Extended detection and response (XDR) solutions provide a unified platform to monitor and respond to a range of network threats. The tools can prevent, detect, analyse, and respond to threats that challenge your network. As these tools are integrated within a single solution, rather than having to implement multiple individual tools, organizations can streamline their attack response. This enables better alert correlation and prioritization, thereby speeding up threat remediation.
So, what should an XDR solution do?
To put it simply, an XDR solution should enable security teams to easily prevent, detect, investigate, and remediate threats all from one platform, and should encompass a range of integrated, built-in tools to do so. This means collecting telemetry from a range of sources (including endpoints, email, networks, servers, identity, and more), consolidating related information into more contextualized alerts, prioritizing these using AI and machine learning, and automating response workflows.
In this article, we explore the top XDR solutions currently on the market. In each case, we’ll consider the solution’s top features and suggest the type of organization that would be best suited to their implementation.
What Is Extended Detection And Response (XDR)?
Extended Detection And Response (XDR) is a complete security tool that gathers data from across your network, then orchestrates and manages the automated response and remediation of threats. Where Endpoint Detection And Response (EDR) tools gather information from your endpoints, an XDR solution will also compile data from endpoints, networks, servers, cloud workloads, and SIEM solutions.
XDR tools have extensive visibility which allows them to detect a wider range of indicators of compromise (IOCs) before other technologies. When it comes to remediation, these tools are ideally placed to enact effective and targeted actions.
What Are The Benefits Of Using an XDR Solution?
At a high level, XDR solutions are valuable to companies because they improve network security through increased detection rates, and more targeted remediation. Some of the other key features of an XDR product include:
- XDR can detect more complex, advanced threats
- Protects a wider range of network areas than other solutions
- Effective data analysis
- Reduces IT team workload, allowing them to redirect their efforts
- Constantly evolving and improving through machine learning capabilities
- A unified solution is less hassle to manage than multiple independent technologies
What’s The Difference Between XDR, EDR, And MDR?
Let’s start with EDR.
- EDR – EDR takes information from your endpoints that is then analyzed to identify any malicious activities or events that occur at your endpoints. This technology will then enact targeted remediation to mitigate the threat.
- XDR – This is similar to EDR, except that its features are expanded. Rather than focusing on endpoints alone, the XDR solution takes information from across your network – including cloud environments and other security tools in your stack. As with EDR, XDR can deploy targeted remediation to eliminate the threat effectively.
- MDR – MDR stands for Managed Detection and Response and uses the same technology but outsources its management to specialist IT teams. This is ideal for organizations who do not have the technical expertise in house that allows them to implement and manage the solution by themselves, but do require a good level of security.
What Are The Features Of XDR Security Solutions
XDR is built around the same philosophy as endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions, with the key difference being that its capabilities are more extensive. EDR monitors your endpoints to identify threats, hunt attackers, carry out investigation, and deploy remediation actions to nullify threats.
An XDR solution goes one step further by monitoring your entire network (including users and accounts), rather than just endpoints. These solutions monitor identity and access management, email and communications security, cloud configuration, and network relationships to provide comprehensive security. Other XDR solutions include:
- Automated workflows
- Centralized data lake for heightened visibility
- Behavioral analytics
- Incident scoring
- Advanced threat protection
- Threat intelligence
Do You Need An XDR Solution?
An XDR solution is used to enhance and improve responses times, allowing you to enact precise and accurate remediation actions. These tools will utilize automation and intelligent analysis to give you extended visibility, reducing the areas that threats can target. XDR solutions, then, are designed for organizations who need to gain insight into their complex network and ensure that threats can be mitigated however they arise.
XDR tools reduce workloads for IT teams and can add vital contextual information which helps to manage and respond to threats more efficiently. XDR tools are a worthwhile investment for medium to large organizations and MSPs looking to enhance detection and remediation procedures through the unification of multiple security tools, streamlined responses, and automation. Some XDR solutions may be overly complex for smaller organizations with less resources, budget, and staff. In these instances, managed detection and response (MDR) solutions may be a better option.