XDR, EDR, MDR, and SIEM | Understanding Extended Detection & Response

  • Dec 01, 2021
  • Admin
XDR, EDR, MDR, and SIEM | Understanding Extended Detection & Response

The technology industry, and in particular, cybersecurity, is crammed with jargon and acronyms. IT departments find it challenging to navigate the vendor landscape, especially when finding detection and response solutions. The truth is, cyber attackers evolve daily and subsequently, the tools to combat and defend against the rising tide of threats are more aggressive and complex.

As attack vectors become more sophisticated and spread across various technologies, businesses are looking for new and more dynamic approaches to protect their assets. EDR, MDR, and XDR are largely accepted as the main endpoint cybersecurity technologies designed to provide substantial visibility, scrutiny, and response across networks. On the other hand, SIEM gathers, analyzes, and stores bulk log data from the whole enterprise.

But where your company falls on the divide between which tool is the best tool can often get lost in translation. The primary hurdle starts with fully understanding the different terminologies.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

Endpoint Detection and Response is traditional technology security that detects threats by matching signatures with the attack patterns. It combines real-time monitoring and endpoint data collection with automated response and analysis based on rules.

EDR Security Solution's Key Components

The key components of EDR revolve around the collection, correlation, and analysis of endpoint data. Its essential components include;

  1. Endpoint data collection agents. The software agents monitor and collect data from diverse endpoints. The collected data includes processes, connections, device activities, and the amount of data transferred.
  2. Automated response- using pre-configured rules and analysis, EDR solution can perceive a security breach in incoming data and activate an automatic response by either logging off the end-user or passing a signal to the relevant security personnel.
  3. Forensic analysis- the EDR's endpoint detection and response system can incorporate real-time analytics and forensics tools while searching for threats.

Managed Detection and Response (MDR)

MDR itself is not a technology. It is a managed service providing intrusion of malicious activity in a network and triggers a rapid response to curb the incident. It adds an extra protection layer that acts even when the usual security controls fail.

MDR offers extensive value to small organizations that lack funds to keep up with the sophisticated organizational security controls or lack the necessary expertise to keep checking on their data security. According to Gartner, 50% of organizations will switch to using MDR in the coming few years.

Benefits of MDR in Organizations

With the rise of cyber insecurities and overwhelming threats, organizations are seemingly coping with heightened security budgets. MDR is capable of providing essential security without many expenses. Below are some of the reasons why organizations prefer MDR:

  • Round-the-clock monitoring and communication mechanisms.
  • Enhanced threat response.
  • Advanced forensics and other high-level investigations.
  • Dynamic threat hunting.
  • Enhanced threat detection and widened detection coverage, and many more.

Extended Detection and Response (XDR)

XDR is defined by Gartner, a giant analyst firm, as "a SaaS-based, vendor-specific, security threat detection and incident response tool that natively integrates multiple security products into a cohesive security operations system that unifies all licensed components."

XDR is designed to identify highly advanced and hidden threats, increase detection and response speed, and track or detect threats across several system components. Unlike EDR, which collects and correlates across several endpoints, XDR widens detection scope past endpoints to several other security control areas such as networks, servers, cloud, among others.

How Does XDR Work?

XDR is one of the critical technology securities representing a massive improvement in the security capabilities of enterprises. The technology can detect hackers who use approved software to access the system since it can access all the raw data collected across system components.

XDR allows security teams to curb threats more reliably by performing automated analysis and correlation of data. For instance, the security technology can match a detected threat from one endpoint with the email from which the danger originated to establish other endpoints which might be affected by the same threat.

The XDR's response to a threat aims to contain and remove it altogether. In addition, its superiority in data collection and exceptional integration with the environment gives it a more effective response to the affected part.

Benefits of XDR to Enterprises

  • Enhanced detection, protection, and response capabilities.
  • Simplicity in security operations.
  • Improved productivity and efficiency.
  • Low cost of ownership.

What Should an Organization Look for in a Good XDR Solution?

While looking for an XDR solution, there are a couple of features you should consider. Determining the features on your own might be arduous; therefore, you should reach out to trusted advisors like Alpha Ridge to match you with the right tool. Nevertheless, the following features will help you to identify the best XDR for your organization:

  1. Integration capability. The solution should be capable of working flawlessly across all the apps using rich API tools.
  2. Automation with AI and proven machine learning algorithms.
  3. The solution's ease of learning, maintenance, and update. 

Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)

SIEM is a technology that works to provide next-generation detection, analytics, and response. The software offers real-time analysis of security warnings raised by applications and networks. SIEM does this by combining Security Information Management (SIM) and Security Event Management (SEM)

How Does SIEM Work?

When the capabilities of SIEM are combined and integrated, the software provides extensive protection to the general organizational networks and apps. SIEM collects log and event data from the organization's apps, security devices, and host systems and merges them into one platform.

What are the Differences Between XDR and SIEM?

Although SIEM and XDR may share some features, the duo is differentiated by the following features:

  • XDR covers a single domain, while SIEM is capable of covering multiple domains.
  • SIEM collects and integrates data into a single location, while XDR can store data anywhere and not necessarily for a long time.
  • SIEM offers wide and long-term storage, while XDR does not always do that.
  • Unlike XDR, SIEM requires a lot of manual investigation and analysis.
  • SIEM is unable to identify meaningful trends as XDR does.

Which Tool Suits Your Organization?

Identifying the suitable tool that suits your organization can be challenging if you do it on your own. The tools bear different features well known to experts. The size of your organization, financial capability, amount of data, and many other things determine the type of tool you can purchase for the organization. You should partner with a suitable IT company for the best services.

At Alpha Ridge, our team not only works to give your environment a comprehensive security assessment, but we also help design and build your security program. We also provide managed security services, so your team can focus on what it does best and we can handle the rest.

Over To You...

As cyber threats escalate, you also need to take your data protection steps ahead of the bad actors. You can only do this by partnering with the right cybersecurity experts that offer you the necessary support throughout the process. Alpha Ridge is ready to help