What Is Cloud Detection and Response (CDR)? 

Cloud Detection and Response (CDR) is a type of security tool that focuses on identifying, investigating, and mitigating in cloud environments. It is an extension of solutions like endpoint detection and response (EDR) and extended detection and response (XDR) to the field of cloud computing. 

Amit Sheps
January 24, 2024

They continuously monitor and analyze cloud-based activities to detect unusual or suspicious behavior that could indicate a potential threat. Once a potential threat is identified, CDR solutions can automatically respond to mitigate the risk. This could involve isolating infected systems, blocking malicious traffic, or alerting security teams for further investigation. CDRs are able to detect specific attack patterns common to VMs, containers or serverless functions and react to them.

What Are the Key Benefits of CDR? 

CDR provides two key benefits for cloud environments:

  • Security automation capabilities: CDR solutions can automatically detect and respond to threats, reducing the time it takes to mitigate risks and minimizing the potential damage. This automation also reduces workload on security teams.
  • Designed for cloud threats: CDR solutions are designed to protect cloud workloads against specific threats facing them, and are constantly updated with new attack patterns.

What Is Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)? 

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions focus on protecting endpoint devices like desktops, laptops, smartphones, and tablets, which are often the primary targets of cyberattacks.

EDR solutions continuously monitor endpoint devices to detect potential threats. They collect and analyze data from endpoints to identify unusual behavior or patterns that could indicate a cyberattack. This could include things like suspicious process activities, unauthorized network connections, or changes in system configurations.

Once a potential threat is detected, EDR solutions can take immediate action to contain the threat and prevent it from spreading to other devices. This could involve isolating the infected device, terminating malicious processes, or rolling back system changes. EDR solutions also generate detailed forensic data to help security teams investigate the incident and understand how to prevent similar attacks in the future.

What are the Key Benefits of EDR?

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions offer several key benefits:

  • Enhanced endpoint visibility: EDR provides in-depth visibility into endpoint activities. It tracks and logs activities on all connected devices, helping to detect potential threats that traditional security measures might miss.
  • Behavioral analysis and threat detection: EDR systems use behavioral analysis to detect anomalies. By understanding normal device behavior, EDR can identify and alert on unusual activities, signaling potential security threats.
  • Rapid response and containment: Upon detecting a threat, EDR solutions can immediately respond. This rapid response can include isolating affected devices, terminating harmful processes, or applying other containment measures to prevent the spread of the threat.
  • Forensic capabilities: EDR tools collect and analyze data to provide detailed forensic insights. This capability is crucial for investigating and understanding cyber incidents, aiding in the development of more effective security strategies and policies.

Tips from the Expert

  • Cross-reference intelligence from EDR and CDR: Integrating threat intelligence between EDR and CDR solutions can provide a more comprehensive view of security threats.
  • EDR and CDR synergy in threat hunting: Encourage a collaborative approach between EDR and CDR teams. Sharing insights and combining skills can uncover hidden threats that might not be evident when these teams operate in silos.
  • Customize behavioral baselines: Understand the normal patterns of your organization’s endpoints and cloud resources, and then tailor the behavioral analysis to better detect deviations in your environment.
  • Leverage AI for predictive threat analysis: Prefer EDR and CDR solutions that use AI algorithms to predict and preempt potential threats.
  • Focus on emerging endpoint technologies: As endpoint technology evolves (IoT, mobile devices, etc.), prefer EDR solutions that cover these new technologies.

This is part of a series of articles about cloud detection and response.

EDR vs. CDR: Key Differences 

1. Security Focus

EDR concentrates on protecting endpoint devices, which are often the weakest link in an organization’s security chain. It aims to prevent threats from entering the network through these devices and spreading to other systems.

On the other hand, CDR focuses on securing cloud environments and workloads. With the widespread adoption of cloud services, many organizations now store sensitive data and run critical applications in the cloud. CDR aims to protect these assets by detecting and responding to attacks.

2. Detection and Response Capabilities

EDR primarily relies on behavioral analysis to identify threats. It collects data from endpoint devices and uses machine learning algorithms to detect unusual behavior or patterns. In addition, it also uses threat intelligence to identify and respond to known attack patterns. 

CDR, on the other hand, employs a more diverse range of techniques to detect threats, including those adapted to specific attacks against cloud native resources like containers and virtual machines. CDR also leverages the native security features of cloud services, such as access controls and encryption, to enhance its detection and response capabilities.

3. Risk Monitoring and Reporting

Both EDR and CDR solutions provide detailed insights into endpoint activities, helping security teams identify potential vulnerabilities and understand how threats are evolving. They also generate forensic data for incident investigations and compliance reporting. EDR tools do this for on-premise endpoints like employee workstations, while CDR tools do it for cloud-based assets like containers and virtual machines.

4. Workload Protection

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions focus on securing the specific workloads running on endpoint devices. These workloads include applications, services, and processes that are essential for the daily operations of an organization. EDR tools are designed to protect these workloads from malware, ransomware, and other types of cyberattacks that specifically target endpoint devices.

The protection of workloads in EDR involves several layers. Firstly, it includes real-time monitoring and analysis of the behavior of applications and processes to identify malicious activities. Secondly, EDR solutions implement control measures such as application whitelisting and behavioral blocking to prevent unauthorized or potentially harmful processes from executing.

Cloud Detection and Response (CDR) solutions take a different approach to workload protection, reflecting the unique characteristics of cloud environments. In the cloud, workloads are more dynamic and distributed, often spanning across various services and platforms. CDR tools are designed to protect these workloads by focusing on cloud-specific threats and vulnerabilities, including misconfigurations, unauthorized access, and threats to cloud-native services.

Amit Sheps
Amit is the Director of Technical Product Marketing at Aqua. With an illustrious career spanning renowned companies such as CyberX (acquired by Microsoft) and F5, he has played an instrumental role in fortifying manufacturing floors and telecom networks. Focused on product management and marketing, Amit's expertise lies in the art of transforming applications into cloud-native powerhouses. Amit is an avid runner who relishes the tranquility of early morning runs. You may very well spot him traversing the urban landscape, reveling in the quietude of the city streets before the world awakes.