managed edr security

What is Managed EDR Security?

Andrew Douthwaite

April 30, 2024

Summary of Key Points

  • Managed EDR provides proactive endpoint security, surpassing traditional antivirus methods
  • Key features include behavioral monitoring, threat hunting, incident triage, rapid response, cloud-based management, scalability, and integration with existing security systems.
  • Its significance lies in enhancing endpoint visibility, addressing vulnerabilities from BYOD and weak passwords, ensuring compliance, and mitigating cyber threats effectively.

All of us have sensitive data that we don’t want to get into the wrong hands. It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business owner or you’re managing a multinational corporation. As long as there are data sets that could be used by bad actors to make money off of you, protecting that data will remain a critically important precaution. 

Managed EDR is one of the most sophisticated means of protecting your data today. This type of security service addresses the shortcomings of antivirus and anti-malware software that we’ve all used over the past few decades and takes a more proactive approach to protecting your sensitive files and data.

Utilizing EDR services in any form provides a powerful line of defense against unauthorized access to your data, but utilizing a managed EDR service takes much of the burden off your shoulders. Once you understand what EDR is and how it can protect your organization from possible threats, it becomes clear just how valuable an investment it is.

What is EDR?

EDR stands for Endpoint Detection and Response. EDR focuses on monitoring and protecting endpoints against outside threats. This is important in that endpoints are among the most vulnerable targets for attackers looking to gain unauthorized access and compromise your data. EDR allows system administrators to identify those potential threats in a timely manner and take the necessary steps to remediate them.

What are endpoints?

Endpoints refer to the devices we use every day to conduct our business, including smartphones, tablets, desktop and laptop computers, virtual environments, and servers. The fact that these devices can be prone to vulnerabilities caused by user error and poor security practices makes them primary points of attack for hackers and cybercriminals. 

Traditional methods of endpoint protection like antivirus software only detect compromised files after a breach has already occurred. EDR, on the other hand, identifies threats through known behavioral patterns and preemptively protects your data against unauthorized access. 

How does EDR work?

EDR protects your data by monitoring multiple reference points, such as memory, running processes, network activity, and common attack rule sets. It continually collects and analyzes data in real time, giving stakeholders time to neutralize the threat before an attack occurs. By continuously monitoring these activities, EDR can allow us to neutralize the threat before it has a chance to access our files and compromise our data.

All that said, EDR software is not a standalone threat protection product. It is intended to complement other security solutions and make them more effective. The best protection is provided through multiple layers of security solutions, and EDR systems are a powerful ally.

What is Managed EDR?

If managing an EDR software yourself sounds like a large job, it is. If you aren’t technically inclined or don’t have experience in the field, managing EDR software yourself will be incredibly time consuming. Even if you know what you’re doing, it’s unlikely you have the bandwidth to tackle this project alone. For consumers who want their EDR services managed, MDR is a fantastic option.

Managed EDR, or MDR, stands for managed endpoint detection and response. It provides all the benefits of EDR but with a dedicated staff with years of experience in threat hunting, monitoring user activity, and sifting through information to identify threats. MDR takes the strain off your in-house teams and provides significant value at a reduced cost. 

Sourcing the right managed EDR provider

When shopping for an EDR provider, it’s important that you know what you’re looking for. A comprehensive solution should revolve around a number of key features. This list contains some of the most desirable features in any managed EDR service. The more boxes you can check with your provider, the more layers of protection you’ll get for your organization’s data.

Behavioral Monitoring and Analysis

Behavioral anomalies are often the first sign that something is amiss. Humans thrive on habit, and that results in predictable behavioral patterns in everyday activities. When behaviors deviate distinctly from the norm, it’s something security experts always want to be aware of. Consistent EDR monitoring and analysis of user behaviors not only helps generate a behavioral baseline but also provides great insight when any deviations appear.

Threat Hunting

If your EDR solution simply sits back and waits for threats to show their heads, your organization will find itself at a disadvantage when it comes to stopping those threats and remediating any damage. A good EDR solution will actively hunt for threats, known and unknown. 

Threat hunting is conducted by expert security analysts who analyze data for any threats that the software may have missed. As threats evolve and become better at evading detection, leveraging the expertise of experienced analysts becomes more important than ever.

Incident Triage

A fast response is necessary to minimize the damage done by any perceived threat. Managed EDR solutions with incident triage features are able to prioritize the most severe threats for more in-depth review. This allows security teams to address the most pressing and dangerous issues first, protecting organizations from the most damaging threats.

Rapid Response Times

If a breach does occur through an endpoint, response must be quick and thorough. The more quickly we are able to remedy the breach, the more likely it is that we can minimize the damage done. Any good EDR technology with full endpoint visibility and context mapping will allow for an incredibly rapid response.

Cloud-based solution

Protecting your data with a cloud-based solution allows for more efficient use of time and resources. Rather than configuring and managing each endpoint individually, cloud-based EDR solutions provide unified management of the system as a whole. This approach streamlines the process and makes scaling simple. This will prove to be invaluable as your organization grows.

Scalability

As your needs evolve down the line, it’s important that you have an EDR solution that is able to scale to meet those needs. Each additional employee can potentially contribute multiple endpoints to your network, and each of them will require the same level of defense as your current network of devices. Make sure your EDR is ready to take them on.

Integration with your other security platforms

As we touched on briefly, EDR is not a standalone security product that will fully secure your data all by itself. It is a complementary product that works with other security platforms to deliver the most comprehensive threat detection and response possible. Ensuring your managed EDR system integrates seamlessly with your other security platforms will ensure you get the most out of the service.

Why we need endpoint detection and response

As the modern workforce has become more mobile over the past couple of decades, the threats against our many endpoints have only increased. Hackers and cyber criminals exploit weaknesses presented by company policies and human habits to gain access to our networks. Endpoint detection and response services operate under this knowledge to deliver benefits that you can’t get with other types of cybersecurity technology. 

Endpoint visibility

As organizations grow and expand, they may have hundreds or thousands of endpoints attached to their networks. This represents hundreds or thousands of vulnerabilities. Monitoring them is crucial to protecting your data. 

Choosing a managed EDR partner provides total visibility of your endpoints and assets, greatly improving your network security. Both company policies and user behaviors drive the need for greater endpoint visibility.

Many employees use their own devices

A key vulnerability in many endpoints is created through BYOD, or bring your own device policies. BYOD policies allow employees to access the organization’s network and accounts remotely, but it also means they are accessing this information from devices that may not be set up with the necessary threat protection to keep information safe. By monitoring these endpoints with managed EDR, we can give employees the freedom to use their own devices without exposing our sensitive data to hackers.

Poor password practices

Another user-related reason endpoint detection and response has become so critical is the use of weak passwords. Strong passwords are an essential part of protecting against cyber attacks, yet many users still default to passwords that are easy for them to remember and are often easy to guess as well. This represents a significant problem, but we can minimize the impact of that weak link with managed EDR services.

Compliance

Some industries require more stringent security measures be taken than others. When a data breach could expose personally identifiable information or put people at significant risk, maintaining network visibility and protecting that data are especially important. Implementing managed EDR can keep your organization compliant with both regulatory requirements and industry standards.

Explore our managed endpoint security services

VirtualArmour provides a host of network and security products to keep your data safe, including managed EDR. We have been serving the needs of businesses, enterprises, and organizations globally since 2001. That experience fuels the expertise with which we design and deploy our security solutions. If you’d like to learn more or receive a customized quote, reach out to set up a free discovery call.

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