What Is XDR?

Posted on October 12, 2021 Backups & DR

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is a Software as a Service (SaaS) based security threat detection and incident response tool that is vendor specific. XDR integrates various security products into a collaborative security operations solution that merges all the necessary parts natively. 

XDR gives organizations the tools to go above standard detection by offering a comprehensive view of threats delivered in real time. This ultimately gives organizations the intel they need for better outcomes delivered quickly.

How Does XDR Work?

XDR is implemented to improve security operations overall by enhancing detection and response. This is done by combining visibility and control across relevant endpoints, network and cloud.

Extended detection and response makes complicated security requirements manageable for security teams that can’t use custom made solutions. XDR does this by offering threat focused responses that are efficient and effective whilst taking away the stressful detection and investigation process.

XDR’s advanced threat detection and response services include:

  • Targeted attacks detection and response
  • Native support for analysis of users and assets
  • Shared local threat intelligence and externally sourced threat intelligence 
  • Automatic confirmation of alerts
  • Relevant data integration
  • Configuration that is centralized for prioritization 
  • Extensive analytics


Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) provides endpoint protection that is multi-layered and fully integrated. EDR aims to offer thorough visibility to a specific endpoint which is achieved with automated responses to threats. 

Both XDR and EDR are replacements to reactive approaches to cybersecurity and are similar in their preventative approach, rapid threat response and threat hunting.

However, they are also very different. 

EDR focuses primarily on endpoint protection whilst XDR incorporates security across endpoints, cloud computing and further solutions. 

They also differ in solution integration.  EDR provides the best possible solution for endpoints that can be integrated manually with other point solutions whereas XDR offers all inclusive visibility and management of threats with one singular solution which simplifies the organization’s security architecture.

Why Do Enterprises Need XDR?

As threats to data become more sophisticated, organizations face harder challenges keeping vulnerable assets protected.

Security and data protection is critical not only to protect confidential information but also to support security teams with adequate resources so that digital assets are protected without overpressurizing in-house security teams.

Enterprises require proactive security to protect the entirety of their assets, endpoints, mobile and cloud workloads. There is such a large range of disconnected security tools and data sets that enterprise security is responsible for overcoming false positives under ongoing operational stress. 

Security Operations Centers (SOCs) face multiple hurdles in their fight against threats including; 

Slow detection and response times

This increases vulnerability by inadvertently offering larger gaps for threats to access data. XDR’s advanced detection and response capabilities mean that not only is detection streamlines but response is automatic and immediate.

Lack of visibility

Lack of visibility means a slow response plus too many false positives. XDR’s automatic correlation and confirmation of alerts eradicates this problem for SOCs. 

Difficulty with investigations

Identifying the root cause can be challenging when there is an overload of threat information. XDR solves this by correlating all threat information with human machine learning to reduce noise and identify the root cause efficiently.

Too many alerts

SOCs who are overrun with too much information find it hard to quickly deploy solutions in an effective manner. XDR helps SOCs react by converting large numbers of alerts into smaller numbers of incidents that can be used as focus points for investigation. 

The Benefits of XDR

XDR adds value to organizations by being a cohesive security incident platform. Supporting SOCs with advanced tools to detect threats and respond efficiently is XDR’s primary goal.

The advantages of good XDR solutions include:

Improved, automated threat detection 24/7

Enhanced complex detection of more threats with the collection and analysis of security information and analytics.

Eliminated advanced threats with minimal disruption

Disruption can be detrimental to any organization. XDR offers an advanced threat action plan that orchestrates solutions without impacting business function.

Extend investigations into third-party sources

Situational security content applied to extent investigations, including but not limited to third party sources external to the organization for more efficient identification of cause.

Empowers security teams

XDR assists security teams by removing the operational stress from security teams by providing automation, providing integrated response and usable high quality detection. Streamlining alerts into incidents allows for more efficient manual investigation which ultimately empowers security teams to have more control and impact.

Improves SOC productivity 

SOCs are overwhelmed with information and don’t have the tools to defend all of the assets efficiently. XDR provides centralized configuration, integrated data and correlated alerts for SOCs to have access to comprehensive analytics for a stronger detection and response process.

XDR uses a holistic approach to detection and response by collecting and analyzing activity data across multiple layers of security. Automated analysis means faster destruction, more thorough investigations and quicker action overall.

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