What Is XDR?

2023 Gartner® Market Guide for Extended Detection and Response |
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Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is an evolving security category that can unify threat prevention, detection, and response. XDR solutions ingest data from tools in an organization’s security technology stack to create greater context for Security Operations Center (SOC) teams to perform faster threat detection, investigation, and response.

Key capabilities for XDR include detecting security incidents, automating response capabilities, and integrating intelligence and telemetry data from multiple sources with security analytics to correlate and contextualize security alerts. XDR solutions should include a minimum of two native security sensors and integrate seamlessly with your organization’s security ecosystem.

XDR’s primary advantages are:

  • Improved, consolidated visibility: Data is ingested from siloed security solutions so that automated analysis can surface findings from large volumes of data that would otherwise depend on slow, manual processes. Solutions typically include a single point of visibility to unify findings in a single console.
  • Faster investigations, more productive SecOps teams: Because XDR prioritizes threats and reduces alert volumes with analytics and correlations, teams can focus on the most critical threat events and leverage automation to address known or repeat events.
  • Lower total cost of ownership: XDR vendors with a broad set of native capabilities offer cost savings by standardizing on a security stack from a single vendor, which is typically integrated out-of-the-box. Organizations with a large, best-of-breed environment can unlock data across tools and vendors with XDR solutions that offer open integrations.

XDR holds the promise of consolidating multiple products into a cohesive, unified security incident detection and response system.

Why enterprises need XDR security

SOCs need a platform that intelligently brings together all relevant security data and reveals advanced adversaries. As adversaries use more complex tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) to successfully circumvent and exploit traditional security controls, organizations are scrambling to secure increasing numbers of vulnerable digital assets both inside and outside the traditional network perimeter.

Security teams have been stretched for years. With increasing work-from-home requirements, the strain on resources has been amplified. Security professionals are being once again required to do more with the same or fewer resources, and with strict budget constraints. Enterprises need unified and proactive security measures to defend the entire landscape of technology assets, spanning legacy endpoints, mobile, network, and cloud workloads without overburdening staff and in-house management resources.

With bad actors including “lone wolf” attackers, hacking groups, nation states, and even potentially malicious insiders constantly circling, enterprise security and risk managers are left to overcome too many disconnected security tools and data sets from too many vendors. Security staff struggle with a sea of data that results in alert overload, with too many false positives and little integration of data with analysis tools or incident response, and all under historic levels of operational stress.

Enterprise security and risk management leaders should consider the security advantages and productivity value of an XDR solution.

How does XDR work?

XDR ingests, correlates, and contextualizes multiple streams of telemetry. XDR can also analyze Tactics, Techniques and Procedures (TTPs) and other threat vectors to make complex security operations capabilities more accessible to security teams that do not have the resources for heavily customized point solutions. XDR removes the daunting detection and investigation cycles and offers threat-centric and business context to move more quickly to a response to the threat.

XDR security provides advanced threat detection and response capabilities including:

  • Detection and response to targeted attacks
  • Native support for behavior analysis of users and technology assets
  • Threat intelligence including shared local threat intelligence coupled with externally acquired threat intelligence sources
  • Reducing the need to chase false positives by correlating and confirming alerts automatically
  • Integrating relevant data for faster, more accurate incident triage
  • Centralized configuration and hardening capability with weighted guidance to help prioritize activities
  • A centralized interface to perform investigations and respond to events
  • Playbooks with automation for analysts to establish best practices
  • Multi-vector, multi-vendor analytics
  • Automation and orchestration to streamline many SOC processes

What are the benefits of XDR?

Detecting today’s advanced threats requires more than a collection of point solutions.

XDR security provides advanced threat detection and response capabilities including:

  • Converting a large stream of alerts into a much smaller number of incidents that can be prioritized for manual investigation
  • Providing integrated incident response options that have necessary context from all security components to resolve alerts quickly
  • Providing response options that go beyond infrastructure control points, including network, cloud and endpoints delivering comprehensive protection
  • Providing automation capabilities for repetitive tasks to improve productivity
  • Reducing training and up-leveling Tier 1 support by providing a common management and workflow experience across security components
  • Providing usable and high-quality detection content requiring little-to-no tuning

XDR improves critical SOC functions when they are reacting to an attack in their environment:

  • Detection
    Identify more and meaningful threats by combining endpoint telemetry with a growing list of security controls providers as well security events collected and analyzed by security information and analytic platforms.

  • Investigation
    Human-machine teaming correlates all relevant threat information and applies situational security context to more quickly reduce signal from noise and assist with the identification of root cause.

  • Recommendations
    Provide analysts with prescriptive recommendations to further an investigation through additional queries as well as offer relevant response actions that would most effectively improve the containment or remediation of a detected risk or threat.

  • Hunting
    Provide a common query capability across a data repository containing multi-vendor sensor telemetry in search of suspicious threat behaviors, allowing threat hunters to locate and take action based on recommendations.

What is the difference between XDR, MDR, and EDR?

EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response) provides detection and response for endpoints. Many organizations start with EDR and progress to XDR.

MDR (Managed Detection and Response) provides detection and response as a managed service.

XDR (Extended Detection and Response) provides detection and response across multiple security controls and data sources.

Trellix XDR

Trellix Helix Connect simplifies visibility and streamlines analysis by ingesting data from Trellix native security controls across endpoint, network, data, and cloud security. The XDR solution ingests data from more than 1 billion sensors for multi-vector detection. You can also leverage non-Trellix security controls using open integrations to collect data from over 1,000 third-party sources so your team can unlock and get more from the data you already own.

Detections are surfaced using correlation across vendors and multiple threat vectors to create context. Known and routine threats are eliminated with out-of-the-box automated responses. Actionable threat Intelligence for less common or new threats is created using insights from our Advanced Research Center and network of over 1 billion global sensors. Emerging, high-impact threats are detected and prioritized using AI-driven analytics that help teams stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape.

Request a demo or take a tour to experience Trellix XDR for yourself.

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