Introduction

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) systems and Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions, often seen as essential components in a Managed Service Provider’s (MSP’s) initial security stack, are still perceived by some as the pinnacle of cybersecurity infrastructure.

This view, however, underestimates their limitations in countering sophisticated cyberthreats and tradecraft. Due to these limitations, both EDRs and SIEMs may catch cyberthreats too late, miss them entirely, or fail to uncover the full scope of attacks.

In this blog, we aim to explain the shortcomings of managed EDR and SIEM-based MDR, and to highlight how true Managed Detection and Response (MDR) technology, backed by a 24/7 Security Operations Center (SOC), presents a more robust and effective solution.

Managed EDR

EDR systems monitor endpoint devices such as computers and servers. They are adept at detecting known threats such as malware, providing alerts on malicious activities, isolating threats, and retaining vital information for threat behavior analysis and root-cause investigation. EDRs comprehend activity on isolated endpoints and identify common attack stages and patterns.

Limitations:

  • Struggle to effectively detect and respond to advanced and sophisticated cyberthreats, including:
    • Use of legitimate tools and administrative behavior mimicry
    • Exploitation of native executions
    • Deviations in threat actor behavior

True MDR technology, alongside an around-the-clock SOC, can detect and respond to live-off-the-land (LotL) tradecraft, and is equipped with machine-to-machine understanding in addition to a patented live network map. Altogether, this enables the SOC to comprehend the network holistically, detect advanced malicious behavior, and detain threat actors, regardless of their order of operations.

SIEM-Based MDRs

SIEMs perform passive analysis of logs for events that have already occurred. They aggregate these logs and gather telemetry from a multitude of sources. Despite their comprehensive data collection, SIEMs alone aren’t sufficient.

Limitations:

  • Heavily relies on analyst expertise to skillfully interpret and act on log data in a timely manner
  • Deep expertise required to build effective SIEM rules
  • Difficult to correlate events, leading to false positives and false negatives, resulting in alert fatigue
  • Delayed alerts for threats on separate systems slows down response times

As threat actors increasingly focus on speed over stealth, effective countermeasures are key to stopping fast-moving threats. With true MDR, cyberthreats are identified and responded to in real time, all within one cohesive platform. This way, the SOC can correlate events and contextualize threat actors’ movements across a system as cyberattacks are unfolding. This deep insight enables security analysts to respond in the earliest stages of a breach, thereby preventing lateral spread.

In Conclusion

While EDR systems and SIEM solutions have played pivotal roles in cybersecurity in the past, their limitations are increasingly evident in today’s fast-evolving threat landscape. EDRs, while effective in detecting malware and common attack stages, often miss sophisticated tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) outside the norm. SIEMs are plagued by alert fatigue, and therefore are often too slow in catching cyberattacks in time.

In contrast, Blackpoint Cyber’s true MDR technology offers a superior approach. Our MDR not only identifies tradecraft, lateral movement, and insider threats, but also provides our SOC with a live network map for comprehensive threat actor behavior analysis. Our SOC team analyzes network data to locate and detain threats efficiently, significantly enhancing response times. This proactive and advanced approach positions Blackpoint as the ideal choice for MSPs seeking to elevate their cybersecurity stack, providing their end clients with unparalleled protection.

Explore real instances where our true MDR outperformed EDR solutions in our latest eBook, The EDR Gap. 

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