XDR eliminates silos of data, providing security teams with complete visibility into threats. It also provides automated root cause analysis, which gives a clear timeline of a threat’s progression. Some XDR vendors take a proprietary approach, unifying their suite of security solutions on a single platform. However, users say this can lead to vendor lock-in and limited integrations with workflow systems and third-party tools.
Detecting Advanced Threats
Achieving faster and better detection, response, and remediation of complex threats requires a holistic approach beyond EDR. The key is to reduce dwell time across the security stack, from the edge to the cloud. It can be achieved through automated and manual methods that leverage XDR, such as threat hunting or deep sweeping with AI/ML technologies.
But first, what is XDR security? XDR centralizes security events, making finding and prioritizing alerts with greater context easier. It combines weak security signals into stronger signals to identify unknown threats and help analysts understand how attackers progress through the kill chain. It enables organizations to accelerate detection and respond to attacks before they cause business disruptions.
In the coming years, expect XDR solutions to become more prevalent in high-growth smaller organizations and divisions of larger enterprises. They will also gain traction with industries with stringent compliance requirements and internal or external audits requiring that security logs be stored long-term. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic pushed organizations to adopt remote working policies and increased their need for operational tools and solutions that do not require a LAN connection. This increased adoption of XDR in the region drives demand for managed services to assess and prioritize alerts.
A security team’s ability to detect and respond to threats is a key challenge. Attackers can exploit gaps between siloed security tools or blind spots created by a lack of comprehensive visibility. XDR can help by delivering holistic detection, providing teams with a single view of all the activity happening across their entire attack surface. Unlike traditional EDR solutions, XDR goes beyond basic event log correlation to provide advanced detection, automated analysis and the intelligence needed to prioritize actions for security analysts. It achieves this by leveraging the power of data analytics, machine learning and threat intelligence. As a result, fewer false positives are eliminated, and security operations can concentrate on the occurrences that matter most.
Combining several XDR systems with security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) solutions may offer a comprehensive solution for the whole threat lifecycle. It makes it easy for CISOs to automate their most complex investigations, eliminating the need for manual steps and freeing up SOC staff to tackle more high-value and risky work. Several vendors offer XDR offerings, some taking a proprietary approach to their solution. This approach typically unifies a vendor’s different products and services onto a single XDR management platform, often complementing this with external data pulled via APIs.
Many cyberattacks start with long-term, covert remote access and mapping of the network to discover vulnerabilities and access sensitive information. XDR can detect these attacks by aggregating and normalizing data from various security tools to uncover anomalies and suspicious behavior. XDR can help close the detection and response gaps in the security stacks of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that don’t have the resources to invest in sophisticated tools like SIEM, SOAR or EDR. XDR can help them strengthen their defenses against advanced threats, such as ransomware, by consolidating alerts into a single interface, eliminating the need to review multiple tools manually.
The XDR solution’s centralized visibility into security operations and infrastructure can reduce mean-time-to-detect (MTTD) and mean-time-to-respond (MTTR), which have become key performance metrics for cybersecurity. It can also enable the SME to leverage capabilities and features previously inaccessible because of resource or expertise limitations, such as consolidated threat intelligence and analytics, closed-loop incident response automation and streamlined integrations with workflow systems and other security technologies.
Despite the promise of XDR, there are some important challenges to consider before adopting this emerging technology. One is that aggregating and normalizing data from different security tools creates privacy and compliance concerns as it involves sharing and storing sensitive information. Adequate controls and measures must be implemented to ensure the XDR solution complies with data protection regulations and policies.
If you deploy a zero trust-enabled architecture, segment your network, use multifactor authentication (MFA) for high-privilege users, and put an XDR solution in place, you can substantially improve survivability against ransomware. That’s because XDR can detect many attack elements, and the underlying analytics can reveal their path and impact within the organization. Unlike security information and event management (SIEM), which collects log data, XDR analyzes it to identify attacker activity and determine the root cause of an incident. The technology aids in risk assessment and best reaction action selection using predictive intelligence.
Look for an XDR vendor with built-in integrations that reduce the number of interfaces for TDIR and improve productivity by consolidating the alerts that security teams have to sift through. It should have prepackaged content for the most common TDIR use cases and offer a closed-loop solution to help you achieve repeatable, successful threat mitigation. You’ll also want to look for an XDR solution that enables a single agent on every endpoint and a single console for prevention, detection and response.