What Are Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Ransomware Mitigation?

Endpoint detection and response is a type of cybersecurity that monitors endpoints, or devices, for threats like ransomware and spyware. There are many factors of EDR, but a key component is ransomware mitigation. This term refers to the measures put in place to prevent a ransomware attack.

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a company’s data and/or blocks access to their systems. If your company is hit with a ransomware attack, you could lose all your files and be locked out of your computers. The attacker then demands a ransom payment in exchange for decrypting your data and reinstating access.

Ransomware attacks can be devastating. Without the proper protections in place, a business runs the risk of losing critical information or taking a financial hit while trying to get it back. For this reason, choosing an EDR solution that incorporates ransomware mitigation is crucial.

Does EDR stop ransomware?

Most EDR solutions have features in place that prevent ransomware attacks, but not all. Think of EDR as the “big picture” in terms of what protects your company’s endpoints from malware. Ransomware mitigation is just one piece of that puzzle.

So to answer the question of whether EDR stops ransomware, it depends on what features your EDR solution offers. A quality EDR product will incorporate prevention techniques that keep ransomware attacks from entering your network.

Why does your business need ransomware mitigation?

There’s no question that all businesses, regardless of how many people they employ or what type of industry they’re in, should have ransomware risk mitigation.

The repercussions of a ransomware attack can be catastrophic. You can lose sensitive data, either temporarily or permanently. You might also lose access to your systems and accounts. In many industries, like ecommerce, this can cause a shutdown that results in a huge financial loss. Depending on the size of the company and how prepared they are to deal with this type of cyberattack, a ransomware strike could result in bankruptcy or total closure.

Avoid the fallout from a ransomware attack by selecting a cybersecurity solution that combats this type of breach. Sophos Managed Threat Response, Sophos Intercept X, and Sophos Firewall all have features in place to neutralize ransomware threats.

What are some ransomware mitigation strategies and countermeasures?

The first and most important step you should take to minimize the risk of a ransomware attack is to invest in a cybersecurity solution that includes ransomware attack mitigation. But that’s not the only thing you can do as a business owner to secure your digital assets.

We will help you understand key ransomware countermeasures that can help mitigate and prevent ransomware attacks.

Ransomware mitigation tools and security assets

Endpoint detection and response products utilize various tools and assets to stop ransomware attacks at every stage.

  • Threat hunting and response searches for and identifies suspicious activity, like spam emails containing malicious files. The best tools won’t just alert your IT administrators when malicious activity is present – they will also act on your behalf to neutralize the risk.
  • Deep learning technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze all incoming and outgoing data. It stores that data and uses it to recognize both known and unknown attacks – without having to rely on signatures (strings of characters that represent known malware).
  • Exploit prevention denies attackers by blocking the techniques that distribute malware and steal your credentials.
  • Credential theft protection prevents your usernames and passwords from being stolen.
  • Remote desktop protocol (RDP) management prevents suspicious activity from moving through your network.
  • Tamper protection prevents criminals from disabling the prevention established by your cybersecurity products, like antivirus programs.

You’ll find each of these mitigation tools for ransomware in Sophos Intercept X Endpoint.

Ransomware mitigation checklist

Companies are hit by ransomware attempts every single day. Is your organization prepared for the worst? In addition to following the best cybersecurity practices listed above, here is a checklist for protecting your assets from a ransomware attack.

1. Perform regular security assessments

Conduct regular checks of all systems and data within your company’s network. If a cyberattack does occur, you’ll be more aware of what all has been compromised. These regular assessments will also make it easier to classify your organization’s data based on importance.

2. Limit employee  access rights

Once your data has been classified based on the level of sensitivity, assess who should have access to what. Limit access rights within your organization by only allowing employees access on a “need-to-know" basis.

3. Utilize an email filtering system

Many email providers, like Outlook and Gmail, have a built-in filter that separates spam emails from legitimate ones. But sometimes, harmful emails still get through. Add an email filtering tool to your IT toolbox for an extra layer of security.

4. Educate your employees on ransomware threats

Mandate training that covers what ransomware is, how these attacks start (usually through phishing emails), and what to do if they suspect a potential attack. All employees should know what to do if they find themselves on the receiving end of a suspicious email.

5. Know what to do in the event of a ransomware attack

While there are several measures you can put in place to minimize risk, there’s no way for anyone to be 100% immune to cyberattacks. Work with your IT administrators to develop steps to follow in case of a ransomware hit.

These steps should include:

  • Shut down the affected systems.
  • Notify administrators immediately.
  • Determine the cause of the breach.
  • Understand what information has been lost.

Afterwards, reassess your ransomware mitigation strategies to determine how you can strengthen protections for the future.

What are the steps to achieving ransomware mitigation security?

Ransomware attacks can be devastating, but you don’t have to sit by and wait for one to affect your company. By selecting an EDR solution that explicitly protects against ransomware and making sure all employees follow the ransomware mitigation checklist above, you are taking a proactive stance toward cyberattacks.

In addition, here are some ransomware mitigation steps to keep in mind when assessing your own company’s strategy:

  • Set up multi-factor authentication (MFA) with all accounts.
  • Require that all employees use complex passwords that are changed often and managed with a password manager.
  • Regularly back up all company data.
  • Run all updates as soon as they become available to patch any vulnerabilities in your software.
  • Enable tamper protection on all corporate devices.

These best practices should be followed by all employees to protect your network from all types of malware – not just ransomware.

What is EDR security?

Every company should invest in an extended detection and response (EDR) solution, also referred to as endpoint threat detection and response (ETDR). This type of cybersecurity offers continuous monitoring of each device in your network. Through data collection and real-time monitoring, EDR security can stop cyberthreats before they happen.