This is the Definitive Guide on Endpoint Detection and Response Solutions for 
This is the complete guide to Endpoint Detection and Response Solutions (EDR) in 2022.
In this in-depth guide, you’ll learn:
- What Endpoint Detection and Response Solutions are.
- Why you need an EDR solution.
- Which capabilities to look for in an EDR solution.
- How to choose the best solution for your environment.
So if you are ready to go “all in” with EDR, this guide is for you. Let’s dive in.
What is Endpoint Detection and Response?
Endpoint detection and response (EDR), also known as endpoint threat detection and response (ETDR), is an endpoint security solution that monitors in real-time end-user devices to collect and analyze data. The data collected and analyzed is then used to detect and respond to cyber threats like ransomware and malware.
The term “endpoint threat detection and response” was coined by Anton Chuvakin of Gartner for “tools primarily focused on detecting and investigating suspicious activities (and traces of such) other problems on hosts/endpoints.”
The primary purpose of an EDR is to:
- Monitor and collect activity data from endpoints to determine potential threats.
- Inspect the gathered data to identify threat patterns.
- Automatically respond to contain and remove threats when they have been identified.
- Notify authorized personnel when action is taken.
- Provide forensics and analysis tools to investigate identified threats and search for suspicious activity.
Why do you need an EDR?
Security breaches and attacks continue to grow each year. Even with strict security controls, an organization can be vulnerable to an attack. Having tools to detect and hunt down threats are critical for any organization.
An EDR solution can help your team identify attacks and threats that would otherwise go unnoticed. An EDR will detect attacks by searching for indicators of compromise (IOC) and indicators of attack (IOA). IOA’s focus is on detecting the intent of what an attacker may be trying to accomplish. IOC’s are evidence on a computer that indicates that a security breach has taken place.
Also, it can detect configuration anomalies on your endpoints. Changes to system components, automatic updates, and file metadata. Behavior anomalies are detected when there is activity on an endpoint that stands out from expected behavior.
EDR alert systems will allow your team to respond faster to potential incidents. An EDR solution can show you the exact processes that were executed on an endpoint to help your team remediate and prevent future access. It’s critical to know how an attack happened and how to prevent it from happening in the future.
EDR tools provide forensic capabilities as they continuously collect data and generate reports. This allows your team to investigate and see each step taken by an attacker.
In total, it’s like adding another team to your organization. An EDR solution adds valuable threat intelligence, alerting, and knowledge to your team. Most schools don’t have the resources to hire a security analyst, malware analyst, threat intelligence analyst, etc.
EDR vs. Traditional Antivirus and Antimalware
An EDR is definitely more expensive than traditional antivirus, so what’s different about it to justify that cost? Traditional antivirus and antimalware software rely on signature recognition using a database of known definitions for viruses and malware. Traditional platforms struggle to detect unknown signatures and usually fail to detect them. An EDR, on the other hand, utilizes threat intelligence to detect new threats with data collected from endpoints all over the world. Also, an EDR platform uses AI to determine what is normal behavior for endpoints on your network.
Capabilities when selecting an EDR
When selecting an EDR, it is important to evaluate based on its capabilities. I’ve listed some of those capabilities along with related thoughts and questions to keep in mind during your selection process.
- Zero-Day Detection
- The zero-day term is used to describe vulnerabilities, threats, and exploits that are previously unknown to security teams and they have had “0” days to work on a patch or mitigation. You should look for an EDR solution that provides real-time threat intelligence to help mitigate those threats.
- Third-Party Integrations
- Many environments have multiple software systems that have that data flows between. EDR systems are no different. Look for an EDR system with third-party integrations that can interface with asset management, vulnerability management, policy compliance, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), firewalls, and other forensic tools.
- Vulnerability and Patching Support
- Patch management is an essential part of an organization’s security defense. Unpatched software, operating systems, and firmware are one of the leading causes of security breaches. An EDR solution that supports your patching needs is an important aspect to consider when selecting a product.
- Alert Prioritized Incidents
- As alerts grow from increased detections and threat intelligence, you don’t want to be fatigued by the number of alerts. Select an EDR that can intelligently prioritize incidents and eliminate alert fatigue. This is also called incident triage, which helps teams prioritize investigations.
- Can it scale?
- How well will an EDR tool scale for your organization? Does the vendor’s roadmap meet your school’s future needs? Will costs grow out of control down the road? Important things to consider so you can avoid the headache of migrating to another EDR solution later.
- Behavioral Machine Learning
- Behavioral machine learning models help track movement across an organization’s network. These models can analyze behavioral data and identify malicious activity.
- Your organization needs a solution that is going to be fast, without slowing down your endpoint devices. Find an EDR solution that operates in real-time without full device scans that will slow your endpoints down.
- Ease of Use
- How easy is it to pull exports and analyze data? You will need to determine if the system will be user-friendly for your team and has the right reports for your needs.
- A cloud-native solution is more streamlined and offers quicker access to threat intelligence. It’s easy to manage endpoints from anywhere compared to an on-premise solution. Avoid old retrofitted solutions that advertise cloud-enabled features.
- Fast response
- How fast can you respond? When comparing or demoing EDR solutions, find out how fast you can respond to an incident. How quickly can a breach be mitigated to prevent any further damage?
- The saying, you get what you pay for comes to mind. A question that you will need to ask yourself and your team, what is good enough? That’s a difficult question to answer in regards to securing your school. An enterprise solution will probably cost quite a bit, compared to other solutions that will meet your cybersecurity insurance and legal obligations. Which solution will give you peace of mind?
Ratings and Reviews
Look at industry ratings and reviews from people that work in the field. Try to look for reviews from system admins and security personnel that have experience working with multiple different Endpoint Detection and Response systems.
One of the best places to read EDR reviews is Gartner’s Endpoint Protection Platforms Reviews and Rating.
Gartner also provides their magic quadrant for Endpoint Protection Platforms which is rated by several different areas. This tool provides a graphical competitive positioning in the EDR market. The May 2021 magic quadrant can be viewed here.
Finding the right solution
You will need to determine the level of functionality that your school needs when choosing an Endpoint Detection and Response solution. Are you going for the best enterprise product for protection and peace of mind? Or are you getting a solution to meet legal and insurance requirements?
Contact some of the companies that are listed on Gartner’s website and get some demos scheduled. If there is a solution that looks good, see if they can give you a trial so you can take it for a test drive. Finally, make sure to go through those Gartner reviews, they are an invaluable source of information to help make your decision.