious activity in real-time.

The Importance of EDR Security

Keep in mind that cyberespionage, cyberattacks, and cybercrimes target endpoints hence why endpoint security will protect you from these attacks.

Endpoint security is more crucial now than ever because of many organizations transitioning to remote work. Obviously, before the pandemic majority of the security was targeted towards the physical location of an enterprise. However, since the pandemic, organizations have had to quickly adjust to a new environment leaving employees and the organization at risk. The remote work environment may not have the same level of protection as the physical location. 

Organizations must ensure that all endpoints containing corporate data are protected against cyberattacks. As the number of endpoints increases so does the attacker’s interest in hacking endpoint devices. According to a Gallup Poll, as of 2021, 51% of US workers are still working remotely and will stay this way for a period of time. It is highly ilkley that attackers target endpoint devices to gain access into an organization’s network. The good thing about endpoint security is that it can isolate a compromised endpoint to prevent the attack from spreading to other endpoints. 

Endpoint Security Threats

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Endpoint threats can be internal or external. Below lists examples of both. 

Internal Threats

  • Compromised internal users, contractors, or third parties
  • Misuse or disclosure of sensitive information by employees
  • Service providers and system/application vendors that have access to your network

External Threats

  • Phishing attacks including spear phishing and whaling
  • Ransomware/malware
  • Distributed denial of service (DDoS)
  • Advanced persistent threats (APTs)
  • Botnet attacks

How to Choose an Endpoint Detection and Response Solution

You need innovative EDR solutions that provide automated analysis and real-time response. With so many tools available today, it’s important to stay on top of the ever-growing endpoint protection market and be sure to find a solution tailored to your needs. - DNSstuff

When choosing which EDR, keep an eye out for these features:

  • Visibility: an EDR solution should provide visibility across all of the endpoints
  • Threat database: the EDR solution that an organization selects should have a threat intelligence database
  • Behavioral protection: Behavioral analysis engines help track movement across an organization’s network
  • Speed: the EDR solution should operate in real-time and generate accurate alerts and threat responses
  • Cloud-based: cloud-based solutions has the ability to protect an organization’s network without affecting the endpoint's performance

Endpoint Detection and Response Solutions

This is a list of some commonly-used EDR solutions:

  • Crowdstrike 
  • F-Secure
  • Palo Alto Networks 
  • Kaspersky
  • Microsoft
  • Bitdefender
  • Symantec

What Can Be Done to Protect Your Organization? 

To counter today’s rise of cyber threats and attacks, organizations should invest in an endpoint solution that is suitable for their organization. In order to choose the appropriate EDR solution, they first need to go through all of their assets and determine which systems in their network pose a high security risk. By doing this, they are looking for any gaps that could put an endpoint in danger.

Organizations should look for EDR solutions that offer advanced threat detection and incident response capabilities.

One way for organizations to protect their organization is to have all employees undergo security training. The next section will discuss employee training in detail.

Employee Security Training

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Employees are the number one target within an organization. Insider threats can either be the greatest weakness or strength within your company depending on the training provided to them. 

It is extremely important that employees within an organization are provided with security training. This training should not only be given when a new employee joins a company but rather consistently throughout their career. Since new threats are constantly emerging, it's vital that employees stay up-to-date with the latest threats and attacks. They need to understand what they can do to protect their device. 

Final Thoughts: Endpoint Detection and Response

Organizations are constantly receiving a variety of attacks ranging from simple attacks to complex attacks. An example of complex attacks would be a threat actor developing a zero-day attack by taking advantage of an unknown application or system vulnerability. This puts the threat actor at an advantage and an entry path to the endpoint. For this reason, it is essential to have an endpoint detection and response solution to aid in monitoring, investigating, and eliminating threats. Think of an EDR solution as an extra layer of security. Without it, we are giving attackers a free pass to gain access to our endpoint devices.

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