Endpoint detection and response (EDR), also known as endpoint threat detection and response (ETDR), is a “cyber technology that continually monitors and responds to mitigate cyber threats.”

It is an integrated endpoint security solution that is used to detect and investigate and combines real-time continuous monitoring to threats on endpoints devices in response to cyber threats like ransomware and malware.

In 2013, Anton Chuvakin of Gartner coined the term “endpoint threat detection and response” for “tools primarily focused on detecting and investigating suspicious activities (and traces of such) other problems on hosts/endpoints”.

How Does EDR Work?

EDR security solutions analyze, record the activities and events taking place on endpoints devices to identify suspicious activity. They generate alerts to help security operations analysts uncover, investigate and remediate issues. EDR is instrumental in shortening response times for incident response teams, and ideally, eliminating threats before damage is done.

An EDR tool should offer advanced threat detection, investigation, and response capabilities — including incident data search and investigation alert triage, suspicious activity validation, threat hunting, and malicious activity detection and containment.


All Endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools have three basic components,

  • Endpoint data collection. The EDR monitors and collects data into a central database.
  • Analysis and forensics. Detection and response system are incorporated for real-time analysis, for quick diagnosis of threats that do not quite fit the pre-configured rules. Also forensics tools for threat hunting or conducting a post-mortem analysis of an attack.
  • Automated response. Pre-configured rules in the EDR can recognize when incoming data indicates a known type of security breach and triggers an automatic response.

EDR Functions

Threat detection is a key capability of EDR. Is the practice of analyzing the entire system to identify any malicious activity and to flag it at the first sign of malicious behavior. Often this is not an easy task when you’re dealing with sophisticated/stealth malware.

Containment After detecting a malicious file, the EDR must be able to contain the threat. Automatically responding to identified threats to contain them, and alerting the cyber threat intelligence team.

Investigation. Once the malicious file has been detected and contained, the cyber threat intelligence team should investigate how the file passed through the EDR perimeter and determine if there is a vulnerability to prevent future exploitation through the same threat vector.

Elimination. The EDR needs to be able to eliminate the threat. If it can detect, contain, and investigate a threat, that is great. But if it cannot, the malicious file should be eliminated. To carry out proper elimination, the cyber threat intelligence team should carry out visibility (this is crucial for elimination) to answer questions such as,

Where did the file originate?

What different data and applications did this file interact with?

Has the file been replicated?

EDR platforms help security teams find suspicious endpoint activity to eliminate threats quickly and minimize the impact of an attack.


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