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How to Leverage EDR Technologies for IoT Security

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How to Leverage EDR Technologies for IoT Security

This article reviews the existing IoT security challenges and proposes solving these issues through EDR security technologies.

· IoT Zone ·
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IoT Security

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There are currently 30.73 billion Internet of Things (IoT) devices installed worldwide, and the numbers are expected to reach 75.54 billion by 2025. Cybercriminals are always looking for new ways to breach endpoint devices. That makes IoT security a critical aspect of the continual health of all networks, systems, and connected devices. 

This article reviews the existing IoT security challenges and proposes solving these issues through EDR security technologies.

What Is EDR?

EDR is a security technology and practice defined by Gartner in 2013. EDR stands for:

  • Endpoint — Endpoints are devices like mobile phones, laptops, user workstations, or servers.
  • Detection — EDR detects threats and prevents attacks on endpoint devices and provides access to information that can help security teams investigate attacks.
  • Response — EDR tools can automatically respond to attacks by performing actions like blocking malicious processes and quarantining the endpoint.

The main goal of EDR systems is to notify security teams about malicious activity on endpoints and investigate the scope and the root cause of an attack. Main functionalities of EDR include:

  • Data gathering — Collects data on endpoint events like user logins, process execution, and communication.
  • Threat detection — Performs behavioral analysis to discover anomalies in normal endpoint activity. The analysis is used to determine which anomalies represent malicious activity.
  • Reporting — Security teams receive reports with real-time data about endpoint security incidents. These reports are used to investigate, contain and mitigate an incident in real-time.

EDR security tools are only one part of an endpoint protection strategy. Other endpoint security technologies include next-generation antivirus (NGAV), user behavioral analytics (UBA), and device firewalls. 

What Types of Attacks Does EDR Detect?

EDR solutions provide visibility into your endpoints. This visibility can help you detect threats that other security practices may miss, including:

  • Insider threats — External attackers or malicious insiders can exploit existing user accounts to cause damage. EDR solutions can determine if the user activity is legitimate or malicious by analyzing its behavior.

  • Malware — Attackers are constantly developing new types of malware that can evade traditional antivirus software. This includes advanced threats like file-less attacks. EDR cannot completely block a file-less attack, but it can detect that an attack occurred and help security teams investigate and mitigate the attack.

  • Low and slow attacks — Involves legitimate looking traffic at a very slow rate. As a result, it often goes under the radar. EDR continuously analyzes data from endpoints to detect suspicious individual activities regardless of the traffic rate.

IoT Security Challenges

Securing IoT devices can present a variety of challenges, although EDR is designed to protect endpoints, like IoT devices.

Lack of Physical Security

IoT devices are sometimes located in remote locations for long periods of time. As a result, hackers can physically tamper with these devices. For instance, infecting a USB drive with malware.

You have to protect IoT devices from external threats because they usually operate autonomously without any user intervention. IoT manufacturers are responsible for ensuring the physical security of devices. However, adding security sensors and transmitters in low-cost devices is a real challenge for manufacturers.

Botnet Attacks

Many IoT devices were not designed for security, and may not have the ability to update software or firmware to address security vulnerabilities. As a result, attackers can easily compromise IoT devices, install malware on them, and turn them into massive botnets. Botnets based on IoT devices have been used to create some of the Internet’s biggest Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks. Researchers found over 800,000 active DDoS weapons using the WD-Discover protocol, which is used almost exclusively by IoT devices. 

Eavesdropping

IoT devices record user information in health equipment, wearables, smart toys and more. Hackers can take over these surveillance devices to spy and intrude on industrial companies and private users. This can result in attempts to steal sensitive data and demand ransom payment to get it back. On an industrial level, hackers can expose sensitive business information by collecting the company’s big data.  

How EDR Protects IoT Devices

IoT devices usually stream large volumes of data. You have to constantly control and monitor your devices to avoid data losses and identify attacks in real-time: 

  • Real-time visibility and alerting capabilities — Enables you to quickly detect and contain malicious activity. 
  • Automatic incident response — Reduces response time and enables you to block malicious activity at the first sign of an incident.
  • Threat intelligence — Is the collection and analysis of security data. These data enable you to understand the motives of a cyber threat and enable the detection of a wide range of attacks. If you share this information with IoT manufacturers you can help them improve the base security of devices, minimizing vulnerabilities from the start.
  • Network segmentation — Network segmentation enables you to restrict access to services and data points to endpoints. Segmentation reduces the risk of data loss and reduces the damage of a successful attack. 
  • Firewalls — EDR provides real-time data about network activity that could be related to a current incident.
  • Sandboxing — Malware is isolated to a quarantined location on the IoT device to check if it is malicious or not.
  • Patch management — IoT software should be regularly patched. Integrating patch management solutions with EDR enables you to receive information about how recently this IoT device was patched and which vulnerabilities currently exist.
  • Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) — EDR alerts should flow into your SIEM, enabling correlation with other security data from across the enterprise.

Conclusion

EDR is a cybersecurity approach that collects, stores and records large amounts of data from endpoints. This data enables security professionals to detect, investigate, and mitigate advanced cyber threats by providing visibility into endpoint activities. EDR can help you address the challenges of securing IoT devices by quickly identifying and blocking malicious activity.

Topics:
edr, iot, iot security

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