Endpoints are the biggest cybersecurity threat for enterprises, and with the recent pandemic, the number of remote workers has increased drastically.
What are EDR Solutions?
Endpoint detection and response, or EDR, is a type of cybersecurity solution that monitors endpoint devices for signs of a threat, such as unusual behavior or vulnerabilities. If a potential threat is detected, EDR solutions can initiate the appropriate response in real-time, whether that’s an automated workflow or human intervention. EDR solutions are an improvement over the older endpoint protection platforms (EPP), which simply provided local endpoint protection.
The journey to EDR began with EPP, then moved to detection with limited automation, and then intelligent detection aided by automation. Extended detection and response (XDR) is the next frontier for EDR solutions. XDR is a comprehensive security approach that includes endpoint devices, network infrastructure, email, and cloud applications.
EDR solutions use threat detection techniques that include:
- Signature analysis: This type of analysis runs network traffic signatures against a database of known threats to detect any malicious activity.
- Behavioral analysis: This technique uses machine learning and statistical methods to monitor endpoints for unusual or unexpected behaviors, such as changes in network access patterns.
- Sandbox analysis: This method involves running an unknown file in a sandboxed environment and monitoring its behavior to determine if it is malicious or not.
- Whitelist/blacklist matching: This approach compares the IP address of an endpoint with a list of known-safe and known-malicious addresses to determine if it is safe or not.
Top 7 EDR Solutions
There are many EDR solutions on the market, but here are some of our top picks.
Crowdstrike Falcon Endpoint Protection Platform
CrowdStrike Falcon is a cloud-based endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution. It uses artificial intelligence (AI) and behavioral analysis to provide real-time protection against threats. CrowdStrike Falcon has a cloud-based management console that makes it easy to deploy and manage. There is no need for on-premises equipment. CrowdStrike Falcon is an ideal solution for organizations that need a sophisticated EDR solution that is easy to deploy and manage.
- Alignment to the MITRE Framework: CrowdStrike Falcon was built using the MITRE Adversarial Tactics, Techniques and Common Knowledge (ATT&CK) methodology. This ensures that it can adapt and protect against new threats as they emerge. Based on MITRE Engenuity tests, the platform was named a Leader in Gartner’s 2021 Magic Quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms for the second year.
- Single-agent design: CrowdStrike Falcon’s single-agent design ensures that there is no need for separate endpoint agents, servers, or cloud subscriptions
- Advanced, signatureless protection: CrowdStrike Falcon’s advanced threat prevention capabilities are based on machine learning and behavioral analytics. This enables it to provide real-time protection against evolving and unknown threats without relying on signatures.
- One platform for all workloads: CrowdStrike Falcon provides complete endpoint protection across Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems, virtual machines, and cloud workloads. Enterprises do not need to invest in any on-premises equipment.
- Device and firewall control: CrowdStrike Falcon offers granular device and firewall control within the Falcon console, allowing administrators to manage devices and firewalls across their entire network.
- API integration: CrowdStrike Falcon can be integrated with other security tools and services using its robust API. Organizations to easily integrate threat protection into their broader security strategy.
- No on-premises equipment
- Feature parity across operating systems
- Single-agent design
- Behavioral learning
- Firewall management
- Good API integration
- Intuitive dashboard
- New users can feel overwhelmed by the sheer ton of options and features
SentinelOne Singularity is another powerful EDR solution that provides real-time protection against a wide range of threats. It uses machine learning and behavioral analytics to detect and block both known and zero-day threats.
- The MITRE ATT&CK Framework: MITRE has tested several EDR tools for their response to known threat behaviors exhibited by known criminal groups such as Wizard Spider + Sandworm (2022), Carbanak+FIN7 (2020), APT29 (2019) and APT3 (2018). In all tests and scenarios, SentinelOne outperformed most EDR solutions.
- Storyline feature threat hunting: The Storyline feature in SentinelOne creates a timeline of all endpoint activities, allowing users to hunt for unusual behavior, understand context, and prioritize actions to take next. This feature makes SentinelOne a powerful tool for threat hunting, giving security analysts the insights they need to stay one step ahead.
- Single agent for endpoint management: SentinelOne uses a single lightweight agent that can be deployed on all device types and operating systems. This feature eliminates the need to manage multiple agents and configuration processes, saving precious time and resources.
- Works with multiple OS: SentinelOne can protect any device running on Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. Additionally, it can be seamlessly integrated with other security tools across the enterprise to provide comprehensive protection against all threats.
- Device and firewall control: SentinelOne gives administrators granular control over device access and network firewalls. This feature allows them to manage their entire enterprise network from a single console easily.
- RESTful API: SentinelOne offers a rich RESTful API that can be integrated with other services and tools seamlessly. This allows enterprises to leverage the power of SentinelOne within their broader security stack.
- Robust threat intelligence
- Advanced behavioral analytics
- Powerful threat-hunting capabilities
- Easy integration with other security tools
- Users have complained of problems when uninstalling the software
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint
Formerly known as Microsoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is a comprehensive security platform that helps prevent attacks, detect breaches early, and automatically investigate and respond to incidents.
- Agentless Protection: One of the key features of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint is that it doesn’t require agents to be installed on endpoint devices. This is important because agents can often be a weak point in security solutions, as they can be susceptible to attack or Tampering. By not requiring agents, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint helps to reduce the attack surface and make it more difficult for attackers to gain access to endpoint devices. Additionally, agentless detection and response is more resource-efficient than traditional agent-based approaches, which can help reduce your IT costs.
- Query-based Threat Hunting Tool: This tool allows security professionals to quickly and easily search through huge amounts of data to find signs of potential threats. The query-based approach makes it easy to zero in on specific suspect activity, saving valuable time in the investigation process.
- Cloud Security Analytics: Microsoft Defender for Endpoint also includes cloud security analytics, which is a cloud-based service that provides real-time visibility into the state of your security posture. With cloud security analytics, you can quickly identify issues and take corrective action before an attack occurs.
- Ransomware Protection: Microsoft Defender for Endpoint includes ransomware protection to help defend against this type of threat. Ransomware protection works by identifying suspicious activity and then taking action to block or quarantine malicious files before they can encrypt your data.
- Microsoft Ecosystem Integration: This EDR solution integrates seamlessly with other Microsoft products and services. This tight integration allows you to take advantage of the full power of the Microsoft ecosystem to strengthen your security posture further.
- Automated Security: This feature helps to automate many everyday security tasks, such as patch management and incident response. Automating these tasks frees up valuable time so that you can focus on more strategic initiatives.
- Agentless protection
- Easy to use and deploy
- Integration with SIEM tools
- Removable storage control
- Mobile support
- Integration with other Microsoft services
- Pushes notifications regularly, which some users can find annoying
Trellix Endpoint Security
Trellix (formerly McAfee Mvision) is a robust EDR software tool that leverages behavioral and machine learning to automate threat and attack detection. Trellix has a common service layer and an anti-malware core engine. In addition, the adaptive scanning process is designed to focus resources on only suspicious or unknown sources.
- Advanced Malware Scanning: Trellix uses an advanced malware scanning process that can detect and remove even the most sophisticated threats. The scanning process is automated and happens in real time, so you don’t have to worry about manually running scans or waiting for results. This feature alone makes Trellix a powerful tool in the fight against cybercrime.
- Common Service Layer: Trellix’s common service layer helps reduce the amount of resources and power required by a user’s system. This saves users money and helps reduce the environmental impact of endpoint security solutions. The common service layer also makes it easy to integrate Trellix with other products, which reduces protection gaps.
- Adaptive Scanning Process: The adaptive scanning process is designed to focus resources on only suspicious or unknown sources. This helps reduce false positives and ensures that scan times are as short as possible. By focusing on only the most important threats, Trellix can provide better protection with fewer resources.
- Story Graph: The story graph is a unique feature of Trellix that allows users to visualize the relationships between different events. This helps security professionals quickly identify patterns and trends so they can investigate and resolve threats more efficiently.
- Single-Agent Design with Integrated Defense Features: Trellix’s single-agent design means that all defence features are integrated into one agent. This simplifies deployment and management while still providing comprehensive protection. The integrated defence features include antimalware, intrusion prevention, firewall, and web filtering.
- Seamless Integration with Other Trellix Products: Seamless integration with other Trellix products reduces protection gaps and ensures that the latest security features protect all users. Trellis also offers seamless integration with third-party products, reducing protection gaps. Trellix provides comprehensive protection from a single platform by integrating with other products.
- Robust defence features
- Comprehensive threat protection
- Automatic updates and scans
- Mobile-friendly design
- Some users may find the user interface confusing or unintuitive
Sophos Intercept X: Next-Gen Endpoint Security
Sophos Intercept X is a next-generation endpoint security solution that combines deep learning and signatureless exploit prevention to keep your devices safe from the latest threats.
- Deep Learning Capabilities: One thing that sets Sophos Intercept X apart from other endpoint security solutions is its deep learning capabilities. Deep learning is artificial intelligence that allows the software to evolve constantly and adapt to new threats.
- Anti-Ransomware Technology: Another key feature of Sophos Intercept X is its anti-ransomware technology. This technology uses behavior-based detection to identify ransomware attacks and stop them before they can encrypt your data. It also includes a file reputation system that checks files against a database of known malicious files. If a file is found to be malicious, it will be blocked before it can do any damage.
- Signatureless Exploit Prevention: In addition to deep learning and anti-ransomware technology, Sophos Intercept X also features signatureless exploit prevention. This technology uses machine learning to detect and block even the most sophisticated exploits. It also includes an application control module that allows you to allow or block certain applications. This ensures that only approved applications can run on your system, further protecting it from attack.
- Root Cause Analysis: If you fall victim to a cyber-attack, Sophos Intercept X can help you figure out how it happened with its root cause analysis feature. This allows you to see exactly what went wrong so you can take steps to prevent it from happening again in the future.
- Managed Detection and Response: Lastly, Sophos Intercept X offers managed detection and response services. This is an elite team of threat hunters who monitor your system for threats and resolve any issues that arise.
- Easy to deploy and use.
- Excellent customer support
- Signatureless detection
- Sophos central dashboard for all Sophos products
- Some users find that removing a quarantined file is overly complicated and requires too many steps.
Trend Micro Vision One
Trend Micro Vision One is an XDR (extended detection and response) platform that collects and correlates data across multiple security layers. It has been named a leader in the Forrester New Wave Extended Detection and Response (XDR) Providers, Q4 2021 and Named a leader in the Forrester Wave Endpoint Detection and Response, Q2 2022.
- MITRE Attack Framework: One of the critical features of Trend Micro Vision One is that it is built on the MITRE ATT&CK framework. The MITRE ATT&CK framework is a globally-recognized methodology for describing cyber attacks. In recent MITRE ATT&CK Evaluations for Wizard Spider and Sandworm adversary groups, the tool ranked first in the protection category for ensuring early attack prevention.
- SIEM Connector to Forward Alerts: Another key feature of Trend Micro Vision One is its SIEM connector, which allows you to forward alerts to your SIEM (security information and event management) system. This integration gives you a complete picture of your organization’s security posture by consolidating data from multiple sources into one platform.
- Dynamic Attack Surface Risk Management: Trend Micro’s Dynamic Attack Surface Risk Management is a feature that constantly monitors your organization’s attack surface for changes. It uses data from your SIEM, firewalls, endpoints, and other sources to identify risks and vulnerabilities. DASRM also includes a risk scoring system that rates the severity of each risk so you can prioritize which ones to address first.
- Intuitive Threat Detection, Investigation, and Response: Trend Micro’s XDR platform is designed to be intuitive and easy to use. It includes various features that make threat detection, investigation, and response faster and more efficient. For example, the XDR platform can automatically correlate data from multiple security layers to speed up threat detection.
- Advanced workflow and automation tools: It includes advanced workflow and automation tools like Security Playbooks and Sandbox Analysis to help you streamline your investigation process and respond to threats.
- Intuitive, user-friendly interface
- Same console as the entire security suite
- Built on the MITRE ATT&CK framework
- Easy to Integrate with Trend Micro Products and other third-party products
- XDR is either purchased as an add-on to Apex One or as a standalone product to augment endpoint protection agents
Palo Alto’s Cortex XDR is an endpoint security solution that promises to stop modern attacks by integrating data from any source – including endpoints, networks, cloud applications, and user activity – to detect and investigate incidents. The artificial intelligence engine then processes this data to identify suspicious behavior and anomalies. Investigators can use the PowerQuery analytics platform to quickly understand the root cause and take appropriate action when an incident is detected.
- Artificial intelligence-based threat detection: One of the key features of Cortex XDR is its artificial intelligence-based threat detection. Ity uses machine learning to constantly evolve and improve its ability to detect and protect against new threats. This is a big plus for businesses that need to be protected against the latest and greatest cyber threats.
- Scope-based access control: Another feature of Cortex XDR is scope-based access control. This feature allows security teams to specify exactly what users have access to, which data and applications. This is a great way to prevent unauthorized access to sensitive data and ensures that only authorized users can access the information they need.
- Analytics Engine: Cortex XDR also includes a robust analytics feature, which allows users to quickly and easily run queries on your data to find trends and patterns. This is a valuable tool for businesses needing to make sense of large amounts of data quickly.
- Managed threat-hunting service: This service provides expert help in identifying and investigating potential threats. This is a great option for businesses that don’t have the internal resources to dedicate to threat hunting.
- Automated root cause analysis: Finally, Cortex XDR includes automated root cause analysis. It can automatically identify the root cause of a security event and provide a fix.
- Intuitive user interface
- Customizable dashboards
- USB protection
- Integration with Palo Alto NGFW
- Advanced analytics
- Noticeable performance impact on lower-end systems
Choosing an EDR Solution.
When choosing an EDR solution, there are several factors that businesses should consider.
- Take stock of your endpoints: When choosing an EDR solution, it’s important first to take stock of your existing endpoints. This approach will help you determine the most important capabilities and features for your organization. For example, how many remote employees do you have and are your office locations connected via a central network?
- Do breaches need to be reported: Another important consideration is whether or not your organization must comply with industry-specific regulations, such as HIPAA or GDPR. This can help you determine if your solution needs to include built-in reporting capabilities and investigation tools.
- Technical features: The technical capabilities of an EDR solution are also essential to consider. Many solutions offer a range of features, such as artificial intelligence-based threat detection, USB protection, and integration with other security products like firewalls and endpoint protection agents.
- Technical complexity: You must also consider the technical complexity of the solution. If you need a simple, straightforward solution that is easy for your staff to use, then look for one that is user-friendly and has a centralized management console.
- Do you want a managed service?: Finally, it’s important to think about whether you want a managed service for your EDR solution. This can be an attractive option for businesses that don’t have the internal resources to dedicate to threat hunting and investigation
Ultimately, when choosing an EDR solution, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, businesses should take stock of their existing infrastructure, consider the specific needs of their endpoints and employees, and evaluate different technical features to find the right solution for their organization.
Features of EDR Software.
From the foregoing, we can infer that a good EDR solution should have the following key features:
- Align to MITRE Framework
- Offer integration with other security products
- Be user-friendly and intuitive
- Include automated (AI and ML) threat detection and response capabilities
- Have anti-malware and anti-ransomware technology
- Be platform agnostic
- Feature parity across operating systems
- Offer advanced analytics and reporting
Benefits of EDR Platforms.
In conclusion, there are several benefits to using an EDR platform for your business, including improved visibility and control over your endpoints, enhanced threat detection capabilities, and streamlined investigation processes:
- Visibility and control: Endpoint detection and response platforms offer improved visibility and control over your endpoints, giving you a better understanding of what is happening across your network. This can help you quickly identify potential threats before they become serious issues.
- Threat detection: In addition to providing enhanced visibility into your endpoints, EDR platforms also include advanced threat detection capabilities that can help improve your overall security posture. These tools use artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to analyze endpoint data and detect potentially malicious activity in real time.
- Investigation process: By using an EDR solution, businesses can streamline the investigation process for security incidents. Many solutions include built-in tools for investigating threats, such as automated root-cause identification and threat-hunting services. This allows businesses to respond quickly to and contain cyber threats.
With the right EDR solution, businesses can improve their security posture and protect their endpoints against modern cyber threats.