EDR vs SIEM: Which Threat Detection Tools You Need?

Creating a robust cybersecurity infrastructure is a complex process. Many tools and technologies play different but equally essential roles in this system. It can get complicated for someone new in the security landscape to figure out which tool is necessary and which one might not be as required.  

Until some years ago, anti-virus and firewalls were adequate defenses. But the recent boom in cybercrimes and evolution of sophisticated tactics mean that a layered approach to security is required. And for a multi-layered, proactive cybersecurity setup, you need the knowledge of advanced cybersecurity tools. 

In this blog, let’s discuss two such cybersecurity tools – SIEM and EDR. These different tools are essential parts of any comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. While you may choose one over the other depending on your organizational needs, they work well together. 

What is the EDR solution?

The name conveys that endpoint detection and response (EDR) is also a detection tool. But it has different capabilities than SIEM. Endpoint devices such as laptops, servers, smartphones, or IoT devices are physical endpoints on a network. In a way, they are entryways into an organization. They are especially vulnerable to targeted malicious attacks.  

EDR technology has shifted endpoint protection from being reactive to proactive. So, what does EDR do exactly?  

  • Real-time continuous monitoring and data collection of all endpoint devices  
  • AI-based analysis of data and pattern detection 
  • Rules-based automated response to identified threats to contain them and notify concerned authorities 
  • It mainly supports Windows OS and Linux and is beginning to support other platforms such as Unix, iOS, and Android

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What is SIEM Solution?

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) is a solution that collects logs from all data sources in your organization, analyzes events and trends, and sends alerts to the system when any suspicious activity occurs.   

We can simplify the tool by defining its two primary functions: 

  • A secure, central point of log data collection. It collects log entry data from all systems and devices across the network that deals with blocking unauthorized access. 
  • Correlation and analysis of those log entries. SIEM applies artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) to detect patterns of malicious activities and raise alarms. 

An advanced SIEM tool reduces false positives and generates alerts based on evaluated priorities. It enhances visibility by bringing all pertinent security information to one platform. Enhanced visibility leads to deeper understanding. And a proper understanding of potential threats is a core component of a good defense strategy. 

Secure Your Organisation from Cyberattacks with SIEM

An important point to note is that SIEM does not prevent cyberattacks. It is a detection tool. It detects cyberattacks very early so that security experts can take preventive measures. SIEM prevents escalation and minimizes potential damage or loss. For the tool to perform at its maximum capacity, it needs to be configured correctly, and security experts need to understand and follow up on the alerts. 

If you do not have the right in-house expertise for such a role, it is best to go with an outsourced cloud-based service provider.

The Difference between EDR and SIEM 

Apart from the core functions, there are some critical differences in the capabilities and performance of EDR and SIEM. 

  • Purpose: SIEM tool’s primary goal is to provide actionable security information and event log collection. All security intelligence from all sources is visible on one platform. EDR’s primary purpose is continuous detection and response at the endpoint level against ransomware, file-less attacks, or malware. 
  • Data Collection: EDR collects data only from the endpoints. SIEM collects data from many sources apart from endpoints. The multi-layered approach to log collection includes network, users, applications, and cloud and on-premise infrastructure.  
  • Threat Hunting: Since the sources of log collection are different, the scale at which logs are analyzed is also different. SIEM filters vast volumes of logs and supplies tailor-made analytic rules using machine learning. Since EDR collects data from only the endpoints, it may overlap with SIEM findings.   

Suggested Reading: MSP vs. MSSP: What’s Right for you?

Do You Need Both?

Yes, SIEM and EDR are complimentary detection tools that work well together. It is best to combine the two tools for a multi-layered and efficient cybersecurity system. SIEM provides the big picture in terms of security intelligence and log analysis. EDR provides individual endpoint focus and responds to threats in real-time.  

ACE Managed Security Services offers managed SIEM and managed EDR with EPP. With ACE’s complied services, you get a 24/7 monitoring and threat dashboard for advanced visibility and the advantage of next-gen anti-malware, root-cause analysis, and behavior detection on one EDR+EPP platform.