EDR vs MDR: What's the Difference?

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Managed Detection and Response (MDR) are cybersecurity solutions for enterprises to prevent malware and ransomware attacks. They are implemented for threat hunting, detection and response, log aggregation, and data analytics.

But while both EDR and MDR provide combined defense-in-depth capabilities, they differ in scope and deployment strategy. EDR is a technology solution intended to protect against cyberattacks at the endpoint level, whereas MDR is a professional service that includes security monitoring and management that spans its client’s entire data network.

EDR is an integrated Endpoint Security solution that combines real-time monitoring and endpoint data analytics with rule-based automated response functionality. 

One of the primary functions of an EDR solution is monitoring and collecting activity data from endpoints to discover malicious activities and threat patterns. 

  • Complete, continuous visibility into the state of a network’s endpoints from a single console
  • Automated data collection and processing enabling security teams to rapidly gain context regarding a potential security incident and take steps toward its remediation
  • Automatic incident response activities to block or rapidly remediate specific incidents, reducing the load on security analysts
  • Continuous data collection and analysis for deep visibility into the status of an endpoint, thereby allowing threat hunters to identify and investigate signs of a potential attack
MDR is a managed service that employs cybersecurity professionals to continuously monitor, prioritize, and respond to cyber threats. MDR solutions provide the tools and expertise necessary for organizations to protect against the evolving cyber threat landscape. Organizations often expand or replace in-house security operations centers (SOCs) with a MDR solution.
  • Helps identify and limit threat impacts without additional staffing as a comprehensive security service. It benefits organizations caught in the middle of the global cybersecurity workforce shortage as it protects cloud-based systems and assets.
  • Offers 24-7 monitoring to ensure that the organization is prepared to respond to any cyber threat
  • Takes a proactive approach to cyber threat-hunting to identify previously unknown intrusions within the organization’s environment and minimize the cybersecurity risk
  • Can minimize the scope and impact of a cybersecurity incident

How EDR Differs from MDR

Both MDR and EDR help organizations improve their protection against cyber threats. The main distinction between them is that of human oversight: EDR is a technology solution that has some automated functionality, but requires the intervention of an SOC to manage and escalate cyber incidents; MDR is a service that puts Endpoint Security tools into the hands of cybersecurity professionals.

Key Differences between EDR and MDR

  • Application and location: While it is necessary to deploy EDR directly on a protected system, MDR providers operate from outside the protected network.
  • Area of focus: EDR focuses on Endpoint Security while MDR service typically protect endpoints and the network. 
  • Core functionality: EDR is a security tool that requires deployment, configuration, and human management, whereas MDR is a service that can include EDR security as a part of its threat detection and response capabilities. 

How EDR Works with MDR

Most organizations deploy EDR solutions primarily for Endpoint Security. But by combining the functions and benefits of EDR with the human expertise of MDR, they achieve a more resilient cybersecurity posture.

While MDR and EDR are different security solutions, their integration can fill security resource and skills gaps. MDR providers leverage the tools and technology of EDR to achieve maximum visibility across an organization’s environment for detecting and responding to threats and breaches faster.

CylanceGUARD® is a human-centric subscription-based 24x7x365 MDR with XDR service that includes EDR via CylanceOPTICS®. It provides the expertise and support businesses need to contend with the modern threat landscape—no matter what that landscape throws at them.