The revolutionary implementation of antivirus programs meant a lot of things for companies. For one thing, there was the newness of reaction — the ability to have a program jump in and detect viruses and other malware for removal. But more than that, antivirus offered a leg up: it offered the assurance of active protection.
However, with the evolution of computer interfaces, of the way that we get our information and of the way we connect, there comes a greater need for extensive cyber security. Cyber threats come in all different forms now, and so protection must evolve past the traditional AV (antivirus) programs that exist. That’s why companies are looking to advanced endpoint protection as the new authority figure of cyberspace, keeping their networks far more secure than the capabilities of a simple virus scanner allow. There are numerous informed reasons why advanced endpoint protection has become the preferred method of protection for companies around the world — but here are the biggest and best reasons for most companies to make the switch.
One of the biggest issues with antivirus programs is the fact that in most cases, there is a need for a signature to be identified in order for said program to “recognize” a virus or malware of any kind. The problem with this is that modern cyber attacks have much variety, and some attacks are even made with malware or viruses that change their inherent code to decrease the possibility of detection. Consider that antiviruses have been around long enough for hackers and virus developers to come up with ideas on how to circumvent those rudimentary defenses. So, with a large, appealing target like a corporate enterprise, there’s every chance that an antivirus won’t cut it for defenses.
As for advanced endpoint protection programs, there’s more to it: not only does an endpoint detection and response (EDR) system contain the usual antivirus protocols, but it also uses data analysis (and even behavior analysis) to define what is and isn’t normal for a program within a company’s network. The value of this is that, whatever the source, abnormal behavior is perceived as a potential threat to any given endpoint, and therefore must be reported and acted upon. The value of this kind of response to forensic data collecting is paramount to having successful protection against cyber attacks.
As mentioned above, antivirus software utilizes protocols designed to detect and remove viruses and malware from a computer, and that’s where it ends. For those who operate their business on one computer rather than a company network, this is usually a good way to protect your assets to a degree. However, the more your business consists of larger connections and more endpoints, the more you’ll find that you need something with a little more reach. That’s why EDR systems stand in the gap, covering more than just traditional antivirus roles. In fact, EDR includes antivirus protocols, and it utilizes other integrated tools that act as backup or even vanguard efforts to protect before antivirus software would even be necessary. From firewalls to whitelisting, to the monitoring of entire client-server connection models of various sizes, EDR is designed specifically to fill the holes in any protection effort. The translation, in terms of the future outlook, is obsolescence: with EDR on the rise in varying ways to protect your company and your network, antivirus programs on their own have become increasingly unsuitable, especially when you operate as an enterprise with growing security needs. While antivirus protocol is a simple and dated approach on its own, it will continue to live on as a part of the overall evolution of cyber security programs.
It’s all in the name: endpoint protection means that there’s a focus on keeping endpoints safe, a centralized approach that’s meant to holistically provide security solutions, rather than focusing on one aspect of that safety (i.e., antivirus). But more than that, the design of the EDR systems is clearly set aside for larger targets: that is, enterprise level networks and endpoints, rather than a singular device or a small operation. The greater the level of system integration, the greater the overall risk — an idea that’s been summed up into the term, “attack surface”. Whatever is vulnerable becomes more prevalent and more visible to those entities that grow, be they corporate networks or a homegrown megaserver.
There’s more to it, though, than just the fact that EDR is meant to serve entities with large attack surfaces. There’s also the fact that this safe perimeter is given room to expand with a design like what you see in EDR systems. When you work within a given decentralized protection space, there’s not really room to grow: instead, you’re forced to double down on defenses once you do grow. With EDR at the heart of your protection, though, there’s wiggle room — an indicative space from which you can operate, thanks to the centralized system that it functions on and the emphasis on protecting endpoints with numerous devices and programs, rather than with just one functionality like AV programs do.
It’s hard to picture what will happen and when, but what matters is preparation. That’s why using an advanced endpoint protection system is essential for growing companies — and why so many are choosing it over traditional AV. You might be ready for the next logical step in your security evolution, too, and the next step for many is endpoint detection and response.