What is XDR? Extended Detection and Response

Detection is one of the most difficult hurdles for security operations centers (SOC) as threats become more and more evasive in our digital world. The most dangerous threats are designed to take advantage of incompatible security silos and ineffective alerts, leaving security analysts with the important task of identifying severe threats and limiting the risk of an organization.

A system like XDR makes it possible to discover threats much faster and improve response times using security analysis, automation, and other advanced tools. But what is XDR? This article will discuss the most important elements of XDR and how it can positively impact your business or organization.

What is XDR?

XDR stands for Extended Detection and Response and acts as a modern threat detection and response system. This holistic approach to cybersecurity stands out from other systems by collecting and automatically correlating threats across multiple security platforms under one SOC. Those security platforms include tools such as email, the cloud, endpoints, servers, and networks, which left unprotected can open your company up to damage.
Organizations that employ XDR benefit from this security strategy by outpacing the perils your data and privacy face. Better detection, anticipation, and response practices will fortify your security and lower the overall risk the digital world presents.

How does XDR work?

An XDR system improves the overall visibility of all endpoints and the control SOCs have other endpoints. The primary way this is done is through analytics and automation, which helps both reinforce the security for complex threats and simply the process for security analysts. More specifically, an XDR connects data from siloed security solutions so that responses and triaging are more focused and accurate.
You can think of the XDR process in three steps:

  1. Ingest. First, the system has to ingest and process large volumes of data to grant greater visibility
  2. Detect. Automatically sift through and correlate data to discover sophisticated threats (using technology such as AI and machine learning).
  3. Respond. Simplify and emphasize the most important threats and report those threats to SOC specialists, who can then analyze, investigate, and quickly respond to those threats.

XDRs use the following capabilities to minimize data loss and other breaches of security.

  • Uncovers and efficiently responds to targeted attacks
  • Uses local and intuitive support for behavior analysis of users and technology
  • Reduces valuable time spent on false positives by correlating and confirming alerts automatically
  • Sifts through and reports on relevant data for faster and more accurate incident triage
  • Offers centralized configuration for establishing better priorities
  • Uses comprehensive analytics for all threat vectors
  • Saves time by implementing automation and orchestration that streamlines SOC procedures and minimizes repetitive tasks
  • Tracks threats from any source within the organization
  • Standardizes the training and

XDR Benefits

The main value of XDR is that it consolidates multiple security products into a cohesive security product to improve SOC functions.

By detecting the most relevant or dangerous threats first, analysts are more productive and particular with their time. XDRs combine endpoint telemetry with a growing list of security controls providers, which makes detection much more effective.

XDRs also reduce the noise of unimportant alerts so that instead of technology slowing down real analysts, those analysts can focus on the root cause of the alert and optimize the investigation process.

An XDR also provides accurate recommendations to analysts when there is a threat so that the SOC wastes no time unnecessarily troubleshooting. These recommendations are meant to help with both containment and remediation depending on the threat.

Finally, XDRs improve the hunting process by providing a common query capability that accesses data with multi-vendor sensor telemetry, helping threat hunters locate and resolve the threat promptly.

What to Look for When Choosing an XDR Solution

XDR can do some amazing security bolstering, but not all XDR platforms offer the same benefit. For the best XDR solution that your company can rely on, look for these key requirements.

  • Runs on a cloud-native platform. A cloud-native platform allows businesses and organizations to function and protect their company at scale, which means the XDR will provide better visibility, detection, and accuracy.
  • Extends endpoint security. The high level of security offered to endpoints should be extended beyond the endpoint itself using an open data scheme to foster visibility and detection capabilities.
  • Focuses on threats. You don’t want to overwhelm your security response teams with non-threatening alerts, so an XDR system should focus on stealthy threats, making maintaining detection rules almost obsolete.
  • Communicates with security tools. XDRs also need to have the flexibility to easily integrate with additional or existing IT systems so that enrichment and correlation in data exchanges are still optimized.
  • Ensures investigations are meaningful. The system must be able to offer data fidelity and detection quality so that false positives are a thing of the past—every investigation should be relevant and worthy of your time.
  • Continues to search for unknowns. Ultimately, an XDR should be continuously employing analytics security, AI, and machine learning to better understand the security stack and even previously hidden threats.

What’s the Difference Between XDR, EDR, and MDR?

While these three security systems are related and even sound similar, there are some key differences you need to know, especially when trying to land the right service for your company.

  • EDR or Endpoint Detection and Response: This system focuses on monitoring end-user devices such as desktops, laptops, and phones for threats that antivirus software is unable to detect.
  • MDR or Managed Detection and Response: This platform is essentially an EDR platform that is managed by a different party, meaning MDR is purchased as a service.
  • XDR or Extended Detection and Response: An XDR leverages the capabilities of an EDR to “extend” protection beyond endpoints so that it can also monitor attacks from networks, cloud workloads, servers, emails, and more.

Why Companies Need XDR

XDR is an essential system in modern security management, especially because it allows companies to quickly hunt and eliminate security threats across multiple domains from a single unified solution. This ultimately improves SOC practices, and most importantly, offers your organization optimized security by leveraging:

  • Consolidated threat visibility
  • Hassle-free detection and investigation
  • End-to-end orchestration and response

Ontinue’s platform offers all of this and more—instead of worrying about security, our services take the stress of threats and other risks off of your list of tasks. We understand your security environment and want to empower you with the tools, skills, and resources to protect your business. With Ontinue ION MXDR services running 24×7 on a cloud-native platform, we manage threats head-on so you can focus on your job and organization.

Contact us and learn more about what Ontinue security solutions can do for your company.