What is Endpoint Detection? Definition, M.O., Key Functionalities and Benefits
Endpoint Detection Has Become an Essential Part of a Good Cybersecurity Strategy. Find Out How It Can Protect Your Company!
As remote or hybrid work become the new normal after the Covid-19 pandemic, defending the endpoints gains more and more importance in the context of a good cybersecurity strategy. Read along to find out how endpoint detection can help you fight cybercriminals and defend your company’s security.
Endpoint Detection: Some definitions
An endpoint is a distant device that has back and forth communication with certain networks. Desktops, laptops, smartphones and tablets, work stations and servers are all examples of endpoints.
Endpoint detection is generally known as endpoint detection and response and refers to a type of cybersecurity technology “that continually monitors and responds to mitigate cyber threats”. EDR solutions offer notifications, visibility and remediation.
The term was coined by Gartner’s Anton Chuvakin in 2013.
Endpoint detection and response can sometimes be found in contrast to the term EPP, which stands for Endpoint Protection Platform and includes solutions that detect and block threats at the device level (e.g. antivirus, firewall, data encryption).
Endpoint Detection: Common Types of Endpoint Attacks
The most common types of endpoint attacks, against which endpoint detection and response solutions are very effective are the following:
Ransomware represents a “type of malware (malicious software) which encrypts all the data on a PC or mobile device, blocking the data owner’s access to it. After the infection happens, the victim receives a message that tells him/her that a certain amount of money must be paid (usually in Bitcoins) in order to get the decryption key. Usually, there is also a time-limit for the ransom to be paid.”
Phishing refers to “a malicious technique used by cybercriminals to gather sensitive information (credit card data, usernames and passwords, etc.) from users. The attackers pretend to be a trustworthy entity to bait the victims into trusting them and revealing their confidential data. The data gathered through phishing can be used for financial theft, identity theft, to gain unauthorized access to the victim’s accounts or to accounts they have access to, to blackmail the victim and more.”
c. Zero-Day Vulnerabilities
According to our cybersecurity glossary, zero-day vulnerabilities are represented by “attacks that use vulnerabilities in computer software that cybercriminals have discovered and software makers have not patched (because they weren’t aware that those vulnerabilities exist). These are often exploited by cyber attackers before the software or security companies become aware of them.”
DDoS attacks are used “to prevent normal users from accessing an online location. In this case, a cybercriminal can prevent legitimate users from accessing a website by targeting its network resources and flooding the website with a huge number of information requests.”
e. Brute Force Attacks
A brute force attack implies attempts of “guessing” the password or passphrase of the target machine. My colleague Vladimir explains:
It’s also called a cryptanalytic attack since brute force attacks rely on cryptologic functions to ‘crack’ the cypher and infiltrate the machine. Many believe BFAs to be crude, rudimentary, and rough. Nothing could be further from the truth. According to the paper A Study of Passwords and Methods Used in Brute-Force SSH Attacks by Jim Owens and Jeanna Matthews of Clarkson University’s Department of Computer Science, brute-force attacks rely heavily on password and passphrase dictionaries and on cryptologic ‘magic tricks’ that allow the malicious actors to guess the user’s credentials.
f. Malicious Insiders
My colleague Alina spoke extensively about the danger of malicious insiders in one of her articles:
A malicious insider is a type of insider threat that is specifically motivated by ill intent, as the name suggests. According to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), it can consist of either current or former employees, as well as business associates and any other third party with legitimate access to your corporate network. What defines their entry into your system as malicious is the fact that they use it to destroy or otherwise sabotage your data and property.
Endpoint Detection: How Does EDR Work
How exactly do EDR solutions protect your endpoints from the attacks mentioned above?
Well, they monitor endpoint and network events and record all the information in a database for further analysis, detection, investigation, reporting and alerting. The abilities to monitor and detect are facilitated by using analytic tools that identify patterns and detect anomalies: strange processes, unknown connections, risky activities.
The four stages of an endpoint detection and response process are detection, containment, investigation and elimination. You can find more about them in one of my previous articles, State-of-the-Art Cybersecurity Strategies: Essential Microsoft EDR Tools.
Endpoint Detection: Key Functionalities
When looking for an endpoint detection solution, you should remember that an EDR software should provide:
- Data collection agents. Software agents collect data like processes, connections, data transfers, the volume of activity.
- Automated response. Known types of security breaches can trigger an automatic response if the EDR solution has certain pre-configured rules.
- A real-time analytic engine, which should be used to evaluate and correlate data in searching for patterns.
- Forensics tools. These tools are particularly important in a post-data breach context because they allow IT professionals to better understand how an attack works and how it got into the network.
Endpoint Detection: Benefits
Endpoint detection provides IT specialists with the tools necessary for proactively identifying threats and protecting the organization.
- Better Visibility. EDR solutions continuously collect and analyze data and report to a single, centralized system, which allows you to see everything you need to know in a single place.
- Swift Investigation. Automation is an element that greatly helps with data collection and processing, which allows security teams to quickly analyze incidents and take steps for remediation.
- Automated Remediation. EDR solutions also offer automated remediation: incident response activities according to predefined rules, which simplifies the work of security analysts.
- Contextualized Threat Hunting. All the aspects mentioned above allow deep visibility into endpoints’ status, which allows security teams to easily identify and investigate the signs of a potential infection.
Heimdal™ Security has gone one step further and offers you both EDR and EPP in one solution: our Endpoint Prevention Detection and Response software (E-PDR) represents a complex cybersecurity technology for protecting endpoints, that continuously monitors and responds to mitigate cyber threats.
HEIMDAL™ ENDPOINT PREVENTION
- DETECTION AND CONTROL
Our solution offers DNS-based attack protection and patching, combined with an immediate response (which includes privileged access management) to advanced cyber threats of all kinds.
Endpoint Detection: Wrapping Up
The reality of the workforce has changed and with it the security of a company’s endpoints has only become more important.
However you choose to proceed, please remember that Heimdal™ Security always has your back and that our team is here to help you protect your home and your company and to create a cybersecurity culture to the benefit of anyone who wants to learn more about it.
Drop a line below if you have any comments, questions or suggestions regarding the topic of endpoint detection – we are all ears and can’t wait to hear your opinion!