An overview on XDR platforms

In a previous Cyber Explained article, we highlighted the differences between Extended Detection and Response (XDR) and modern SIEM solutions. But XDR is a hot cybersecurity topic that shows no signs of cooling down, so we’re taking a deeper dive into how XDR can help organizations improve their security posture.

The XDR marketplace is still somewhat confusing, even for the most knowledgeable security teams, and is often included in the next-gen SIEM space. By defining what XDR is, what its roots are, and why organizations should consider leveraging the technology, we hope to do our part in demystifying the technology. 

How we are defining XDR

XDR is an emerging methodology that focuses on strengthening cyber defenders’ fundamental ability to protect against evolving and sophisticated attacks and enable detection, containment, and response. XDR combines detection, investigation, and response with end-to-end visibility across multiple security layers.

The X in XDR stands for extended, as it extends the capabilities of endpoint detection and response (EDR) by protecting more than just endpoints. XDR also extends across an organization’s infrastructure and entire security stack.

XDRs streamline, prioritize, and analyze all this data, so security teams can access it from a unified console.

By deploying XDR, organizations gain broader protection against system breaches, data theft or tampering, advanced cyber attacks, malware infections, ransomware encryption, and much more.

The modern XDR platform: how we got here

If you think about the earlier generation of antivirus software, it’s essentially a form of endpoint security. The term “computer virus” was created in the ’80s, when the desktop PC represented the only endpoint around. Viruses were spread via the floppy disk (remember those?). 

Antivirus programs, using signature-based algorithms, were the first form of endpoint protection. 

With the arrival of the internet, AV had to evolve. With more networks, servers, desktops, laptops, and smartphones, this form of endpoint protection added services like firewall and disk encryption. Soon, the data and system protection industry was booming with endpoint protection platforms. 

Next-gen antivirus morphed into EPP — endpoint protection platforms. About a decade ago, Gartner coined the phrase “Endpoint Threat Detection and Response” as a category of solutions that focus on detecting and investigating suspicious activities. Within two years, the category evolved to the term still popular today: Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR).

While EDR can be a practical tool, it isn’t powerful enough on its own for today’s security requirements. Visibility-wise, EDR offers a limited view compared with modern threat detection platforms.  

Key benefits of this next-gen technology

While there are advantages to deploying XDR across the organization, this article will focus specifically on the benefits for the security team or SOC.

Here are the benefits you should know about: 

Data visibility: We talked about visibility above, and it’s one of the primary benefits. XDR allows security teams to collect, analyze, and correlate data from any source to simplify the threat detection and response process. 

Attack detection: With a combination of out-of-the-box analytics and custom-crafted rules, XDR can detect advanced persistent threats, insider abuse or accidental misuse, and other covert attacks.

Attack prevention: Prevent known and unknown exploits, malware, and fileless attacks using advanced threat intelligence.

Reduce alert fatigue: Nothing bogs down a security team like too many alerts. With reduced alerts and false positives, your security team can focus efforts on remediation — especially when every second counts. 

Increase SOC productivity: With a single pane of glass console, XDR can manage endpoint security and monitoring, investigation, policy management, and response across multiple security layers more efficiently.

Faster remediation: In the event of an attack, XDR allows you to recover quickly by removing and restoring infected files or systems.

Who should consider deploying XDR?

Many types of organizations can benefit from deploying an extended detection and response solution. These businesses often have countless devices on their network and may be more susceptible to attacks that could go undetected for long periods of time.

For too many organizations, the way they approach security is to purchase several security products that inadvertently produce a security stack that’s more complex than it needs to be. 

More tools equal more problems for investigations. Often, remediation time suffers. 

On the other hand, some organizations put their proverbial security eggs in one tool’s basket, developing silos that create security gaps.

With XDR, these two strategies are addressed head-on — as the promise of XDR vendors is to essentially extend the practicality of siloed solutions by streamlining data ingestion and analysis, investigation, response, and remediation. Typically, only one console or single pane of glass dashboard does it all: improving threat visibility and accelerating security operations. 

The goal of XDR is to reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) alongside the burden of security staffing. 

How Panther can Help

As described above, most XDR solutions developed out of EDR solutions that focused on endpoint security. However, the use cases that security buyers are looking to solve with XDR are often quite similar to those solved by Panther – namely detection, investigation, and response with end-to-end visibility across multiple security layers.

With Panther, security teams can effortlessly ingest terabytes of raw logs per day while normalizing IOC fields like domains, IPs, hashes and more – to power real-time detection, swift incident response, and thorough investigations. Panther includes out-of-the-box integrations with dozens of high priority log sources, including CrowdStrike, Okta, osquery, and more, along with over 300 built-in detections to alert on common security risks and threats.
Learn more about Panther, or request a demo with one of our experts to explore how Panther can help your team overcome the challenges of security operations at scale.

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