Many organisations and managed security providers are moving from SIEM, Security Information and Event Management, to EDR, Endpoint Detection and Response.
The problem is this may not be the best decision for your organisation. These technologies are similar but fundamentally different. EDR is a fantastic solution, but it is not a replacement for a tactical SIEM.
Today’s cybercriminals are using increasingly sophisticated tactics to access ePHI from healthcare organisations.
Malicious actors obtained over 29 million healthcare records in 2020, and breaches in the healthcare industry have doubled since 2014.
When facing these advanced types of threats and increased rates of malicious acts, healthcare organisations need to deploy strategies that incorporate a multi-faceted approach to threat monitoring.
Security information and event management (“SIEM”), Endpoint detection and response (“EDR”),/ Managed detection and response (“MDR”) are effective threat monitoring and response tactics. Here is why your organisation needs both:
What Is EDR?
Creating the term EDR with which we are now more familiar. As the name suggests, an EDR tool stores software on endpoint devices to protect against a range of common cyber threats.
The tool will alert the security management team of any threats identified on an endpoint so that the necessary action can be taken to mitigate potential malicious events as soon as possible.
Endpoint: Devices connected to your network; desktop computers, laptops, mobile devices, cloud-based systems and other IoT devices.
Detection: The EDR tool constantly scans the endpoint device for signs of unusual activity or behaviours and gathers information.
Response: If unusual activity is detected, an automatic notification is sent to the system to alert them of a potential threat. The user can then take appropriate action to mitigate the risk.
As you would expect, EDR tools are focused on the endpoint devices rather than the system as a whole. Their effectiveness, therefore, is inherently tied to an organisation’s level of network visibility — you can’t secure devices that you’re not aware of. As 84% of endpoint breaches include more than one endpoint, total device visibility is essential, although difficult to achieve.
Gartner defines endpoint detection and response (EDR) as a solution for recording endpoint-system-level behaviours, detecting suspicious behaviour in a system, and providing information in context about incidents. This allows security teams to mitigate malicious activity and restore impacted systems rapidly.
EDR tools have the following main capabilities:
- Collecting endpoint incident data
- Triaging alerts and analyse suspicious activity
- Detecting suspicious activity
- Enabling data exploration or threat hunting
- Providing manual and automated tools to stop malicious activity
Endpoint Detection and Response: Pros and Cons
Because EDR is primarily an endpoint security tool, it uses endpoint data as its primary telemetry source. There are some variants of the solution that also include some form of built-in network behaviour analysis.
A decisive advantage of EDR is that it can terminate advanced attacks at an early stage of the cyber kill chain. It does this by observing behaviour patterns rather than examining logs.
Additionally, while SIEM can become quite expensive because its cost model is based on data consumption, EDR cost is based on a per-user flat rate and is more controllable and predictable.
The downside of EDR is that it needs to be deployed across nearly all a network’s endpoints. This is complex to achieve in larger organisations. EDR—like any other solution—may trigger false positive alerts.
Finally, an EDR solution can only be as effective as the security team employing it. Unfortunately, many organisations do not have the in-house expertise required to make use of EDR investments.
Balancing the Cost and Availability with an EDR Solution
Implementing an endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution is a quick way to set up capabilities to detect and respond to advanced threats and targeted attacks, which might bypass traditional endpoint solutions.
EDR provides visibility and intelligence, but companies may face the same challenges as described above with SIEM.
You’ll need qualified staff to filter out the false positives, find actionable data and respond to the discovered threats. And again, finding and retaining cybersecurity talent is an issue, which will only become more pressing in the coming years.
The most advanced EDR solutions can automate the monitoring to cover the needs 24/7. That means your IT team can operate during business hours to review the detections, and automation takes care of the rest.
Furthermore, the solutions can guide you to isolate and remediate the threats quickly.
It is essential to understand the difference between endpoint protection platforms (EPP) and endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions.
EPP runs with minimal supervision, while EDR detects threats that require attention. Someone will always need to review the detections.
What Is SIEM?
SIEM software logs information from across your infrastructure, including network devices, servers, and unlimited other sources, taking care of the bigger picture. Focused on the detection element of security, SIEM collects information from various applications such as firewalls, antivirus programs — and even EDR tools — and collates them in a central location to provide real-time analysis of events.
SIEM platforms analyse the activity detected on your infrastructure against predetermined rulesets and alert users to any anomalies that may point to malicious activity. It then falls to your IT team to manage the log of events, identify and investigate suspicious behaviours and neutralise threats.
The ability to analyse the detailed records is invaluable to many companies, aiding compliance and providing a report to reflect on during the occasions where a threat slips through your net, and a breach occurs.
Security information and event management (SIEM) offer enterprises detection, analysis, and alerting for security events.
By combining security information management (SIM) with security event management (SEM), SIEM software analyses security alerts from a large variety of tools in real-time.
SIEM matches events against analytics engines and rules indexes them to enable search, performs event aggregation and correlation, and enriches events with threat intelligence data.
This process provides security teams with insights into their IT environment and an audit trail for compliance and forensic analysis.
Main features of SIEM software include:
- Integration with a wide variety of security tools and IT systems
- Correlation of multiple data sources
- Generating meaningful alerts
- Alert workflow management
Security Information and Event Management: Pros and Cons
SIEM is an excellent tool that can ingest a massive variety of data sources. Thanks to its log collection abilities, it is beneficial for addressing compliance requirements.
Its rich data analytics and multi-sourced data contextualisation provide a powerful tool, indeed.
A main downside of SIEM is th
at it must be continuously fine-tuned. Its primary constraint is the correlation rules that an organisation must implement and constantly maintain as security needs and data sources change.
A SIEM requires specialised skills to operate effectively. Lastly, unlike EDR, it provides limited abilities to act on the data—once analysts discover a security incident, they must use other tools to contain and eradicate the threat.
A SIEM is an aggregator and analyser. It aggregates logs from network infrastructure but requires data from other security controls, like EDR.
It cannot operate without underlying security controls that provide data and contain threats.
Operating a SIEM Solution Requires Skilled Personnel
Implementing tools such as security information and event management (SIEM) and forensic software can be costly and time-consuming.
For example, it usually takes 1-2 years to implement a SIEM solution, and it’s not rare that the deployments run over budget and schedule. And it’s not only a decision to acquire technology but also to invest in your team.
The only way to get valid or actionable data from an in-house solution such as a SIEM system is by having experts on staff. However, the main challenge of building up breach detection and response capabilities is hiring and retaining cybersecurity talent. Frost & Sullivan predicts a shortfall of 1,8 million cybersecurity professionals by 2022. So, the resources are scarce, and scarce resources are costly.
SIEM vs EDR
On the one hand, EDR draws from endpoint data sources, as one might expect from an endpoint security capability. Its design lends itself to endpoint prevention, endpoint detection, and analysis. Additionally, EDR typically doesn’t need to deal with encryption issues in its investigations. Usually, these solutions come with out-of-the-box capabilities and pre-built dashboards and workflows.
However, EDR remains heavily tied to the endpoint rather than the network as a whole. Also, EDR hinges on total device visibility to function correctly, which can prove a tall order for businesses.
On the other hand, SIEM draws from unlimited data sources; the only constraints come from the correlation rules placed on it by enterprises themselves. Thus SIEM allows for security analysis and compliance fulfilment much more readily. It also provides data contextualisation.
However, SIEM can run into issues with encryption. Also, these solutions tend to focus heavily on detection over prevention. Without logged data, SIEM can’t function, which can create new challenges for underprepared enterprises.
Both SIEM and EDR provide security alerts. Therefore, both can run into similar problems concerning false positives and alert bombardments overwhelming security teams.
As we alluded to above, SIEM vs EDR does not mean one solution is superior to another. You could say these disparate analytical solutions complement each other. Working together, SIEM and EDR can provide your enterprise with enhanced visibility and cybersecurity. Trying to pick one over the other creates more issues long-term.
Therefore, SIEM vs EDR is, in fact, a false dichotomy. It would be best if you had both to achieve better cybersecurity optimisation. Best get started building a solid InfoSec platform now before hackers find a way past your digital perimeter. Sadly, it’s not a matter of if but when. So get your frame fortified with the right analytic tools today!
EDR/MDR: Optimizing Threat Response
EDR is a tool that strengthens an organisation’s cybersecurity posture. Your organisation may implement MDR services to accompany your EDR, and it is helpful to understand the difference between the two.
EDR is a cybersecurity tool that is specialised in endpoint devices. In the healthcare industry, endpoints include devices like desktop computers, laptops, and servers. EDR involves installing an agent on systems to detect threats on the endpoints.
When EDR technology is in place, healthcare organisations can better protect endpoints from threats. IT teams investigate alerts and quickly launch remediation when the system detects a threat.
EDR manages MDR. Healthcare organisations often invest in cybersecurity services, like MDR, to supplement their in-house IT operations. While SIEM and EDR focus more on automation, MDR involves a team of threat management experts. Organisations need MDR services when they are not able to manage EDR in-house effectively. For example, many healthcare organisations do not have the resources or budgets to monitor endpoint threats day and night; MDR makes this possible.
These two services are often grouped because MDR services include EDR. The technology flags potential threats, and human expertise monitors and investigates threats to weed out essential artifacts from false positives.
Which Do I Need?
If you’re looking to bolster your security and establish a system that allows you to respond as quickly as possible to cyber threats, the ideal solution may well include both. The tools are often integrated, with EDR widely considered complementary to SIEM. EDR software acts as another source for the SIEM, providing additional information about all known endpoints to be logged alongside other activity across your infrastructure.
The key has a security system that provides a centralised platform to review activity and a log of real-time alerts so potential threats can be mitigated at the earliest possible stage. Another significant consideration is the resource and capability of your IT team to respond to any security concerns – reviewing and investigating the report log can be time-consuming depending on the size of your business and the extent of your infrastructure.
Combining SIEM, EDR and our bespoke-built platform, solutions automatically take care of logging, collating and analysing activity from all monitored endpoints to detect and block suspicious events across your network.
Why Your Healthcare Organization Needs Both
As healthcare organisations face more cyber threats than ever, a multi-faceted monitoring approach should become a non-negotiable part of cybersecurity. There are several important reasons why EDR and SIEM are both essential tools for today’s healthcare organisations.
- 24/7 Threat Response: Even the most well-equipped IT team cannot provide constant security monitoring without threat response tools. SIEM centralises security alerts and logs while EDR monitors endpoints. Combined with expert services, these tools provide around-the-clock monitoring. The company providing the SIEM/MDR services can then respond to real-time threats, offering optimal security and peace of mind to your organisation.
- Increased Network Visibility: Merging multiple tools into one cybersecurity strategy broadens your monitoring capabilities. Both of these tools provide essential threat detection and logging services while working together to create a more precise picture of your organisation’s threat landscape. Organisations need both to see the complete picture.
- Incident Response Planning: When it comes to strengthening your organisation’s
Cybersecurity posture, detecting threats is only half the story. IT departments also need to respond to threats as quickly as possible. Fortunately, SIEM and EDR/MDR work in tandem to provide real-time alerts to a team of cybersecurity experts. These professionals can then investigate the threat and mitigate it when necessary.
- Expert Guidance: Running IT services for an entire healthcare organisation is no easy feat. Many IT teams are too small or do not have the experts to monitor a facility’s network successfully. Due to capacity needs and shift coverage for PTO needs, actual 24/7 monitoring requires 8-12 security analysts. It is at this point where cybersecurity firms come in. By outsourcing your security services through EDR/MDR, SIEM, and other monitoring and prevention tools, you are investing in expert guidance and reliable threat management.
- Scalable Solutions: Your team’s set of cybersecurity tools should grow with your organisation. Fortunately, EDR/MDR and SIEM platforms are all scalable solutions that expand together. When your facility adds more endpoint devices, the EDR technology can scale accordingly. Similarly, the SIEM tools will continue to centralise logs and alerts. At the same time, the professionals behind the SIEM and MDR program work to ensure that every device has enough reach to continue protecting your network.
Data loss, remediation costs, and non-compliance fines are just some of the consequences of inadequate threat monitoring. Cyber-attacks can also have a severe and potentially life-threatening impact on patient care. Healthcare organisations must implement a set of cybersecurity tools to protect their network and their patients. While the perfect set of tools looks different for every organisation, long-term monitoring should be part of every cybersecurity program.
Scanning the network, flagging risks, identifying vulnerabilities, and mitigating threats is a process that healthcare organisations should repeat daily. The combination of SIEM, EDR/MDR and a mature vulnerability management program strengthens your facility’s threat response planning, so this process becomes more automatic. As a first step toward optimal security, organisations should find a trusted cybersecurity firm to provide these essential services.