Antivirus vs EDR what’s the difference?31st May 2023
“Money. It all comes down to money”
When the picture below was taken sometime in the early ’80s, antivirus (AV) protection was almost unheard of. The idea that someone would create a malicious program that would cause your computer to fail was in its infancy. The history of computers has been a bit of a cat-and-mouse game for the last 40 years with cybercriminals and antivirus products. Why such a protracted battle? Money. It all comes down to money.
So, why not rob the Bank of England?
The Bank of England vaults hold around 400,000 bars of gold worth more than £200 billion. Whereas British business turnover stands at £2.1 trillion. That’s generated by some 5.5 million businesses, everything from a funeral parlour, a car showroom, to a jet propulsion company and everything else in between all using IT of some sort, to make that figure.
Drilling down; small businesses, generate an average of £2,802,670 per year, while micro companies, turn over around £446,872 per year. So, you can see the cash value of the marketplace, that’s why cybercriminals have turned their attention to it.
A new type of villain
Your company’s IT infrastructure is today’s modern-day bank vault, your company’s data is like the gold bars to a cybercriminal. Holding your business to ransom comes without all the palaver of blasting through solid granite, fast cars, weaving in and out of traffic with a mask and a sawn-off shotgun, with the police in pursuit! If you’ve seen some of the traffic jams in cities lately, then it’s easy to see why criminals have made the switch to sitting in an air-conditioned room stealing money because of holes in your network.
Antivirus software, hero of yesteryear
For a long time, antivirus software was able to put up a good fight. From the late ’80s up until recent years, it’s done its job. Antivirus software somewhat dealt successfully with the likes of CodeRed II, Slammer, and WannaCry. Fancy names for viruses hey. But, the devastation these viruses caused is now the stuff of legend. The MyDoom virus alone, potentially infected 50 million computers, causing $38 billion in damages worldwide.
Antivirus protection is typically a single program, that scans, detects and removes any malware that it can find on a compromised computer. Antivirus is good enough to stop the very basics of viruses.
Cybercriminals, however, are not the kind of people to give up easily, they have been developing lots of tools to circumvent basic level antivirus protection.
Rise of the machines
Modern-day business is pretty much driven by computers. Cash is dying, if not dead already, online payments are quite the norm. Running a business, you need an awful lot of information to support it, so where do you store it? Lots of companies have transitioned to using cloud-based services. However, cybercriminals, not to be left behind have gotten rid of their sawn-offs, have followed business online, and they have purposefully developed new ways in which to steal it from you.
So, how do hackers hack? Computers are just so powerful now, that cybercriminals can send out millions of automated hacking scripts onto the internet, on an near-industrial scale, to do their dirty work. Once they’ve found a hole in your network, they will then send a human in to look around… and here’s the sneaky part…
Cybercriminals won’t just run in and run out, they’ll watch you and your company’s business behaviour. They look at how and when you do backups, where you hold your money, what details about your clients you hold and, when they’ve found it all out, that’s when they’ll shut your system down and ask you for a ransom to unlock your network.
So, what can you do? You can use antivirus software to protect you, but sadly, it’s unlikely to be enough anymore.
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) - the new sheriff in town
EDR is the very latest in AI-driven anti-malware endpoint protection. EDR has been written from the ground up, for the very purpose of stopping cybercriminals in their tracks. EDR stops malware, along with zero-day threats, and any other nightmare program that a cybercriminal uses to invade your network.
EDR, once installed on your network looks at human behaviour, creating a baseline that is bespoke to your system. From that point, it can detect unknown infections by their signature, because of the way it is interacting with your network, and if it sees that the behaviour is different from normal, it will shut the problem down. So, EDR constantly adapts to new threats in real-time.
What's it like being hacked
It depends on what the hackers do to your business. They can stop your passwords from working, they can slow your computers down, erase your back-ups, stop you from connecting with the internet, erase your company files or worse still, steal any information you may hold about your staff, and your customers’. It just goes on and on.
Cyber threats, viruses, and malware constantly evolve to escape detection and infect your network. And with that, so should your business’s anti-virus protection. Antivirus protection may have changed its name to EDR, but what the new protection EDR affords you is so much more. As hackers bring it on, you need to implement cutting-edge virus technology to protect your business from emerging threats. My worry is, that without EDR, doing business will come at a price that will be become darkly visible in the future.
Cyber security is ever evolving. Just as you believe you’ve battened it down, it will evolve.
At CNC, we transform your business technologies, so that your business, your team and your customers benefit from excellent IT systems. We can help you with a cyber security audit, and thereafter build a zero-trust network wall around you. Talk to us on 01273 384100 for further details or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Gary JowettGary has always focused on making sure the most appropriate solution is provided to help customers, not just what's new and shiny. With over 30 years in the IT industry Gary has the experience to tell the difference between something that's game-changing or is just a passing fad!READ GARY'S POSTS
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