What is Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)?

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Endpoint detection and response (EDR), also known as endpoint detection and threat response (EDTR), is a cybersecurity tool that automatically monitors end-user devices to pinpoint suspicious activity and respond if necessary.

The tool generally automatically detects what it deems suspicious and deploys an appropriate response based on its algorithmic demands. This is very useful for overbooked IT teams who need help processing a high number of endpoints in various remote locations.

If all that sounds like it could really benefit your organization, read on. We’ll take a look at why EDR is helpful, how it works, its pros and cons, and we’ll show you an EDR solution that offers all the common benefits while reducing some of the common challenges.

“As an increasing number of enterprises shift to remote work, effective endpoint detection and response becomes more necessary than ever. Managed EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) is a fully-managed endpoint security solution that combines threat detection and response technology with expert security analysis and round-the-clock monitoring”Tab Bradshaw, Chief Operating Officer, Redpoint Cybersecurity


What Is EDR & Why Do We Need It?

The average enterprise-sized business has roughly 135,000 end-user devices connected to its network. This is unsurprising when you consider how many people are employed by your typical enterprise-sized business. The problem is that about 48% of those devices (equivalent to approximately 64,800 per enterprise) are inadequately monitored.

That’s simply because the sheer volume of endpoints tends to be too much for your average-sized IT department to handle. EDR offers a solution to this problem because it’s a non–human algorithm that continuously monitors all endpoints without the need for rest.

One lesser-known use case for EDR is to help assess the overall health and performance of your IT infrastructure. By continuously monitoring endpoints, EDR solutions can identify patterns and trends that may indicate underlying issues or inefficiencies within the network. This is an excellent added benefit alongside its ability to protect you from evolving threats.

Still, relying solely on an algorithm is rarely the ultimate endpoint security solution for most businesses. Without the guidance of a human hand, software tools tend to make mistakes. So, someone will still be required to oversee the solution.


How Do EDR Solutions Work?

Put simply, EDR systems monitor and record all activity across all endpoints connected to your network. It usually marks what it believes to be suspicious to make it easy for a human to spot anomalous incidents. Then, the human security analyst may look at those records to verify whether or not there truly was any suspicious behavior present.

Alternatively, the EDR technology may have pre-defined rules programmed into its algorithm to allow an automatic threat response. In this case, certain incidents will trigger its response mechanisms and it will automatically react accordingly. A common example would be automatically locking out a user after too many failed password attempts.

Most EDR platforms leverage a combination of both approaches. Simpler, more obvious attempts are left solely to the discretion of the algorithm while more advanced questionably valid attempts need human verification. Additionally, advanced EDR tools may leverage machine learning to help the computer understand the typical behaviors of sophisticated threats.


The Benefits of EDR

Enhanced Visibility Across Endpoints

EDR solutions provide comprehensive visibility into all endpoint activities. This allows organizations to closely monitor and analyze user behavior, system processes, and network connections.

EDR systems that use machine learning and behavioral analysis will increase this visibility even further. Such tools are better equipped to detect sophisticated threats, such as zero-day attacks and fileless malware, that traditional antivirus solutions may miss.


Improved Digital Forensics

Thanks to the thorough activity logs provided by an EDR tool, your organization can get very useful and detailed cyber forensic data. As a result, security teams are better equipped to conduct in-depth investigations to identify the root cause of security incidents.

Additionally, EDR tools often provide a timeline view of endpoint activities. This allows security teams to trace the sequence of events leading up to a security incident. Having this timeline of events helps security teams identify the initial point of compromise (IoC), which helps them determine the scope of the breach.


Proactive Threat Hunting

An EDR software’s consistent monitoring better enables proactive threat hunting. The EDR may alert security teams the moment it notices something it deems unusual in any endpoint. This helps the team take immediate action to isolate the endpoint and remediate the threat before it causes damage.

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EDR-enabled proactive threat hunting comes with several auxiliary benefits as well. The biggest one is that proactive threat hunting helps security teams develop and refine their incident response capabilities. By analyzing incidents, identifying patterns, and learning from past events, security teams can improve their ability to respond to future threats effectively.


Vulnerability Management

EDR records can help security teams identify the vulnerabilities that were exploited (or attempted to be exploited) by attackers. This information can be used to prioritize vulnerability management efforts and reduce the risk of future incidents.

Namely, they can pinpoint which vulnerabilities are being targeted in your network. Having this knowledge will help them prioritize which patches to implement first. It can provide insights into the tactics used by attackers, which can be integrated into your security awareness training.


Heightened Cloud Security

Many EDR solutions extend security monitoring and response capabilities to cloud environments. Some are even specifically designed for cloud-based endpoints. Therefore, it can help you enhance your cloud security measures just as it would for your on-premise endpoints.

Plus, cloud environments are often dynamic and rapidly changing, which means that new resources are provisioned and decommissioned frequently. An adaptable cloud-forward EDR solution helps you uphold your high security standards in the face of these changes.


Compliance Requirements

Some compliance requirements demand that organizations use EDR to adhere to their standards. Even if your regulatory body doesn’t require it, EDR can still help you meet their standards. That’s because detailed reports from EDR tools can serve as evidence that you’ve deployed an advanced security solution or that your security policies are effectively enforced.

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These detailed logs are also excellent for audits. Reports can help auditors verify that your organization is meeting compliance requirements and provide evidence of timely and appropriate responses to incidents.


Potential Challenges With EDR

False Positives

As an algorithm that relies on pattern matching, EDR runs the risk of false positives. A poor solution may even overwhelm security teams with irrelevant information and unnecessary alerts. The other issue with false positives is that the system may unintentionally block legitimate business activities.

This risk stresses the importance of a sophisticated EDR solution and human oversight. You may also favor a vendor who can customize the EDR system to align with your organization’s risk tolerance, business processes, and IT infrastructure.


Endpoint Performance Issues

EDR solutions can have a performance impact on endpoints. This is simply because the algorithm may consume the device’s system resources such as CPU, memory, and disk space. You can reduce this risk by seeking EDR vendors who provide lightweight, scalable solutions.

Depending on your needs, you may also favor an EDR tool that performs batch data transmission. This shouldn’t affect your real-time monitoring, but it will save system resources on data recording. Data compression can also help minimize the impact on disk space and network bandwidth.


Privacy Concerns

EDR tools collect and analyze large amounts of data from endpoints. This can raise user privacy concerns, especially if you have a BYOD policy. In some cases, it may even challenge stricter data protection regulations, such as the GDPR or CCPA.

Reduce this risk by seeking an EDR solution that optimizes data collection by only retaining what’s necessary. This optimization can also help reduce endpoint performance risks. Data masking techniques that record endpoint activity while obfuscating personal or sensitive data may also be beneficial.

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Resource Drain

As a software tool, EDR will require in-house resources to manage. If you’re already dealing with staff shortage issues, it can be difficult to find and retain qualified staff to manage EDR solutions effectively.

Some EDR companies offer a managed EDR solution. Opting for this approach means that your contract will come with the tool and the experts required to oversee it. This frees your in-house team to spend more time on other projects or business efforts.


Data Overload

EDR solutions collect and retain vast amounts of data from endpoints. While this is good because it helps you make sure you’ve covered all your bases, it can be a problem if it forces you to invest in additional storage and computing resources to handle the large volumes of data generated by EDR.

Try working with your EDR vendor to implement a data retention strategy that specifies how long records should be stored. Consider factors such as compliance requirements, forensic analysis needs, and storage capacity. Regularly review and purge old data that is no longer needed based on these considerations.


Interoperability Issues

If your EDR solution isn’t compatible with certain operating systems, there may be gaps in your protection. This may also extend to certain applications if the code behind the app is incompatible with the EDR’s software.

While it’s unrealistic to expect one EDR company to be able to account for every possible app under the sun, you can certainly opt for those that are compatible with the majority of business software tools and systems. Flexible software should also help reduce possible integration headaches.

A hands-on partner who can fit their solution into your business needs may be your best bet if you use a lot of in-house custom tools.


EDR vs. Other Detection and Response Solutions

Endpoint detection and response tools are far from your only option when it comes to advanced threat detection. Just as EDR has its pros and cons, so too do other detection and incident response solutions on the market. Let’s take a moment to compare EDR to other common security solutions.



EDR is primarily focused on protecting specific endpoints in your network. XDR (extended detection & response) extends this approach to go beyond just endpoints.

Scope Focuses on endpoints like PCs, servers, and mobile devices. Covers a broader range of data sources, including endpoints, network, cloud, and email.
Integration Primarily integrates with endpoint solutions. Integrates with multiple security products across different environments.
Threat Visibility Limited to endpoint threats. Provides visibility across various platforms and environments.
Response Actions Endpoint-centric responses like isolating a device. Can respond across different environments (e.g., blocking a malicious IP on a firewall).
Deployment Deployed on endpoints. Deployed across multiple environments.



Usually, EDR solutions are software tools that automatically scan endpoints to search for threats. Comparatively, MDR (managed detection & response) is a human-led service that monitors for potential threats across entire networks.


Service Type A technology solution. A service provided by third-party vendors.
Management Typically managed in-house. Outsourced to MDR providers.
Expertise Requires in-house expertise for effective use. Comes with expert analysts from the MDR provider.
Response Automated responses based on set rules. Includes human-led investigations and responses.
Cost Structure Usually a fixed software cost. Subscription-based.



EDR provides detailed visibility into specific devices across a network by collecting and analyzing data from endpoints. In contrast, NDR (network detection & response) monitors the broader network traffic behavior to identify anomalous patterns.

Focus Area Monitors endpoint activities. Monitors network traffic and behavior.
Data Source Data from endpoints. Network traffic data.
Visibility Limited to endpoint activities. Provides visibility into lateral movement in the network.
Deployment Deployed on endpoints. Deployed on network infrastructure.
Detection Detects threats on the device level. Detects anomalies in network patterns.



EDR’s function is to detect and respond to threats found at specific endpoints. ITDR (information technology disaster recovery) has nothing to do with detection or response and everything to do with recovering systems after a breach to ensure business continuity.

Primary Purpose Detects and responds to security threats. Recovers IT systems and data after a disaster.
Scope Security incidents on endpoints. Recovery of IT infrastructure and data.
Timeframe Real-time monitoring and response. Post-disaster recovery.
Planning Focuses on threat detection rules and response actions. Focuses on recovery objectives and backup strategies.
Infrastructure Requires monitoring tools on endpoints. Requires backup and recovery solutions.



EDR centers around endpoint data for threat detection and response. MXDR (multi-source extended detection & response) integrates data from various sources, including EDR, NDR, cloud, and email, for comprehensive security insights.

Data Sources Primarily from endpoints. Multiple sources, including EDR, NDR, cloud, email, etc.
Integration Limited to endpoint solutions Integrates with a wide range of security products.
Visibility Endpoint-centric visibility. Comprehensive visibility across platforms.
Threat Intelligence Endpoint-based threat intelligence. Aggregated threat intelligence from various sources.
Response Scope Endpoint-specific responses. Can respond across multiple environments and platforms.



EDR collects data from endpoints to detect and counteract threats. On the other hand, SIEM (security information & event management) aggregates and analyzes log data from multiple sources to identify and respond to security events and anomalies.

Primary Purpose Detects and responds to security threats on endpoints. Collects, analyzes, and reports on security log data from various sources.
Data Source Data from endpoints. Log data from various IT systems, including servers, firewalls, applications, etc.
Visibility Limited to endpoint activities. Provides a holistic view of the organization’s security posture.
Correlation Focuses on correlating endpoint events. Correlates events across multiple sources to detect complex threats.
Response Automated responses based on set rules for endpoints. Can trigger alerts or responses based on complex event patterns.
Storage Typically retains data for a shorter period. Often requires large storage for log data retention.
Integration Primarily integrates with endpoint solutions. Integrates with a wide range of IT systems and security solutions.



EDR protects devices by finding and responding to known threats. UEBA (user & entity behavior analytics) uses smart analysis to watch and study user and system behavior for unusual patterns that could signal security risks. Both methods are important for improving a company’s security, and they work well together by offering different types of protection.

Primary Focus Monitors and responds to threats on endpoints. Analyzes user and entity behavior to detect anomalies and potential threats.
Data Source Data collected from endpoints, such as PCs, servers, and mobile devices. Data from various sources, including network traffic, user activity logs, and application logs.
Analysis Approach Focuses on detecting known threat patterns and indicators of compromise on endpoints. Uses advanced analytics and machine learning to establish baselines of normal behavior and identify deviations.
Response Actions Takes automated actions on endpoints, such as isolating devices or removing malware. Generates alerts for further investigation and can trigger automated responses based on risk scores.
Use Cases Effective for detecting and responding to malware, ransomware, and other endpoint-specific threats. Effective for detecting insider threats, compromised accounts, and advanced persistent threats.
Threat Detection Detects threats based on predefined rules, signatures, and heuristics. Detects threats based on behavioral anomalies and unusual patterns.
Deployment Deployed on endpoints. Deployed across the network and integrated with various data sources.


Enhance Your Endpoint Detection With a Managed EDR Security Solution

As discussed throughout this article, an EDR tool is usually a fairly simple software solution that relies on an algorithm to detect threats. Generally, you’d have to opt for MDR instead if you’re looking for a fully human-monitored threat detection solution.

That’s what makes Redpoint’s managed EDR services different. We offer all the benefits of a comprehensive EDR solution while reducing the risk of wasted time on false positives. We’re also the only 24×7 EDR solution on the market that monitors cloud, on-prem, and hybrid endpoints instead of just one of the above.

With our managed approach to EDR, you also won’t have to worry about wasting in-house resources. We’ll do the work related to all your EDR needs instead.

Contact us today to get started with a more efficient approach to EDR services.

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