insider threats

We might have left 2020 behind, but the news hits for ransomware keep trending upwards. No big company with digital presence is off the hook. A few months back we reported on the largest ransomware attack in history crippling Universal Health Services; multiple government offices and University of California San Francisco systems have been sabotaged; massive network outages which may or may not have been caused by a ransomware attack have recently halted operation at KIA and Hyundai

Earlier we discussed in detail the benefits of Endpoint Detection and Resonse (EDR) technology for cybersecurity. Now it is time to talk about all the ways EDR can protect your business from ransomware attacks. 


EDR Detects Threats Early

A key difference between a standard commercial antivirus and an EDR solution is the latter’s capability to detect threats as soon as they enter the system but before they do any tangible damage. On top of that, EDR monitors activity on multiple system entry points, or endpoints (hence the name), while an antivirus routinely tackles just one. 

As we know, ransomware typically enters a system when a member of the staff clicks a link in an email that looks official, or downloads an attached file. If all that is standing between your distracted staff and a demand for ransom is a standard antivirus software, the malicious fact won’t be detected until the virus is released and its code can be detected in the system. On the  contrary, EDR will detect the questionable pattern in the email itself, no matter if it’s sent through the company account, an employee’s personal account that they have opened on the work machine, or through a corporate messaging system. 

One EDR detects a threat, it will investigate it via sandboxing. 


Sandboxing with EDR

Once the threat or a suspicious file is detected, EDR uses a security technique called sandboxing to isolate the file from the network and stress-test it in a safe environment. Only if the file is safe is it released back into the system. 

In our scenario, the potentially malicious attachment or link will be sandboxed for further investigation. EDR will access it outside the network and send signals to validate that the new code is not a threat. 

If, however, EDR software detects malware, it will launch a robust elimination process to ensure no malware slips through the cracks. Not only does EDR remove all replicated and hidden malicious files, but it will also scan your entire network for similar files and pinpoint them as well for further containment and investigation. 


EDR Learns On the Fly

Another benefit of EDR for ransomware protection over an antivirus solution which at this point would already be frantically fighting off the spreading cyberattack is its ability to learn. EDR leverages the threat intelligence framework to continuously learn and effectively respond to the most modern and ever-evolving malware threats.

The truth is that cybercriminals spend a lot of time to innovate while you need to run your business instead of trying to stay a step ahead of them. Endpoint Detection and Response takes care of it for you at no extra effort by leveraging artificial intelligence to your advantage (and protection). 

Even though EDR is superior to any antivirus on the market, an occasional ransomware file may still slip through. What happens then?


ERD Limits the Threat’s Affect

Earlier we mentioned that unlike an antivirus software which usually secures a single endpoint, Endpoint Detection & Response software keeps an eye out on dozens or hundreds of endpoints at the same time. 

So, if a threat slips through and begins executing a ransomware code, EDR will notice and cut off that endpoint from the rest of your system before launching the elimination scripts. This way, even if the malware damages a part of the network, it won’t affect most of it. 

This fact is also likely to deter cybercriminals from demanding a ransom since their attack won’t completely paralyze the system and plenty of network workarounds will remain open.  

As you can see, Endpoint Detection and Response is a powerful software to minimize your risk of ransomware attacks and fares in that regard much better than a commercial antivirus software. There are two things worth noting about EDR. First is that, unlike an antivirus you can purchase anywhere and install yourself in a few minutes, EDR software requires a more elaborate set up and monitoring and is normally managed by an experienced managed service provider. Second, even with all the benefits of an EDR software, a layered approach to cybersecurity that integrates multiple tools for the maximum protection is always preferable. This layered approach may include an EDR software, an antivirus, an email firewall, staff training, and more. To figure out what combination of tools would keep your network secure without any unnecessary clutter, contact 3nom today for a free consultation—we have helped dozens of small and medium-sized businesses secure their networks against ransomware and cyberthreats. 


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