EDR is great, but its Limitations can leave you open to Cyberattacks


Organizations deploy endpoint detection and response (EDR) security tools to monitor end-user hardware devices across a network for a range of malicious activities and behavior. EDR reacts automatically to block perceived threats while logging forensic incident details. This security tool offers essential threat detection for expansive enterprise IT assets amidst frequent and complex cyberattacks.

How Does EDR Work?

An EDR platform monitors all activities in an endpoint device, including processes, registry settings, file and network operations. An endpoint consists of any end-user device, including laptops, smartphones and internet of things (IoT) gadgets. The tool aggregates and analyzes data to detect and counter threats, either through automated processes or human interventions.

Most users install antivirus or antimalware programs to enhance endpoint protection (EPP). Such security tools, including firewalls, intrusion detection and intursion prevention systems (IDS/IPS), are signature-based and preventive in nature, meaning they match malicious activities against a database of known potential threats to detect and block attacks.

However, as cyberattacks increase and become more sophisticated, a legacy defense that relies on a static library of known exposures becomes less effective. Fortunately, organizations can employ EDR that applies a degree of automated responsiveness. These security tools feature agents installed on end-user devices to monitor all activity, from configuration changes to active processes that open files and forward the information to an on-premise or cloud-based server for analysis. This process can detect and correct abnormal behavior or alert security teams. EDR platforms also display insight via a dashboard for further review.

EDR is Great, but its Limitations Can Leave You Open to Cyberattacks

1. Limitations of EDR Threat Analysis

A recent report indicates that 84 percent of all malicious codes are known, while 16 percent are unknown. It is essential to block both known and emerging threats to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of systems and information.

Unfortunately, standalone EDR solutions lack engines to detect and respond to unknown threats, requiring users to combine them with endpoint protection platforms to prevent malware attacks and provide effective remediation capabilities.

A standard EDR product requires cloud connectivity, which can suffer from delays in endpoint protection. Without a proper cloud infrastructure and connection, the solution will allow some dwell time that an attacker can use to compromise a device, encrypt files, exfiltrate sensitive information, and remove attack traces within a fraction of a second.

2. Human Resource Requirements

EDR products are essential in detecting and responding to new threats, while antivirus functionality protects devices from known threats. Suppose the EDR is not integrated with an antivirus program. In this case, an end-user will install the two solutions separately, meaning their device will have two agents and two management consoles that security teams must monitor.

EDR detects each action as a different event, reviewing all events one by one and then requiring human input to analyze the process. Some standalone EDR solutions force security analysts to continue doing the repetitive work of handling false positives and over-detection by looking at threat flow charts. This creates a resource problem for security managers at a time when a shortage of cybersecurity skills impacts 70 percent of organizations.

3. EDR Cost

A recent study shows that 69 percent of organizations believe that endpoint protection risk has significantly increased due to the complexity and cost of endpoint protection products. Capterra reports that endpoint protection pricing starts at $45 per year, per user, and most employees have more than one device.

The tradeoff between resource limitations, the number of endpoints and the budget can result in gaps that leave organizations susceptible to attacks.

4. EDR Presents a Small View of Network Security

EDR provides a narrow view of system security within an organization. This security tool may highlight a data breach, but the visibility is limited to a specific endpoint and remains blind to external network traffic.

Enhancing an enterprise’s security posture requires solutions that collect and analyze a broader set of logs from endpoints, the cloud and network traffic. The greater the amount of information available to correlate, the higher the chances of arriving at conclusive decisions that aid in rapid detection and response.

5. Risk Inherent IoT Technology

Today’s organizations embrace IoT to leverage the technology’s many benefits, such as stronger connectivity, efficiency and productivity. However, securing IoT is overwhelming. Some devices can remain hidden from EDR capabilities and the network, since many IoT gadgets are designed with minimum regard for cybersecurity. In effect, IoT can create gaps in the overall cybersecurity posture, exposing networks and databases.

The increased visibility that EDR provides means an increased amount of data. Enterprises with limited resources face challenges with scalability. In many cases, securing additional IoT devices requires too many resources, including time, money, skilled workforce and bandwidth.

Overcoming EDR Limitations with MXDR

Given the complexity and amount of data captured by EDR solutions, in-house security teams can quickly become overwhelmed trying to efficiently manage and use the tools to enhance their organization’s cybersecurity posture. As companies continue to face limited cybersecurity resources, they remain open to cyberattacks – even with EDR solutions in place.

Fortunately, Managed eXtended Detection & Response (MXDR) offerings can effectively alleviate resource limitations and operational inefficiencies that are inherent with EDR products. And MXDR will address those known and unknown threats that evade legacy EPP solutions and EDR products. MXDR services help organizations overcome resource and expertise limitations through the strategic use of technology and powerful analytic capabilities to neutralize threat actors.

Partnering with Securus360

Managed EDR services is one component of the Securus360 MXDR solution. Securus360 MXDR delivers next-generation threat detection and response capabilities for organizations that lack cybersecurity expertise and/or resources to set up an in-house security operations center.

Securus360 MXDR services provide visibility into multiple layers which includes not just end points, but cloud instances, servers, network infrastructure and end user behavior for complete visibility to the business with 24x7 monitoring by human cybersecurity analysts. A comprehensive solution that offers threat detection, threat hunting, auto-containment, security monitoring, incident analysis and full service response.

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