Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) Cybersecurity Tool

Last Updated:
May 24, 2023
Kay Nicole

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) Cybersecurity Tool

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) software protects IT devices like laptops and mobile phones against cyber threats that surpass antivirus protection. The software continuously collects and analyzes data from endpoints, spotting suspicious activities such as an employee plugging in an unfamiliar USB drive to access sensitive files.

The software looks for malicious behaviors based on attacks' tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). Its search results are displayed in a security dashboard.

Real-time Alerts

What is EDR? EDR tools should alert IT and security teams of potential threats as soon as they occur. With every minute that a threat goes undetected, its damage grows exponentially. In addition, detection is often a precursor to attack prevention. The best EDR solutions offer prioritized real-time alerts, so IT and security professionals can first address the most severe threats.

A typical EDR solution requires the installation of an agent on each endpoint device that monitors it 24/7 and collects data. It then conveys that information to a centralized hub for analysis. This data can be compared to a database of known threats and behaviors. Advanced solutions use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to analyze this data and generate threat insights.

Once a suspicious file is flagged, the EDR tool should allow IT to investigate the threat and determine how it was able to sneak through. This will reveal any gaps in the network that future attacks can exploit.

An excellent example of an advanced EDR solution is VMware Carbon Black, which integrates with other cybersecurity systems like SIEM and zero trust systems. It also features a cloud-based binary vault that allows users to store suspicious files and malware for 365 days, which is helpful for forensics investigations. Other capabilities include a patented one-click remediation feature, threat investigation guidance, and context for faster investigations.

Malware Detection

In addition to generating alerts, some EDR tools can also identify and stop cyberattacks. These technology platforms use a combination of detection, investigation, and threat-hunting capabilities to find malicious activity on endpoints, including employee workstations, servers, cloud systems, and mobile and IoT devices.

Advanced EDR solutions use machine learning to automatically analyze data from multiple sources and spot anomalies to prevent a security breach. They can correlate data from various other tools and identify trends, accelerating the time it takes for analysts to triage alerts. They can also provide a more accurate picture of attacks, providing a timeline of events and helping analysts to understand the attack.

For example, Falcon Insight offers a single monitoring platform that lets users view the entire process tree of suspicious activity and instantly prioritize threats. The tool can kill processes, quarantine files, and remove persistence mechanisms, all from a remote console. It can even detect malware that may not be detected by traditional antivirus software, allowing IT teams to eliminate threats and reduce the risk of future breaches.

Kaspersky Endpoint Detection and Response (KEDR) is another multi-layered EDR solution that uses behavioral AI to protect against advanced attacks. It can identify malware and other malicious activity by analyzing file activity. It can also prevent attackers from accessing sensitive information by preventing them from interacting with network resources. KEDR also has a patented binary vault that allows it to store suspicious files and malicious executables for up to 365 days, making it easier for security professionals to investigate.

Incident Response

A cyber attack is a time-sensitive event; every minute counts when stopping an incident. The best EDR solutions will quickly react by detecting attacks and helping you contain them.

This is done by sending data from all endpoints to a central location, which is then analyzed. Machine learning establishes a baseline of normal endpoint operations and user behavior and compares this with new activities to detect anomalies. In addition, many solutions use threat intelligence feeds to introduce context and compare the information with real-world examples of cyberattacks to identify the threat better.

An EDR solution must also offer forensic analysis capabilities that help you understand an incident and find the threat's root cause. This can be done by generating contextualized information about the threat to assist in investigations and providing attack pathway visualization features to allow you to see how the attacker entered and left your system.

Some of the best EDR cybersecurity tools combine detection and response functions into a single platform. Heimdal's Endpoint Protection Suite (EPSS) is an excellent example of an integrated EDR security tool that includes next-generation antivirus, patch management, granular network visibility, ransomware prevention, and privileged access management. It also offers automated responses to block network access, isolate endpoints, and roll back systems to the state before the attack.


The best EDR tools allow you to see a threat in the making, even if it evades traditional antivirus software or other endpoint protection solutions. The faster an attacker can be detected, the less damage they can do.

The underlying architecture of most EDR solutions includes a lightweight agent installed on each endpoint device on your network — employee workstation or laptop, server, cloud system, mobile device, etc. The agent gathers data from the device and conveys it to a centralized hub for analysis. Some advanced technologies use machine learning or deep learning to analyze the data collected from multiple endpoints and provide users contextualized insights.

Ideally, the platform should also support continuous monitoring of each endpoint, local and cloud scanning, and threat blocking with next-gen traffic telemetry to prevent attacks from entering your corporate networks. Heimdal, for example, merges EDR with endpoint prevention and patching (EPP) to protect against cyber threats at all levels.

A transparent process for triaging and investigating alerts is critical to avoid the security team becoming overwhelmed with noise and allowing an attacker to slip under the radar. Good tools should offer an incident triage flow, a risk score that prioritizes alerts, and a threat investigation feature that enables security analysts to explore and understand a threat to find its root cause.

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