What are EDR tools?

Endpoint Detection and Response, or EDR tools, are tools used to alert security teams about malicious activity in the network. Using EDR means fast investigation and containment of any malicious files discovered on endpoints. EDR solutions typically aggregate endpoint data, including all processes, files executions, communications, and user logins to discover anomalies that might indicate a threat and then respond to the threat. EDR provides automated and manual operations, designed to remove or isolate any threat from the network.

Anton Chuvakin, Gartner’s research director, coined the term “EDR” in 2013, while researching the need for more powerful malware hunting tools capable of “detecting and investigating suspicious activities (and traces of such) other problems on host/endpoints.”  In short, EDR is dedicated to prevention and less focused on mitigation, a vast deviation from traditional anti-virus detection and mitigation methods.

What is Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR)?

Endpoint detection and response, or endpoint threat detection and response (ETDR), is a security solution designed to monitor the network in real-time for threat. EDR provides rule-based and automated response to threat after detecting and investigating suspicious activity on endpoints and hosts. Security teams use EDR to simplify network security processes and free up time for more productive and business-centric tasks.  Primary functions of an EDR system include:

  1. Monitor traffic and data from endpoints for anomalies or patterns that might indicate a threat or breach
  2. Automatically respond, remove, or contain all threats or malicious files, and notify security staff of their presence and risk to the network
  3. Use analytics tools designed to research prominent threats and search for their signatures

What is Network Detection & Response (NDR)? 

Network detection and response (NDR) is a security solution designed to provide full visibility of known, unknown and zero-day threats within your network. NDR provides centralized management and can be combined with machine learning or AI to perform analysis of network traffic and respond to threats, while enabling workflows and automation.

EDR is different from NDR in that it focuses on protecting endpoints from attack by monitoring and blocking potentially malicious traffic or files. Cyber criminals who can navigate around EDR are usually stopped by network detection and response. In short, EDR is a grass-roots view of the system, while NDR is a panoramic, aerial overview.

The Endpoint Detection & Response Security Market

EDR is deployed on endpoints and designed to detect and mediate file-based malware and both trusted and untrusted applications. The investigation and mitigation functions respond to alerts and incidents automatically, simplifying the entire network security process. The global endpoint security market is expected to reach $9.51 billion by the end of 2021 and reach $15 billion by 2024.  The endpoint detection and response market is characterized by:

  • Adoption of SaaS or cloud-delivered endpoint security solutions is increasing due to the scalability options, lower cost, and lower operation and maintenance requirements
  • The number of endpoints is increasing, meaning the amount of sensitive data they access that could be at risk
  • Attackers are targeting endpoints to penetrate the network, avoiding traditional network defences
  • Endpoints are being consolidated into a single software platform, for easier management and security
  • Endpoint protection platforms (EPP) and EDR tools have been merging together for some time

Top 5 Open Source EDR Tools


OSSEC is an open-source and free software EDR that offers log analysis, real-time windows registry monitoring, and other EDR features. OSSEC is primarily used in large enterprises, SMBs, and governmental agencies in need of light endpoint detection and response functions. OSSEC provides

  • Endpoint scanning & analysis of log data coming from multiple endpoints.
  • Malware and rootkit detection with process and file-level scanning to detect malicious applications.
  • Active response using firewall policy benchmarking, support integrating with 3rd party applications.
  • System inventory retrieves data like listeners, hardware info, installed software, versioning, utilization rate, and network services.

2. TheHive Project

TheHive Project is a “security incident response (platform) for the masses,” drafting fast and detailed security incident reports to help inform security strategies. TheHive Project is a collaboration platform with powerful live streaming, real-time information, and task assignation. TheHive Project provides:

  • Dynamic dashboard provides password-protection for RAR or ZIP archives, import zip archives containing suspicious data or malware, and custom templates.
  • Advanced filtering options allow users to create custom alerts and provides filtering and easy export.
  • Forensics and incident response means an overview of IPs, URLs, addresses, domain names, hashes, and files, via a web interface.
  • Cross-analysis of incident reports, using web services like VirusTotal.

3. osQuery

osQuery is released as an application under the Apache license, with querying software that increases visibility of connected devices, and is typically used by SMBs and large enterprises. 

  • Interactive querying console provides a comprehensive view of operating systems, helping users discover valuable data faster and easier.
  • Powerful host-monitoring daemon aggregates query results to generate logs faster, helping track configuration, performance, and infrastructure health.

4. Nessus

Nessus vulnerability scanner scans ports for system vulnerabilities but does not have full EDR capabilities. Nessus provides:

  • Custom scripting and multiple plug-ins with scripting language, server detection, processor information, recent file history, Windows scan performed without admin privileges, and Microsoft Windows last boot time.
  • Patching indicator provides vulnerability detection and suggestions on how to fix or patch the vulnerability.
  • In-depth vulnerability scanning of up to 1.200 checks (passes) for system vulnerabilities


Snort is robust intrusion prevention software designed to analyse packet logging and real-time traffic, and a useful EDR tool for audits and threat investigations. Although, Snort doesn’t have full EDR capabilities. Snort provides:

  • Multi-mode deployment includes sniffer, packet logger, and NIDS (network intrusion detection system).
  • Tunnelling protocol support for PPTE over GRE, MPLS, GRE, IP and ERSPAN.

Sangfor Endpoint Secure

Sangfor Endpoint Secure is a different approach to traditional EDR and NDR solutions. Endpoint Secure provides the most powerful malware and ransomware detection capabilities on the market, in addition to collaboration with Sangfor’s other security solutions, NGAF Next Generation Application Firewall, IAG secure web gateway and Cyber Command which is an NDR tool, to provide holistic response and protection.

Enterprises of all sizes use Endpoint Secure to detect and track malware, APT and other types of attacks, and respond to them in real-time with automated security functions. Finally, Endpoint Secure cloud-managed, hybrid solution, is gaining global traction and recognition in the EDR market for its scalability, ease of operation, management, and maintenance.

In 2020 there were record losses to ransomware and malware. With a ransomware attack every 11 seconds, deploying an EDR system is vital for enterprise.

For more information on how EDR and NDR tools and solutions can improve your security and protect your network from attack, or for more information on Sangfor Endpoint Secure capabilities, visit us online or email us directly.



Frequently Asked Questions

Contrary to what most business owners believe, small to medium sized businesses actually get attacked more often than large corporations. Between 2020 and 2021, corporate networks saw 50% more cyber attacks per week and 40% of small businesses that faced a severe attack experienced at least eight hours of downtime. 43% of all cyber attacks are aimed at small businesses, but only 14% have the right tools to defend themselves. 61% of small to medium sized businesses have reported at least one cyber attack during their previous calendar year, and these numbers continue to grow annually.

Most small businesses that are unwilling to invest in their own cyber security end up paying more to remedies and ransoms than what a security solution would have cost. Having professional-grade EDR tools and a cyber security solution in place significantly reduces your risks and saves you all the headaches in the aftermath of an attack.

EDR and NDR tools, like other cyber security solutions, are not mutually exclusive but can complement each other and form a formidable defense together. Unless you are spending on tools that have similar or overlapping functions, most businesses and organizations would benefit from having more tools and a more holistic solution than otherwise.

EDR tools are extremely effective in dealing with malicious files discovered at endpoints, but they are by no means a complete cyber security solution and should ideally be used in conjunction with other tools.

For small and medium-size businesses looking for a holistic cyber security solution, Sangfor’s NGAF (next generation firewall) is an excellent choice. Its simplified GUI dashboard offers easy management and monitoring even for smaller IT security teams and can eliminate up to 99% of malware at the perimeter. It also integrates with Sangfor Endpoint Secure to respond together to malware discovered on endpoints, effectively mitigating most cyber threats that most businesses face regularly.

As malware and threats continue to develop and evolve at a rapid pace, the difficulty in containing them also increases exponentially every day. Dealing with newer and more advanced malware requires the newest technology and security features, which most free EDR tools often cannot provide. Sangfor Endpoint Secure, for example, offers exceptional threat detection and response capabilities. Very few professional-grade EDR tools or cyber security solutions can match the level of protection provided by its features, and it’s unlikely that you can find them in free tools.

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