What is the Difference Between EndPoint Detection & Response (EDR) and Antivirus Protection?

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and antivirus protection are important tools for protecting organizations from cyber threats. Antivirus protection focuses on detecting and blocking known malware from a particular endpoint but can lack the ability to provide the user with comprehensive and easy to digest information on how to prevent threats from occurring in the future. EDR is a system designed to detect, contain, and remediate threats across a larger environment. EDR provides cybersecurity analysts, or relevant security IT teams, with the tools to conduct further investigations so the appropriate recommendations can be provided to the end user to remediate the threat.

While the two do have some overlap and provide cybersecurity protection, having professional cybersecurity experts monitor and investigate any threats ongoing through an EDR platform provides the ultimate protection to your environment. However, there are some key differences between the two:

Scope of Cyber Threat Detection:

EDR solutions are designed to protect an organization's entire network and all its endpoints, including servers, workstations, mobile and other IoT devices. Larger businesses with complex infrastructures and a sizable IT staff may require more advanced EDR solutions to monitor and protect numerous endpoints.

Antivirus solutions, on the other hand, are typically designed to protect individual endpoints, such as computers or servers, from malicious software being installed or run on that system. Smaller businesses, with limited or no IT staff, may prefer antivirus protection to EDR as it is more affordable and will allow for acceptable cyber hygiene.

Threat Detection & Analysis:

EDR solutions are designed to detect and respond to a wider range of threats than antivirus solutions. As mentioned above, by providing continuous monitoring and detection capability, EDR solutions help organizations identify and respond to security incidents quickly. This can significantly reduce the risk of a data breach and other cyber attacks from occurring, as well as aid in maintaining cybersecurity compliance. EDR uses advanced analytics and machine learning to identify anomalies and suspicious activity and can detect threats that antivirus solutions may miss.

Antivirus solutions, on the other hand, are typically focused on detecting and blocking known malware, spyware, viruses, worms, trojans, adware and spam. Antivirus uses a variety of techniques on individual endpoints, such as signature-based detection, behavior-based detection, and heuristics. Alerts are usually contained to one machine which may be alerted by email or text, but usually only encompass data for that one device and that one alert.

Alert and Threat Response:

EDR reporting is designed to help organizations respond to threats in a more comprehensive and coordinated way. They typically provide tools and capabilities for investigating and containing threats, as well as for restoring affected systems.

Antivirus solutions, on the other hand, are typically focused on removing malware and cleaning up infected systems. This means businesses would need to monitor individual system’s for alerts and review those reports to decide how to remediate the alert that was triggered.

Picking What Is Right for Your Business

EDR and antivirus protection are both important tools that will aid in the protection of an organization from various cyber threats. Businesses need to evaluate their specific security needs, IT infrastructure, and budget to determine the best approach when deciding which protection method is right for them. This includes considering factors such as industry and compliance requirements, risk management, and the availability of IT staffing and expertise. Many organizations offer managed EDR services, like MPGSOC, that can help monitor your EDR alerts, review threats, and work with your IT team to remediate threats for a fraction of the cost of maintaining an in-house EDR monitoring team. This allows many companies to onboard the added coverage of EDR without needing to expand their IT team too early. To learn more about what solutions might best fit your organization, contact the experts at MindPoint Group.

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