Can EDR stop ransomware?

Wondering if EDR can stop ransomware? Endpoint detection and response (EDR) software is an endpoint security solution that helps guard against cyberattacks by detecting potentially malicious behavior on computer workstations. EDR solutions offer endpoint protection, boosting your cybersecurity posture by collecting and analyzing information from across an organization’s attack surface.

To defend against an advanced threat like ransomware, you’ll need the right enterprise security tools. So how does EDR work, exactly, and can EDR stop a ransomware attack? We’ll answer these questions and more below.

How does EDR work?

EDR (endpoint detection and response) software continually scans your network’s endpoints (i.e. desktops, laptops, and smartphones) for suspicious activity. This is distinguished from an EPP (endpoint protection platform), which focuses on preventing threat actors from entering the network in the first place. EDR tools instead attempt to detect more sophisticated threats that have successfully bypassed EPP defenses.

As the name suggests, EDR platforms help companies both identify malicious activity and coordinate their response to this activity. The techniques used by EDR software include:

  • Threat intelligence: EDR software makes use of threat intelligence, i.e. preexisting knowledge about threats and threat actors. For example, EDR platforms can analyze a suspicious application to generate a hash or digital fingerprint, and then compare this against a database of known malware to see if there is a match.
  • Behavioral analysis: More advanced EDR software relies not only on existing intelligence but also on behavioral analysis to identify suspicious actions — for example, a user accessing unauthorized files outside of work hours. These activities can then be flagged for follow-up by human experts.
  • Containment: Once a threat has been identified, EDR software immediately moves to contain it to prevent further damage. Your IT incident response team can then examine the threat (e.g. in a sandbox environment where it cannot interact with the rest of the network) and determine if there is a security flaw that needs to be patched.

Can EDR stop ransomware?

Given these facts, it’s essential for organizations to find an IT security solution that stops ransomware in its tracks. The good news is that many EDR platforms are able to prevent malware and ransomware.

With the right features and functionality, EDR software can identify ransomware and other dangers in real-time by using threat intelligence and behavioral analysis. It can then move to contain the problem in order to limit the damage and prevent this malware from spreading to other endpoints and parts of the network. Finally, human IT security analysts can investigate the issue and take corrective steps to repair the damage and prevent future occurrences.

What are the best tools to prevent ransomware attacks?

The best way to prevent ransomware attacks involves a multi-pronged approach using multiple IT security tools:

  • EDR and XDR: EDR software can help detect ransomware lurking in your network before it moves to seize control of your files. A robust XDR (extended detection and response) platform extends the capabilities of an EDR tool. Not only does XDR software help secure your endpoints, but it also monitors your networks, servers, and cloud deployments.
  • Firewalls and EPP: EDR and XDR software are crucial to detect ransomware already in your network, but even better would be to prevent them from entering in the first place. A robust defense against ransomware should also include perimeter security tools such as firewalls and EPP software that blocks intrusion attempts at their source.
  • Backups and disaster recovery: As a last line of defense, regular backups of your organization’s mission-critical data can help you recover more quickly after a ransomware attack. Even if your files and applications become encrypted, you can restore them from your most recent backup, causing you to lose only a few hours’ or days’ worth of work in the worst case.

Keep Learning: XDR vs. SIEM

How to get started with EDR or XDR

EDR and XDR systems are an invaluable addition to any organization’s toolkit for threat detection and incident response. In fact, many companies make use of an XDR platform that builds on the features of EDR for the best protection against ransomware.

Looking for the right XDR solution? UncommonX’s unified BOSS XDR platform helps with everything from guarding against cybersecurity threats to responding and recovering after an incident — including robust features for ransomware protection.

Want to learn more about the benefits of UncommonX’s XDR platform? Contact our team of IT security experts today to discuss your business situation, or to see a demo of BOSS XDR in action.

About the Author

At the center of our U.S.-based Security Operations Center (SOC) is a distinctly skilled team of security architects, engineers, analysts, and data scientists. Each is an expert in their respective field and dedicated to protecting our customers 24/7.