In an increasingly connected digital world, endpoints are becoming the most crucial elements for enterprises that require advanced monitoring and protection from threat incidents. In the history of cyber or cloud security, the last two years would be remembered for being the most notorious as the pandemic situation and the subsequent remote work policy gave monumental rise to security events and highly risky threats across the globe.
On the bright side, this hard-learned lesson brought a much-needed reform to the existing threat intelligence as well as incident response capabilities of the global business community. However, if there is one question that still needs a definite answer from the network security professionals is—when it comes to choosing the right security capabilities, what should be the key objective? Prevention or response?
On that note, we will explore the two specific phrases related to endpoint security solutions that have been doing the buzz around, EPP and EDR.
What is EPP or Endpoint protection platform?
Gartner defines EPP as “An endpoint protection platform is a solution deployed on endpoint devices to prevent file-based malware attacks, detect malicious activity, and provide the investigation and remediation capabilities needed to respond to dynamic security incidents and alerts."
Traditional EPP used to be a proactive, signature-based approach that prevents attacks at the device level through the identification of emerging threats. However, the latest EPP solutions are more advanced and offer a broader range of endpoint protection capabilities. EPP often acts as the first line of defense against attacks. It is believed that the earlier you detect and remediate a threat, the lesser damage it causes to the target organization. Ideally, an endpoint protection platform contains several security solutions such as:
- Antivirus capabilities
- Data loss prevention or DLP
- Intrusion detection and prevention
- Personal firewalls
- Data encryption
Key features of EPP:
As a preventive approach, endpoint protection platforms keep their key focus on offering protection against phishing attempts, malware, or other automated attacks, using a number of tactics which are regarded as the key features of a typical EPP solution.
- Antivirus and anti-malware protection: EPPs include antivirus and anti-malware protection that scans files and email attachments for known malware and viruses.
- Firewall: EPPs include a firewall that monitors and controls incoming and outgoing network traffic based on security rules.
- Intrusion Prevention System (IPS): EPPs include an IPS that monitors network traffic for known attack patterns and blocks malicious traffic.
- Application control: EPPs include application control which allows organizations to whitelist or blacklist specific applications and processes.
- Device control: EPPs include device control which allows organizations to block the use of specific types of devices such as USB drives or removable storage.
- Mobile device management: Some EPPs include mobile device management (MDM) capabilities which allow organizations to manage and secure mobile devices.
- Centralized management: EPPs provide centralized management console which allows security teams to manage the deployment and configuration of endpoint agents, monitor activity across endpoint devices, and respond to security incidents.
- Compliance and reporting: Some EPPs provide compliance reporting which can help organizations to meet regulatory requirements and create evidence of due diligence.
- Advanced threat protection: EPPs include advanced threat protection features like endpoint detection and response, sandboxing and more to detect, prevent and respond to advanced threats.
- Cloud-based or on-premises deployment: EPPs can be deployed in the cloud or on-premises, depending on the organization's needs and preferences.
What is EDR or Endpoint Detection and Response?
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is a cybersecurity technology that is designed to detect, investigate, and respond to security incidents on endpoint devices such as laptops, desktops, and mobile devices. EDR solutions typically include endpoint agents, a centralized management console, and a cloud-based or on-premises data repository.
EDR solutions work by continuously monitoring the activity on endpoint devices, collecting data on process execution, file system changes, network communications, and other activities. This data is then analyzed in real-time to detect suspicious activity and anomalies. Once suspicious activity is detected, EDR solutions can take a number of actions, such as quarantining the endpoint, alerting security teams, and providing forensic data for incident investigation.
EDR security is designed to complement other security solutions such as antivirus, firewalls, and intrusion detection systems by providing visibility into endpoint activity, which can be used to detect and respond to advanced persistent threats that may evade these other solutions.
Key features of EDR:
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions typically include a range of features that are designed to detect, investigate, and respond to security incidents on endpoint devices. Some of the key features of EDR solutions include:
- Endpoint agents: EDR solutions rely on endpoint agents that are installed on client devices. These agents collect data on system activity, process execution, and network communications, which can be used to detect suspicious activity and anomalies.
- Real-time monitoring: EDR solutions continuously monitor the activity on endpoint devices in real time, providing visibility into endpoint activity and allowing for the rapid detection of suspicious activity.
- Advanced threat detection: EDR solutions use various techniques, such as machine learning, behavioral analytics, and threat intelligence, to detect advanced threats that may evade other security solutions.
- Incident investigation and forensic data: These solutions provide tools for investigating security incidents and collecting forensic data, which can be used to understand the scope and impact of a security incident and identify the cause.
- Automated response: Endpoint detection and response solution can also take a number of automated actions, such as quarantining the endpoint, alerting security teams, and providing forensic data for incident investigation once suspicious activity is detected.
- Centralized management: EDR solutions provide a centralized management console which allows security teams to manage the deployment and configuration of endpoint agents, monitor activity across endpoint devices, and investigate and respond to security incidents.
- Compliance and reporting: Some EDR solutions provide compliance reporting, which can help organizations to meet regulatory requirements and create evidence of due diligence.
EPP Vs. EDR: What's the Difference and Which One is the Next-gen Endpoint Security Solution?
While a managed security service provider may offer EPP and EDR as a combined endpoint data security solution offering, both these solutions have certain differences in capabilities.
Endpoint Protection Platform
Endpoint Detection & Response
Requires no active supervision
Offers active threat detection
Prevents all the known threats, along with some unknown threats
Launches immediate incident response
Offers passive threat prevention
Can investigate and contain breaches
Lacks visibility on endpoints
Enables security teams to aggregate event data across organization-wide endpoints
Acts as a first-line threat prevention mechanism
Preferred by security teams as an incident response mechanism
Isolates each endpoint for absolute protection
Offers the right context and data for endpoint attacks
So, now the question is, which one to choose for building and strengthening your next-gen endpoint security solution? If you are partnering with a managed security services provider, it's better to opt for both the services and solutions to achieve holistic cloud security as well as endpoint security for your organization. The easiest way to stay protected is to triage security events, have a threat hunting mechanism to identify any security breach or security incidents supported by a foolproof endpoint threat detection and response in place and an advanced incident management solution.
For more information, you can explore Cloud4C Managed Security Services. Cloud4C, the world’s largest application-focused cloud managed services provider and one of the leading managed cybersecurity companies, has dedicated years of time and resources to develop a futuristic, highly intelligent end-to-end managed cybersecurity services and solutions bouquet for your assets: devices, networks, servers, applications, systems, workloads, virtual systems, and most importantly data.
With Cloud4C, you gain 24/7 automated monitoring, predictive alerting and deep analytics, and cybersecurity consulting services and support. Embrace the innovative, autonomous Self Healing Security to identify potential risks, investigate, and mitigate them automatically even before the same has a chance to wreck an organization’s landscape. Opt for predictive protection and preventive maintenance. Transform your entire security strategy with state-of-the-art cybersecurity methodologies and frameworks availing Cloud4C’s unique, AI-driven Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and Security Operations Centre (SOC) offerings. Refer to our overall cybersecurity capabilities to know more.