What Is XDR?
Extended detection and response or XDR is a new approach to threat detection and response that provides holistic protection against cyberattacks, unauthorized access and misuse.
According to analyst firm Gartner, XDR is “a SaaS-based, vendor-specific, security threat detection and incident response tool that natively integrates multiple security products into a cohesive security operations system.”
How Is XDR Different?
XDR extends the range of EDR to encompass more deployed security solutions, where the range of EDR improved over the past defenses to help prevent a security breach.
XDR is different from other security solutions in that it centralizes, normalizes, and correlates data from multiple sources, including cloud security, to break down security silos and provide more complete visibility and insights for faster detection.
XDR solutions help reduce false positives and increase response time by collecting and analyzing data from a wide range of sources. This reduces the time security experts might waste on incorrect or excessive notifications. The result of this is improved productivity in security teams and an improved security posture.
XDR goes beyond the capabilities that can be achieved with a combination of security incident and event management solutions. SIEM solutions collect shallow data, while XDR collects deeper data. XDR can provide better context for events thanks to these collection methods. Because the alert sources are native to the XDR solution, the integration and maintenance effort required for monitoring is eliminated.
Benefits of XDR
XDR promises users the ability to delve deeper into endpoint and network traffic and to identify trends. The promise is that XDR is capable of revealing complex patterns and techniques that adversaries use instead of relying on signature-based detection (e.g., Snort), or even heuristic network analysis (Zeke/bro).
Threat hunters and other cybersecurity professionals have long lamented that they easily get lost in the fog of more when it comes to discovering unique threats. XDR software, it is hoped, can help cut through all of the useless data and identify actual threats.
XDR applications also strive to visualize the entire attack lifecycle. So, in addition to normalizing, centralizing and correlating data, XDR applications have the ability to visualize pivot points and identify actual tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) used in an attack. The tactics are the tools – like Metasploit. The techniques are how the tool is used – reconnaissance, lateral movement, exploitation, etc. And the procedures relate to what the tool does – pivoting, bot creation or ransomware deployment, for example.
Additional benefits of XDR
- Improved protection and detection capabilities
- Continuous monitoring of the entire security environment
- Using machine learning to decrease alert overload and automate response to security events
- Increased security analyst productivity and reduce alert fatigue
- Pinpoint advanced threats to reduce false positives
- Automated network traffic analysis to focus response efforts
- Integrated incident response recommendations to resolve alerts quickly