XDR Solutions: Choosing the Best Option for You

XDR Solutions: Choosing the Best Option for You

What are XDR Solutions?

EXtended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions offer a simplified view of threats across an entire IT ecosystem with a holistic approach to addressing them. XDR solutions consolidate multiple security products into a unified and cohesive platform, and organize the alerts into timelines across reporting sources. Organizations often suffer a lack of visibility into potential attacks against entities — endpoint, server, network traffic, cloud IaaS function, cloud SaaS function, credentials, privileges, etc., — especially as the attack moves laterally across the network and cloud services.

XDR helps enterprises gain real-time insights that help achieve faster and better outcomes. Enterprises can employ XDR to improve their detection, protection, and response efforts. By centralizing threat detection, enterprises can improve the productivity of their operational security personnel. XDR can also help lower the total cost of ownership of the security stack.

Native XDR vs. Open XDR

Native XDR vendors provide an end-to-end solution that centralizes your entire threat detection and response needs. Native XDR vendors offer a front-end tool that collects and collates data from that same vendor’s security stack, adding some context and analysis capabilities. 

A native XDR solution tends to provide all sensors required for common XDR entities and points of security control, such as endpoints, networks, clouds, identities, and emails. Additionally, the solution offers data-backed back-end capabilities for threat detection and incident response. 

Open XDR vendors provide solutions that integrate into all the vendors and log sources of an existing ecosystem, and then correlate across the different vendor stack and analyze all relevant data while adding context via security intelligence and correlation. Typically, open XDR vendors offer mainly a back-end workflow engine and analytics. 

Leading open XDR vendors may also provide the prescriptive content needed across multiple or all attack phases as well as the entire lifecycle of threat detection and incident response(TDIR). This can help you solve common security operation center (SOC) scenarios.

How do XDR Solutions Work?

XDR solutions provide the following key capabilities:

Analytics and Detection

XDR solutions enable advanced, automated analysis of security events and detection of evasive threats. This involves:

  • Analysis of all network traffic – XDR analyzes both external and internal network authentication and traffic to detect insider threats, compromised credentials, or threats that have penetrated the network perimeter.
  • Threat intelligence – XDR can add context to security events using threat intelligence feeds and data mapped to common attack frameworks like the MITRE ATT&CK matrix.
  • AI-driven detection – XDR uses a variety of machine learning algorithms to set behavioral thresholds and detect abnormal activity in the environment, including potential zero day attack movement. 

Incident Response

When a security incident is detected, an XDR solution provides:

  • Correlation of all data related to the incident — grouping alerts and building a meaningful attack timeline across multiple and disparate security stack source — this helps security teams visualize the attack, identify the root cause, and prioritize responses.
  • Central dashboard – XDR solutions allow security teams to investigate and respond to incidents from one console, without having to manage multiple logins, learn, and operate multiple tools and interfaces.
  • Response automation and orchestration – XDR can respond to incidents using automated playbooks, or enable security analysts to trigger consistent responses from the same central interface. 

Flexible Framework

An XDR solution can integrate with a variety of IT and security systems, and will typically expand in use over time:

  • Security orchestration – XDR integrates with existing security controls and enables response automation and consistent deployment of security policies.
  • Scalability – XDR solutions are typically cloud-based, supporting easy scalability of data volumes and analysis requirements with flexible retention periods.
  • AI training – XDR is based on machine-learning algorithms, which pattern on the organization’s specific data and become more accurate over time.

Related content: XDR security

Questions to Consider Before Choosing the rRght XDR Solution

Does the XDR Solution Provide Cross-stack Visibility?

A comprehensive XDR platform can ingest telemetry from multiple security layers as well as multiple possible attack points on heterogeneous security stacks and distributed networks. This enables continuous monitoring and management of incoming alerts. Additionally, XDR solutions ingest threat intelligence feeds to proactively search for concealed threats.

Does the XDR Solution Provide Advanced Analytics?

XDR solutions should provide automated, AI-based event correlation and must be able to send intelligence alerts to security groups to construct incident timelines.

An effective XDR solution uses signals from common third-party tools and data from threat intelligence sources to identify common threats, without requiring extensive tuning or configuration. It should also provide built-in workflows and playbooks that security teams can use to address threats. 

This is the “content” aspect of an XDR solution — how well it addresses specific threat detection scenarios, without requiring security teams to identify and define those scenarios themselves.

Can the XDR Solution be Integrated with SIEM?

Open XDR and SIEM can both contain threat detection, investigation, and response (TDIR) capabilities. For example, Exabeam Fusion XDR and Exabeam Fusion SIEM share structural components, including an automation framework and an advanced analytics engine. 

However, the core capabilities of SIEM and open XDR, as well as the design philosophy of each solution, distinctly differentiate them. This is because SIEM and open XDR are designed for different scenarios: 

  • Open XDR is suitable for operations when the functional coverage is primarily focused on threat detection and response across a heterogeneous stack.  
  • SIEM is suitable for operations when the required functional coverage must go beyond threat detection and immediate incident response into historic reference and log event storage. This is a factor for many compliance requirements. 

Organizations are sometimes interested in starting small with a specific focus on TDIR. They usually plan to later expand their scope to other security operations areas, such as log centralization or compliance. In such cases, organizations can opt for open XDR solutions that offer an easy upgrade path to a SIEM by adding compliance packages, for example, or offering non-TDIR dashboarding capabilities. 

Ideally, any solution should provide pre-packaged content for both common and advanced scenarios, delivered at scale using an outcomes-based approach.

Related content: XDR vs SIEM

Can the XDR Solution Automate Responses?

An effective XDR solution automates response processes across multiple domains. It should be able to trigger effective responses that help mitigate incidents. To ensure remediation is efficient, each response is pre-defined as well as repeatable. This also enables teams to intervene at any step when an attack is in progress. When defining a response, SOC teams and leadership need to distinctively define short-term responses as well as long-term measures that can neutralize an attack.

Exabeam Fusion XDR

Exabeam Fusion XDR, a cloud-delivered solution, takes an outcome-based approach and offers prescriptive workflows and pre-packaged, threat-specific content to efficiently solve threat detection and incident response (TDIR). Pre-built integrations with hundreds of third-party security tools and our market-leading behavioral analytics combine weak signals from multiple products with an understanding of normal operating behavior to find complex threats missed by other tools. Prescribed workflows and pre-packaged content focused on specific threat types enable SOCs to achieve more successful TDIR outcomes. Automation of triage, investigation, and response activities from a single, centralized control plane turbocharges analyst productivity and reduces response times.

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