SIEM vs EDR: What’s the best solution to offer customers in 2023?

For MSPs and MSSPs planning to offer security services, choosing the right tools is half the battle. Gaining a holistic view of each client’s infrastructure is the first step to ensuring effective threat detection and fast incident response.

What technology do you need to collect data on all events across systems and networks? How can you connect the dots to identify threats and anomalies to stay ahead of bad actors in today’s complex digital environment?

You’ve probably heard of endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools and security information and event management (SIEM) platforms. But how are they different, and which one do you need? Here’s a breakdown to help you decide which solution to offer your customers.

What Is SIEM in cybersecurity?

A SIEM solution is a risk management tool that centralizes threat detection, investigation, and response. It helps organizations collect, analyze, and manage security event data from multiple sources (e.g. firewalls, servers, IPS, proxies, etc) across their IT infrastructure. It can help you detect breaches, store event logs, and generate reports to inform appropriate actions.

A cloud SIEM tool can support a broad range of use cases and access different log sources to perform advanced correlation, log management, and cyber forensics. Key functions include log collection and aggregation, threat detection and alerts, incidence response, compliance monitoring, reporting, and data integration and enrichment.

What Is EDR in cybersecurity?

An EDR solution helps you detect, investigate, and respond to threats at the endpoint level. These include workstations, servers, laptops, mobile devices, printers, etc, connected to a network — on-premise or remotely. It uses agents installed on an endpoint device to collect data and send it to a centralized database for monitoring and analytics.

An EDR tool can perform real-time endpoint monitoring, threat detection and prevention, incident investigation and response, and cyber forensics. Many also leverage behavioral analytics and machine learning algorithms to establish a baseline of normal behavior for each endpoint to help detect anomalies that may indicate potential intrusions.

SIEM vs. EDR: What are the differences?

SIEM and EDR solutions have different focuses and work differently. Here’s what you need to know to choose the right tool for your security operations:

Scope and Functionality

SIEM solutions aggregate and analyze information from security event logs and other sources across the network (e.g. firewalls, IDS/IPS, servers, applications, and endpoints) to provide centralized visibility and holistic monitoring. It can help you gain a broad view of your entire IT infrastructure — on-premise and in the cloud — to correlate security events and identify potential threats.

On the other hand, EDR tools focus on endpoint devices and monitor their activities in real-time. You can gain granular visibility into endpoint events to ensure file integrity, support process monitoring, secure network connections, and identify system changes. Since they don’t involve other parts of your IT infrastructure, they can’t give you a bird’s eye view of your security posture.

Threat Detection and Response

SIEM tools correlate and analyze data from multiple sources to detect patterns and anomalies that may indicate potential threats. A next-gen SIEM solution can filter vast amounts of events and uses AI analytics to correlate what may appear as acceptable standalone behaviors to identify anomalies. It also uses alerts and automation to help security teams respond promptly to threats.

EDR tools detect and respond to endpoint-based threats, such as malware infections, suspicious behavior, and advanced persistent threats. The real-time monitoring and response capabilities support immediate incident investigation and rapid threat remediation at the device level. However, you can’t get insights into how an event at an endpoint may relate to other activities in your network.

Integration and Orchestration

Next-generation SIEM solutions incorporate additional security capabilities that go beyond event management. These include log monitoring, user behavior analytics, threat intelligence, vulnerability management, and compliance reporting. You can integrate them with other security tools (including an EDR solution) to create a centralized platform for all security operations. 

EDR solutions typically integrate with endpoint protection platforms (EPPs) and other endpoint-specific security solutions. However, they may not offer the same robust integration capabilities as a SIEM solution to help you orchestrate activities across the broader security ecosystem.

SIEM vs. EDR: Which one is right for your MSP?

SIEM and EDR have very different features and capabilities. EDR tools focus on monitoring and protecting endpoints. They collect data directly from devices and use custom rules based on IOC (indicators of compromise) data to detect threats. They also support real-time incident response with automation technologies. 

Meanwhile, a SIEM solution goes beyond IOC detection. It aggregates relevant data across your entire IT infrastructure to provide overall visibility, support ongoing monitoring, and carry out threat identification and investigation with a much broader scope necessary for gaining complete control of your environment.

SIEM: Connecting the Dots and Covering All Your Bases

Gaining a bird’s-eye view of each client’s infrastructure is critical for MSPs and MSSPs. That’s why we offer an advanced next-gen SIEM platform in our SOC as a Service packages to provide an encompassing solution that exceeds the scope and capabilities of most EDR tools.

If you’ve been using an EDR solution, integrating it with a SIEM platform can help you correlate the granular data with information from other sources across your infrastructure to generate in-depth insights and support timely responses.

Our next-gen SEIM tool works with all major EDR providers (e.g. Sentinel One, CrowdStrike, Check Point, etc) to capture data and logs as part of our open XDR (extended detection and response) ecosystem. The technology allows you to combine insights from your existing tools with our robust SIEM capabilities to take your defense to the next level.

Get in touch to learn more about our SIEM platform and see how you can expand your security offering with our robust SOCaaS solutions.