MDR vs EDR: Which is Best for Your Company?

MDR and EDR are both advanced cybersecurity tools which provide a broader, more comprehensive coverage than traditional antivirus and antimalware software. By understanding MDR and EDR, you'll be better equipped to ensure your digital defences.

What is EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response)?

EDR, or Endpoint Detection and Response, is a security tool that continuously monitors and reacts to threats on network endpoints. A network endpoint is any device that is connected to a network that can send or receive data. This can include computers, laptops, smartphones, tablets, servers or any other device that can connect to a network.

EDR focuses on detecting, investigating and mitigating threats at the endpoint level, keeping an eye on endpoint activities and flagging unusual behaviour. EDR can play a crucial role in identifying and acting upon threats that could bypass traditional security measures.

How Does EDR Work?

EDR systems monitor and collect data from your company's endpoints, analysing it to detect suspicious activities. When potential threats are identified, EDR swiftly responds by isolating affected endpoints, preventing the spread of malware or breaches. You'll benefit from real-time threat intelligence updates that improve the system's ability to recognise and react to new threats.

Additionally, EDR tools provide you with detailed analysis and insights into the nature of the threat, helping you understand attack patterns and strengthen your defences. This proactive and continuous monitoring guarantees that your network remains secure against both known and emerging threats, maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of your data.

Main Benefits of EDR

  • Real-time threat mitigation: Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) has the advantage of quickly identifying and mitigating cyber threats in real time.
  • Prevent downtime: The immediate response by EDR reduces potential damage to your network and prevents costly downtime.
  • Prevents future cyber threats: EDR is not limited to detection; it also analyses the behaviour of potential threats. Understanding how malware works through EDR's analysis is essential for preventing future attacks.
  • Determines origin of attacks: EDR also offers detailed forensic tools that help trace the origin of an attack. This allows you to find vulnerabilities in your network and strengthen them before another attack occurs.
  • Constantly improving: EDR systems are continuously learning and adapting to new threats more efficiently with each encounter.

What is MDR (Managed Detection and Response)?

MDR, or Managed Detection and Response, is a managed cybersecurity service that involves an outsourced team that actively monitors and responds to cyber threats in your network. It's designed to keep you a step ahead of hackers by identifying and mitigating potential security incidents. Unlike traditional solutions that focus solely on prevention, MDR provides a holistic approach that includes detection, analysis and response capabilities.

This means you're not just defending against threats, but actively engaging with them to reduce damage and recover more quickly. With MDR, you have a team of IT security experts on your side, using advanced tools to surveil and protect your digital assets.

How Does MDR Work?

Managed Detection and Response integrates both technology (such as EDR) and human expertise to continuously monitor your network for threats. By using advanced tools like AI and machine learning, MDR can detect anomalies that could indicate a security breach.

You'll benefit from a team of security experts who analyse this data, distinguishing false alarms from genuine threats. They'll promptly alert you and advise on the best course of action, whether that's containment, eradication or recovery. This proactive approach guarantees that threats are handled swiftly, minimising potential damage. With MDR, you're not just investing in technology, but a round-the-clock team dedicated to keeping your systems secure.

Main Benefits of MDR

  • Continuous Expert Monitoring: MDR provides 24/7 monitoring of your network for threats using advanced analytics and threat intelligence for quick, accurate detection of potential security incidents.
  • Improved Response Time: MDR services include a team of experts who respond immediately to threats, reducing potential damage from attacks or breaches. They also help manage the aftermath, saving valuable time and resources.
  • Proactive Security Posture: MDR provides detailed insights and recommendations based on observed data, helping to identify vulnerabilities before they can be exploited.
  • Cost-Efficiency: MDR is an outsourced service that employs a team of cybersecurity experts, so there's no need for heavy investment in staff training or complex security tools. The MDR provider handles these aspects, allowing businesses to concentrate on core activities.

What are the Key Differences of MDR and EDR

While both EDR and MDR enhance cybersecurity by detecting and responding to cyber threats in real time, they differ in scope, operational responsibility and their approach to threat management.

Key Differences:

  • EDR is a cybersecurity tool that monitors and responds to threats on network endpoints.
  • MDR is an outsourced service that manages the detection and response to cyber threats across networks.

EDR is software that concentrates on securing endpoints, such as laptops and servers. It's designed to detect and respond to threats specifically at these points of entry. This focus is narrower compared to MDR, which spans your entire IT infrastructure, enhancing your ability to detect and respond to threats that aren't limited to just one device.

Operationally, EDR requires your team to manage and analyse the data to fend off potential threats actively. It's more of a tool that your internal team uses, whereas MDR is a fully managed service. This means experts from outside your organisation take care of everything from monitoring to responding to cyber threats, greatly easing the burden on your staff.

Moreover, MDR is proactive, engaging in threat hunting to prevent attacks before they occur. EDR, on the other hand, tends to be more reactive, dealing with threats as they are identified. This proactive stance of MDR often includes automated response actions, reducing the time and resources you'd otherwise spend on manual interventions required by EDR.

3D graphic showing endpoints in a EDR vs MDR network
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Should I use MDR or EDR for My Business?

Deciding between MDR and EDR for your business depends on your specific security needs and internal capabilities:

If you're looking for a solution that provides thorough monitoring and proactive threat management without needing a large in-house security team, MDR might be the right choice for you. It's fully managed by external experts who handle everything from detection to response, making it ideal if you lack the resources or expertise to manage security incidents on your own.

On the other hand, if you have a capable IT security team that can handle active threat hunting and incident response, EDR could be more suitable. It offers tools that empower your team to detect and investigate security threats in real time. However, it requires more hands-on involvement and expertise to manage effectively.

Both options help with compliance, ensuring you meet standards like GDPR by providing detailed visibility into your network's activity. This is important for identifying and mitigating risks that could lead to data breaches or non-compliance penalties.

Ultimately, your choice between MDR or EDR should align with your business's capacity to manage security internally and your specific regulatory requirements. For more advice on your cyber security, don't hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team at Minster. We have decades of experience in managing cyber security systems and can help find the most cost-effective solution for your business.

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