Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) Guide

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Cyberthreats and cyberattacks continue to grow more advanced and complex, making them much harder to stop. In fact, a recent study showed that cybercriminals can penetrate an organization’s network and access network resources in 93 out of 100 cases. The odds of keeping cybercriminals away don’t look hopeful for organizations across all industries.

To prevent the negative consequences that come from unauthorized access, company leaders need to have an endpoint detection and response solution that actively works to prevent these cyberattacks.

What is endpoint detection and response?

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is an approach to endpoint protection in which software actively identifies, stops, and reacts to cyberthreats. It’s a step up from antivirus (AV), which simply scans files and systems in order to detect malware and respond appropriately.

EDR is an endpoint security software that is deployed by installing agents on endpoints and is managed using a cloud-based SaaS portal.

Due to the advanced functions EDR solutions provided, the capabilities of EDR solutions were previously available to only large companies with a sizable budget. However, since compromised IT security is a threat to all businesses, EDR vendors began introducing less complex EDR solutions to make the detection and automatic remediation more affordable and accessible. EDR also helps big companies to scale better.

EDR is by and large the number one advanced security solution used by companies today.


EDR refers to the actual software solution, provided by EDR vendors, for endpoint security. It’s next-generation antivirus technology that continuously monitors devices and endpoints to detect and respond to threats. EDR allows companies to be proactive, rather than reactive, in their cybersecurity responses.

Managed detection and response (MDR) is a service that uses EDR to provide security. It refers to people who read the EDR software to improve security for their clients. These services can be provided by an EDR vendor, a 3rd party security operations center (SOC), or may be contracted out to an MSP.

How does endpoint detection and response work?

As cyberthreats became more complex in their tactics, cybersecurity organizations realized that blocking bad files with antivirus software was no longer enough. To effectively respond to the attacks, behaviors needed to be the focus. EDR works by monitoring endpoints within the organization and detecting and responding to bad behaviors instead of files.

The IDC also reported that among the successful security breaches, 70% of them occur on endpoints. EDR solutions gather data from their endpoints and are designed to automatically spot any suspicious behavior and either block or flag it almost immediately. The software goes in later and investigates it to decide what to do with the threat. EDR capabilities offer companies even greater visibility into their networks by identifying hard-to-detect cyberthreats.

What are the benefits of endpoint detection and response?

  • Improved protection
    EDR solutions provide capabilities beyond the average antivirus solution. Besides identifying and stopping cyberthreats, EDR can actively scan and hunt for threats and add additional support from security experts via MDR.
  • Deeper visibility
    The increased visibility that EDR software provides gives companies more knowledge about what’s happening in their network. Because of this, it also gives them more confidence when responding to threats that attempt to enter.
  • Rapid response
    Rather than depending on manual efforts to react to threats, EDR can conduct automated response workflows. This prevents cyberthreats from compromising your IT environment past the point of no return, and can even restore resources to their original state.
  • Proactive security
    Antivirus alerts you once a threat is detected, providing a reactive response that could be too little too late. On the other hand, EDR tools proactively monitor and scan for threats so they can be quickly identified and removed or disposed of.

How to evaluate an endpoint detection and response solution

Evaluating EDR solutions to figure out which will work best for your organization all depends on what your top priority is.

All EDR solutions typically fit into three different priority categories: unified platform, prevention, and detection and response.

1. Unified platform

An EDR within a unified platform is essentially adding EDR tools and capabilities to an existing endpoint protection platform (EPP). It’s a way to integrate and centralize your endpoint management. EDR solutions with this priority in mind are typically traditional AVs that have added EDR.

Using a single platform is also great if you only require basic EDR tools, and you’re confident that the EDR vendor has the capabilities needed to block and respond to advanced cyberthreats.

2. Prevention

For some businesses, basic EDR protection won’t be enough to block threats. Next-gen AVs (NGAVs) that have added EDR were designed with this increased prevention in mind.

NGAVs provide increased protection of your network with sophisticated machine learning detection models. These solutions focus on suspicious behaviors and attacks to prevent malware from infecting your IT environment.

3. Detection & response

EDR-first vendors that have added prevention offer the most protection available and prioritize detection and response. This option is ideal if you view EDR as a necessary facet of your business, and if your organization has the ability to operate EDR technology in-house.

EDR statistics show that the top two hurdles for organizations who are wanting to adopt EDR are lack of personnel to manage and lack of budget. MDR providers offer a way for smaller companies who are deficient in the necessary resources to access this advanced level of EDR. Contracting with an MDR provider can provide your organization with constant monitoring, detection, and efficient responses to threats.

Learn more about implementing endpoint detection and response in your business

Check out our free MSP’s Hype-Free Guide to EDR to get an in-depth look into the types of EDR software available. With the right tools and solutions, you can better protect your organization and readily respond to any threats.

Ensuring the safety and health of your endpoints is no small task. NinjaOne offers endpoint security software for your devices through their RMM software, to help you manage your endpoints from a single centralized console. Sign up for a free trial of NinjaOne today.

Next Steps

Building an efficient and effective IT team requires a centralized solution that acts as your core service deliver tool. NinjaOne enables IT teams to monitor, manage, secure, and support all their devices, wherever they are, without the need for complex on-premises infrastructure.

Learn more about Ninja Endpoint Management, check out a live tour, or start your free trial of the NinjaOne platform.

Monitor, manage, and secure any device, anywhere

NinjaOne gives you complete visibility and control over all your devices for more efficient management.

See how

Too many tools in too many places?

See how tool sprawl impacts IT and what you can do to solve it.

Read the guide