What Is XDR and How Does It Protect Your Network?

Image of two men sitting at computers writing code.
Cybersecurity professionals are hard to find, but XDR can help fill the skill gap!

XDR stands for Extended Detection and Response and is a SaaS-based cybersecurity platform designed to keep your networks secure. It’s different from other cybersecurity solutions because it isn’t an in-house solution with cybersecurity tools. XDR also fills the current shortage of cybersecurity experts. I’ll talk about this more later.

In this article, you’ll learn all about XDR and what it does. You’ll also see how it’ll benefit your company. So let’s start with learning about what XDR is. 

What Is XDR?

Extended Detection and Response is a SaaS-based cybersecurity platform. This platform allows you to take a proactive stance against attacks. 

XDR unifies the cybersecurity data across your entire organization. As a result, it enables your security team to visualize data from all platforms—email, network infrastructure, cloud resources, mobile, and API endpoints. XDR also makes all this data available in a single dashboard. In turn, it prevents your security team from becoming worn out from constant low-level alerts from other systems. 

For each alert, you can customize an automated action to handle that alert. And this sets XDR apart from other systems. This feature is also helpful for your cybersecurity team—if they’re constantly getting alerts, they’ll start writing them off. But this can lead to major consequences if a serious threat slips by them. XDR can help you definitively solve this issue. 

Why Do You Need XDR Security? 

In cybersecurity, attacks are inevitable. As a result, you want all the security layers you can get to protect yourself. XDR can give you this added security layer. But that’s not the only reason why you should get an XDR. In this next section, I’ll cover some great benefits of having XDR in your cybersecurity arsenal. 

6 Benefits of XDR

An XDR offers many benefits for your company. If you want to add XDR to your cybersecurity strategy, take a look at these 6 benefits

1. Consolidated Dashboard

You can set all configurations and settings from one dashboard, which covers the entire company network. This single dashboard sends out a unique policy—it doesn’t leave room for ambiguity or diverged policies. Having a single source of truth also ensures consistency and better enforcement of security policies across the entire network.

2. Integrated Visibility

XDR also integrates all the platforms across your network, from API endpoints to cloud infrastructure. XDR will pull in all the platforms, so your security team quickly acts if a vulnerability is detected. 

3. Improved Efficiency

XDR covers all your platforms and integrates all that data into a single dashboard. As a result, your analysts won’t have to switch between different applications to parse data manually. This will save time and allow them to be more productive. 

4. Reduced Overhead Costs

XDR offers a turn-key cybersecurity platform. This means it’s ready to go, out-of-the-box, with only some small configurations and integrations. In turn, XDR can reduce the overall costs associated with maintaining and integrating multiple solutions. 

5. Unified Threat Detection

XDR’s enterprise-wide data unification helps your security teams to better understand your network’s threats. It’ll also give them the necessary context to find vulnerabilities that might exist on the network. 

6. Improved Attack Understanding

XDR collects and aggregates all the security data from multiple platforms. This enables your security analysts to detect and respond to all attacks. You also won’t risk overlooking any attacks with XDR’s advanced data gathering and aggregation. 

With all these benefits, would you consider other similar cybersecurity platforms? Let’s look at two other platforms, Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), and see how they compare. 

Image of a cyber punk walking a colorful street with his body painted to mimic a machine while he carries an automatic weapon.
Attackers are waiting for your to let your defenses down for just one second, so they can attack. Don’t let them!

How Does XDR Compare to EDR and MDR?

Besides XDR, you’ll find two other approaches to detection-and-response technologies. I’ll briefly touch on EDR and MDR here so you’ll get the gist of what they do. These platforms are closely related, but they’re very different. 

EDR

EDR mainly aims to secure the endpoints on devices. This means any device that touches a network is in the sights of an EDR. EDR also uses signature-based detection to defend against known threats. However, this approach is better known for its active monitoring. 

The advantage is that EDR is better used to identify unknown threats like APTs (advanced persistent threats). Generally, these threats can go undetected for a long, long time. By the time you realize it, it’s way too late. But EDR might reduce the chances of that happening.

MDR

MDR is a combination of both XDR and EDR, which is helpful to smaller organizations because this is more of a turn-key offering. You won’t need a cybersecurity expert to build systems.  

A benefit is that MDR takes the detection and response work and passes it off to a third-party security provider. Check out the below table for a better comparison visualization.

EDR, MDR, or XDR: Which Is Best for Your Security?

EDRMDRXDR
CapabilitiesChecks endpoints for threats that have snuck past antivirus Same as EDR plus 24/7 managed (SaaS) services to monitor, mitigate, and eliminate threats Full-service SaaS that uses your systems’ existing tools to integrate data and improve visibility 
ComponentsReal-time endpoint monitoring
Behavioral analysis
Threat database 
Network containment
Remediation 
EDR + 24/7 managed servicesEDR capabilities
Automatic threat hunting
Cross-domain correlation
Actionable threat summary
MethodsSoftware-based EDREndpoint protection platform Network analysis and visibility 
Next-gen firewall
Email security
 IAM
Cloud workload protection platform
Cloud access
Security broker
Data loss prevention 
Threat Visibility EndpointsEndpointsAll endpoints, users, network assets, cloud workloads, email, data, and others
It’s important to choose the right platform!

Clearly, XDR offers more comprehensive protection for your company. So it might be worth choosing over EDR and MDR. Let’s end with a quick recap!

Final Words

Generally, it’s better to have more security layers. And this makes XDR great for cybersecurity. For one, it offers your company an additional level of security. It also offers you a lot of benefits, enhancements, and automation opportunities. Finally, XDR can boost your security team’s productivity. I recommend you jump on the XDR bandwagon and benefit from its centralized dashboard for all your enterprise data.   

Do you have more questions? No worries! Check out the FAQ and Resources sections below for more info and related topics. 

FAQ

What is XDR?

Extended Detection Response (XDR) is a SaaS-based security threat detection and incident response platform. This platform can integrate multiple security products into one single cybersecurity platform. In turn, you can manage this whole package from a single dashboard. Additionally, automated actions on low-level alerts will help prevent alert fatigue on your security team.

Why are companies adopting XDR?

The technology allows companies to have better security. It also allows for better threat detection. XDR even lets you forgo hiring a cybersecurity specialist. This is especially helpful given the massive shortage of cybersecurity talent. Additionally, XDR easily integrates into your current cybersecurity systems. This will give you a better view of what’s going on from your single-pane-of-glass dashboard. 

Should I replace SIEM and SOAR with XDR?

It depends on your staffing needs. Since XDR is a SaaS, you don’t need any advanced cybersecurity specialists on your team. XDR also streamlines and simplifies processes. Finally, it can integrate with third-party tools, and you can automate responses to each alert. Conversely, SIEM and SOAR systems require professionals to maintain them. 

What are some important parts of an XDR platform?

You’ll want to look for features like pre-built data models, integration with SIEMs, SOARs, and other management tools. You also want to have machine-based correlation and detection. These are some of the top features you’ll want to have in your XDR system. 

Are companies doing enough to combat cyberattacks?

In most cases, no. It takes a lot to be fully prepared for cyberattacks. Modern offices are also very data-driven. As a result, cybercriminals have more vulnerable entry points to exploit. Companies need to get tougher on cybersecurity, and XDR can help with that. 

Resources 

TechGenix: Article about the National Science Foundation and Yale Advancing Cybersecurity

Check out the latest news from Yale and the National Science Foundation on advancing cybersecurity.

TechGenix: Article on MDR vs. MSSP

Learn about the differences and similarities between MDR and MSSP.

TechGenix: Guide to Cyber Threat Detection 

Learn more about the business behind cyber threat detection.  

TechGenix: Article on Damaging Cybersecurity Trends 

Learn about the negative trends in cybersecurity.

TechGenix: Article on Attack Vectors

Learn about attack vectors and how to prevent attacks.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Scroll to Top