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What is endpoint detection and response (EDR)?

Aqsa Amir

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What is endpoint detection and response?

EDR is an integrated endpoint security system that collects, monitors, and stores endpoints' data in real-time. On detection of malware, EDR performs an automated, rule-based response, such as sending an alert to a staff member from the security team.

Note: EDR is an essential component of endpoint security systems. As a standalone software, it does not provide network security.

How does EDR work?

EDR solution works as follows:

  • Dedicated software is installed at the endpoint.
  • All the activity at the endpoints, such as file details, running processes, configuration data, and logs, is recorded in the central database of EDR in real-time.
  • Data records are checked for malware using a log of known threats.
  • The behavioral analysis component of EDR allows it to detect new cyber threats.
  • Security personnel is notified if any suspicious activity is detected.
  • EDR isolates the file containing the threat to limit its reach.
  • The threat's behavior is individually investigated in a closed environment to examine its mechanism and goal.
  • Findings of the investigation are recorded in the database, making investigation for future attacks easier.
  • EDR can either perform an automated action in response to the threat or simply alert the security personnel to manually take against the threat.
  • The virus or malware is deleted from the infected file.
  • EDR uses data records to wipe out the threat by tracking its activity completely.
  • Forensic analysis gathers data post-breach to identify similar threats next time quickly.
EDR workflow

Components

Following are the five essential components of EDR that allow it to deal with advanced cyber threats:

Incident triaging flow

The software should be able to prioritize events according to the required attention. A threat should be given maximum priority if it requires immediate attention from the security personnel.

Threat hunting

EDR should be able to identify threats that the organization's security system could not catch.

Data aggregation and enrichment

EDR should have the ability to archive data from past security situations. This helps the software differentiate between true and false threat alerts. Also, it makes it easier to make informed decisions regarding different security threats.

Integrated response

EDR is an integration of various applications that communicate and work together, such as anti-virus and firewall. This saves the time and effort of the security team, which can focus on other issues that require urgent attention.

Multiple response options

EDR should be able to provide numerous response options for dealing with the same situation. This leaves experts with different possibilities to deal with the security threat. For instance, EDR may suggest quarantining or deleting the file that has been affected by malware.

The components of an EDR security solution

Features

Look out for the following features in an EDR:

  • Real-time endpoint visibility: EDR should offer a detailed insight into all the endpoint activities.
  • Threat and response database: EDR solutions that maintain a database of threats and the associated responses perform better when similar threats are detected.
  • Scalability: This allows your solution to grow with your business.
  • Behavioral approach: It is ideal to search for indicators of attack (IOAs)Intention behind a cyber attack and the techniques used to accomplish it rather than depending on indicators of compromise (IOCs)Evidence on the system that shows security has been breached or signature-based methods only. This allows EDR to detect novel threats.
  • Intelligence: EDR should be intelligent enough to filter out false positives. This reduces the number of alerts security teams receive and shifts their focus to things that require immediate attention.
  • Cloud-based solution: Cloud is easily scalable and can store more data. This makes real-time monitoring accurate, easier, and comprehensive.

RELATED TAGS

cyber security
endpoint security
malware

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Aqsa Amir
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Grokking Modern System Design Interview for Engineers & Managers

Ace your System Design Interview and take your career to the next level. Learn to handle the design of applications like Netflix, Quora, Facebook, Uber, and many more in a 45-min interview. Learn the RESHADED framework for architecting web-scale applications by determining requirements, constraints, and assumptions before diving into a step-by-step design process.

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