Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is a cybersecurity tool that focuses specifically on protecting endpoints. This differs a bit from what most people envision when they think of cybersecurity, which typically revolves around antivirus software, firewalls, and other network infrastructure security measures.
Let’s take a closer look at EDR security and some EDR best practices.
What Is EDR
By focusing on endpoints, which are essentially the different devices independently connecting to enterprise networks, EDR provides a different—but essential—layer of security. This works through a process of data collection and analysis, followed by threat detection and response. By constantly logging activity and sending out alerts about suspicious behavior, EDR can help enterprises intervene before a vulnerability becomes a full-on breach.
Why Is EDR Important?
As with all forms of cybersecurity, EDR is important for protecting enterprise networks from malicious threats. After all, the costs associated with a data breach keep going up. IBM and the Ponemon Institute released their findings for the cost of a data breach in 2021. These statistics should send a message to every corporate stakeholder:
- The average global cost of a data breach has reached $4.24 million, up 10 percent from last year.
- It takes an average of 287 days to contain a breach.
- The United States once again has the highest average cost of a breach, coming in at a whopping $9.05 million.
Clearly, security needs to be a top priority for firms today, as the costs and risks associated with breaches keep getting more severe. But this is true across the board. So, what makes EDR specifically an important addition to enterprise network security today?
When evaluating the importance of EDR security, it’s essential to look at some of the macro trends affecting the workplace. Even before the onset of COVID-19, enterprises were shifting their stances on things like remote work and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies. These programs benefit employees and employers alike, and so garner a lot of positive responses. Employees can spend less time commuting, while also feeling more comfortable working from home—or, if they do have to come into the office, working from their personal devices. Employers enjoy cost savings on technology and office space investments, without having to make any sacrifices on productivity. While there are great aspects to these measures, they also create risks.
The burgeoning number of devices connecting to enterprise networks—many of which aren’t under the full control of IT—creates more opportunities for criminals. Each added device means one more potential attack surface. Organizations need to understand EDR best practices in order to defend themselves from endpoint threats.
What Are EDR Best Practices?
Now that you see the need for deploying EDR for enterprise network devices, it’s time to look at some of the best practices for accomplishing this. These are a few EDR best practices:
- Work with an EDR provider – It’s intuitive to think it’s more efficient to do things in-house; but this isn’t always the case when it comes to network security. When you work with an EDR provider for comprehensive detection and response services, you’ll get their team of experts watching your back. Having top-level engineers ready to triage can stop threats before they’re able to spread. It can also save an organization money, as it’s generally more affordable to hire a security operating center as a service than it is to bring the equivalent staff and infrastructure under your own roof.
- Address invalid alerts – The obvious danger of poorly deployed EDR is that your security protocols will miss threats. A less clear problem is that too many alerts can also be a detriment. When a system is constantly spitting out false positive alerts, how are people or automated systems suppose to know how to react? With too many unnecessary alerts, fatigue can cause people to miss an actual attack.
- Stay on top of patches and updates – Your network will be vulnerable if you don’t adequately update and patch EDR tools and endpoints when necessary. Furthermore, you need to be on the lookout for vulnerabilities unknowingly created by patches and updates. This issue keeps getting more complex with the addition of more and more devices. However, creating a system for updating and patching endpoints can help mitigate some of the risk.
EDR should be an essential part of enterprise network security today. Take these best practices and apply them to your organization’s cyber-defense strategy.
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