When designing its security infrastructure, an organization has many potential solutions to choose from. With the sea of acronyms, it can be difficult to determine how various solutions offerings differ and which are the best choice for an organization. Two commonly confused security solutions are XDR and SIEM. While these solutions have overlapping capabilities, they are designed for different purposes and achieve their goals in very different ways. Choosing the right solution is essential to building a usable and sustainable security architecture to support the corporate security operations center (SOC).

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What is XDR?

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions are designed to provide improved security visibility and enhanced threat management via security integration. XDR solutions collect security data from various sources and analyze it to identify true threats to the organization.

XDR Capabilities

XDR solutions are designed to enhance an organization’s security visibility. To accomplish this, they perform the following functions:

  • Data Collection: XDR is designed to enhance threat detection and response through improved and integrated security visibility, it will collect data from various sources and aggregate it for use by security analysts.
  • Data Analysis: Large pools of security data can be overwhelming and ultimately useless for security analysts. XDR security solutions use artificial intelligence, machine learning, and threat intelligence to analyze collected data and extract useful insights.
  • Alert Triage: Based on its analysis of collected security data, XDR can differentiate between true threats to the organization and false positives. Security alerts are prioritized and presented to security analysts to focus their attention where it is most valuable.

Coordinated Response: XDR solutions have the ability to coordinate the activities of the various tools that make up an organization’s security architecture. This enhances SOC analysts’ ability to identify, investigate, and respond to security incidents across the organization.

What is SIEM?

Security information and event management (SIEM) solutions are also designed to provide SOC analysts with improved security visibility. They collect, aggregate, and analyze security data before presenting it to SOC analysts.

SIEM Capabilities

SIEM solutions provide centralized, integrated visibility into an organization’s entire IT and security infrastructure. Some of the key capabilities that enable SIEMs to fulfill this role include:

  • Data Collection: Like XDR solutions, SIEMs collect data from various sources across the organization. This is accomplished by configuring systems, software, and security solutions to send data to the SIEM for storage and analysis.
  • Aggregation and Analytics: SIEMs collect data from various sources and aggregate and normalize this data for use. After data is in a common format, SIEMs use data analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to extract useful intelligence from the data.
  • Alerting and Reporting: SIEMs’ broad security visibility provides them with the context required to differentiate between true threats and false positives in the alert data provided to them. After analyzing the data, a SIEM will provide alerts, reports, and other information to SOC analysts to support them in their roles.

What is the Difference Between XDR and SIEM?

XDR and SIEM are both designed to enhance an organization’s threat management capabilities by collecting and analyzing security data in a single, centralized location. However, they are not the same thing.

Some of the key differences between XDR and SIEM include:

  • Core Focus: SIEM solutions primarily offer centralized log management and analysis capabilities for an organization. XDR focuses on using the data that it collects to enhance threat detection and response.
  • Management Complexity: SIEM solutions often require significant management effort to connect them to data sources and tune their alerts. XDR solutions are designed to integrate more seamlessly with an organization’s security architecture and provide useful alerts.
  • Response Capabilities: A SIEM is primarily a data analysis tool, which can provide SOC analysts with the data and alerts required to identify potential threats to the organization. XDR security solutions extend these capabilities with the ability to support and coordinate response efforts within the same solution.

Does XDR Replace SIEM?

A SIEM can be a useful tool if an organization has the time and resources to devote to it and wants a solution focused on log management, reporting, and regulatory compliance. However, XDR solutions offer many of the same capabilities in a more user-friendly solution that also actively supports an organization’s threat detection and response efforts.

Find the Right Solution for Your Business

For most organizations, where ease of use and threat prevention capabilities are critical, XDR is the right solution. The ability to integrate more easily with an organization’s security architecture and support for threat detection and response are critical for many organizations.

Check Point Horizon XDR XPR is an XDR / XPR solution with a prevention focus, working to minimize the cost and impact of cyber threats to an organization. Its integration with the Check Point platform enables easy security automation across an organization’s IT stack and supports rapid responses to prevent threats from spreading through an organization’s environment. To learn more, connect with a Check Point Horizon XDR/XPR expert today.

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