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The notion of endpoint detection and response has been widely discussed in the cybersecurity industry for almost a decade now. If you’re a longtime reader, then you know that our blog made no exception. Continuing our informal series on this beloved digital defense concept, today’s topic is that of EDR software.

In the following lines, I made a quick recap of what EDR software is before diving deep into the subject with a discussion on types of EDR software and EDR software features.

What is EDR Software?

The EDR in EDR software stands for endpoint detection and response, which has become the golden cybersecurity standard over the years. The term was invented in 2013 by Dr. Anton Chuvakin, a former security analyst for Gartner and Google’s current security product strategist. In a nutshell, EDR software not only identifies but also and dynamically retorts to sophisticated cases of malicious code injection and other cyberattacks.

However, as threats become stronger with each passing day and hackers take advantage of the progress of technology, cybersecurity solutions must follow suit to keep up. This has been made possible in recent years under the form of EPDR. The acronym is an abbreviation of endpoint prevention, detection, and response, and it represents a more advanced version of traditional EDR software.

What sets EPDR apart is its focus on prevention. It is the proactive approach to EDR software, and it consists of five main types of software. I have explained what each one is and what it does in the sections below, so make sure to keep reading.

Types of EDR Software

#1 Next-Generation Antivirus

Next-generation antivirus (NGAV) is the modern counterpart to traditional antivirus, adding an advanced layer of protection to a company’s endpoints. Rather than focusing on file-based malware signatures that are already known, NGAV takes a cloud-based and system-centric approach to cybersecurity. It usually comes with firewall integration and uses a combination of predictive analysis and threat intelligence to:

  • prevent and detect malware attacks,
  • identify fileless malware,
  • recognize malicious behavior and TTPs,
  • respond to emerging threats,
  • and collect data for further analysis.

#2 Vulnerability Manager

Outdated applications and unpatched gaps in security are ideal entry points for malicious code and hackers. To make matters worse, installing updates as soon as they are released by developers can be very disruptive to an employee’s activity. A lack of time to deal with this matter properly is why most of them will probably delay patching as much as possible. Vulnerability management EDR software is the answer to this issue, as it will:

  • automatically install software updates as soon as they are released,
  • deploy patches and close security gaps,
  • and keep a record of your digital assets.

#3 DNS Traffic Filtering

DNS traffic filtering obstructs access to various websites by either domain name or IP address. The main appeal behind this type of EDR software lies in the fact that it picks up where antivirus and firewall leave off. Today’s digital landscape is unfortunately ridden by advanced threats that signature-based solutions simply do not see. A DNS solution detects and blocks the following endpoint dangers:

  • malicious domains,
  • phishing links,
  • and any other suspicious website.

#4 Intrusion Prevention System

What an intrusion prevention system (IPS) does is extend the types of protection you apply to your endpoints on the entire network. But why would you need that from EDR software? Isn’t specifically targeting endpoints EDR’s whole spiel? The answer here is not a simple yes or no, but rather more nuanced.

As previously mentioned, your company’s endpoints are more than mere workstations. They represented an interlinked series of both static and portable devices that operate within the larger corporate network. Therefore, your enterprise could benefit from the capabilities of an IPS, which include:

  • complete DNS protection,
  • perimeter threat blocking,
  • AI-driven analytics,
  • traffic logging,
  • and predictive action.

#5 Privileged Access Management

Privileged access management is an essential part of EDR software defenses, especially when coupled with application control. Based on the principle of least privilege, it is the optimal way to ensure that no account has more rights than it needs to in order to fulfill its responsibilities. Here are the main protective features this type of layer adds to your enterprise:

  • user access rights administration,
  • approval flow automatization,
  • black and whitelisting,
  • improved access governance,
  • and increased accessibility.

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To better understand how these types of applications behave when implemented as a full EDR software solution, I have provided you with an overview of their five principal functions in the sections that follow. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

EDR Software Features

#1 Endpoint Monitoring

The discussion on EDR software features starts at the first letter of the acronym, namely the endpoints. A vast number of cyber attackers still infiltrate organizations via their endpoints, which are a series of devices operating within the company’s online network perimeter. On the authority of data gathered by Statista,

Around one-third of U.S. companies reported attacks on their endpoints in 2019. Although half of surveyed global organizations experienced fewer than 10 endpoint attacks in 2019, more than 15 percent respondents reported more than 100 such incidents in that year. Social engineering of end users such as phishing attacks as well as browser-based attacks driven by downloads to the endpoints are the most common endpoint attack vectors.

Therefore, endpoint monitoring plays a huge role in the field of endpoint detection and response. EDR software continuously logs and analyzes network traffic to achieve this, keeping an eye out for any malicious activity.

#2 Threat Prevention

The next function of EDR software I want to briefly discuss is the reason why I introduced the concept of EPDR in the first place. I’m talking about threat prevention, of course. One crucial aspect of this approach is represented by regular software updates and vulnerability patching. In addition, a multi-layered cybersecurity solution such as our very own Heimdal Security suite of endpoint solutions filters network traffic two ways, which is a proactive way to go about your cybersecurity.

Application control is another central facet of threat prevention in EDR software. It involves restricting or blocking certain apps from executing within your system. By following the simple, yet effective principles of file blacklisting and whitelisting, you can efficiently stop cyberattacks before they even happen.

At this step in the process, I recommend considering the following products:

#3 Cyberattack Detection

Another reason why EDR software continuously monitors network traffic is that of cyberattack detection. Here is where the machine learning component I discussed in my previous article on EDR solutions comes into play.

Employing artificial intelligence-driven technology such as our very own VectorN Detection coupled with the proactive capabilities of DarkLayer Guard™ means that your system will always have a list of known and unknown threats to compare traffic against. What this means for your cybersecurity is cyberattacks will not go undetected, leaving you enough time to respond to the incident properly.

To strengthen this step of the process, I recommend adding this product to your roster:

A strong NGAV solution with advanced firewall integration will enhance your system with unparalleled threat intelligence and forensics. It is thus complementary to the machine learning and DNS traffic filtering components, as well as all the other pieces of software in your EDR suite.

#4 Incident Response

This brings me to the fourth EDR software feature that I want to talk about: incident response. Although every component of the suite retorts in its own way, the important aspect to mention here is the correlation with privileged access management.

It is essential to invest in a PAM solution that automatically de-escalated access rights upon threat detection, such as our:

#5 Cross-Compatibility

Now that I’ve clarified what the specific functionalities of EDR software are and how they play into the various layers of defense offered by such as suite, I want to mention one more thing: cross-compatibility. I have presented the previous four features in their separate sections for the sake of intelligibility. However, EDR products are designed to work together and interact with one another.

This means that each presented solution fulfills multiple functions in the larger EDR software eco-system that they are a part of. For example, the threat prevention layer can also monitor, detect, and respond from case to case. Endpoint detection and response is not a one-trick pony. Keep that in mind.

Final Thoughts on EDR Software

EDR software is a multi-layered approach to cybersecurity that enhances your company’s defenses at least fivefold. By their powers combined, NGAV, proactive patching, DNS traffic filtering, IPS, and PAM are the best way to stay completely protected against even the most advanced cyber-threats.

Curious to find out whether our suite of EDR software is the right choice for your enterprise or not? I would have to say yes, but don’t take just my word for it. Drop a line over at sales.inquiries@heimdalsecurity.com.

What You Need to Know Before Implementing an EDR Solution

EPP EDR: What Is Each and How They Differ

What Is EDR and Why Is It Important?

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