Top EDR Solutions For API Security

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Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is a security solution that can help identify and immediately respond to attacks on endpoint devices, such as servers and employee workstations. EDR is increasingly being used to secure mission critical API endpoints. Deploying an endpoint security agent on a server powering an API endpoint can dramatically improve the security posture of your APIs, and make it more difficult for attackers to compromise them.

What is Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)?

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions provide continuous monitoring into endpoints, such as computer workstations, to facilitate rapid threat detection and response. EDR solutions work by deploying agents or using indirect means to collect data across various endpoints. 

EDR solutions collect historical data to inform the analysis engine and help determine whether a threat is new or part of an ongoing, long-term attack. An analysis engine aggregates the data and attempts to detect patterns of attack, such as malicious software (malware) and advanced persistent threats (APTs).

Once a threat is detected, the EDR platform pushes out alerts to notify the relevant personnel, and (when possible) initiates automated actions in response to the threat. Some EDR solutions also provide forensics and investigation features that enable security teams to investigate further and research threats.

Securing APIs Using Endpoint Detection and Response

The main purpose of EDR solutions is to provide security teams with real-time alerts for malicious behavior occurring on endpoints, thus enabling fast containment and investigation of attacks. Here are a few ways EDR security capabilities can help you secure your API endpoints.

HTTPS traffic monitoring

API users are at greater risk when communicating over the insecure HTTP protocol. Man-in-the-middle attacks using packet sniffing or similar tools can read private keys, passwords, and credit card information in plaintext. Set your EDR solution to ensure that the endpoint is communicating only over HTTPS and raise an alert if not.

API call monitoring

You should monitor the number of API calls a client can make within a specific time frame. A malicious bot can send hundreds of concurrent requests per minute, causing APIs to consume system resources and denying access to legitimate users. It is always best to set a call limit and monitor for suspicious behavior. EDR solutions can help monitor traffic on an API endpoint and alert if limits are reached, which could indicate an attack.

Authenticate users

Ensure all APIs have strong authentication. Typically, to access an API, the user must enter an API ID and provide a unique secret key. EDR solutions can monitor authentication requests, identify connections permitted with no authentication, and identify repeated authentication failures. 

Implement access control

Even if a user is authenticated, they should not necessarily have access to all features of the API. For example, some users only need read access but should not be allowed to change the data. EDR solutions can use frameworks such as OAuth to control user access and ensure you enforce the principle of least privilege.

Top EDR Solutions for API Security

Trend Micro Smart Protection Complete Suite

Trend Micro Smart Protection Complete provides managed endpoint detection and response solutions. The suite offers endpoint security, mail server and file server security, and managed XDR. Here is a brief overview of the suite’s capabilities:

  • Web protection—includes web and messaging security, anti-malware protection, URL filtering, and application control. 
  • Server protection—offers centralized management and vulnerability scanning.
  • Email and collaboration security—provides protection for Office 365 and cloud sharing tools like Dropbox, OneDrive, and SharePoint.
  • Consolidated reporting—includes threat statistics and insights to help manage overall security costs. 
  • Data loss prevention—provides data loss prevention tooling for data security across the environment. 
  • Mobile protection—offers mobile device management for any device connected to the network.

Managed XDR

The suite offers managed XDR as an additional service supported by Trend Micro’s analysts and AI-powered technology. Here are key benefits of this service:

  • Root cause analysis—helps identify vectors, dwell time, spread, and impacts across attacks. 
  • Multiple data sources—helps correlate, analyze, and prioritize threat data across multiple sources, including emails, endpoints, networks, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, and servers.
  • Remediation recommendations—generates incident reports and provides remediation recommendations alongside custom cleanup tools.

Sophos Intercept X Endpoint

Sophos Intercept X is an endpoint protection solution that protects against malware and blocks various attacks. Here are key features of Sophos Intercept X:

  • Anti-malware protection—this solution identifies and blocks or removes threats from the environment. It offers protection against various malware types, including viruses, spyware, and adware. You can use a cloud-based version or deploy the solution on-premise.
  • Web protection—provides a layer of defense that protects against attacks originating from infected websites. It looks for and blocks threats devices are affected.
  • Device and application control—lets administrators configure rules that govern the use of removable media such as USBs, mobiles, and wireless devices. It helps prevent unauthorized access, block the spread of malware, and reduce data loss risks.

The features above are available via a centralized management console that enables administrators to monitor all computers on the network. Sophos Intercept X offers live chat support, an online helpdesk, and a comprehensive knowledge base.

CrowdStrike Falcon

CrowdStrike Falcon is a cloud-based endpoint protection solution that leverages AI technology and big data to detect and block various threats. The solution is powered by CrowdStrike Security Cloud, a data fabric that correlates events and looks for indicators of attack. 

Here are key features of CrowdStrike Falcon:

  • Antivirus protection—Falcon Prevent offers cloud native next-generation antivirus (NGAV) to help detect and protect against new and emerging attacks.
  • Management—the solution helps administrators monitor suspicious activities, implement mitigation techniques, and block data tampering actions across multiple devices. It also lets you provide user-based access to USBs, track security risks, and monitor usage. 
  • Real-time detection —Flacon can help you detect unauthorized access in real-time. It also lets you review and categorize attackers.

CrowdStrike Falcon provides a mobile application for Android and various support options, including phone and email communications.

MVISION Endpoint Security

MVISION is McAfee’s endpoint security solution. It protects against various threats, including fileless and zero-day attacks. It deploys sensors on-premises and in the cloud and uses machine learning models to identify and analyze threats rapidly. 

MVISION uses EDR software to block malicious attempts to harvest credentials. It can integrate with Windows-based security systems, such as Defender, Exploit Guard, and Firewall, to provide a cohesive view into your entire security framework.

Conclusion

In this article, I explained the basics of EDR security and how EDR can be used to improve security for APIs. In addition, I presented four leading EDR solutions that can be used to protect your API:

  • Trend Micro Smart Protection Complete Suite
  • Sophos Intercept X Endpoint
  • CrowdStrike Falcon
  • MVISION Endpoint Security

I hope this will be useful as you evaluate the use of endpoint security technology to protect your mission critical APIs.