Technical Expertise

March 08, 2021   •   3 minute read

What Is Extended Detection & Response (XDR)

Comprehensive cybersecurity monitoring is critical for timely threat detection, response, and mitigation. While many providers offer this service, they vary in their capabilities and scope. Extended detection and response (XDR) is one of the latest trends in cybersecurity monitoring. Using a holistic approach, XDR providers ingest multiple security layers and correlate the data for more complete detection of malicious activity across different threat vectors.

The XDR approach is more thorough and alleviates the risk of security silos being disconnected through daily operation.

Components of XDR

Correlation

XDR services detect, connect and assess data across several critical levels, including endpoints, network, and cloud. Automatic analysis incorporates elements of AI to condense thousands of alerts spanning systems into just a few higher-priority warnings, for a more targeted response. 

Detection 

XDR provides visibility across a far greater attack surface and gives security teams the ability to detect threats at an earlier stage. The sooner a threat is identified and mitigated, the less damage it may cause.

Response

XDR programs are capable of threat mitigation across all covered layers, allowing clients to update their security controls to block similar attacks in the future, thereby providing increasingly advanced protection with every attempted hack.

Benefits of XDR

Greater Visibility 

XDR services can create comprehensive threat models because they ingest wider telemetry, including but not limited to endpoint activity, firewall and other logs, NetFlow, and more. Correlating this information provides a more complete overview of any security incident by giving visibility into the full chain of events, enabling your security team to investigate and map the path and impact.

Detection of Sophisticated Attacks

Increasingly advanced attack techniques call for more refined cybersecurity tools. Stealthy threats can lurk between siloed defenses and evade detection while they propagate.

XDR services bring visibility to multiple layers to collect and associate data holistically for a more comprehensive overview of deep data from your endpoints, network, cloud, and email. Thorough analysis then expedites detection and mitigation of system threats, even when the threat actors use new and innovative approaches.

In-Depth Alerts

Since XDR’s watch the full lifecycle of an event, they have more in-depth alerting capabilities. Rather than merely alerting you that something is wrong, XDRs can provide detailed information into the nature of the incident, what systems may be affected, and how the threat actor moved through your environment. Since each alert includes context, it may be easier to prioritize those that require further investigation.

Faster Response Times

Mean-time-to-detect (MTTD) and mean-time-to-respond (MTTR) are key performance metrics, for good reason. The longer a threat actor is in your system, the greater the potential for serious damage. Since XDR services enhance visibility and contribute to more targeted alerts, they also improve an organization’s response times to reduce risk and limit losses.

MDR vs. XDR

Managed detection and response (MDR) is a service that uses technology and human expertise to monitor a system continuously. The technology stacks and service levels vary between providers, but offerings frequently include Security Information and Event Management (SIEM), Network Traffic Analysis (NTA), Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP), and Intrusion Detection System (IDS).

XDR service providers are able to take these technologies and correlate events between the SIEM and the EPP, creating a wider and more holistic security view.

Both MDR and XDR are relatively new terms, so definitions vary between sources. When considering a provider that offers either service, assess its specific controls for a better idea of its comprehensiveness.

Cybersafe Solutions: First-in-Class XDR Services

Threat 360 is at the forefront of XDR services, incorporating endpoint, cloud, network, and email system telemetry for next-level visibility into each layer of your system. We monitor your environment 24/7/365 to collect, correlate, and analyze data through our Security, Orchestration Automation, and Response Platform to find more threats and mitigate them faster. Our U.S.-based SOC further reinforces your defenses by providing around-the-clock expert support, recommendations, and guidance.