January 5, 2023 By Serge Woon 3 min read

As threat actors grow in number, the frequency of attacks witnessed globally will continue to rise exponentially. The numerous cases headlining the news today demonstrate that no organization is immune from the risks of a breach.

What is an incident response plan?

Incident response (IR) refers to an organization’s approach, processes and technologies to detect and respond to cyber breaches.

An IR plan specifies how cyberattacks should be identified, contained and remediated. It enables organizations to act quickly and effectively even in stressful breach situations, mitigating further impact.

Ultimately, the goal of IR is to reduce the risks and impact of cyberattacks and mitigate and manage the post-breach aftermath so that recovery time and costs are kept to a minimum.

Do organizations need an IR plan?

Historically, organizations that have developed and rehearsed an IR plan have benefited from significant cost savings. According to the 2022 Cost of a Data Breach Report by IBM, organizations with an IR team that regularly tested its IR plan saved an average of $2.66 million in breach costs compared to those without a plan.

In the case of a cyberattack, time is of the essence. Cybersecurity teams need to act swiftly to contain threats and restore affected systems efficiently while reducing costs.

During the containment state of an IR plan, the security team’s priority is to isolate any infected devices and remediate threats fast. Organizations need to have the capabilities to autonomously detect and remediate threats in near real-time in order to fight a successful battle.

IBM Security’s Definitive Guide to Ransomware covers the IR process in detail.

3 reasons why your IR plan should include EDR

1. An endpoint detection and response (EDR) tool can detect an attack in its early stages, reducing the potential widespread impact.

Leverage the power of automation. Ransomware and other types of cyberattacks are occurring at unprecedented speeds. Threat actors can entirely encrypt an organization’s data in just a few minutes. Real-time detections are especially important to identify and stop attackers in their tracks before widespread damage is done.

Having an EDR tool powered by artificial intelligence (AI) that uses security automation is important to detect and stop an attack in its early stages. Using behavior engines, security teams can track each component of the attack as it happens in near real-time. With the help of AI and machine learning, a modern EDR can natively identify anomalous activities, such as ransomware behavior, and automatically terminate these processes upon detection.

2. EDR can help quarantine infected devices and halt lateral movement.

Attackers today are adept at evading detection and moving laterally throughout compromised infrastructures. Organizations that rely on legacy solutions like antivirus are at a disadvantage. These methods offer limited visibility, and can only block signature-based threats.

Conversely, a modern EDR offers organizations in-depth visibility over all endpoint and threat activity. It also offers the capabilities required to detect lateral movement.

An EDR tool can help identify devices used during a breach and isolate impacted resources thoroughly. Features like prevalence monitoring remove the guesswork involved in understanding the impact and spread of infected artifacts across an organization so that analysts can quarantine infected devices to contain damage and minimize business disruptions.

Having an EDR also helps to secure isolated air-gapped infrastructures without the need for daily signature updates. An EDR offers consistent endpoint protection, detecting and blocking threats even if there is no connection to the internet.

3. EDR can help with root cause analysis as part of the recovery cycle.

Post-breach scenarios are difficult to analyze, as information is always partial, making reconstruction of the incident a challenge.

An EDR solution can provide security teams with threat-hunting capabilities to understand the root cause of breaches, find patient zero and identify the endpoint and account(s) that were compromised. Threat hunting enables a speedy investigation, reducing the time taken with threat intelligence and analysis scoring. Saving time in post-breach, IR translates into impact mitigation and cost savings for organizations.

Near real-time data collection helps to reconstruct the breach scenario for effective post-mortems. Comprehensive forensic data coverage collected by an EDR solution enables future-proofing against attacks because it allows teams to quickly determine the full scope of the breach, knowing how and where attackers entered the infrastructure.

EDR offers a holistic security approach

Having a modern EDR tool is a must-have in any security team’s arsenal. It provides a holistic security approach necessary to fight successful battles in the current threat landscape.

EDR supplies crucial short-term containment measures, stopping the breach from doing further damage to a network. Beyond that, having an EDR solution offers strategic long-term benefits by enabling organizations to strengthen their security posture so that they can defend against emerging, unknown threats.

The IBM Security QRadar EDR Buyer’s Guide provides useful insights on what questions you should ask and highlights essential features as you consider the right EDR solution for your business.

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