Cybersecurity Explained

July 18, 2023   •   5 minute read

What Is Extended Detection & Response (XDR) in Cybersecurity?

Evolving cyber threats continue growing at an alarming rate, and even large corporations are being exploited for cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

It’s no longer enough to rely on anti-virus software to monitor assets and address these gaps, as it does not include the skilled expertise, full visibility, and cutting-edge technology necessary to defend organizations in the security space.

Businesses must detect, contain, and eradicate threats before they occur, through extended detection and response (XDR) services. To effectively leverage 24/7/365 visibility and access to top-tier threat intelligence, it behooves companies to outsource these services to trained security professionals offering managed detection and response (MDR) or managed extended detection and response (MXDR).

This explainer covers XDR/MXDR and its components, benefits, and how partnering with an MSSP offering such services can inform and strengthen your cybersecurity posture.

What Is Extended Detection & Response (XDR)?

Extended detection and response (XDR) collects and analyzes data from endpoints, networks, and cloud environments to coordinate timely threat detection, containment, and response.

By consolidating previously siloed analytics and activity, XDR provides unparalleled, full visibility into online risk posture—especially when compared to offerings such as endpoint detection and response (EDR), which, while impactful, only triages data from laptops, desktops, and mobile devices, among other endpoints.

XDR, by contrast, collects data from all user account activity, email system activity, cloud services, and other services often ingested by a SIEM for real-time insights into activities and potential threats within a system. 

Unifying security telemetry under one solution empowers organizations to better detect threats as they occur, minimize response time, and strengthen cybersecurity.


While XDR provides unparalleled insight into online risk posture, it is understandable that some businesses might outsource management to trained security professionals to leverage their expertise, streamline incident response, and save on costs of hiring new staff.

This is where managed detection and response (MDR) comes in.

MDR leverages top-tier threat intelligence and cutting-edge technology to provide continuous monitoring, threat hunting, and incident response.

It is essentially managed EDR. However, while conventional EDR collects and triages data from endpoints, MDR can be expanded to include all endpoints, networks, and cloud devices, through managed extended detection and response (MXDR). Although “MDR” is often used as a catch-all term for these services, it is important to note this distinction when choosing the right solution for your business.

All of these offerings are fully managed by an experienced managed security service provider (MSSP), who analyzes and triages data in your security space, and handles threat detection and containment. In the event of a breach, the provider immediately handles certain elements of threat eradication, and coordinates others with the end client, themselves. 

Key components of incident response through an MSSP providing MDR/MXDR include:

  • Detection: Proactively monitor and record activity on all endpoints, networks, and cloud devices to reduce breach risk and rapidly detect threats before they manifest as attacks.
  • Containment: Isolate threats before damage occurs, prevent them from communicating with other endpoints, and thwart further spread.
  • Response: Eradicate threats and follow up with lessons learned to mitigate potential repeat attacks and refine security posture.

Advantages of MDR & MXDR

In leveraging MDR/MXDR through an MSSP, businesses can maximize several unique advantages. Among these:

  • Full Visibility: With continuous transparency into all system aspects, MDR/MXDR facilitates unparalleled visibility and insights, mitigating security gaps and silos.
  • Minimized Response Time: Time to deploy ransomware has decreased by 94% in the past three years—from taking more than 60 days in 2019, to 9.5 days in 2020, and just 3.85 days in 2021, according to IBM’s “Security X-Force Threat Intelligence Index 2023” report. This underscores the importance of MDR in immediately detecting and remediating threats, and minimizing incident response time and damages.
  • Elevated Cybersecurity Posture: By seeking to curb risks before they manifest and minimizing downtime during a breach, organizations can bolster a robust cybersecurity posture.
  • Cutting-Edge Software: State-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) technology and machine learning (ML) streamline detection and minimize response time.
  • Compliance: Experienced security professionals map your risk posture against National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Center for Internet Security (CIS) 18 Controls to remediate gaps and evaluate your eligibility to claim NIST SP 800-171 compliance. They also help safeguard sensitive payment, healthcare, and other information for increased HIPAA and Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance.
  • Cost Savings: MDR eliminates expenses associated with hiring new IT employees for continuous monitoring, with minimal startup costs for 24/7/365 protection by skilled experts.

When considering your options, it is best practice to select an MSSP offering Security Operations Center-as-a-Service (SOCaaS), as access to an SOC’s centralized technology and dedicated team of experts only enhances these benefits.

How an MSSP Offering MDR/MXDR Benefits You

Cybersafe Solutions is an experienced MSSP offering MDR/MXDR services tailored to meet your organization's unique needs.

Through our U.S.-based Security Operations Center, our dedicated team leverages decades of combined security expertise and state-of-the-art technology to continually craft new methods for detecting threat tactics in real time.

Key Differentiators of Cybersafe’s MDR/MXDR

  • Network & Cloud Monitoring: Skilled specialists uncover vulnerabilities through 24/7/365 monitoring of network and cloud assets.
  • Endpoint Monitoring: Track laptop, desktop, and server activity to protect sensitive data, no matter where your team goes.
  • Security Information & Event Management (SIEM): Parse log data from hundreds of sources with a full-scale SIEM system.
  • Provider Integration: Link our MDR across AWS, Microsoft Azure and Office 365, and Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) for seamless cybersecurity monitoring.
  • Expert Analysis: With dozens of global threat intelligence sources, Cybersafe has its pulse on industry trends to guide your security strategy, and continuously devises new ways to detect threat actor tactics.
  • 360-Degree Visibility: Uninterrupted visibility into all endpoints and networks provides organizations unprecedented transparency.

To defend against evolving threats, trust the MSSP with more than 20 years of combined cybersecurity experience, cutting-edge technology, and unrivaled knowledge of the security space.

With a team of experienced professionals unequivocally devoted to protecting your assets, we evolve as cyber risks do to provide proactive risk mitigation, immediate incident response, and unrivaled cybersecurity.

Cybersafe Solutions is an industry-leading MSSP offering MDR and MXDR, with more than 20 years of combined experience in the online threat landscape. To learn more about how our security solutions can help enhance your risk posture, contact our team today.