What’s the Difference Between EDR/XDR and Enterprise Antivirus
October 31, 2023
Enterprise antivirus (AV) software has been the mainstay of cybersecurity for decades. However, as cyber threats become more sophisticated and focused, antivirus software becomes less effective.
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) and extended detection and response (XDR) are two emerging technologies that provide more comprehensive cyber threat defense. EDR and XDR solutions can detect and respond to threats that traditional antivirus software may overlook, such as fileless malware, zero- day attacks, and insider threats.
In this blog we’ll discuss the key differences between enterprise AV, EDR, and XDR to help you decide which solution is right for your organization.
Understanding What Enterprise Antivirus, EDR, and XDR Are
Enterprise Antivirus (AV)
Enterprise antivirus (AV) software is intended to safeguard businesses from known malware threats. AV solutions detect known threat signatures by scanning files and systems. A malware signature is a unique pattern of data that is associated with a specific malware threat.
Although AV can be very efficient against known threats, it is ineffective against new or unknown threats, such as zero-day attacks. Zero-day attacks are those that exploit vulnerabilities in software that are not yet known to the software vendor. In today’s cyber landscape, cyberattackers are finding new ways to infiltrate organizations every day, so zero-day attacks are becoming more common.
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) Endpoint detection and response (EDR) software collects and analyzes endpoint data looking for any suspicious activity in addition to signature-based detection. EDR solutions can detect threats that have not yet been identified by AV software, such as zero-day vulnerabilities, fileless malware, and advanced persistent threats (APTs).
EDR solutions can also assist organizations in responding to threats in a timely and effective manner. EDR solutions can automatically quarantine or remove threats, as well as offer information to security professionals to analyze and remediate those events.
Extended Detection and Response (XDR)
Extended detection and response (XDR) is a more advanced form of EDR that integrates data from multiple sources, such as network traffic, cloud logs, and email, to provide a more comprehensive view of the threat landscape. XDR can detect threats that have evaded traditional AV and EDR solutions.
For example, an XDR solution may be able to detect a phishing attack by correlating data from email, network traffic, and endpoint activity. XDR solutions can also help organizations to automate security tasks and to improve the efficiency of their security teams.
EDR and XDR solutions can be more expensive than enterprise AV, but they offer a number of benefits, including:
Comparison of AV, EDR, and XDR
|Threat detection||Good against known threats, but not as effective against new or unknown threats.||Good against new and unknown threats, including fileless malware, zero-day attacks, and insider threats.||Excellent against new and unknown threats, can detect threats that have evaded traditional AV and EDR solutions.|
|Visibility||Provides visibility into endpoint activity.||Provides deeper visibility into endpoint activity, as well as network traffic and cloud logs.||Provides the most comprehensive visibility into the security landscape, including data from endpoints, networks, cloud applications, and other security tools.|
|Response||Can automatically quarantine or remove threats.||Can automate a wider range of security tasks, such as investigating and remediating incidents.||Can automate the most complex security tasks, such as hunting for threats and responding to incidents in real time.|
|Cost||Least expensive option.||More expensive than enterprise AV, but less expensive than XDR.||Most expensive option, but offers the most comprehensive protection.|
Statistics on the effectiveness of EDR/XDR
EDR and XDR solutions have been shown to be very effective in detecting and responding to cyber threats.
In addition to these statistics, EDR/XDR solutions have been credited with helping organizations to prevent and respond to a wide range of cyberattacks, including:
These studies demonstrate that EDR/XDR solutions can be a valuable investment for organizations of all sizes. By investing in EDR/XDR, organizations can improve their security posture and reduce the risk of cyberattacks.
Concerns about implementing EDR/XDR
Some companies may be concerned about the cost of implementing EDR/XDR solutions. However, it is important to remember that the cost of a security incident can be much higher than the cost of implementing an EDR/XDR solution.
According to IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023,
Here are some tips for overcoming concerns about implementing EDR/XDR:
Real-world examples of EDR/XDR in use
EDR and XDR solutions are being used by organizations of all sizes to protect themselves from cyber threats. Here are a few real-world examples:
Enterprise antivirus (AV) is still an important tool for combating known risks, but it is insufficient for combating emerging and advanced threats. Endpoint detection and response (EDR) and extended detection and response (XDR) provide more extensive cyber threat prevention than antivirus (AV), but they are more expensive.
The best choice for an organization will depend on its specific security needs and budget. Organizations with limited budgets may choose to start with AV and add EDR or XDR later as their needs grow. Organizations with higher budgets and more complex security needs may choose to implement EDR or XDR from the outset. Regardless of which solution you choose, it is important to have a layered security approach that includes multiple security solutions. This will help to protect your organization from a wider range of threats.
EDR and XDR solutions are essential tools for any organization that wants to protect itself from today's sophisticated cyber threats. By following the recommendations above, you can choose and implement the right EDR/XDR solution for your organization and better protect your organization in today’s ever- evolving cyber landscape.
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