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Cyber Resilience

When EDR Fails: The Importance of Containment in Endpoint Security

Breaches happen, and detection will fail. Accepting this doesn’t mean detection tools are failing. Not at all – they are one of the most sophisticated tools that have the unfortunate task of playing cat and mouse with bad actors.

While tools like Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) have become synonymous with endpoint security, the reality is that relying solely on a single approach can leave organizations vulnerable. Embracing a Zero Trust mindset, which assumes a breach will happen, requires prioritizing containment as much as detection.

Even the most hardened EDR agent is not immune from being tampered with. Recent findings from an online persona named “spyboy” demonstrate this. For as little as $300, a threat actor can terminate most EDRs with the right access. Vulnerabilities like these are alarming but not catastrophic if security teams prepare for the moment when EDR fails.

Closing the door on lateral movement

Containment is all about stopping and slowing down attackers. With containment measures like Zero Trust Segmentation (ZTS), organizations can proactively stop attacker spread by preventing lateral movement from the impacted workload or endpoint. The best part is that restricting lateral movement helps increase the time other detection tools have to detect the incident.

ZTS is a proven containment strategy. When tested by offensive security firm Bishop Fox, they found that with ZTS in place, it took their red teams 9 times longer to successfully execute an attack. As an added benefit, it also helped them detect attacks 4 times faster, just because attackers had to create more noise trying to move around.

There are multiple areas where containment can impact any endpoint security strategy immediately.

Gain full visibility

Sixty percent of organizations struggle with inadequate visibility, making it difficult to improve security posture. Without full visibility over all assets, it’s almost impossible to stop lateral movement. Relying solely on detection leaves organizations vulnerable to attacks that can bypass EDR solutions entirely. Containment plays a critical role by implementing proactive measures to isolate and neutralize threats, irrespective of their entry point.

Contain even the most sophisticated threats

Zero-day exploits that can easily bypass detection mechanisms are especially dangerous. Detection of these sophisticated threats takes time. By prioritizing containment, organizations can minimize the impact of threats by isolating compromised systems and preventing lateral movement, even in the absence of immediate detection.

Stop threats quickly

Even when detecting a breach quickly, there is still a risk. Without prompt response, an attacker might still achieve their objective. A delayed response can allow attackers to penetrate deeper into a network. The need for rapid containment should not be underestimated. By implementing containment strategies alongside EDR, organizations can mitigate threats swiftly, minimizing potential damages and reducing the time taken to restore normal operations.

Less – and more accurate – network alerts

Alert fatigue is real. By reducing pathways for lateral movement, the network alerts that still pop up have the potential to be more accurate. Isolating suspicious endpoints through containment strategies provides the breathing space needed to investigate and respond accurately to genuine threats.

Protection from insider threats

EDR solutions, which are focused on finding indicators of compromise, may fail to identify malicious actions by privileged insiders or compromised accounts. Containment strategies, such as ZTS can help minimize the damage caused by insider threats. By restricting movement, containment adds an additional layer of protection against these internal threats.

Better together: Illumio Endpoint and EDR

To address the challenges faced by EDR, organizations must prioritize containment alongside detection. By embracing a Zero Trust mindset and implementing containment strategies such as ZTS, organizations can proactively slow down attackers and prevent lateral movement.

Illumio Endpoint provides containment enforced on the endpoint itself. With Illumio, lateral movement is stopped on the host, reducing the reliance on any network infrastructure for these critical, risk-reducing capabilities.

Ready to learn more about Illumio Endpoint? Contact us today for a free consultation and demo.

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Assume Breach.
Minimize Impact.
Increase Resilience.

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