A Guide to Extended Detection Response (XDR)

XDR (Extended Detection Response) is specifically defined as a “Software as a Service” and vendor-specific security tool that effectively works with various defined security products to provide a unified security approach. 

The purpose of XDR security is to maximize the effectiveness of detection and response capabilities within an organization and to optimize SOC performance by delivering an encompassing overview of threats across an existing tech stack within an organization. The tech helps deliver crucial data and insights into both detecting and responding to newer attacks by integrating different security controls including but not limited to data analytics, endpoints, and more.

As a result, XDR effectively fills a very important need for a commercial business’ security systems. All kinds of security analysts would agree that you will continue to see increased rates of adoption of XDR solutions to effectively protect against the increasing severity and sophistication of cyberattacks.

As many as 70 percent of security analysts mention that their companies are already investing heavily in XDR or that they plan on doing so within the next half of the year.

As many as 80 percent of companies are looking to increase the investments they make in threat detection and response technologies too. 

What’s Driving This Sky-High Adoption Rate? 

You might be wondering what’s driving this adoption rate. The combination of intelligence, automation, and A.I machine learning tools are making it one of the best ways for companies to optimize their SOC performance and to identify threats before they do irreparable damage. The increase in the adoption of XDR can be attributed to how effective it is at helping companies address some of the more major security challenges that they face. These include: 

  1. Detecting and responding to different bad actors that are constantly revamping their strategies to bypass security systems. These actors are becoming increasingly aware and advanced at bypassing traditional SIEM systems. This has led to more and more companies needing to invest in multi-technology detection tools, making it much more difficult to do. These tools work cohesively together to optimize threat detection. 
  2. Hiring more experienced and knowledgeable professionals within the security industry. With bad actors becoming increasingly knowledgeable about how to bypass security systems, more informed professionals are needed. This has led to a skill shortage in the industry especially when it comes to threat hunting.

Do Organizations Need To Replace Their Current Systems With XDR?

Not every XDR system is created equal. Some of them are designed to be full-blown replacements for existing security solutions. However, some of them are designed to be vendor-agnostic and don’t require an organization to replace its existing tools and stack for proper integration. When hybrid or open XDR solutions are involved, an organization benefits from having a much more comprehensive and robust threat detection and response mechanism in place. This helps them get even more out of the security investments that they wouldn’t have had without the system.

For instance, while existing SIEM systems and even SOAR platforms require very long deployments and a lot of hands-on maintenance, XDR doesn’t. It’s usually Software as a Service which means that all of the maintenance and the deployments are much simpler and easier to handle. Along with this, XDR automatically leverages real-time data which means there’s no need for hands-on programming from employees. Likewise, open XDR solutions will effectively integrate and work with existing 3rd party security tools. They will even automate responses to each alert which ensures that no event would go unnoticed and that nothing gets passed the tools for an appropriate response.

What Are Some Of The Key Elements You’d Want To Look For When Searching For The Right XDR Solution?

There are a variety of features you would want to look for when you are trying to identify the right XDR solution. Finding the right one is necessary if you want to get something that supports the scale of your organization and so it integrates well. 

  1. Agnostic

You want to ensure that the platform you end up choosing is vendor-agnostic. This ensures that you don’t get locked into a specific vendor to get the most out of the systems.

  1. Machine-Based Learning

You want to ensure that the XDR solution has machine-based correlation and detection features. This ensures that you can analyze the data quicker and it can help minimize the number of false positives you get.

  1. Pre-Built Models

You want to try to get something with pre-built models to ensure you don’t need to have software engineers handling the programming. 

  1. Tight Integration With Existing Tools

You want to ensure it has tight integration with existing security tools. Instead of replacing products, you want the XDR to work seamlessly with your existing stack to boost their value. 

  1. Security Validation Integration

You want to have XDR and security validation working with one another. This can help to ensure that your teams are working as effectively as possible. They’ll have an easier time spotting weak points and they will know the corrective steps to take to mitigate issues.

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