Endpoint Security Monitoring

What is Endpoint Security Monitoring?

Endpoint Security Monitoring is a cybersecurity practice that involves real-time surveillance and analysis of activities on individual devices within a network, such as laptops, workstations, thin clients, and mobile devices. Unlike traditional antivirus solutions, which focus on known threats, Endpoint Security Monitoring employs advanced techniques, including behavioral analysis and AIOps / machine learning, to detect and respond to both known and unknown threats. It provides continuous visibility into endpoint activities, enabling the identification of suspicious behavior, anomalies, and potential security incidents. This proactive approach helps organizations strengthen their defense against cyber threats, enhancing overall cybersecurity resilience at the device level.

What is EDR?

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) overlaps with the broader concept of Endpoint Security Monitoring. EDR is also known as endpoint threat detection and response (ETDR), as a cybersecurity technology that continually monitors an "endpoint" to mitigate malicious cyber threats. EDR solutions focus on monitoring and responding to security incidents at the endpoint level.

EDR products typically offer features that can isolate an endpoint, which is called “network containment“. This allows organizations to take rapid or instantaneous action by isolating potentially compromised hosts or devices from all network activity.

Popular Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) products include: Carbon Black (VMware Carbon Black), Symantec Endpoint Detection and Response, Microsoft Defender for Endpoint (formerly Windows Defender ATP), SentinelOne and McAfee Endpoint Security.

Read our article on how malicious actors perform PowerShell exploitation and EDR (Endpoint Detection & Response) evading techniques, see: Detecting PowerShell Exploitation | eG Innovations.

Endpoint Security Monitoring vs Antivirus. What’s the difference between Endpoint Security Monitoring and Antivirus Software?

Endpoint Security Monitoring and traditional antivirus solutions play somewhat distinct roles in safeguarding computer systems from cyber threats. Endpoint Security Monitoring involves continuous real-time surveillance of network endpoints, such as computers, servers, and devices, to identify and respond to security incidents promptly. It goes beyond the scope of antivirus software by monitoring user activities, network behavior, and system processes for anomalies that may indicate potential threats.

Unlike traditional antivirus programs that primarily rely on signature-based detection to identify known malware, Endpoint Security Monitoring utilizes a broader range of techniques, including behavioral analysis, anomaly detection, AI / machine learning, and heuristics. This proactive approach enables the identification of both known and unknown threats, enhancing the overall security posture.

Moreover, Endpoint Security Monitoring focuses on the complete lifecycle of a cyber threat, from initial infiltration to lateral movement within the network. It provides visibility into endpoint activities, aiding in the detection of advanced persistent threats and zero-day attacks that may evade traditional antivirus measures.

While antivirus software remains essential for blocking known threats and providing a baseline level of protection, Endpoint Security Monitoring offers a complementary and dynamic defense strategy. By combining these approaches, organizations can create a robust cybersecurity framework that addresses the evolving landscape of cyber threats, ensuring a multi-layered defense against malicious activities targeting endpoint devices.

Many traditional antivirus products and platforms have expanded their offerings to include endpoint security monitoring and other features beyond traditional antivirus scanning tools. Similarly, many Endpoint Security Monitoring solutions include features that effectively run traditional antivirus and malware detection functionality.

What type of organizations use Endpoint Security Monitoring?

Endpoint security monitoring is utilized by diverse organizations, but is especially prevalent in large enterprises, financial institutions, healthcare providers, and government agencies. It is ubiquitous in sectors where the protection of sensitive data and regulatory compliance are paramount. Industries dealing with intellectual property, like research and development firms, legal services, and manufacturing, also prioritize endpoint security to safeguard proprietary information.

Businesses and organizations with remote workforces often leverage endpoint security solutions to mitigate cybersecurity risks.

Ensuring monitoring agents and observability tools do not compromise Endpoint Security

You should ensure any monitoring tools and agents deployed do not compromise the integrity of endpoint security while deploying monitoring agents and observability tools. Monitoring tools and platforms must be based around secure architectures and offer enterprise security features such as:

Ensuring apps and SaaS do not compromise Endpoint Security

Poorly coded or malicious applications installed on or delivered to endpoints can compromise an organization’s security. You may like to read about some of the challenges and solutions associated with the risks of third-party software and SaaS, see: