Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) vs Anti-Virus (AV)
Over three decades ago, Bernd Robert Fix created what many regard as the first anti-virus. The fight between good and bad software programs since then has only gotten fiercer with each passing year.
Despite companies dramatically expanding their cybersecurity budgets, we’re not seeing any major drop in cyber-attacks. In fact, most often these attacks are perpetrated against companies that have AV in place, leaving them scratching their heads. So, it should come as no surprise that business leaders are pushing for innovative solutions to keep their organizations safe.
One solution emerging out of this push for innovation is the Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) model, a further evolution of AV software. To understand what makes this model so appealing to businesses, let’s look at what separates an EDR solution from an antivirus.
To understand what makes EDR special, we have to first consider the workings and limitations of antiviruses.
A traditional antivirus operates by comparing the programs on your computer against a database of static code patterns. Most attackers use pre-made virus programs instead of creating new exploits from scratch. The engineers working for the AV companies find patterns in those codebases and then use this handmade database of code patterns to neutralize a large number of threats.
In simpler words, antiviruses are good at detecting and neutralizing mass-scale attacks utilizing code that cyber experts are already familiar with.
Where traditional AVs struggle and typically fail is at neutralizing some of the latest cyber threats. Today’s sophisticated malware can change its code on the fly, making it extremely tough for hard-coded AVs to detect them, let alone neutralize them. Not to mention new novel code that does not lean on previously seen mechanisms. If your AV has not seen the code in malicious software before, it may do nothing at all to stop an attack.
EDR systems are different because, instead of limiting the analysis to code alone, these programs use artificial intelligence to find behavioral anomalies at the endpoint itself. The program uses advanced algorithms to analyze the way today’s most advanced digital threats operate and then flags all programs that match those patterns. While it doesn’t ignore code, its bolsters its ability to detect new threats with the use of AI to detect emerging threats despite their novelty.
As a result, an EDR can keep your organization safe against not only the widely known threats but also all the novel threats that pop up with each passing day.
How EDR Can Take Your Cybersecurity to the Next Level
The ability to tackle digital threats that we don’t even know about is impressive on its own, but what makes EDR solutions completely game-changing is the combination of all the features they offer.
The keyword here is “solution” because most EDR systems offer a suite of features and utilities to maximize your cyber defenses. Let’s look at a few below.
- AI Based Real-Time Protection: Live monitoring of all the programs and their behaviors by Artificial Intelligence to detect anomalies, recognize patterns, and then neutralize threats before they even get a chance to do any damage.
- Data Protection: An automatic data encryption setup that makes it extremely hard for attackers to extract any sensitive information from your endpoints.
- Cloud Operations: This means there is a delegation of the bulk of security operations to the cloud servers of the EDR provider. This helps free up resources on the endpoints so your professionals can keep working at full speed without any hiccups.
- Automated Response & Recovery: Automatic response to most threats without any human intervention. This takes away critical time from digital threats that they need to do any damage. Furthermore, the program may also help you restore your endpoint to a clean backup version so that your operations can go back to normal with a single click. This also means that even if a server is taken down, it will be back up in minutes instead of days.
- Advanced Reporting: Logging all the activities leading up to an attack and everything that happens afterward. This way the damage from even the most sophisticated threats can be contained easily with some professional help.
All these features collectively make for a holistic cybersecurity solution that is equipped to tackle today’s sophisticated threats and tomorrow’s evolving challenges.