Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), commonly referred to as endpoint detection and threat response (EDTR), is a cybersecurity endpoint technology framework that continually screens devices to identify and counteract cyber threats including malware and ransomware attacks.
How Does Endpoint Detection and Response Work?
Some of the most successful cyber attacks rely on phishing or malware to gain access to a network, and thus are dependent on user error. Once a user’s credentials have been compromised, bad actors gain access to a company’s network through that user’s device, or endpoint. EDR tools equip a business’s IT team with the ability to monitor endpoints in real time and catch these breaches before they can spread through the network.
Endpoint Monitoring in Action
By focusing attention on the endpoint, EDR makes it possible to establish patterns of behavior for that user and endpoint. When a cyber attack occurs, the program or attacker will take actions which differ from the expected behavior for that endpoint.
Think of it this way: If someone who regularly drives their vehicle to and from work at roughly the same time each day suddenly decides to take a bus instead, this behavior breaks an established pattern.
In the cyber world, EDR security focuses on monitoring these patterns and to detect and isolate the endpoint and respond to any attacks, but not every EDR program is created equal. There are different levels of protection for a company to consider when choosing EDR tools.
Levels of Endpoint and Detection Response Security
When there is no EDR program in place, this creates an opportunity for a small number of attacks to pass undetected. Even if there is no immediate fallout from a cyber attack, such as an organization’s data held for ransom, malware can work behind the scenes in a network and leave the attacker with avenues to re-enter the system even if the initial vector of attack is discovered and corrected.
A “dumb” EDR program solely monitors an endpoint. In order to make sense of the data, somebody has to physically sift through all the information collected during the process. This means that counteracting cybersecurity threats can take days, if not weeks. This returns the point of failure to human error, and while it is better than no EDR security at all, there are better options.
An “intelligent” EDR program can recognize threats at the endpoint and in some cases respond automatically with a predetermined set of actions. This type also prioritizes alerts with low, medium, or high severity and therefore allows for a better response from within the organization.
Above all, there is a managed solution in which a business would contract with another company to provide EDR security services. This level of service means that there is an expert proactively seeking anomalies and emerging threats in the endpoints of the organization, and taking steps to stop them as soon as they become apparent.
How Much Does EDR Cost?
As the level of security and expertise increases with an EDR program, so does the relative cost to the business using the tool. A business should seek the highest reasonable level of protection for the amount that it costs them, in order to help prevent silent attacks that can slip through user endpoints in an organization’s security. This cost can vary depending on a number of factors including the industry, revenue and size of the organization.
However, the biggest cost involved with EDR is not having a security system in the first place. In the world of cyber security, prevention is key because it can be arduous to flush out an attacker after they establish a foothold in the system. EDR tools are a valuable resource to companies and their IT teams because they help to close vulnerabilities. In the first half of 2021, the Treasury Department found that the total cost of ransomware-related activities summed up to $590 million.
When considering policies for clients and coverage levels, consider their use – or lack – of a robust EDR program. The decision to implement strong cyber security systems can make or break a company’s eligibility for coverage. Encouraging your clients to be proactive in their approach to cyber security saves everyone time, and keeps our digital world as secure as possible.
The Limit Perspective
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