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NDR (Network Detection and Response) and EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) are two approaches to cyber security that are similar but distinct and that address several common problems. NDR and EDR use machine learning and artificial intelligence to defend against a newer and deadly wave of cyber threats.

But utilizing each of them at its best and understanding which solution is tailored for your business, needs some research and documentation.

This article will give you information about the characteristics and key features of NDR vs. EDR security solutions, what each can do, how your business can benefit from using it, and how they meet your organization’s needs.

What Is NDR?

NDR stands for Network Detection and Response, and it is a cybersecurity solution designed for your network that can detect any suspicious or unusual traffic.

NDR can continuously monitor and record network traffic to identify a pattern. Using this pattern, NDR analysis packet data to detect any anomalies or cyber threats within a network, working to mitigate them automatically or alerting the organization’s security team.

This solution employs a toolkit of advanced automated programs to avert cyber incidents, mitigate current cyber threats, resolve potential breaches, and notify security teams of network findings.

NDR can be cloud-based, on-premises, or virtual. It employs machine learning for threat detection, spotting known and unknown network threats as soon as possible. The capability of detecting unknown threats is enhanced by the fact that NDR is not a signature-based solution.

Using it increases visibility into network blind spots and allows the security team to conduct quick threat detection and investigations throughout the environment. While the analytic and behavioral capabilities of this cyber solution result in high-fidelity alerts for more accurate threat detection.

More advanced NDR solutions can provide dependable forensics as well as long-term data storage and extended detection. It enables a retrospective view of network traffic to investigate threat behavior before, during, and after attacks. If an indicator of compromise (IOC) is detected, security teams can examine compromised host communication, determine lateral movement, and determine whether a data breach has occurred.

Network Detection and Response Benefits

Using NDR will greatly benefit your company and make your cybersecurity system more efficient by hunting the cybermenaces within the network.

NDR has to be compatible with all other cybersecurity software that your company has in place and all should work smoothly together, like one compact organism, to fight cybercrime.

Here are the main key benefits of NDR:

  • Newer and more evolved malware (like polymorphic malware) is more likely to be stopped by the threat detection of a NDR solution.
  • ‘Weaponized AI’ used by cybercriminals can be matched with the AI solution incorporated in NDR.
  • Using forensics provided by NDR you can determine how malware breached the network in the first place. Then mitigate that problem so your network security will be stronger in the future.
  • Incident response in case of security breaches and threat-hunting processes become faster and more efficient with the help of NDR.

What Is EDR?

EDR stands for Endpoint Detection and Response, and it is a cybersecurity solution designed to monitor all endpoints connected to your networks – such as computers, phones, and servers – for suspicious behavior.

EDR is not one software or an application, is a cybersecurity suit that can include: antivirus software, automated analysis, and forensic solutions, endpoint monitoring and management, and security team alert systems.

Using these tools, an EDR is capable of effectively prevent incidents, detect threats, mitigate immediate cybersecurity threats, and rapidly resolve attacks. That is why EDR’s threat detection technology is critical for the overall cybersecurity posture of a company.

This endpoint security solution is capable of collecting data from monitoring endpoints and then analyzing it to determine a “normal” behavior pattern on those devices. If EDR identifies a thread using this pattern, will proceed to mitigate it or will notify the IT team.

Practically, EDR functions by installing a software agent on each endpoint. The agents can identify tangible changes such as registry changes and key file tampering, this way it assists in detecting malicious activity that a firewall may have missed.

More advanced EDR systems may use machine learning or artificial intelligence for endpoint security. They analyze endpoint data and identify potential points of compromise.

EDR provides a more comprehensive approach to detecting security breaches as they occur.

Endpoint Detection and Response Benefits

EDR is a solution for many companies as the number of endpoints connected to a network is endless nowadays.

We don’t think of endpoints only as stationary devices from the office – like computers and printers. But also, as every laptop, smartphone, smartwatch, mobile devices, IoT, and BYOD owned by your employees and helping them in their work. All these also need endpoint security measures.

Simply put: more endpoint means more vulnerabilities. Every endpoint is a potential entry for malware and other threats.

Here are the main key benefits/security capabilities of EDR:

  • Antivirus software can’t stop every threat, so Endpoint Detection and Response is your second line of defense against malware that bypasses security and entered your endpoints.
  • It’s an intelligent solution, using AI to learn about the threats that it is against and improve defense every day.
  • EDR can contain malware in the endpoints, preventing it from spreading through the whole network.

NDR vs. EDR: Differences

Although both EDR and NDR protect your organization by recording, monitoring, and analyzing data, both alert the security team if they register something suspicious, and both can put an end to a cyber incident (response capabilities), but they serve different purposes in the end.

NDR targets intrinsic communications, offering real-time visibility of the network data. While EDR focuses on computers, servers, and other endpoints that it keeps safe from attacks.

Because of this, a Network Detection and Response solution is considered more comprehensive compared to an Endpoint Detection and Response security solution. The last being a ground-level view and the first an aerial overview security system.

And when it comes to more sophisticated cyberattacks, they can be missed by EDR solutions, but NDR will stop them.

To summarize the NDR vs. EDR differences:

Area

NDR – Network and traffic between devices.

EDR – Every endpoint and host.

Purpose

NDR – Visibility and/or transparency of network traffic, identification of known and unknown threats and lateral movements, notifying, and responding.

EDR – Endpoint protection and access area protection by monitoring and mitigation, vulnerability assessment, alerting, and responding.

Procedures

NDR – Indicator of Attack (IoA), anomaly detection, user behavior, and machine learning.

EDR – Malicious behavior detection, tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) examination, Indicator of Compromise (IoC), signatures learning, and machine learning.

Why Do You Need NDR and EDR?

The bad news is that both these cybersecurity solutions have limitations. The good news is that you don’t have to choose between them, and they work perfectly together to detected security breaches.

Each solution alone is of great value for the security posture of your business. But, for a truly holistic cybersecurity strategy, and if you want to build a cyber resilience strategy, you should incorporate not just one, but both EDR and NDR solutions.

The reason for this is the wide range of malware that populates the Internet and the continuously changing tactics of threat actors that make just one single solution not enough for strong protection. The financial loss caused by security events reached $6.9 Billion in 2021, according to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center report.

A EDR solution combined with a NDR solution will give you:

  • 24/7 prevention
  • immediate, and after-incident cyber security
  • the automated features – like automated response – save time and money
  • provides real-time analytics for patching
  • prevents blind spots in your cybersecurity strategy

How Can Heimdal® Help?

With the Heimdal XDR, you can eliminate the complexity of managing multiple security solutions and have a comprehensive, integrated approach to cybersecurity. Simply said, the Heimdal XDR reduces complexity and costs by consolidating multiple security technologies. The result is lower costs and better utilization of your SecOps and IT resources.

The platform comes equipped with a Threat-Hunting and Action Center, which allows for seamless and efficient one-click automated and assisted actioning across your digital enterprise. This feature enables you to respond quickly and effectively to any potential threats. Furthermore, it is keeping your business and data safe and secure.

Don’t have the capacity to hire a team right now? No problem. Our managed XDR service includes a Security Operations Center (SOC) that conducts event monitoring, investigates threats, extends threat hunting, and offers forensic analysis. Additionally, it features an action-oriented team of security specialists that takes proactive measures to contain and neutralize attacks.

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Wrapping Up…

You should look at your decisions regarding the cybersecurity of your organization as an ever-building wall that will surround all your important information and devices. Every new acquisition has to make that wall stronger and has to fit perfectly with other “bricks”.

Most large businesses today need a more inclusive solution that combines network security and endpoint data security, not just an antivirus software. The goal is to have a robust, up-to-date security suite that offers you a quick response in the case of an attack and context and information.

There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to security technology. To advance to the next level of maturity, you can build on the foundation of current tools, processes, and security controls.

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Author Profile

Andreea Chebac

Digital Content Creator

Andreea is a digital content creator within Heimdal® with a great belief in the educational power of content. A literature-born cybersecurity enthusiast (through all those SF novels…), she loves to bring her ONG, cultural, and media background to this job.

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