Using networked endpoints in your organization presents cybersecurity risks both to the networks they’re connected to and your broader IT infrastructure. However, with the help of endpoint detection response tools, you’ll be well-positioned to identify these risks early on—effectively preventing them from becoming serious threats. Read on to learn how.
What are the Best Endpoint Detection Response Tools?
Endpoint detection response tools are critical cybersecurity tools because they help secure network-connected devices and reduce an organization’s attack surface.
To explore which endpoint detection tools are the most effective, we’ll cover:
- What endpoint detection response is, and how it works
- Widely-implemented EDR security tools
- Endpoint detection response best practices
Your organization will achieve robust endpoint protection by utilizing endpoint detection response tools and approaches, which can be optimized by partnering with a managed security services provider (MSSP).
What is Endpoint Detection Response (EDR)?
Endpoint detection response is simply a cybersecurity approach for securing any device considered an endpoint (i.e., connected to an organization’s network). Endpoints can operate on-premise, on the cloud, or within a hybrid environment.
Examples of endpoints include:
- Printers and scanners
- Mobile devices
So, what are endpoint detection and response tools?
EDR security tools focus on securing endpoints using approaches such as threat and vulnerability management, incident management, cloud security, etc. However, an endpoint detection and response approach is not limited to these tools.
A robust endpoint detection response will help manage vulnerabilities related to:
- Delays in identifying high-impact threats to endpoints
- Gaps in antivirus and antimalware tools
- A lack of awareness about endpoint threats
- Poor enterprise security monitoring
Adding more endpoints to your IT infrastructure increases the risk of these endpoints being impacted by network security threats. For organizations with large numbers of endpoints, exercising manual oversight is challenging because each endpoint faces unique risks.
For instance, older workstation models may face different network security vulnerabilities than newer ones. Likewise, Internet of Things (IoT) devices like smart printers or scanners make easy targets for cybercriminals if their network security controls are not patched frequently.
However, a comprehensive and dedicated endpoint security approach reduces the attack surface, safeguarding diverse assets across your digital real estate.
How Do EDR Tools Work?
The primary goal of endpoint detection response tools is to identify potential risks targeting an organization’s networks via endpoints. Once these risks are identified, the EDR tool then initiates the appropriate security responses to prevent the risks from spreading and impacting the broader digital infrastructure.
In general, endpoint detection response tools have broad functionalities. Some EDR tools provide generalized cybersecurity protection whereas others are designed to secure specific types of endpoints (e.g., cloud-based servers, mobile devices, IoT devices).
Endpoint detection tools detect threats to endpoints by recognizing:
- Threat signatures – Typically, organizations use signature-based threat detection to swiftly identify threats whose signatures are known. Factors like indicators of compromise (IOC) enable security teams to streamline their processes for detecting potential endpoint security threats.
- System anomalies – Certain changes to a system’s components may reveal vulnerabilities in endpoint security. The most common anomalies include:
- Configuration anomalies are changes to essential system configurations that indicate the presence of endpoint cybersecurity threats.
- Behavioral anomalies are unusual, often significant changes to endpoint behavior that impact their overall activity.
To effectively safeguard endpoints and networks, EDR tools must:
- Identify and inventory assets that classify as endpoints
- Collect data from endpoints to develop threat and risk models
- Analyze the collected data to identify patterns related to:
- Unique threat signatures
- Normal vs. unusual activity
- Respond to threats using predefined security protocols
- Enable root cause analysis in instances of threat mitigation
When first implementing EDR security tools, you must calibrate them to your organization’s unique digital environment. Failure to do so can result in either unnecessary false alarms or low thresholds for threat detection that compromise your security posture.
Best EDR Tools For Your Organization
Identifying the best endpoint detection response tools requires understanding which EDR capabilities provide robust endpoint security ROI. Since there are many endpoint detection tools available on the market, it helps to know which ones will best meet your organization’s needs.
Let’s dive into some of the essential capabilities of an effective EDR security tool:
Effective data management plays a critical role in securing assets like endpoints. When comparing one endpoint to another, you will likely find differences in vulnerabilities and their risk impact.
With the right selections and amounts of data, it is much easier to optimize the endpoint safeguards you implement.
Collecting too much data takes up unnecessary cloud or on-premises storage and can become redundant. However, minimal data collection can impede endpoint detection if the data is insufficient for supporting threat analyses.
The ideal endpoint detection response tools should provide:
- Flexible options for managing data, starting from the point of collection to storage to disposal when the data is no longer needed or considered redundant
- Automated processes for collecting, curating, and analyzing all the data collected from endpoints at large organizations
A more flexible and easily manageable endpoint detection and response tool will streamline threat detection, even for organizations with multiple endpoints.
Besides flexible data management, scalability is essential when determining which endpoint detection response tools will best meet your needs. Ideally, a scalable EDR security tool should provide a similar degree of endpoint detection and response to any organization, regardless of size.
As your organization grows, the types of threats that target endpoints will likely become more sophisticated. For instance, endpoint security might look different for a company operating out of a single site than for one whose sites are spread across multiple locations, nationally or internationally.
Leading endpoint security solutions tend to have tiered architectures, allowing users to scale up their usage depending on their current or anticipated needs. These EDR security tools also offer distributed databases, enabling security teams across multi-site locations to swiftly gather data from endpoints to guide threat intelligence.
Scalable endpoint detection response tools are also essential for large organizations that handle sensitive data because they can identify high-impact threats early on. If successful, a single attack on an endpoint could compromise an entire network, impacting data privacy and security.
When collecting large amounts of data from endpoints across your organization, you need a security tool that can swiftly analyze these datasets to identify signs of threats.
Manual intelligence gathering is cumbersome and slows down threat detection processes, placing your organization at risk for threats targeting endpoints. In its stead, automated data analytics supplements your internal threat intelligence tools and helps your security teams detect these threats much faster.
Endpoint detection response tools with data analytics tools are also essential when sifting through vast amounts of data to differentiate noise from actual usable data. By curating the data collected from all the endpoints at risk in your organization, your security team is less likely to be overwhelmed with false alarms, prioritizing its responses to only real threats.
To some extent, endpoint security tools are a specific niche of cybersecurity solutions because they focus on addressing threats to endpoints. However, your IT security infrastructure likely contains assets that are not connected to networks the entire time they are active.
Safeguarding all the assets in your cybersecurity infrastructure, regardless of their network connections is critical to mitigating threats from impacting sensitive data environments.
As such, the best endpoint detection response tools easily integrate into your broader cybersecurity infrastructure, optimizing existing cyberdefenses such as:
- Threat and vulnerability management, which streamlines:
- Identity and access management
Most importantly, endpoint detection response tools should be customizable to your organization’s unique needs.
A smaller organization looking to expand quickly may be more interested in a scalable EDR security tool than one that conducts large-scale enterprise data analytics. However, a larger organization whose employees use endpoints at multiple locations might find fast analytics and data management more useful when choosing endpoint detection response tools.
Advanced Persistent Threat Detection
Considering the sophistication of endpoint security threats in today’s digital landscape, the best endpoint detection response tools for your organization should be capable of detecting advanced persistent threats (APTs).
APTs use multiple attack vectors, making them more challenging to detect and mitigate than typical threats. Cybercriminals typically leverage these types of threats for high-level espionage, such as when targeting organizations that handle sensitive national security data.
Regardless, any organization whose networks contain protected types of data is at risk of being attacked by APTs.
Examples of APTs include:
- Social engineering attacks – Using scams like spear phishing and whaling, cybercriminals can target specific individuals in an organization to steal their credentials and gain access to protected environments.
- Distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks – By overwhelming a network with traffic, DDoS attacks can limit an entire system or network’s activity—rendering data unavailable.
- Malware and viruses – Malicious software programs can infect a single endpoint and then rapidly spread to multiple files within a network.
Defending your organization against these types of threats requires an understanding of the various types of attack vectors cybercriminals deploy.
An EDR security tool equipped with advanced threat detection capabilities will be able to classify the threats into the appropriate category based on factors like risk impact before initiating the appropriate mitigatory response.
Best Practices For Endpoint Detection and Response Security
Like any other cybersecurity solution, endpoint security must be optimized to the operational, business, and strategic needs of your organization. Outside of that, the endpoint security tools you use will be operating blindly.
Even when using the best endpoint detection response tools to safeguard your organization’s sensitive data and endpoints against threats, you still need to optimize how these devices work.
Let’s dive into common best practices for endpoint security:
Security Awareness Training
Endpoint detection tools work best when users maintain reasonable cybersecurity hygiene. Ideally, these tools should be present to detect the threats that bypass your organization’s baseline security levels.
Investing in security awareness training enables users across your organization to understand their role in safeguarding digital environments against cybersecurity threats.
For instance, educating your employees about social engineering scams and how they work provides them with the necessary resources to mitigate phishing-related threats from compromising networks to which endpoints like mobile devices are connected.
Scenario-based security awareness training also helps keep employees and other users (e.g., vendors and contractors) accountable when it comes to keeping endpoints safe.
For example, contractors who use networked workstations less often than employees may not realize the extent to which poor security hygiene can compromise such endpoints until an illustration demonstrates otherwise.
Automation of EDR Security
Organizations whose large IT infrastructures contain hundreds to thousands of endpoints will likely require automation of endpoint detection and response processes. There’s simply too much data for a security team to review, analyze, and garner useful insights on demand.
In such instances, automating as many steps of endpoint detection and response as possible helps streamline threat management and improves the effectiveness of the EDR security tools.
Examples of key processes to automate include:
- Eradication of malicious files upon detection
- Notification of designated security personnel about potential threats
- Stopping processes attempting to infiltrate networks
Automating endpoint detection and response can significantly increase the speed at which threats are detected and addressed, enabling EDR security tools to respond to critical threats in real time.
Ultimately, the best endpoint detection response tools provide your organization peace of mind and help users comfortably use endpoints to fulfill mission-critical business objectives.
Partnering with a trusted MSSP will help you identify the right EDR solutions that effectively mitigate cybersecurity threats from compromising data privacy, integrity, and availability.
Optimize Your Endpoint Protection
By choosing the right endpoint detection response tools, your organization will secure its endpoints and the networks to which they are connected. With the help of an experienced MSSP, you will be well-positioned to understand the nuances of endpoint detection response and apply it effectively.
To learn more and get started, contact RSI Security today!