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Why traditional antivirus software is no longer enough, and why you need EDR

The days of relying solely on antivirus software are long gone. Today, cybercriminals have a wide range of attacks in their arsenal, from denial-of-service to ransomware attacks. As cybercrime continues to evolve, businesses need tougher security frameworks with multiple defenses.  

With endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools, users can put up extra layers of data security, as these solutions offer a faster, more comprehensive, and proactive way of dealing with threats.

We explore the benefits of EDR tools below, and why traditional antivirus programs are simply not enough.

Why are traditional antivirus software insufficient?

There are several reasons why traditional antivirus software alone is not enough.

Cybercrime is an ever-growing threat

According to the latest statistics from the Australian Cyber Security Centre, a cybercrime report is made every 8 minutes, with incidents up by nearly 13% from the previous financial year. Malicious attacks show no signs of slowing, with stakes even higher in the wake of COVID-19 and increased telecommuting.

It’s therefore crucial to have safeguards that are capable of keeping up to date with the latest malware variants. The AV-Institute reportedly registers 450,000 new viruses daily, with only 30% of these being ‘known’ malware. Traditional antivirus software is simply not robust enough to register and detect all these new threats.

Social engineering circumvents antivirus detection

Cyberattacks are also growing more complex, often using approaches that circumvent traditional security measures. 

One common approach used by cybercriminals today is social engineering. This involves manipulating people into giving away sensitive information or performing actions that can harm the company they work for. Phishing is a popular type of social engineering attack that uses fraudulent emails to trick victims into sharing passwords, clicking on dangerous links, or downloading malware-laced attachments. 

What makes phishing particularly dangerous is that cybercriminals only need to concoct a convincing lie and use an email domain that is similar to that of a legitimate company. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, saw a rise in cybercrimes due to fraudulent emails claiming to provide official health information, only to trick readers into providing confidential data or clicking on suspicious links. Some criminals also have the ability to mask their activity on the system, leaving little to no trace of their attempted breach.

Attacks can occur without human-based error

Many cyberthreats are so sophisticated that they can now find ways of hijacking your device without having you knowingly download suspicious files. Methods such as malvertising allow criminals to execute web scripts on your system by tricking you into clicking a malicious ad on an otherwise legitimate website. With drive-by downloads, all it takes is visiting a website at the wrong time to prompt malicious code to install itself on your device without your knowing.  

What are the benefits of EDR?

Unlike antivirus software, EDR tools offer much more protection and benefits to businesses. 

Broader active protection

Relying on a simple antivirus program is now considered insufficient to ensure reliable data protection. EDR can provide an extra layer of protection by monitoring all devices connected to your network. This, in turn, provides you with full visibility into all your endpoints, helping you track potential threats with greater accuracy.

Additionally, EDR tools typically come with a wider set of features. Most include an antivirus in their system, alongside whitelisting, monitoring, and firewall tools for more comprehensive protection.  

Data collection and analysis

EDR solutions collect and analyse comprehensive data on potential threats and endpoint activity. Through machine learning technology, these tools familiarise themselves with the usual activity of end users and operations, helping them highlight irregularities in the data as they arise. Those with threat intelligence integration are additionally able to offer specific details on the context of an attack and the actors behind it.

EDR also typically retains data for future assessments, helping businesses retroactively examine previous attacks they may have been unaware of.

Faster response time

Finally, EDR tools allow you to deal with threats with greater speed and precision. As these tools collect rich volumes of data, they’re well-equipped to quickly respond to incidents following a security breach.

Traditional incident responders would have had to manually collect data from each network endpoint to fully analyse an attack, but this process is a core, continuous element of an EDR system. This not only offers you a clearer picture of the security breach, but also saves you from the downtime and on resources needed in addressing these issues.

Looking to upgrade your IT security?

With the rapid increase of cybercrime, it pays to invest in data security. Austin Technology currently offers a broad range of network and general IT security services, helping shoulder the burden of data protection and allowing you to focus on greater business needs. Keep attackers at bay — get in touch with our experts now



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