End-Point Detection and Response Solutions: What They Are and Why You Need Them
The IT world is ever changing; growing and adapting with every new piece of hardware, software, or programming standard. This includes malware, viruses, and other tools malicious actors use to take your money and information. We’re all familiar with standard antivirus software, and we all know by now that having a secure password is basic network security, but that isn’t enough for the modern technological era. Modern malware is capable of changing its own digital signature, which lets it dodge traditional antivirus and anti-malware software—and cause extensive damage to your machines and systems. So how do you catch a virus that changes its appearance constantly?
The solution to this problem is EDR, or End-Point Detection and Response software. EDR is defined as a solution that records and stores end-point system level behaviors. Put simply, it tracks who and what acts within your system in real time. It then uses various data analysis tools in Linux, and identifies set consistent patterns of activity. If EDR records behavior that is notably out-of-line with the established patterns, it will stop the process and alert the appropriate administrator. Instead of trying to kill malware or a virus by scanning for known digital signatures (like normal anti-malware or antivirus software does), EDR actively analyzes your system in real time to lock down threats before damage can take place. It’s a pseudo-AI solution that involves constant surveillance and analysis of your system, and is therefore much more effective at responding to newer, unidentified threats than those older countermeasures. What are some examples of those newer threats that would slip past older security software, but not EDR?
Weaponized Documents: A weaponized document is a document that contains an embedded script that is designed to run in the background of your system. These are the seemingly innocuous files you might unintentionally download from a seemingly-trusted email address or website, and can introduce code that can cause significant damage. Because the script used here can vary in any number of ways, there isn’t a defined digital signature that most antivirus or anti-malware software could recognize in a scan. But when EDR detects new strange behavior going on in your system, violating the patterns you’ve set by example, it will shut it down and alert you in real time.
Browser Drive-By: These kinds of malware gain access to your computer by exploiting vulnerabilities in website security. The malware is attached to add-ons or browser extensions in web browsers, which sneaks them past the traditional security software most people rely on. Once the malware is running in the background, the hacker has full access to the machine; they can input new malware directly into the machine through other means. A file is never directly put onto the machine anywhere, so anti-malware can’t locate it via a scan. EDR would catch this, once again, by noticing and isolating irregular behavior within the system.
So what’s the benefit of EDR to businesses, besides the obvious? EDR solutions are really designed to reduce and eliminate downtime caused by malicious attacks. Between catching threats more consistently than traditional software and assisting the recovery process, EDR is both a vaccine and a cure for most malware attacks. The attacks are identified and stopped quickly, and then data is provided on the attack itself to help guard against future similar attacks. NorDutch EDR solutions do all of this while also allowing you to click through a roll-back of the attack, letting you observe the EDR at work after the fact. In time, EDR will completely replace antivirus software; try it now!