How Microsoft Defender Helps Secure Your Endpoints & Organization

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint & EDR: How can It Help Secure Your Endpoints & Organization– Part 1

By Steve Andrews  •  April 19, 2022  •  1823 Views

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint & EDR: How can It Help Secure Your Endpoints & Organization


After a major security product re-brand and feature/functionality enhancements, the Defender Suite takes shape:

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint & EDR: How can It Help Secure Your Endpoints & Organization

Defender Branding Updates

New NameOld Name
Microsoft 365 DefenderMicrosoft Threat Protection
Defender for EndpointMicrosoft Defender Advanced Threat Protection
Defender for IdentityMicrosoft Defender for Identity
Defender for Office 365Microsoft Defender for Office 365
Azure Defender for ServersAzure Security Center Standard
Azure Defender for IoTAzure Security Center for IoT
Azure Defender for SQLAdvanced Threat Protection for SQL

What is Endpoint Detection & Response?

Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR), also known as Endpoint Threat Detection & Response (ETDR), is a cybersecurity technology that continually monitors an ‘endpoint’ (e.g., mobile phone, laptop, Internet-of-Things device) to mitigate malicious cyber threats.

Endpoint Detection & Response technology is used to identify suspicious behavior and Advanced Persistent Threats on endpoints in an environment, and alert administrators accordingly. It does this by collecting and aggregating data from endpoints and other sources. That data may or may not be enriched by additional cloud analysis. EDR solutions are primarily an alerting tool rather than a protection layer, but functions may be combined depending on the vendor. The data may be stored in a centralized database or forwarded to a SIEM (Security Incident & Event Management) tool.

Why Defender for Endpoint

Defender for Endpoint is one of the most powerful yet underrated in this group of products – just think about it for a moment, it covers every endpoint, or in other words, entryways into your organization. So, as you can see it profoundly affects the security posture on an organization-wide level.

The cyber-security landscape is rapidly changing and evolving, so you can argue that legacy ‘old-school’ security products/platforms just cannot keep up and this is often overlooked. You absolutely need Artificial Intelligence and device learning/machine learning at the backbone to keep pace.

Defender for Endpoint EDR – Behavioral blocking & containment
Microsoft Defender for Endpoint & EDR: How can It Help Secure Your Endpoints & Organization

This is just one part of Microsoft’s ‘next-gen protection’ – this helps identify and stop threats that are identified based on their behaviors and the process trees from them – and even be identified after the threat has kicked off.

Here is where the beauty of Microsoft’s Marketing punchline ‘Better-together’ comes into play- these next-gen protection features with EDR and other components in Endpoint Protection work seamlessly to block and contain these anomalies: 

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint & EDR: How can It Help Secure Your Endpoints & Organization
  • Next-gen protection- Detect threats by analyzing behaviors and stop threats that have already started executing 
  • Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) receives security signals across the network, devices, and kernel behavior.  
  • As threats are detected, alerts are created. Many alerts of the same type are grouped into incidents, which makes it easier for your security operations team to investigate and respond 
  • Defender for Endpoint has a wide range of optics across identities, email, data, and apps, in addition to the network, endpoint, and kernel behavior signals received through EDR 
  • A component of Microsoft 365 Defender, Defender for Endpoint processes and correlates these signals, raises detection alerts and connects related alerts in incidents 
Behavioral Blocking Examples: 

Behavioral blocking and containment capabilities have blocked attacker techniques like these: 

  • Credential dumping from LSASS
  • Cross-process injection
  • Process hollowing
  • User Account Control bypass
  • Tampering with antivirus (such as disabling it or adding malware as exclusion)
  • Contacting Command and Control (C&C) to download payloads
  • Coin mining
  • Boot record modification
  • Pass-the-hash attacks
  • Installation of root certificate
  • Exploitation attempts for various vulnerabilities

In Part 2 of this blog series, we will discuss in detail how to enable Endpoint Detection & Response. 

Netwoven Assessment Workshops 

If you like this blog topic, then have a look at our Endpoint Manager Assessment Workshop where you will learn how to empower your mobile workforce while keeping business-critical information secure. 

By Steve Andrews

Steve has more than 25 years of experience specializing in Microsoft Cloud, Infrastructure, & Security. He recently joins us from AdaptiveEdge where he was the Director of Cloud Platforms and help build the practice with 11 practitioners in the Southern California. He also has worked at other Microsoft Solution providers - Prosum as the Microsoft Practice Director and Perficient Inc. as the Consulting Manager & Sr. Technical Architect. Steve has developed go to market strategies as well as architected many Microsoft Cloud Security solutions, managed global Intune deployments, Teams deployments & migrations, Azure Site Recovery (ASR) and data center migrations to Azure.

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