SecurityThreats

EPP vs EDR

EPP (Endpoint Protection Platforms) are used to prevent endpoint security threats from suspicious malware intrusion through endpoint devices. EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) software is used to detect malicious attempts and handle any cyber threats that manage to escape into the EPP or other security protocols.

Most modern EPP platforms make use of both EDR and threat prevention tools. It is up to the user to decide what components must be deployed at what endpoint. There may be different pricing plans for various parts of the EPP package.

So, what makes EPP different from EDR? And, is prevention better than response? Let’s find out below!

What Is An Endpoint Detection And Response (EDR)?

Gartner described EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) as a completely new kind of endpoint security technology in 2013.

EDR tools help detect endpoint device attacks and quickly provide detailed information about the malicious attempt/attack.

Employees have very little control over endpoints because they are remote, and even security teams usually have lower visibility. Therefore, EDR is the best way to keep endpoints secure.

Another major role of EDR software is that it aids security teams in responding to attacks effectively. The endpoint is quarantined or blocked automatically to channel automatic incident response and processes.

Major EDR Software Components 

All EDR solutions have the following 3 major components:

  1. A detection engine monitors regular endpoint activity. It also looks for abnormal reports and other anomalies that can pose a security threat.
  2. A data collection component collects data for logins, communication, and process execution.
  3. The data analysis engine collects endpoint data to produce real-time reports and analytics to prevent endpoint security threats and malware from spreading across a corporate network.

Additional EDR Components 

Other features offered by EDR software solutions include:

  1. The traceback feature aids security teams in deducing which endpoints and devices have been affected by a similar attack. This also helps identify the endpoint originally used by an attacker to gain access to the network.
  2. Real-time updates and notifications to security staff regarding security incidents are offered under the alerts and forensics features. Security teams can gain better context so any incident that occurs can be properly investigated.
  3. Tracing IoCs (Indicators of Compromise) is done using threat intelligence. This helps identify the malicious threat actor and their attack strategy.
  4. Network access blocking and process/action blocking to quarantine and mitigate an attack are done through automated response.

What Are Endpoint Protection Platforms (EPP)?

EPP (Endpoint Protection Platforms) are created to mitigate security incidents and prevent attacks from common malware threats, advanced ransomware attacks, fileless attacks, and zero-day vulnerabilities.

Major EPP Features

A ton of EPP platforms do contain EDR, but we are going to talk about pure EPP security features in this section. EPPs detect suspicious activity using the following various methods:

  1. Files are executed in a virtual environment to detect malicious behavior before they are run on a system or network. This is known as sandboxing.
  2. Malware threats are identified by matching common malware signatures through signature matching.
  3. Whitelisting and blacklisting is used to deny or restrict access. Alternatively, access is only provided to trusted URLs, ports, IP addresses, and applications.
  4. Binary analysis before execution is done by using ML or machine learning algorithms. ML static analysis looks for malicious attributes before any files are run.
  5. Modern EPPs have predefined baselines for suspicious endpoint detection. Any users, processes, or behavior that seems abnormal is automatically grabbed, even if there is no threat signature. This feature is known as behavioral analysis.
  6. Other tools often part of an EPP for passive endpoint protection include a personal firewall, NGAV (Antivirus and Next-Generation Antivirus), data encryption, and data loss prevention components. NGAV also makes use of CPRL (Content Pattern Recognition Language), AI (Artificial Intelligence), and ML (Machine Learning) to protect endpoints. CPRL components can block malicious websites, attack channels, and polymorphic malware.
  7. Automated endpoint quarantine allows an EPP system to block threats automatically based on set policies. Compromised endpoints are automatically restricted and blocked to contain the malware and prevent outbreaks.

Additional EPP Components 

  1. The application inventory feature boosts the software visibility of programs installed in an organization. An inventory manages security and stores software licenses. Non-business applications installed on network user devices increase vulnerability and chances of compromise. Inventory data is therefore used by security staff to remove, detect and identify outdated software programs.
  2. Application firewalls allow the security team to closely monitor network traffic and decide what application traffic is blocked or allowed. Application control intelligence and an IPS anti-botnet block unwanted app traffic, proxy apps, and HTTPS messaging apps.

What Is The Difference Between EDR And EPP?

A pure Endpoint Protection Platform and EDR solutions have a lot of differences. The modern era is slowly merging the two and eradicating these by merging both into one single system. Let’s look at what makes the pure versions different from each other:

  • EPP is the first defense mechanism in line that prevents security threats. An Endpoint Detection And Response works once a breach has happened to help investigate and block it.
  • An EPP is an automated system and does not need to be monitored. EDR solutions are used by security staff or teams to react quickly to hacking attempts.
  • EPP is a passive threat prevention strategy, while an EDR solution is an active threat detection system.
  • EDR solutions aid security teams in gathering event data from various endpoints in a network. An EPP provides no data or information regarding endpoint activity.
  • EDR solutions react immediately to threats that are often left undetected by an EPP. EPPs can only prevent common known threats and a few unknown threats.
  • EPPs protect each endpoint, while EDR solutions generate data and reports and provide context for attacks across multiple endpoints.

EPP Vs. EDR: Which One Is Better?

Security Analysts suggest using a combination of both EDR and pure EPP if a business or company wishes to keep its endpoints secure.

While EPPs are the first line of protection against malware threats before an endpoint is attacked, an EDR can only provide added protection by assuming a breach has already occurred. This way, the system is never completely protected.

So, staying protected and updated is the only way to mitigate an attack successfully.

An EPP tool or Endpoint protection solutions is necessary to prevent commodity and advanced threats.

It acts as a bolt or lock to your network door, making it difficult for cybercriminals to penetrate using an endpoint.

Hackers or attackers often look for easy targets and try to bypass major EPP defenses. EDR, on the other hand, is essential because it improves visibility and provides operational tools that help security staff respond to an attack.

Attacks like the APTs use endpoints, which are considered weaker points in a security perimeter.

EDR reduces the detection time of successful endpoint attacks, blocks malware, deduces the kill chain, and attempts to detect the endpoint device used in the attack.

When deciding what security protocols you should pick for your business or corporate network, a mix of solutions with prevention and detection is the best way to keep enterprise networks and systems safe.

Some Features Of An Ideal Detection Plus Prevention System

A suitable system is an EPP with EDR features embedded into it. As discussed earlier, a merger of both can help prevent and detect and block attacks midway.

A modern system makes use of intelligent technology and detection strategies by collecting data from endpoints, behavioral analysis, and network analytics.

Some features that such a system often offers include:

  • Prevention and detection of attacks are done through UBA (User Behavior Analytics). This function makes use of compromised credentials by making use of behavioral signatures and baselines.
  • An NGAV automatically prevents malware, Macros, and LOLBins and exploits entry malicious scripts with ML (machine learning) based analysis. It makes sure they are blocked and terminated.
  • Network analytics detect and block network-based attacks. This is done by monitoring lateral movement, risky connections, and credential use.
  • The use of fake login credentials, malicious connections, and files to lure attackers into mitigating attacks is done through deception technology. This also allows security staff to learn more about attacker activity.
  • Manual/automated file, user, network, or host remediation made with user-created scripts is provided through response orchestration.
  • Monitoring and control promote vulnerability assessment, application control, asset management, constant monitoring, and log collection.

What Are Some Basic Misconceptions About EDR And EPP?

By now, you should be clear about EPP and EDR basics. Let us now delve deeper and look at some common misconceptions people have regarding each tool’s features and function:

1st: EPP Is Only A Passive Prevention Tool

EPP, or Endpoint Protection Platform, is not just a passive prevention tool.

Even though prevention is one of its main features, it is not the sole function of an EPP platform. True EPP software includes:

  • Threat intelligence.
  • Threat hunting.
  • Detection.
  • Vulnerability management.

2nd: Corporate Networks Must Pick Either EDR or EPP

It is not necessary to pick one between an EDR and EPP. Even though both offer distinct capabilities and functions, they can be used as a merger for added security.

Modern EPPs contain EDR tools as an engine that helps the entire platform work seamlessly.

3rd: EDRs Are Sufficient Alone 

While an EDR solution is perfect for detection, it is not sufficient to help a security team keep endpoints fully protected.

EDR helps put all network actions into context so that any suspicious activity or anomalies can be instantly detected and terminated.

However, modern attacks call for a more comprehensive plan with an array of security capabilities to keep an organization safe.

This includes supplemental technologies and human intelligence, which are only brought together in modern-day EPPs with an EDR as the main component.

Conclusion 

EPP software or tools that have been updated to meet modern user needs are the perfect way to apply robust endpoint security measures for any organization or corporate network.

They offer several functions like firewall security, anti-malware, anti-ransomware, and risk-based endpoint security policies.

EDR tools, on the other hand, offer advanced functions like investigation, forensics, and security incident detection. EDR tools make perfect EPP components and can be used to revert endpoints and devices to the pre-attack stage.

Both EPP and EDR solutions are essential for proper security. EPPs prevent attacks, while EDR tools block, contain, quarantine, and terminate any malware that can enter the security perimeter.

A merger of both systems offers the best, most effective, and most promising security solution.

A fully loaded tool will offer SEO poisoning, anti-malware, 2FA anti-phishing, and SASE functions. It will also provide you with cloud-based storage for backups.

Since several tools are available these days, make sure to get in touch with professionals working behind the software and input thorough research before making a pick.

Good luck!

Derik Belair

As President and CEO, Derik leads the vision, strategy and growth of Augmentt. Prior to founding Augmentt, Derik was the Vice President at SolarWinds, leading the digital marketing strategy for SolarWinds’ Cloud division. Derik has been working in the channel for over 20 years, starting his career as a channel sales rep at Corel Corp. and eventually becoming the first employee at N-able Technologies in April of 2000.

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