EDR, or endpoint detection and response, is a buzzword for a reason.
EDR combines artificial intelligence (AI), next-gen antivirus, and other technologies into a single, integrated cybersecurity solution that’s a game-changer in today’s threat environment. It detects and contains known and unknown security threats originating from any endpoint connected to your network and blocks the threats from executing.
Better yet, it can “rewind” the chain of events triggered by a threat and restore your environment to its pre-threat status.
EDR is more than an advanced security tool. It’s a must-have security tool for 2022. Here’s why:
1. Older tools leave you vulnerable
Hackers are infiltrating networks in new and creative ways, are doing it more often, and are after more than just your money. The threat environment has changed. Now, hackers want to harm you or create chaos by using advanced tactics that are hard to detect, often for geopolitical reasons. Malware and viruses are no longer their tools of choice for doing their dirty work, so using traditional antivirus solutions that detect known threats is no longer enough.
Your endpoints are hackers’ easiest targets. Endpoints include all of the desktops, laptops, mobile phones, tablets, servers, and virtual environments connected to your network — any one of them can be your weakest link.
If you’re like most companies, you give hackers plenty of attack surfaces because you have plenty of connected endpoints, and it’s likely you have even more since the pandemic. Once today’s hackers are in, they strike fast. They’re not hanging around looking for something to monetize anymore, so you have less time to respond.
By continually monitoring all endpoints within an integrated hub that collects, correlates, and analyzes data, EDR can detect unknown threats and then act quickly. It does this by recognizing threat patterns in real-time regardless of which endpoint (or multiple endpoints) is targeted.
The endpoint visibility across your network that EDR provides helps your security team, too. It gives your team the context needed to determine which activities EDR has flagged for review require immediate action, which need further investigation, and which are harmless.
- $1.85M: average cost to recover from a ransomware attack
- $4.24M: average cost of a data breach
- $430K: average lowest cost of a data breach for organizations using security AI
2. Advanced EDR technologies stop advanced threats
If hackers aren’t using malware and viruses anymore, what are they using?
Hackers are mainly exploiting vulnerabilities and user errors. These types of exploitations create anomalies in your network that EDR’s AI capabilities can detect — AI is superb at learning, finding patterns, and spotting anomalies that break the pattern of normal activity in your environment or create new, unrecognized patterns.
AI uses historical data, login times, geolocation, behavioral analytics, and other variables to analyze activities and predict whether or not they pose a threat. When EDR confirms a threat, it responds by automatically removing or containing it based on your rules-based criteria. Then it alerts your security teams.
“The threat-hunting aspect of EDR is very powerful,” says Emmett (Trey) Hawkins, Leapfrog Services CTO. “It allows security professionals to understand how an attacker gained access to the environment so that not only can you undo the damage, but you can lock out the attacker and future attackers from gaining access through the same foothold.”
3. EDR lets you rewind a chain of events
The advanced technologies in EDR give you the ability to automatically undo an attack’s chain of events — like a rewind button.
By logging all endpoint activities, EDR creates a map it can use to take your systems back in time and restore your environment to its pre-attack status. Any company that has experienced (and had to recover from) a significant attack understands why this EDR capability changes the playing field.
EDR solutions effectively demote ransomware and other attacks to minor annoyances that your security team can handle all in a day’s work.
Your backups and disaster recovery need to be up to date for the rollback function but successful recovery is more complex than that. “EDR helps protect backup data but does not rely on it exclusively for rollback. The rollback is done differently, depending on the EDR solution you choose,” Hawkins says.
- 43% of companies were hit with a cyber attack in 2021 (many suffered multiple attacks)
- 21% average of IT budget devoted to cybersecurity in 2021, a 63% increase YOY
- 94% of companies found it harder to secure cyber insurance in 2021
4. You can customize your EDR tool
Your security team will write rules prior to deployment to customize your EDR solution based on your objectives. These rules override generic installations (hackers are prepared for those) and are critical for your incident response process. Your team can fine-tune numerous configurations, including how the learning algorithms will function, activities that should be considered threats that trigger automated responses, what those automated responses should be, and the types of activities that should be flagged for review by your security analysts, among other customizations.
Customization improves endpoint security and accuracy and reduces false positives.
For example, you don’t want your EDR tool to stop and contain approved changes to your system, such as an engineer installing a new app. Your security team will work out these details.
5. EDR is better for business
The single primary driver behind the recent surge in EDR adoption has been the inability to get cyber insurance without it.
Most cyber insurance providers now require policyholders to implement EDR for endpoint protection because they have been paying out vast sums to cover losses, downtime, and remediations for attacks that could’ve been prevented.
The faster a policyholder can identify — and undo — a cyberattack, the less likely it is to file a claim. Even if you can get a policy without an EDR solution, expect to pay higher premiums or get less coverage.
It’s not just insurance providers that want you to protect your environment. Every day, more clients and partners want verification that the companies they do business with aren’t exposing them to undo cyber risk. Adding more cyber risk on top of uncertainties related to the pandemic, supply chains, and geopolitical tensions is not an attractive scenario. Having an EDR solution helps you prove that you run a secure operation and care about protecting everyone’s data and networks.
See the related quick reference guides Why EDR? and Can You Qualify For Cyber Insurance?
Leapfrog has taken a stand on the business value of EDR tools.
Leapfrog is an MSP and MSSP responsible for thousands of endpoints. Originally, our timeline had been to convert all of our clients to EDR security by the end of 2023. However, given the threat environment, the alarming volume of vulnerabilities we’re seeing embedded in-app code, and all of the reasons discussed above, we’ve accelerated the timeline. We now require EDR adoption by the end of 2022.
Cyber attacks are changing, so businesses need to change, too.
Leapfrog believes using an endpoint detection and response solution in all of the environments we manage is part of our responsibility to our clients as their IT partner. EDR is a must-have threat intelligence tool for 2022.