The Cyber Security landscape is continuously evolving, over 500,000 new cyber threats discovered daily, over the past 12 months UK businesses have been targeted by 2.39 Million Cyber Attacks, which is the equivalent to 4.55 Cyber Attacks every minute of every day, the need for advanced cyber defence solutions has never been more crucial.
While traditional signature-based antivirus solutions served have served businesses well over the years, as cyber threats evolve, so must the need for a more proactive approach to cyber defence. The reality is that traditional Signature Based Anti-Virus can only protect from between 30% - 50% of the latest cyber threats, this is because Anti-Virus looks for known virus signatures from a database of known threats. However, with new zero-day threats discovered daily, and malicious threat actors adapting signatures to avoid detection, Anti-Virus is no longer enough to protect businesses from the latest threats. This is where Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) comes into play.
Let's delve into their key differences and the advantages of EDR.
Traditional signature-based antivirus tools operate on a reactive basis. They rely on known signatures or definitions of viruses and malware. When a file matches this definition, the tool flags or quarantines it.
Endpoint Detection & Response
EDR, on the other hand, takes a proactive approach to cyber defence. Instead of waiting for a match to a known signature, EDR uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning tools to monitor endpoints for unusual, suspicious or malicious activities. This ensures that even if a threat doesn't have a recognised signature, it can still be detected and dealt with.
EDR platforms offer a comprehensive view of your complete network and all individual endpoints (both in and out of the office). They provide a detailed trail of activities, enabling cyber forensic analysis in case of a breach to provide a full trace of where an attack begin, what systems were infected, how the malware or malicious threat actor navigated your network, what was accessed and much more. This allows for accurate and comprehensive remediation to take place across your business. Traditional antivirus solutions might only inform you of a detected threat without much context, or in many cases provide false positive results for legitimate files.
With EDR, not only can you see what happened, but you can also understand how it happened. This level of insight is invaluable for IT teams to find weak points in their cyber defences, identify where user cyber training may be required, bolster defences, and for businesses to understand their vulnerabilities.
The 'Response' in EDR is as vital as the detection. Once a potential threat is identified, EDR solutions can act instantly to contain and mitigate the danger.
Traditional anti-virus tools may require manual intervention to remove suspected malware or may not offer swift containment features, which can lead to prolonged exposure, the risk of the threat spreading and could allow for a multi-layered threat to cause long-term damage.
EDR integrates with global threat intelligence feeds, continually updating its understanding of emerging threats to allow for more robust defence and remediation. While signature-based solutions receive updates, the lack of real-time threat awareness means that you are waiting for your Anti-Virus provider to update their database with known threat signatures, making them more susceptible to zero-day exploits.
One of the criticisms often levelled at traditional anti-virus solutions is the frequency of false positives. Given that Anti-Virus rely heavily on signature matches, benign files that share similar characteristics to malicious ones can often be flagged. EDR's use of behavioural analysis through Machine Learning can provide more accurate threat detection, it is able to see that whilst a file may have a similar signature profile it is not designed to act maliciously, reducing the chances of benign files being flagged or quarantined.
Modern businesses require tools that can adapt to their changing needs as your business evolves and grows. EDR solutions are designed to scale easily with your business, whether you're a small business or a large enterprise. Their cloud-native architectures allow for easy scaling and adaptability to different IT environments, protecting and monitoring more endpoints than traditional anti-virus.
Our EDR solution integrates with our wider suite of security tools such as, Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems, providing a unified and comprehensive security posture, as well as seamless integration with our own Security Operations Centre (SOC), providing your business with proactive 24/7 threat hunting and protection.
While traditional signature-based antivirus has its merits and can still be a part of a multi-layered security approach, it is no longer enough on its own to deal with the latest and ever-evolving threats that businesses face. EDR offers a more advanced, proactive, and comprehensive defence against modern threats. As cyber threats continue to evolve in complexity, businesses must adapt and leverage the best tools available to protect their assets as part of a comprehensive modern cyber security solution. EDR is a pivotal pillar in a modern business cyber defence strategy, if you would like to find out more about our Cyber Security solutions, Contact Us about our Cyber Security Health Check which covers EDR, SIEM, SOC and much more.