What is the Role of EDR Solutions against The Rising Threat of Ransomware?
We live in a digitalized world where almost all of our activities are related to using computers and smartphones connected to the internet. Nowadays, we can not only browse for news and entertainment but also use online banking, shop online, store valuable and sensitive information, and much more. With the countless opportunities that the internet has provided, there are also risks of becoming a victim of a cyberattack. Unfortunately, these attacks are more common than ever in the last decade.
One of the most dangerous ones is ransomware attacks, because in this case, the cybercriminals are penetrating our security systems with different approaches, and then they encrypt our priceless data in order to ask for a ransom to be paid to restore access to this encrypted data. These attacks are really common these days, and sometimes even when you pay the ransom, the cybercriminals won't restore your information.
Becoming a victim of such an attack is a really unpleasant experience and can be very stressful because there is a chance to lose this information forever. Victims of these cybercriminals are not only business organizations but also users like every one of us. Luckily, there is a salvation from these attacks, and it is named EDR, providing the best endpoint security for all of our devices and endpoints. The role of EDR is to intercept these attacks before they have spread and caused irreparable damages.
By using constant monitoring, threat intelligence, threat hunting, and response tools, EDR is able to block these sophisticated threats and lock the endpoint that has been attacked. Thus, the infection will be isolated and blocked by the EDR tools on time before causing serious consequences to the systems. It is really a lifesaving option when dealing with such harmful and destructive attacks.
Additionally, if you are using EDR security solution services, the chance of becoming a victim of a ransomware attack is reduced by more than 85%. If you wonder, what is the best way to provide yourself with peace of mind so that no matter what happens, you will be prepared and ready to face such an attack? The answer is by using EDR solutions.
What are EDR Solutions?
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), also known as endpoint detection and threat response (EDTR), is an endpoint security solution that monitors in-real-time end-user devices to detect and respond to cyber threats like ransomware and malware. This term was coined by Anton Chuvakin at Gartner to describe security systems that detect, investigate, and respond to malicious activities on both hosts and endpoints. These systems are based on automation, enabling security teams to identify and respond to threats immediately.
The critical functions of the EDR security system are to collect information about the activities happening at endpoints that may potentially indicate a security risk and prevent security breaches. It analyzes this data to identify potential threats and their criminal and harmful patterns. Afterwards, EDR automatically responds to the identified threats in order to block them and provide full information about the threat to the security teams. EDR uses analysis tools to investigate security risks, scan for any suspicious behavior, and then isolate compromised endpoints immediately. We can definitely name EDR solutions as the modern threat hunters in our digital world, looking for any suspicious system behavior.
EDR is designed with the purpose of protecting users, devices, and every endpoint of an organization against cyber threats that manage to penetrate traditional antivirus software and other security tools. By combining real-time monitoring, data gathering, automated analysis, and automated response capabilities, EDR highlights files that exhibit indications of suspicious activities and save our sensitive information from being encrypted.
The Dynamics of Ransomware Attacks in the Modern Cyber Landscape
Ransomware attacks have become an increasingly common and dangerous threat, bringing about significant concerns for individuals, businesses, and institutions. The approaches and tactics of these attacks have transformed and upgraded, with emerging threats showcasing the evolution towards more sophisticated methods that aim to inflict maximum damage to users and businesses, with the main purpose of gaining financial benefits.
At the core of ransomware attacks is file encryption, a technique employed by cybercriminals to steal and make critical data inaccessible until a ransom is paid. Even then, there is no guarantee that when the victim pays the ransom, the access to their data will be restored. The most sophisticated attacks use advanced encryption methods, making it challenging and almost impossible for victims to regain control of their files without complying with the attacker's demands.
To mitigate attacks and empower security against these emerging threats, organizations are increasingly turning to finding the best anti-ransomware solutions. These tools are designed not only to detect and prevent ransomware but also to respond quickly when an attack is underway and before the attack has spread. By recognizing the encryption patterns used by attackers, anti-ransomware solutions play a crucial role in thwarting these malicious attempts before significant damage occurs.
One of the emerging threats is the exfiltration of sensitive data through file encryption. Attackers use the fear of data exposure to convince victims to pay the ransom. As organizations are exposed to this type of cyber threat, the need for proactive measures to prevent and mitigate ransomware attacks becomes fundamental.
Regular updates to software and operating systems, combined with using advanced security tools like EDR and regular employee training to raise awareness of phishing attempts, are critical components of a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy available to recognize and intercept ransomware attacks in their early stages.
Why EDR Solutions are Crucial in the Fight Against Ransomware?
As we already mentioned, these attacks are extremely dangerous and ruthless. Dealing with such an attack is definitely an unpleasant experience, and it can lead to serious consequences for users and business organizations. If you are not prepared with the proper security measures and tools, you will probably end up with encrypted data.
In the battle against ransomware attacks, the proper weapon is named EDR. With all the tools it provides users, EDR can be named a top-notch endpoint protection service with high-quality security posture that successfully manages to stop these threats on time before it has become too late. Using EDR services not only protects your computer or device from various types of cyber attacks, but it also succeeds in predicting new threats, approaches, and tactics by scanning for suspicious activity before they have reached your endpoints.
EDR is a combination of tools that provide you with complete protection from the stage of real-time monitoring, threat intelligence, threat hunting, and quick response capabilities in order to protect your healthy device environment. This type of security service provides you with a variety of benefits, like mobile device management, which gives you the freedom to change tamper protection mode whenever you need it.
How to Deploy EDR Solutions?
These are the steps you need to take for Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) deployment on enterprise endpoints:
Step 1 - Identify Endpoints
To start the process of deploying EDR solutions to your systems, you should determine the various locations where you want protection against malware and ransomware. If all your endpoints are on-premises, you need to install them only on them. However, if you have cloud-based and remote endpoints, it becomes crucial to understand how to deploy endpoint detection tools across all of these endpoints.
Nowadays, every vendor offers cloud-based, on-premises, and hybrid security solutions. It’s easy to pick one solution per your enterprise’s needs and compliance requirements that also fits your budget.
Step 2 - Choosing the right EDR service provider
There are a lot of vendors that provide EDR services, so you will need to consider your specific requirements and budget when choosing the one that will meet your expectations. Almost all of these vendors provide a demo version with a trial period; thus, you will be able to test their services and see if you remain satisfied before subscribing.
It will definitely help you evaluate all available options and decide what works for you. A very important aspect is to consider all the tools that you will be provided with and to compare them to those of other vendors. Just to be sure that you are making the best deal.
Step 3 - Deployment plan
The next step you need to take is to learn how to deploy EDR. During this planning, you will need to consider fundamental aspects like network architecture, security infrastructure, and compatibility with existing security software.
Step 4 - Deployment test
You will test the deployment in this step. It means deploying this software in a staging environment. This test allows your cybersecurity team to identify compatibility and other issues if they occur. It’s the right time to know what needs improvement.
Step 5 - Installing the EDR software and tools
After ensuring that the test results meet the required standards, the next step is to proceed with the installation of the software on all endpoints. Each vendor has their own set of guidelines for software installation, which you can carefully follow for setup.
If any difficulties arise, you have the ability to address and resolve them. Additionally, there is a customer support team to assist you. If you have any questions or concerns, your team can directly reach out to them for clarification or guidance.
Step 6 - Monitoring and Deployment
Once the software is installed and configured, you will start monitoring the EDR software. You can perform penetration tests to understand how this tool detects and responds to threats.
Step 7 - Constant Updating
As per one of the latest research studies made by the Global Technologies Center, more than 490,000 new pieces of malware are discovered every day. If you want to secure your corporate endpoints in the best way possible, it’s crucial to rely on EDR services that keep updating the software to let you detect new threats and avoid attacks from new malware approaches.
Endpoint Protection Approaches in Combating Ransomware
Protecting your business organization against the ground-breaking approaches and tactics developed by the best hackers in the world is not an easy task. Nowadays, these cybercriminals use the latest technologies and innovations to create ransomware attacks able to seize and export your sensitive information.
Over the last few years, ransomware attacks have changed significantly, and we can definitely say that they have metamorphosed with the adoption of artificial intelligence and have become a lot more dangerous and hard to recognize for traditional security measures, becoming a nightmare for every user and business owner.
The solution to all these advanced threats is named EDR. In the last few years, vendors of EDR services have also scaled up their security level by implementing AI and ML into their strategies for combating ransomware attacks. Today’s AI and ML-based endpoint security offers cutting-edge capabilities to fight ransomware, shape threat detection and response, and better defend client endpoints.
AI-based endpoint detection and response provides automated threat correlation and guided attack interpretations to save technicians time in investigation and readily move on to incident response activities. Continuous real-time monitoring uses behavioral-based detection, which lends an instrumental advantage against modern ransomware, especially in conjunction with signature-based detection.
Furthermore, the isolation and control of affected endpoints is a pivotal measure against ransomware incidents. The ability to contain and quarantine active threats prevents infections from spreading across healthy workloads and networks. Isolation can effectively disrupt the lateral movement of ransomware and minimize the impact of destruction on your endpoints.
To ensure robust protection against cyber threats, relying solely on EDR (endpoint detection and response) is not enough, especially when it comes to safeguarding your clients valuable data. It is essential to prioritize data protection as a component of cybersecurity measures. By integrating cybersecurity solutions with backup and recovery systems, you can enhance the resilience of your clients digital environments.
With new innovations, endpoint security has developed over time to address today’s challenges. Although traditional endpoint protection solutions prevent, protect, and eradicate ransomware with antivirus, firewall, and intrusion detection capabilities, these layers won’t be enough.
What are the Key Features of EDR Solutions in Detecting and Preventing Ransomware?
EDR solutions have earned a reputation as reliable and solid cybersecurity solutions in order to detect and prevent ransomware attacks. As we all know, in the last few years, malicious actors have constantly developed and created more sophisticated ways to penetrate the security systems of reputable organizations in order to gain monetary benefits.
Their main goal is to steal, compromise, encrypt, and destroy valuable and sensitive information about these business organizations, and at a later stage, to ask for ransom in order to restore access to their data.
On the other hand, EDR has proven its ability to deliver comprehensive ransomware protection against becoming a victim of these malicious actors. We will now explore the key features that EDR solutions provide their clients in the cruel battle against ransomware attacks.
Automated cyberthreats detection
EDR implements comprehensive visibility at all endpoints to detect different indicators of attack and analyzes billions of real-time events to identify suspicious behavior towards the protected endpoint automatically.
Robust EDR security solutions strive to understand a single event as a part of a more significant sequence to apply security logic. If an event sequence points to a known IOA, the EDR solution will identify it as malicious and automatically issue a detection alert.
Threat intelligence integration
Integrated solutions combine threat and network monitoring with threat intelligence to swiftly identify any suspicious activity. In the event that the EDR tool detects any threatful tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), it will provide information about potential security incidents prior to any data breaches taking place. This includes information on attackers, the vulnerable targets for attacks, how malware is being deployed, and other details about the attack.
Real-time continuous monitoring
EDR utilizes endpoint data aggregation to detect security incidents. Users are granted a view of all activities occurring on company endpoints from a cybersecurity standpoint. A dedicated solution is capable of monitoring security-related events such as process initiation changes to the registry loading of drivers, memory and disk utilization access, database network connections, and more.
Swift threat investigation
Endpoint security solutions can investigate threats quickly and accelerate remediation with the blink of an eye. You can think of them as a security analyst, gathering data from each endpoint event and storing it in a massive, centralized database that provides comprehensive details and context to enable rapid investigations for both real-time and historical data.
All these key features confirm the EDR's reliability in the battle against ransomware and any other destructive threat. Having these features provided on your side is a real game-changer and will keep you protected 24/7.
Why is Endpoint Detection and Response a Must-have fo Ransomware Protection in 2024?
According to the Acronis Cyberthreats Report for August 2023, ransomware detections at the endpoint level decreased by 6% from June to July. However, at the same time, Acronis Advanced Security + EDR detected over 150,000 cyber incidents, and notably, new ransomware gangs emerged, suggesting that ransomware attacks continue their development in their approaches and tactics, trying to penetrate security systems.
This leads to the conclusion that it is a matter of time for every business organization to face such an attack, because we cannot lie: there are millions of cybercriminals creating new and advanced ransomware attack tactics in order to gain monetary benefits.
On the other hand, the fact that EDR is one of the most powerful weapons to battle and intercept these destructive attacks definitely makes the use of EDR services a must. Because the question is not whether you will face a ransomware attack, it is when this event will happen.
So the best thing you can do for yourself and your business is to implement EDR solutions into your security posture in order to be as prepared as possible when this event occurs. Thus, you will provide yourself with peace of mind, knowing that you can rely on the fact that your sensitive information won't be stolen or encrypted.
Cost-Benefit Analysis of EDR Solutions in Ransomware Prevention
The main question you must ask yourself is: How much do you value your sensitive information? Because, as we mentioned already in the article, the percentage of ransomware attacks is constantly rising, and these threats are waiting for the right moment to strike. So what price are you willing to pay? A monthly subscription plan, or the price of becoming a victim of a cybercriminal who will steal and encrypt all your priceless data?
EDR solutions provide you with privileged access to the latest approaches and technologies for protecting your endpoint devices and keeping you way off the dangerous zone of cyber attacks. We already know how important EDR tools like constant monitoring, threat hunting, threat intelligence, and immediate response are in the difficult task of protecting your valuable information 24/7.
All these tools are priceless when facing an unexpected scenario like a cyberattack. In these situations, you understand the power of the choice that you have made. Ensuring yourself with EDR solutions is a blessing in these moments, when you realize that they are actually a lifesaving option. So the cost of using EDR services is really insignificant, because the peace of mind that you will be provided with is far beyond that price. Knowing that your information and endpoint devices are protected with the latest technologies and tools is really a priceless feeling. There is no place for hesitation about whether to pay the cost of a subscription plan or not, risking losing all your precious information.
Unarguably, we conclude that using EDR services is the unnamed hero in the battle against ransomware attacks. This type of service goes beyond the traditional security measures, by using AI and ML, EDR stands as the most powerful weapon against cyberattacks. The effectiveness of EDR in anti-ransomware is remarkable. As per recent research made by Global Advanced Technologies, EDR is able to predict and prevent eight out of ten cyberattacks.
Furthermore, the most remarkable aspect of EDR is the complex synergy between all the tools used by this security measure. It is unbelievable how different components are managed to work together, like real-time monitoring, threat hunting, threat intelligence, AI and ML, and, of course, immediate response, in order to provide the best protection for the users.
The fact that EDR usage has increased by more than 60% over the past three years confirms the dominance of this type of cyber protection used by users and corporate clients. So, we can definitely conclude that if you want the best protection from becoming a victim of cybercriminals, you must take the step and start using EDR. We guarantee that you won't regret it, even for a moment.
Acronis is a Swiss company, founded in Singapore. Celebrating two decades of innovation, Acronis has more than 1,800 employees in 45 locations. The Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud solution is available in 26 languages in over 150 countries and is used by 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.