What is extended detection and response (XDR)?
Learn how extended detection and response (XDR) solutions provide threat prevention and reduce response time across workloads.
How does XDR work?
XDR uses automation to provide wider visibility from a unified standpoint, allowing for contextual understanding of threats.
Data collection and integration
XDR monitors data in an enterprise’s technology environment, from endpoint devices and firewalls to cloud and some third-party applications. XDR identifies incidents and threats across the environment and collates related occurrences, optimizing the number of security alerts and allowing security teams to understand a cyberattack more clearly.
XDR automates analysis of correlated incidents, facilitating quick and efficient response and remediation. XDR’s AI and machine learning capabilities can analyze extensive data points and locate attacks and malicious behavior in real time, significantly faster than security teams attempting to manually correlate incidents and remediate threats.
XDR allows enterprises to respond automatically or manually to threat incidents. According to preset conditions, XDR can remediate threats by blocking IP addresses or mail server domains, quarantining devices, among other actions. Security analysts can also review incident reports and recommended solutions and act accordingly.
Top XDR use cases
• Detect endpoint device vulnerabilities
• Hunt threats across domains
• Investigate security events
• Perform endpoint health checks
• Predict future attacks
• Prioritize and correlate alerts
Key benefits of XDR
XDR offers a range of security benefits that give enterprises holistic, flexible, and efficient protection against threats.
XDR expands an enterprise’s view, offering a fuller understanding of its security landscape. By integrating telemetry data across multiple endpoints, networks, email, applications, and more, XDR illuminates relationships between alerts and incidents, creating broader threat visibility and freeing up analyst time and resources.
XDR reduces the amount of time analysts spend manually investigating threats. Correlated alerts streamline notifications and reduce noise in analyst inboxes. By collating related alerts, an XDR system increases efficiency and provides a more complete picture of the incident.
XDR evaluates incidents and provides weighted assessments to prioritize remediation and recommend actions aligned with key industry or regulatory standards, or an enterprise’s custom requirements.
XDR offers tools that automate repetitive tasks and reduce analyst labor.
XDR’s centralized management tools increase the accuracy of alerts and simplify the number of solutions analysts must access to assess threats.
Real time threat detection
XDR identifies threats in real time and deploys automated remediations, eliminating access or reducing the amount of time an attacker has access to enterprise data and systems.
Integrated response across multiple security tools
XDR remediates threats across all enterprise security products, and provides centralized analytics, response, and remediation.
How to implement XDR
Determine data storage needs
Enterprises deploying an XDR system should determine their logging and telemetry data needs before implementation for a clear sense of the XDR’s storage space requirements.
Plan a phased rollout
Begin integrating the XDR system with a selection of services before broadening across the entire technological environment.
Evaluate baseline data
Build in time to fully assess the XDR system and its baseline data to help ensure accuracy.
Components of an XDR system
Typical XDR systems include a minimum of three front-end solutions focused on threat identification and response. These solutions might include endpoint detection and response (EDR), network detection and response (NDR), security services edge (SSE), email security, and mobile threat detection, among others.
On the back end, XDR systems will offer API integration capabilities, data lake storage, strong analytics, automated responses, and correlated alerts.
How does XDR work with SIEM?
XDR complements existing enterprise security information and event management (SIEM) systems. Primarily detection tools, SIEMs aggregate large quantities of shallow data and identify security threats and anomalous behavior but cannot respond to or remediate threats, and usually require manual responses XDR offers this response capability and works in tandem with SIEMs as part of an organization’s security portfolio, taking advantage of the broad data SIEMS make available.
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An XDR platform is an SaaS-based security tool that draws on an enterprise’s existing security tools, integrating them into a centralized security system. An XDR pulls raw telemetry data from across multiple tools like cloud applications, email security, identity, and access management. Using AI and machine learning, the XDR then performs automatic analysis, investigation, and response in real time. XDR also correlates security alerts into larger incidents, allowing security teams greater visibility into attacks, and provide incident prioritization, helping analysts understand the risk level of the threat.
XDR is a natural evolution from endpoint detection and response (EDR), which primarily focuses on endpoint security. XDR broadens EDR’s scope, offering integrated security across a wider range of products, from networks and servers to cloud-based applications and endpoints. XDR offers flexibility and integration across an enterprise’s range of existing security tools and products.
Native XDR systems integrate with an enterprise’s existing portfolio of security tools, while hybrid XDR also uses third party integrations for telemetry data collection.
XDR offers a range of integrations, including an enterprise’s existing SOAR and SIEM systems, endpoints, cloud environments, and on-premises systems.
Managed detection and response (MDR) is a human-managed security service provider. Often MDRs use XDR systems to meet an enterprise’s security needs.