A Guide to XDR โ€“ What is it?

Working as a chief information security officer (CISO) in this day and age is extremely challenging. This is especially because the huge shift to digital solutions has come with an increase in security concerns. At the same time, it is hard to secure the technology investment required to correctly defend the organization and also fight to attract and retain the best talent in this limited pool.

Smart chief information security offers are reviewing the underlying services and technologies they utilize and asking whether they are staying abreast with the threat landscape if they automate processes to save money and time, and the emerging approaches they should consider.

Without a doubt, many have come across XDR for the first time during this journey. XDR is still relatively new and so, it is no surprise many are not aware of its use cases, full capabilities, or even definition. If you are one of them, look no further as this post is meant to educate you on the subject.

What is XDR?

XDR is an acronym for Endpoint Detection Response, a security approach that provides a more holistic detection and response solution. XDR or EDR is the progression to a unified security threat detection plus response platform. It is designed to minimize the complexity of security operations through the unification of security-relevant endpoint detections with telemetry from sources that are non-endpoint like cloud security, email security, network visibility, access management, identity, etc.

Endpoint detection response primarily focuses on detecting threats, conducting investigations, and hunting for threats in real-time. A unified approach to Managed Detection and Response is Extended Managed Detection and Response (as seen in the X in XDR). A global Security Operations Center (SOC) with the ability to correlate and aggregate multiple data sources can provide a robust counter to adversaries. Single source security operations that work in tangent with threat detection and response lead to a more holistic approach to cyber security. This makes it easier for security teams to identify unknown threats and respond in a quick and effective manner before they lead to significant disruptions in business operations.

Improving Threat Hunters and Minimizing the Burden

There are numerous cybersecurity operations that are severely under-resourced. Endpoint detection and response offer the much-required relief by automating complex and time-consuming administrative tasks. As a result, people in charge of cybersecurity are freed to focus more on verifying and getting rid of threats, instead of going through endless logs for time on end.

Another benefit is that the opportunity for more meaningful work and interesting tasks, with access to top-of-the-line security solutions for threat monitoring and management, helps attract and retain top talent in the cybersecurity space.

All in all, endpoint detection and response allows for more informed security decision-making through the improvement of the operationโ€™s efficiency and offering a coherent view of whatโ€™s going on across the endpoint, network as well as applications. This allows for threat elimination before they cause major disruptions in business operations.

XDR is an Immature Market

XDR is still in its infancy, with few vendors providing solutions. Even with some claiming full capabilities, that is not always the case. There is also a lack of transparency within the market that leads to many chief information officers questioning whether XDR is really the best solution for the current requirements or it leads to over-reliance on a single solution provider. Cybersecurity providers looking to offer endpoint detection and response solutions also need to assess if they can realistically provide every component in this ecosystem.

Does the cybersecurity company have the technology required to integrate with an array of security detection tools while also providing comprehensive alerts to the team tasked with security in an organization? Are they willing to partner with other companies in order to provide extensive XDR solutions?

The Bottom Line

XDR is without a doubt a huge step forward in the cybersecurity space. While many organizations are yet to implement it, it clearly has benefits in minimizing the complexities in security operations.