How Endpoint Detection Tools Can Help Prevent Data Breaches?

Prevent Data Breaches

Prevent Data Breaches with Endpoint Detection Tools

A solid EDR solution installs an agent on each device to monitor the system 24/7 and convey ingested data to a centralized hub. It then analyzes the data and identifies threats, which security teams can investigate and respond to with automated actions, such as isolating an endpoint or blocking the one-click attack.

1. Detecting Malware

Endpoint detection tools like EDRs help proactively detect attacks on an organization’s network-connected endpoints. These can be employee workstations or laptops, servers, cloud systems, or mobile or IoT devices. These tools monitor endpoints and alert the security team when suspicious activity is detected.

Some also offer forensic analysis capabilities, threat hunting, and automated response features that can contain or quarantine an attack and roll back an endpoint to its previous good state.

Detecting Malware

Some endpoint detection tools use behavioral analytics to identify and isolate threats, detecting malicious behavior such as disk access, file creation, or network connections that would otherwise go undetected by signature-based defenses like antivirus software. Others use heuristic analysis to catch attackers who have bypassed or evaded traditional antimalware protection.

The best EDR solutions can be connected to a managed detection and response (MDR with XDR) platform to ingest, analyze and reduce false positives. This is important because the more alerts security teams receive, the less time they can spend investigating cyber threats.

2. Detecting Ransomware

Traditional antivirus and other endpoint protection solutions rely on signature-based defenses to detect known malware. But these are often powerless against phishing attacks that lure employees into divulging confidential information or visiting fake websites hosting ransomware executables.

And they’re even more impeded by the growing number of fileless ransomware attacks that hide in computer memory rather than in files or directories to avoid detection by signature-based detection technologies.


A robust EDR solution can detect and prevent these threats from spreading throughout the network. It will ingest telemetry data from each endpoint (a computer, workstation, laptop, mobile device, or IoT appliance), correlate the data, and analyze it to identify anomalies. It will then flag suspicious activity and trigger manual or automated responses (such as temporarily isolating the endpoint from the rest of the network or wiping and reimaging it) to contain an attack and prevent its spread.

The best EDR tools feature advanced machine learning and AI capabilities that automate identifying and alerting security teams to suspicious activity. They can also help analysts locate trends in the data by mapping events and functions to categories of cyber threat behaviors, such as those defined in the framework.

This makes it much easier to quickly spot and act on a ransomware attack, for example, by detecting the sudden encrypting of multiple files or exposing RDP connections one of the top entry points for ransomware attacks.

3. Detecting Social Engineering

Almost all cyberattacks start with social engineering, which involves tricking someone into divulging sensitive information. This can be as simple as posing as a tech-support professional or even as a family member in need of help to gain access to someone else’s computer. But it can also be as complex as gaining access to a network by hijacking a router and injecting malware onto all systems connected to the router.

Most traditional endpoint security solutions use antivirus, firewalls, and signature-based detection methods to find threats. However, these tools are ineffective against phishing attacks and many fileless attacks that bypass signature scanning entirely and exploit memory-based vulnerabilities. EDR tools continually monitor endpoints, alerting teams when they unearth new threats.

For example, some ingest billions of events per second to discover patterns in behavior that indicate an incident has begun. It then applies security logic derived to identify IoAs in this trove of data and quickly sends detection alerts. This speeds up response times, so teams can take immediate action to contain and neutralize threats.

This includes isolating the host and forensic capabilities to track an attack and establish timelines and affected systems post-breach. This speed and level of visibility, paired with unified intelligence, allows organizations to detect threats, respond and recover rapidly.

4. Detecting Viruses

An EDR solution combines detection, investigation, threat hunting, and response capabilities to alert security teams of potential threats. It continuously monitors endpoint devices, such as a workstation or laptop, a server, a mobile device, or an IoT device, to look for signs of malicious activity and then alerts the security team to the issue.

Detecting Viruses

The telemetry from the device is then sent to an EDR platform, which uses real-time analytics, heuristics, and other advanced techniques to identify anomalies and determine whether or not it’s likely an attack. The solution then takes automated or manual actions, such as logging off the endpoint, isolating it from the network, and reimaging the device.

EDR solutions typically use machine learning, artificial intelligence, and other advanced technologies to process and correlate the telemetry it’s receiving. This makes it much easier for the solution to detect anomalous behavior and potentially evasive cyberattacks, which might not be spotted by basic antivirus and other traditional protection tools.

Final Words

EDR can also reduce the number of false positives generated by analyzing telemetry and reducing the time that security teams spend investigating alerts that are nothing.

This can save organizations both time and money in the long run.

The technology also offers the ability to take forensic images of endpoints and remotely inspect them to help with incident response.

See Also: Data Protection Best Practices: What You Need to Know

By James Turner

James Turner is a tech writer and journalist known for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and accessible way. He has written for several publications and is an active member of the tech community.

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