On average, it takes a business 287 days to find and contain a data breach. That’s nearly ten months of stolen data that could cost the organization thousands of dollars in recovery and potential legal fees. However, endpoint detection and response (EDR) software identifies breaches faster, allowing businesses to contain and expel the malware before it does too much damage.
Finding the best EDR software
What is an EDR Tool?
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) software is a set of cybersecurity tools that identify anomalies and threats on endpoints like phones and computers and initiate response protocols for the security team. These tools provide visibility into the network and decrease the time it takes for organizations to spot and contain threats. Because human error accounts for such a large portion of vulnerabilities, EDR is crucial for stopping threats before they reach a company’s network.
EDR tools also monitor endpoints to identify suspicious behaviors, like an employee plugging in a USB drive and then accessing sensitive information. The platform will then flag this behavior and alert the IT team, so they can investigate.
Also read: EDR vs EPP Security Solutions
Common Features of EDR Solutions
When choosing an EDR tool, organizations should look for solutions that include the following features.
EDR software should regularly scan endpoints in an attempt to find malware that may be hiding on the device. For example, EDR might flag a suspicious folder that an employee unwittingly downloaded and quarantine it until IT can check it out. By detecting these persistent threats early, users can remove them before they gain access to the network.
Along with frequent scans, EDR solutions should also monitor endpoints in real time. Monitoring identifies unusual behavior and alerts IT, allowing them to lock access to secure data until they resolve the issue. Some EDR solutions can also freeze a device’s access to the network if they detect suspicious activity. If an employee attempts to log into a sensitive file at midnight when they normally work 8-5, the system may lock them out until IT can investigate and reinstate their access.
Whitelisting and blacklisting
Some programs may cause the EDR tool to send flags to IT even though it’s perfectly legitimate. For these instances, companies need the ability to whitelist programs that they want to allow without IT approval. Alternatively, the platform can blacklist applications that it knows are malicious, preventing employees from accidentally accessing them.
Automated threat response
Because threats don’t always happen during work hours, EDR platforms need the ability to initiate response protocols without input from IT. Automated threat response blocks suspicious activities and quarantines potential threats until IT can investigate. The functionality of automated response only improves when EDR tools are integrated with other cybersecurity systems like security information and event management (SIEM) or zero trust systems.
Here are some of our top EDR tools of 2021. Each of the platforms included in this list had good customer reviews and large feature sets.
Crowdstrike Falcon Endpoint Protection
- Highlights software with known vulnerabilities
- Easy to implement
- UI gives full visibility into each threat and how it was handled
- Getting technicians on the phone can sometimes be difficult
- May be cost-prohibitive for small businesses
Sophos Intercept X
- Priority alerts enable the security team to focus on the most pressing threats first
- New features are added approximately every quarter
- Helpful for retail organizations trying to maintain PCI compliance
- Companies have to sign a long-term contract to get the most competitive pricing
- Special licensing required for endpoints running Windows 7
Trend Micro EDR
- Fast and responsive communication
- Correlates logs from different sources to simply IT workloads
- Always enhancing and improving features
- Only collects information from cloud-based Trend Micro tools
- Version updates may require reboot which could leave devices vulnerable if users don’t restart them
VMware Carbon Black EDR
- Straightforward usage and implementation
- Provides good coverage levels and consistent protection
- Large amounts of event information with searchable reports
- Can be resource-intensive and slow devices down
- Might generate a lot of false positives
- Works very well with both Mac and Windows devices
- Support is helpful, responsive, and transparent
- Lack of false positives makes it easy to manage
- The knowledge base can sometimes be difficult to navigate
- Requires manual updates
- Provides a unified security system that protects against remote threats
- Doesn’t consume a ton of resources, keeping machines running well
- Threat intelligence is consistently updated and uses machine learning
- Integrations can sometimes be difficult and require extra attention
- Complete scans can take as long as a full day
MVISION Endpoint Security
- Provides full encryption to prevent access from lost or stolen devices
- Initial setup is very easy and the product is scalable
- System isn’t bothersome for end users
- Browser plug-ins are required to protect against phishing attacks
- Consumes a lot of RAM and CPU power
Cisco Secure Endpoints
- Integrates easily with other Cisco products for simple setup and configuration
- Support documentation is comprehensive and helpful
- Easy to navigate and find infected devices
- Management tool isn’t always intuitive or user-friendly
- Supports limited versions of LINUX
ESET Enterprise Inspector
- Simplifies workflows by offering a large number of automations
- Doesn’t have a huge drain on system resources
- Provides powerful protection with easy management
- Glitches can take a long time to get fixed if they don’t affect security features
- The UI is not very user-friendly
FireEye Endpoint Security
- Allows organizations to write and import their own IoCs for customized protection
- Constantly being updated with new features
- Provides a good amount of forensic evidence
- Can give a lot of false alarms if alerts aren’t heavily configured
- Cost is fairly high compared to similar products
Read next: Boosting IT Security with AI-driven SIEM