While many businesses are in the infancy of their XDR journeys, measures for detecting and responding to threats across multiple security layers have been in place for a long time. Similarly, the critical need for visibility across multiple environments goes back even further.
One tool that has proved effective for threat detection and response in the past, is security information and event management or SIEM, but while the majority of enterprises have SIEM in place, many struggle with the solution, and experience issues such as the high costs associated with operation, an overload of data points, and even challenges when it comes to securing specific resources.
This is where extended detection and response or XDR comes in. It enables users to detect a compromise in a matter of days or less due to far better visibility. Moreover, due to a high level of automation, less people are needed to manage the technology.
Other benefits include more effective security, or an improved security posture, and lower costs, as there is a major element of vendor and product consolidation and more efficient prioritisation process. It makes sense that if fewer attacks succeed, less time and effort is spent remediating in incident response activities, and mitigating the threat, which ultimately leads to hefty cost savings.
In addition, XDR helps remove the multiple data silos used in the normal security operations process in order to analyse and investigate security incidents. In turn, this helps businesses streamline the operations process, as less data is taken in and needs processing.
However, the security landscape is flooded with new solutions on a daily basis, and fighting through the fog can be a challenge for even the most tech-savvy organisations, particularly when it comes to solutions in the detection and response arena.
XDR, EDR and MDR are three relatively new technologies that were designed to bring greater visibility, better threat detection and quicker response across all enterprise endpoints.
In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, where entire workforces began working remotely almost overnight, protecting endpoints became critical, and in fact, it is estimated that nearly three-quarters of breaches still originate here. In fact, increasing not only visibility, but the ability to remediate remotely became crucial too. However, there was little understanding of what each of these acronyms provides, particularly as this may differ from vendor to vendor.
Let’s start with endpoint detection and response, or EDR. In the past, endpoint security was reactive, detecting possible threats by matching known signatures and attack patterns. EDR turned this on its head, by becoming more proactive, and honing in on advanced malware and previously unseen threats that are specifically tailored to sip through the security nets. EDR employs threat intelligence, machine learning and advanced analysis to help root out advanced persistent threats.
Next, we have managed detection and response, or MDR. Instead of being a technology per se, MDR is more like a managed service, often delivered by a provider. MDR is highly useful to organisations who simply do not have the manpower or budget to monitor all their possible attack surfaces on a 24/7/365 basis. MDR isn’t defined by the technology, but rather by a pre-defined set of cyber security goals and outcomes. Managed service providers will offer a slew of technologies, including SIEM, network traffic analysis, intrusion detection, endpoint detection, and many more.
XDR on the other hand, is a more evolved, encompassing and cross-platform approach to EDR. Where EDR gathers and correlates activities across a wide range of endpoints, XDR extends the scope of detection beyond the endpoints and analyses data across these, as well as networks, servers, clouds, and many more. In this way, the organisation will have a united, single pane of glass view across a slew of solutions as well as potential attack vectors.
Moreover, XDR filters through countless information logs by harnessing the power of automation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. XDR’s aim is to offer accurate alerts that are rich in context, to provide the ultimate security. Although a relatively new technology, XDR is undoubtedly set to disrupt the cyber security industry.
In the simplest way, it is easy to understand why XDR is a far more effective approach than monitoring and acting on each possible threats one at a time. Managing business data of any type in isolation is not usually an effective strategy, and nowhere is this more true, than with security incident and event data. XDR tools are so effective, because they are delivered via the cloud, making them fully accessible for hybrid or remote workforces.
Moreover, they simplify security monitoring by offering analysis and remediation services that are so much easier to use than many complex systems requiring advanced skills, and are able to provide real-time visibility into any threats, more quickly than any other solution. Finally, and perhaps most compellingly, they can lighten the load for security teams, enabling them to focus on key business initiatives.
Register to the webinar on the topic, that we conduct on March 2, 2022 or subscribe to all sababa [talks] sessions here.
Image by CC Express
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