XDR centralizes and correlates security alert data from EDR, NDR, and other solutions in a single data lake to accelerate the detection of advanced threats. It also combines detailed threat intelligence to prioritize and streamline response actions.
Enterprise security teams and SOCs rely on XDR to increase productivity and reduce mean-time-to-detect and MTTR, reducing business risks.
Collecting and Correlating Data
When evaluating XDR solutions, look for one that collects and unifies data across your enterprise network’s multiple environments. Then, proactively correlating and stitching it together improves visibility and detection. This enables security teams to rapidly investigate incidents and quickly resolve threats, including tracking down remnants of adversary activity that could have been attempted to cover up attacks.
So, what is XDR? It is a common question in the cybersecurity field. XDR, or Extended Detection and Response, is a comprehensive security solution that integrates and correlates data from various security tools to provide a more unified and proactive approach to threat detection and response.
With centralized visibility, XDR delivers a single pane of glass for your entire security posture, accelerating detection and investigation by eliminating the need to navigate disparate tools and interfaces. It also provides unified response capabilities that enable coordinated remediation and threat prevention at the endpoint, network, and cloud environment.
The key is leveraging a broad set of detection capabilities and integrating external threat intelligence to ensure you have visibility into more general attack patterns. Detection must be customizable based on the uniqueness of your IT environment and able to leverage intelligence from other organizations to identify known attacks that others have already detected in your extended threat community.
Unlike EDR, a proper XDR solution also includes integrated response capabilities to prevent active threats from spreading in your network. This enables rapid and coordinated remediation, which reduces the impact on critical systems and improves your ability to meet regulatory compliance requirements like those associated with HIPAA or FINRA.
Detecting Advanced Threats
With lone attackers, hacking groups, and nation-states constantly circling enterprises, keeping up has never been more challenging. Security teams need help with a sea of disconnected security solutions, resulting in alert overload and manual processes that fail to surface critical findings. XDR eliminates this friction by unifying data visibility and analysis from all the tools in an organization’s defense arsenal into a single interface and using unified detection to deliver the contextual understanding needed to quickly identify and respond to threats.
Unlike SIEM, XDR collects activity data from all the solutions in an organization’s security stack – including endpoints, network infrastructure, and cloud environments – into a single database. This allows for more effective correlation and analysis by reducing noise from thousands of alerts by leveraging data intelligence to surface only the most relevant and priority threat activities. This is especially valuable as the number of advanced, multistage attacks has increased significantly and is often more challenging to detect with traditional point solutions that use a single-vector approach.
XDR also supports coordinated response by communicating with prevention technologies to automatically update policies across the network, endpoint, and cloud environments when an attack is detected (for example, blocking a threat on the network side automatically updates policies on the endpoints to prevent it from reattacking). This increases the speed and efficiency of responding to attacks and decreases the likelihood of future breaches.
Streamlining Security Operations
XDR automates threat investigations by reducing alert volumes, prioritizing threats, and delivering actionable intelligence. This reduces meaningless security alerts to make security analysts more productive and helps them focus on the most severe dangers that pose the highest risk. XDR also accelerates response by enabling automation that can block, quarantine, and reset accounts.
In addition, XDR ingests data from multiple security tools and consolidates findings within a centralized management console. This increases consolidated visibility and reduces mean-time-to-detect (MTTD) and mean-time-to-respond (MTTR).
A key advantage of XDR is its ability to look at internal and external threats. Unlike traditional detection technologies, which focus on detecting attacks outside the perimeter, XDR can profile and analyze internal and external threats to prevent attack escape routes and credential misuse. It also provides 30 days or more of log retention to give security teams more visibility into a threat.
Before adopting XDR, it is essential to understand your organization’s goals and requirements. Determine what type of threat information you need and the specific metrics you want to measure, such as MTTD and MTTR. Ensure that your chosen solution will address your key business objectives and provide an ROI. Select a vendor with a proven track record, third-party evaluations, expertise in your industry, and a commitment to ongoing support and upgrades.
Preventing Data Loss
As sophisticated attacks evolve, organizations need more resources to keep up. Traditional security measures that focus on a single layer of defense have proven ineffective in mitigating the risk of multivector attacks. XDR addresses this gap by unifying visibility and management across an organization’s IT assets to enable swift investigation, threat detection, and response.
XDR differs from EDR solutions by collecting and automatically correlating telemetry from multiple sources beyond endpoints, including network traffic, cloud environments, and email. This allows XDR to detect threats that are not apparent by looking at individual endpoint alerts and provide a unified view of the attack, even when it involves multiple attack vectors.
As a result, XDR enhances an organization’s ability to effectively respond to threats without disrupting business operations. However, a successful XDR implementation requires an appropriate level of investment in the solution and the proper training of security analysts to use its capabilities thoroughly. A strong partnership with the vendor can also help ensure appropriate implementation, support, and customized features that align with specific regulatory requirements. Finally, regular assessments should be conducted to identify improvement areas and determine the XDR strategy’s effectiveness. These processes will minimize the time and effort needed to address current and emerging threats.