Endpoint detection and response (EDR) and security information and event management (SIEM) solutions are both designed to improve an organization’s security visibility and management capabilities. However, they accomplish this goal in very different ways. Here, we compare the functionality and purposes of the two solutions.

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What is EDR?

EDR security solutions are designed to improve endpoint security by enhancing visibility and speeding up incident investigation and automated responses. EDR solutions continuously collect endpoint security data from multiple sources and perform data analytics to identify true threats.

Some of the core components of an EDR include:

  • Data Enrichment: Individual alerts or event notifications from a single source could indicate a true threat or a benign anomaly. EDR security aggregate and analyze data from multiple sources, providing additional context for identifying potential threats.
  • Alert Triage: Alert overload is a common challenge for security teams, and many alerts are false positives. Based on context derived from multiple data sources, EDR can triage alerts, prioritizing the most likely and critical threats.
  • Threat Hunting Support: EDR solutions are designed to collect and analyze a large amount of endpoint security data. By providing this data to a security analyst, they can help with identifying undetected intrusions on corporate systems.
  • Incident Response: Context switching from threat detection to response wastes time and slows incident remediation. EDR solutions integrate incident response capabilities, enabling security analysts to identify and mitigate intrusions within a single dashboard.
  • Flexible Responses: The right response to a security incident may vary based on numerous different factors. EDR solutions should provide analysts with multiple options for handling an incident.

In essence, EDR solutions are designed to streamline and optimize threat detection and response on corporate endpoints. They accomplish this by automating the process of collecting, aggregating, and analyzing security data, providing greater endpoint visibility and context to analysts.

What is SIEM?

SIEM solutions are an essential piece of a corporate security architecture. SIEMs collect, aggregate, and analyze data from across the entire corporate network. Triaged and prioritized security alerts are then provided to analysts, expediting threat detection and response.

SIEM solutions accomplish their purpose via a four-step process with the following steps:

  • Data Collection: SIEM solutions collect logs, alerts, and other security data from across the entire corporate IT network.
  • Data Aggregation and Normalization: SIEMs source security data from numerous systems with various data types and formats. At this stage, the SIEM translates security data into a consistent form for an “apples to apples” comparison.
  • Data Analytics and Policy Application: SIEMs use statistical analysis, corporate policies, and other analytical techniques to identify potential indicators of an attack or non-compliance with corporate security policies.
  • Alert Generation: In the event that a SIEM identifies a security threat, it will generate an alert for the security team. The solution may also leverage integrations with bug trackers, ticket systems, and similar tools to streamline the incident remediation process.

After the SIEM has completed its data collection and analytics, it has access to a rich pool of security data and threat intelligence. This data is then provided to a security analyst to optimize threat detection and response, threat hunting, post-incident forensics, and demonstrating regulatory compliance.


EDR and SIEM are both corporate security solutions that focus on improving incident detection and response by improving security visibility and context. They both collect data from multiple sources, analyze it, generate alerts regarding potential threats, and provide analysts with access to a rich pool of security data for threat identification, threat hunting, and similar activities. However, EDR and SIEM are distinct security tools.

Some of the key differentiators between the two include the following:

  • Area of Focus: As their name suggests, EDR is primarily focused on monitoring and protecting the endpoint. In contrast, SIEM tools provide visibility across the entire corporate network.
  • Response Capabilities: EDR solutions are designed to support incident response, including the ability to respond automatically with predefined actions to certain threats. SIEM solutions, on the other hand, are primarily designed to support threat identification and have limited incident response capabilities.
  • Data Collection: An EDR security solution is deployed on the endpoint and has the ability to collect data directly from sources of interest. A SIEM is reliant on other solutions — including EDR tools — to send security data to it for analysis.

Choose the Right Solution for Your Business

EDR and SIEM are security solutions that use similar methods to fulfill very different roles. An EDR solution is designed to monitor and protect the endpoint, while a SIEM provides security visibility across the entire corporate network. A corporate security architecture should incorporate both EDR and SIEM functions, not one or the other.

Check Point Harmony Endpoint is part of Check Point’s integrated security suite, providing the endpoint security capabilities of EDR while enabling the integrated security visibility and monitoring of a SIEM. For more information on how Harmony Endpoint and other Check Point solutions can enhance your organization’s security posture, sign up for a free demo today.

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