Should You Choose MDR or EDR for Your Company’s Endpoint Security Needs

endpoint security needs

IT teams are constantly faced with the challenge of balancing efficiency and effectiveness. Recent studies show that IT staff spends an average of 11 hours a week managing endpoints. How can you optimize your endpoint security and reduce this time? The answer might be within either an EDR platform or managed endpoint detection and response.

While EDR and MDR serve similar purposes, deciding on one or the other should be a decision made carefully. There are scenarios where it’d be ideal to stick to an EDR platform, and other scenarios where contracting a third-party service for MDR and other security services would make more sense.

Let’s take a look at how EDR and MDR differ, and which would be better for your company’s endpoint security needs.

The Need for Strong Endpoint Security in 2022

Business offices are no longer a few dozen computers connected to the internet. They now extend to the cloud, mobile devices, IoT devices like smart printers. Any device that connects to a company network is considered an endpoint, so just imagine the amount of WiFi-enabled devices in a modern office building.

Endpoint security is one of the most recommended strategies in modern cybersecurity, but not all EDR solutions are the same. You should look for an endpoint security platform that is highly reviewed and is mentioned in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for endpoint protection platforms. Gartner is an influential information technology research and advisory company, and they regularly audit security platforms for the consumer’s benefit.

According to Statista, there are currently around 21.5 billion IoT devices across the world. The average household has around 10 devices connected to the home network – mobile phones, printers, TVs, fitness bands, wearables, security cameras, and more.

Studies say that organizations should have one printer for every 4.4 employees – so a company office with 100 employees could have around 25 smart printers, and each one vulnerable to security exploits that could grant an attacker access to the company network.

We’re just talking about printers – you can imagine how many other connected devices are in the modern office, and you can begin to understand just how large attack surfaces are for cybercriminals to exploit.

It was reported in 2014 that some brands of smart light bulbs store SSIDs and network passwords in unencrypted text files. Even in 2022, numerous IoT device manufacturers are still vulnerable to the Zigbee exploit first reported in 2015.

Consequently, it’s crucial that your organization’s endpoints are protected from known and unknown security threats.

Endpoint detection constantly monitors and evaluates endpoint (device) behavior to identify potential threats and provides a summary of the attack surface. An intelligent EDR platform can also recommend changes to improve endpoint security, based on your network environment, installed

Essentially, an intelligent EDR will tailor specific remediation plans for your organization, which will allow you to proactively protect your endpoints from threats.

How MDR differs from EDR

MDR does not differ from EDR so much except for the “managed” part – because MDR is still managed endpoint detection and response. This means that a third-party security company will be monitoring your EDR.

MDR services typically offer round-the-clock security monitoring, so your system is continuously monitored even when your IT staff packs up and goes home. Furthermore, the security agency may offer additional managed security services on top of EDR, giving you a more comprehensive, hands-on security solution.

For example, a managed security suite may offer live penetration testing, active threat hunting, digital forensics, network security assessments, and a range of other services that AI-based security cannot fully replicate.

Who Should Choose EDR, Who Should Choose MDR?

The cost prohibition for smaller businesses may be the single deciding factor when choosing EDR over MDR, but there are other scenarios where a company would choose EDR regardless.

For a company that has its own professional, full-time IT staff, hiring a third-party security company to manage EDR might make little sense, especially if the organization’s IT staff are already familiar with endpoint security.

On the other hand, if your organization has a small IT staff without access to the latest tools and technologies, then hiring a security agency to manage EDR might make a lot of sense.

It can also depend on the size of your security program. If an organization has a large security program that covers a lot of factors but has limited endpoint protection, EDR would address that concern. But if an organization has a rather weak security program overall, a managed security service with endpoint monitoring would be a better solution.

Cover Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Leave a Comment