What is XDR - Extended Detection and Response?

The cybersecurity threat landscape is rapidly evolving and expanding. In response, many organizations are working to evolve their security capabilities to enable efficient and effective detection and remediation of unique, sophisticated, and fast-paced attacks.

 

The most common approach to a security platform  is a “layered” approach, where an organization deploys multiple solutions – including endpoint detection and response (EDR), network traffic analytics (NTA), and security information and event management (SIEM) – to implement defense in depth across a variety of different platforms (workstations, cloud, IoT, mobile, etc.). While this approach can be effective for detecting and responding to cyber threats, it also has its limitations.

What is XDR – Extended Detection and Response?

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) takes a different approach. Instead of a purely-reactive approach to cybersecurity, XDR enables an organization to proactively protect itself against cyber threats by providing unified visibility across multiple attack vectors.

Unified and Integrated Data Visibility

Most organizations are struggling under a deluge of security data. While it is true that you can’t secure what you can’t see, being overwhelmed by too many low-quality security alerts has the same end result. In many cases, security teams are missing ongoing attacks because the information that they need is buried under a massive number of false positive alerts.

Extended detection and response solves this problem by providing unified and integrated data visibility and analytics across an organization’s assets. Unification enables an organization’s security team to see data collected by all security solutions from all platforms (including endpoints, mobile, cloud resources, network infrastructure, email, etc.) within a single dashboard.  Integration enables analysts to take advantage of insights derived from aggregating event information from multiple different solutions into a single contextualized “incident”.

By simplifying security down to a single platform and dashboard, XDR enables a security team to effectively secure an organization against cyber attacks. Additionally, XDR leverages automation to simplify analyst workflows, allow for rapid incident response, and decrease analyst workloads by eliminating simple or repetitive tasks.

Benefits of XDR

XDR is designed to simplify security visibility across an organization’s entire ecosystem. This provides a number of different efficiency benefits to an organization:

 

  • Integrated Visibility: XDR integrates security visibility across an organization’s entire network (endpoints, cloud infrastructure, mobile, etc.). This enables security analysts to gain context about a potential security incident without needing to learn and use different platforms.
  • Single Pane of Glass Management: Security settings can be configured from a single pane of glass across the entire enterprise network. This ensures that consistent security policies can be enforced despite a diverse network infrastructure.
  • Rapid Time to Value: XDR offers out-of-the-box integrations and pretuned detection mechanisms across multiple different products. This enables an organization to rapidly extract value from its cybersecurity investment.
  • Improved Productivity: XDR eliminates the need for security analysts to switch between multiple dashboards and manually aggregate security data. This enables analysts to more efficiently and productively detect and respond to security threats.
  • Lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO): XDR offers a fully integrated cybersecurity platform. This reduces the costs associated with configuring and integrating multiple point solutions in-house.
  • Analyst Support: XDR provides a common management and workflow experience across an organization’s entire security infrastructure. This reduces training requirements and enables Tier 1 analysts to operate at a higher level than they would be able to otherwise.

 

XDR is designed to provide a security team with full visibility into all of the organization’s endpoints and network infrastructure. With this increased visibility come a number of benefits to enterprise cybersecurity:

 

  • Unified Remediation: XDR provides centralized and unified incident response capabilities across all of the environments composing an enterprise network. This allows security personnel to rapidly and efficiently remediate widespread attacks against the organization, reducing the overall impact and cost to the organization.
  • Improved Overall Attack Understanding: Taken individually, the indicators of an attack may be weak, making it difficult to separate the signal from the noise. XDR gathers and aggregates these signals from multiple sources, strengthening them and enabling an organization to detect and respond to attacks that may have otherwise been overlooked.
  • Unified Threat Hunting: XDR unifies visibility and data analytics across an organization’s entire network infrastructure. This enables analysts to gain the context required to proactively identify advanced threats present on the network.

Choosing an XDR Solution

The cybersecurity threat landscape is expanding, and organizations’ limited security teams are unable to scale to keep up. While a layered security approach is effective in theory, in reality it only results in analysts missing crucial information because they don’t know where to look.

 

Extended detection and response provides an alternative, using alert aggregation, data analytics, and automated threat detection and response to simplify security. An effective XDR solution provides the following properties:

  1.     Broad, integrated visibility: An XDR solution should offer broad coverage of security solutions on all platforms (endpoints, mobile, cloud, etc.) with tight integration between solutions.
  2.     Built-in integration: Security solutions are most effective when they are integrated to provide analysts with context derived from multiple sources.  An XDR solution should include built-in support for these integrations.

To learn more about how to implement XDR in your environment, contact us.

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