Many cyberattacks begin at the endpoint. Phishing emails and similar attack vectors create an initial foothold on a single computer and expand across the network from there. With the recent surge in telework, the importance of the endpoint to an enterprise cybersecurity strategy has only increased.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions are both designed to provide automated threat detection and response through data visibility and the use of threat intelligence and data analytics.

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What is Endpoint Detection and Response?

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions are designed to provide state of the art protection for corporate endpoints. These solutions provide multi-layer, fully integrated endpoint protection. Real-time continuous monitoring is combined with data analytics to detect threats, and automated, rule-driven response enables rapid mitigation of detected threats.

The initial goal of an EDR solution is to provide deep visibility into a particular endpoint. This visibility is leveraged by EDR’s automated response capabilities for threat mitigation, enables prevention of attacks, and can support proactive threat hunting activities. This transition from traditional, responsive security to proactive threat management is EDR’s primary objective.

What is Extended Detection and Response?

While the endpoint is a major target for cybercriminals and must be protected, each endpoint is only a component of an organization’s IT infrastructure. An enterprise network is composed of a large number of systems of varying types. Attempting to manage a diverse network infrastructure with point solutions can be complex and overwhelming to security teams.

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is designed to simplify enterprise network security management. XDR solutions integrate security visibility across an organization’s entire infrastructure, including endpoints, cloud infrastructure, mobile devices, and more. This single pane of glass visibility and management simplifies security management and enforcement of consistent security policies across the enterprise.

The primary focus of an XDR solution is security integration. By aggregating data from across the enterprise, the XDR solution has the context required to detect sophisticated and distributed attacks. XDR systems can also apply data analytics and threat intelligence to this aggregated data to identify trends and known threats. Finally, security aggregation decreases the workload for security analysts, enabling them to better focus their efforts.

XDR solutions can also respond automatically to identified threats. This includes taking both preventative measures to block malicious content from reaching a system and working to mitigate an in-progress attack on a compromised endpoint.


EDR and XDR solutions are both designed to replace legacy, reactive approaches to cybersecurity. As a result, EDR and XDR solutions are similar in several ways, such as:

  • Preventative Approach: Traditional security solutions are often focused on detecting and remediating ongoing threats. EDR and XDR attempt to prevent security incidents by collecting in-depth data and applying data analytics and threat intelligence to identify threats before they occur.
  • Rapid Threat Response: EDR and XDR both support automated threat detection and response. This enables an organization to minimize the cost, impact, and damage caused by a cyberattack by preventing or rapidly remediating it.
  • Threat Hunting Support: Threat hunting enables proactive security by allowing analysts to identify and remediate potential security issues before they are exploited by an attacker. EDR and XDR provide deep visibility and easy access to data, which aids threat hunting efforts.

Despite their similarities, EDR and XDR take different approaches to cybersecurity. Some of the primary differences between EDR and XDR include:

  • Focus: EDR is focused on protecting the endpoint, providing in-depth visibility and threat prevention for a particular device. XDR takes a wider view, integrating security across endpoints, cloud computing, email, and other solutions.
  • Solution Integration: EDR solutions can provide “best in breed” protection for endpoints, and an organization may be able to manually integrate them with an array of point solutions. XDR is designed to provide integrated visibility and threat management within a single solution, dramatically simplifying an organization’s security architecture.

Achieving Comprehensive Endpoint Security with Check Point

EDR and XDR are both designed to provide automated threat detection, remediation, and response via deep data visibility and the use of data analytics and threat intelligence.

As the endpoint becomes an increasingly vulnerable and vital component of an organization’s cybersecurity strategy, strong endpoint protection is a priority. However, this focus on the endpoint should not come at the cost of greater security complexity and a lack of visibility and security integration for the enterprise network as a whole.

Check Point Harmony Endpoint provides an endpoint security solution that integrates natively with the rest of an organization’s security stack. This provides the in-depth endpoint visibility and threat protection of EDR while allowing an organization to leverage the security integration of XDR.

To learn more about how Harmony Endpoint provides the best of both EDR and XDR, download the Harmony Endpoint solution brief. You’re also welcome to check out this free product tour to see how Harmony Endpoint operates in a real-life deployment scenario. And when you’re ready to try Harmony Endpoint out for yourself, feel free to sign up for a free trial.

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