Changing threat landscapes and changing business needs continuously require new security approaches that address evolving needs. One of the most important and influential ones, over the past decade, has been Endpoint Detection and Response (commonly known as EDR). Over time, several modifications to this technology have been popularized, such as Network Detection and Response (NDR). Over the last year, XDR has become the newest and one of the most prominent trends gaining attention in this space. Short for eXtended Detection and Response, how does XDR figure into this technological space? What are the limitations of traditional EDR solutions and how does XDR address them?
EDR was developed as a solution to the shortcomings of anti-virus solutions, and firewall solutions at keeping organizations safe from increasingly sophisticated and stealthy attacks. EDR solutions are installed directly onto the endpoint hardware device. From there they provide surveillance of the protected device and report data back to the SOC for review and remediation. More sophisticated EDR solutions can provide automated responses to some anomalies.
One significant limitation that EDR has is that it is installed directly on endpoint devices it is protecting. But as companies have increasingly adopted more hybrid networks, merging on-prem with remote access, using cloud technology, and BYOD policies that proved to be insufficient. A threat actor who managed to access an organization’s network through an unsecured device could go undetected and unchecked. This is the challenge that NDR was developed for. By shifting surveillance from the processes occurring on protected endpoint devices, to observing network traffic, NDR allows for the detection of threats that would otherwise go unnoticed.
Ideally, NDR solutions operate in parallel with EDR to provide a complete picture of an organization’s environment. However, they’re unable to resolve some ongoing challenges in the cybersecurity world. Good security is labor-intensive. Overseeing both an EDR solution, and an NDR solution creates many alerts across different applications. These need to be triaged and addressed by analysts. This work is at the very least time-consuming and many of the organizations I speak with these days are reporting that they struggle with successfully staffing their SOC with qualified personnel. Thereby, leaving their security team at risk of being overwhelmed by alerts and allowing serious breaches to slip through undetected. Additionally, typical NDR solutions are limited in their ability to properly secure remote networks or cloud environments.
This is where XDR features augment the effectiveness of an existing security team and address the gaps of NDR in securing a remote environment. By integrating with EDR, NDR, and other security solutions, XDR combines all the data produced by these tools into one pool, allowing for more effective automated remediation, better data visualization, and the streamlining of providing analysts all the necessary information from one source.
Different XDR provides have their strengths and limitations. The best fit for your organization depends on many factors. If some of the problems I mentioned above, fit your situation; an overloaded security team, a largely remote workforce, many parallel security products, get in touch with us at email@example.com to discuss your options and find solutions.