There is a “virus” in this story, and like its biological cousin, it changes with the times, but this time it’s a technological one. This is why endpoint security or endpoint protection is important. As far back as 1971, “Creeper” became the first computer virus to spread around the world. For as long as anyone can remember, there has been a constant game of one-upmanship going on. In the beginning, it looked like the good guys had the upper hand. Then, for a few good reasons, it turned out that they were wrong.
Changes in technology and how they affect us (endpoint security)
There has been a decrease in the cost and complexity of technologies like the Internet of Things, cloud computing, big data, mobility, robotics, and additive manufacturing. This has made them more accessible. This new technology has turned manual and offline systems into automated and networked employees who work from home and in the cloud.
Before COVID, the companies who knew how powerful technology was started to embrace this change and deal with its effects. The laggards, on the other hand, were pretty much caught off guard. In order for their businesses to work from home and be open to the outside world, they had to figure out a way to do this quickly. As if this wasn’t bad enough, the WFH makes it even more difficult when “personal assets” are used for work and “professional assets” are used for personal things.
XDR: What is XDR?
“Real-time continuous monitoring and collection of endpoint data (such as networked computing devices like workstations, mobile phones, and servers) with rules-based automated response and analysis capabilities” is what the OMB memo says about EDR platforms. They also have “automated response and analysis.”
EDR is more visible than traditional cybersecurity solutions, according to a memo from the Office of Management and Budget. This means that agencies can better respond to “advanced forms of cybersecurity threats, such as polymorphic malware, advanced persistent threats (APTs), and phishing.”
Also, the memo says EDR is an important part of moving to zero-trust architecture, because “every device connected to a network is a possible attack vector for cyber threats.”
While EDR platforms have a human component that helps them, managed detection and response is the part that helps. It says on its website that Mandiant’s MDR service does “24/7 continuous threat monitoring, detection and response activities, as well as proactively hunting for threats.” These activities include “active threat hunting.”
As the name implies, XDR tools are an extension of EDR platforms.
Palo Alto Networks’ Drew Epperson: “Many agencies already use an EDR solution. It’s important for them to think more broadly about how endpoint security fits into their zero-trust journey,” he tells FedTech. “XDR gives you a much better view of networks, cloud workloads, servers, and endpoints.” It takes a lot of time for the security team to manually do the work that XDR does for them.
Check Point’s website also says that XDR solutions are “designed to make network security management easier for large businesses,” which is true.
Endpoints, cloud infrastructure, mobile devices, and more are all part of an organization’s infrastructure that XDR solutions cover, the post says. Having a single pane of glass to see and manage security makes it easier to manage and enforce consistent security policies across the whole company.
Integrating security across an organization and gathering data from different sources is what XDR tools are all about, says Check Point. This gives the context needed to detect sophisticated and distributed attacks. XDR systems can also use data analytics and threat intelligence to look at this aggregated data and see if there are any trends or known threats. “Also, security aggregation reduces the workload for security analysts, so they can better focus their efforts.”
What is EPP?
IT managers can also look into an endpoint protection platform.
Antivirus, data encryption, intrusion prevention, and data loss prevention are some of the technologies in an EPP. They work together to stop a wide range of threats at the endpoint, says a post on McAfee’s site. An endpoint protection platform is a way for different types of endpoint protection software to share data with each other. Security products that can’t talk to each other aren’t as effective as a group of products that can talk to each other.
Epperson says that “endpoint security” and “EPP” are both words that are used to refer to the same thing. He says that these are software products that are installed on endpoint devices (like servers and phones) that protect them from cyberattacks. EPP solutions have traditionally been about preventing them from happening in the first place.
Epperson says that for businesses, an EPP solution is meant to stop bad things from happening.
“EDR is meant to find and respond to the things that EPP didn’t stop,” he says. Security teams can get actionable information about threats from XDR, which takes data and telemetry from all sources and presents it in a way that is easy for them to understand.
What Endpoint Security Solution Is Right for Your Company or Group?
Those who work for the government must use EDR tools, but they don’t have to stop there.
It’s like picking between a good utility knife and a Swiss Army knife. “Like a Swiss Army knife, XDR has the same abilities as EDR, but it also has many more.”
EDR refers to software that can find and investigate threats on endpoints, such as servers or laptops, he says. Then, “XDR is a new approach to EDR that breaks down the siloes in traditional threat detection and response,” he says. “It gives you visibility across networks, clouds, and endpoints.”
XDR also uses analytics and automation to find, hunt for, investigate, and respond to threats, cutting down on the time it takes to find, hunt for, investigate, and respond to threats.
Epperson says that EDR tools tend to only look at data from the endpoints, which can lead to missed detections, more false positives, and longer investigation times.
“Also, XDR solutions use machine models to provide behavioral analytics that help security teams find suspicious activity,” he says.
Epperson says that by combining artificial intelligence-powered analytics from XDR tools with the help of top MDR service providers, federal agencies can speed up detection and response times.
“MDR service providers have teams of experts who can keep an eye on threats around the clock using XDR platforms,” he says. “The best providers also offer help from experts in threat hunting and forensics.”