What Is Extended Detection and Response (XDR), and Why Is It Gaining Momentum as a Security Solution?

What is XDR and Why is it Gaining Momentum
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IT security can be a confusing alphabet soup of acronyms, and now we’re adding a new one to the mix. Extended detection and response (XDR) is a new security solution that offers enhanced performance to help manage threats. As we continue with our Cybersecurity Awareness Month series, we take a closer look at how XDR is evolving into the successor to legacy end-point detection and response (EDR) solutions.

Question 1: What is XDR?

Just as EDR was an improvement on previous malware detection and antivirus capabilities, XDR represents an evolutionary advance designed to deliver enhanced performance relevant to today’s demanding threat environment. Its capabilities are broader, more refined and better suited to the current security context. XDR offers enterprises and small businesses:

  • Enhanced visibility, detection and response across networks, clouds, applications and endpoints
  • Advanced data collection, correlation and analytics for improved contextualization
  • Optimized threat prioritization
  • Accelerated remediation

Related Reading: Threat Focus: What Is Ransomware-as-a-Service?

Question 2: Why is XDR Gaining Momentum as a Security Solution?

Organizations are increasingly implementing XDR solutions as a response to new vulnerabilities that linger beyond the notice of traditional EDR. XDR renders visibility into the entire attack lifecycle from infiltration, including lateral movement, to exfiltration. XDR prioritizes hunting the next generation of threats that exploit vulnerabilities:

Improved contextualization. As threats have become more sophisticated and the data environment more complex and cluttered, EDR is less of an effective standalone solution which benefits from enrichment with data from beyond the endpoint. The high volume of security alerts generated by traditional EDR results in a higher frequency of false positives, which increases the risk that legitimate alerts are lost in the noise or ignored outright.

XDR integrates advanced technologies and applications designed to surpass the limitations of EDR. It integrates enhanced visibility across your networks, clouds, applications and endpoints, with automated detection and response tools that react quickly to thwart both existing and emergent threats.

Optimized threat prioritization. Suspicious events and anomalous behaviors that may slip through the cracks of EDR are elevated to a higher level of awareness. XDR spotlights the most critical and relevant threats for your security team to focus on and provides them the tools necessary to contain an attack and reduce the severity and scope of incidents.

Enhanced automation and analytics tools. Artificial intelligence and machine learning applications allow XDR solutions to keep pace with rapidly expanding IT environments that are continuously growing in scale, complexity and criticality. Where EDR is challenged to efficiently navigate diverse environments and manage vast data volumes, XDR has broader capabilities that are ideally oriented to scale appropriately and perform exceptionally.

XDR also provides an enhanced suite of analytics and reporting capabilities. By looking across layers and activities to identify threat actor tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs), XDR can correlate otherwise innocuous behaviors, that would not generate an alert, with other activities that taken in context can indicate an attack. Subsequent reporting alerts your security team to the presence of the threat, speeding up your response and limiting potential damage to your systems and data.

Free Download: Building an XDR Solution: Factors You Ought to Consider for ZTNA, EDR, Vulnerability Scanning and SIEM

XDR Beyond Technology

Industry-standard definitions of XDR focus squarely on emerging technologies and the extended analytical capabilities they introduce. Technology stacks alone, however, cannot provide the strategic context or level of reasoning and correlation needed to meaningfully evaluate the threat landscape and mitigate exposure. In fact, without additional human expertise, maintenance and analysis, XDR technology stacks run the risk of duplicating (and scaling) the shortcomings of the traditional approaches they are meant to improve upon.

Avertium is helping customers graduate into the next tier of security capabilities and performance required to understand vulnerabilities, mitigate threats and manage risk in today’s evolving security environment. Our team of security experts is supported by proven best-in-class resources that can improve extended detection and response for your organization.

Contact us to discuss your security needs and learn more about the potential advantages and value offered by XDR solutions.

Missing the Mark if you Think XDR is Only About Technology

XDR is Not Only About Technology and Why this Matters

Wondering what the hype on XDR is all about?

This white paper outlines XDR, its analytical capabilities and its role within a holistic cybersecurity program. 

Download the Free White Paper

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