Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks Endpoint Security Platform

Cortex XDR by Palo Alto

Uncover threats with patented behavior analytics, custom detection rules and AI. Block malware and evasive attacks with the industry’s most comprehensive endpoint protection stack.

Unify investigations using an innovative incident engine that intelligently groups related alerts together, decreasing them by 98%. Verify and investigate threats eight x faster and conduct root cause analysis to uncover their full scope.

What Is Palo Alto Cortex XDR?

Palo Alto Cortex XDR provides a complete solution to combat cyber threats. This platform gathers and analyses network data in real-time, giving your Security Operations Center team a clear picture of any threats within minutes – decreasing investigation time while stopping them quickly.

Palo Alto Cortex XDR stands apart from traditional virus scanning in that its AI and behavior analysis detect suspicious activities in real time, making it possible to quickly identify new or unknown threats before they cause damage, while its root cause detection feature enables faster investigations and containment efforts.

This comprehensive security solution provides endpoint, network, identity and public cloud infrastructure protection. It combines advanced threat prevention with visibility from Cortex data lakes and WildFire malware prevention service for maximum protection from attacks within an organization and stopping them before any harm can occur. Furthermore, its device control feature prevents any unauthorized USB access at an endpoint to enable organizations to restrict device usage based on file SHA256s or Active Directory identities allowing organizations to restrict device access for maximum efficiency.

Cortex XDR by Palo Alto

Cortex XDR is the first detection and response platform to natively integrate endpoint, cloud and network data to counter sophisticated attacks. It combines precise attack detection with behavioral analytics and exposes root causes quickly for faster investigations. Cortex also allows organizations to accelerate containment with enforcement points and automated responses for increased speed of containment.

Cortex security products differ from signature-based security products in that it doesn’t rely on maintaining an ever-growing list of known malware by intercepting attacks at their first point of execution via analysis of file characteristics and behavior analysis. This way, attacks are prevented before running and less reliance is placed on heuristics for protection thereby improving accuracy of protection.

Cortex XDR features detection capabilities such as a heuristic analysis engine, pattern matching rules, and statistical machine learning models derived from WildFire threat intelligence. Furthermore, it provides endpoint protection from malware, fileless attacks and ransomware by inspecting any downloaded files with its analysis engine equipped with artificial intelligence capabilities. Furthermore, it monitors USB access on endpoints to limit read/write access based on endpoint type/vendor and Active Directory identities allowing organizations to limit device use accordingly.

Benefits of Cortex XDR

Cortex XDR makes threat detection and response faster by automatically grouping alerts into incidents, eliminating alert fatigue for security teams while giving them enough time to focus on the most urgent threats first. Furthermore, organizations can investigate threats more efficiently without needing multiple different tools for investigation and root cause determination.

Cortex uses behavioral analytics to detect threats, uncovering suspicious activity and uncovering adversaries who posing as legitimate users. Furthermore, it combines data from your network, endpoints and cloud to effectively thwart advanced attacks while being capable of recognizing grayware, quarantining malware, restricting execution on endpoints as well as graylisting threats – saving both you and your users from danger.

Firewall logs and alerts from Okta, PingOne, Azure, AWS, Office 365 and other third-party tools such as Okta PingOne Azure AWS Office 365 as well as third-party tools can be easily imported via native APIs to enhance detection and threat visibility. WildFire threat intelligence service data can also be consumed for improved protection and analysis; additionally it supports local agent deployment for air-gapped environments as well as kernel exploit detection to minimize zero-day attacks or supply chain compromises.

How Does Cortex XDR works?

Cortex XDR protects networks by intercepting attacks before they gain a foothold in your network. Utilizing machine learning and threat intelligence from WildFire, it detects malicious files, malware, and other threats at the endpoint and prevents malware propagation across both local files and cloud storage.

Playbook-driven automation enables analysts to prioritize and investigate incidents quickly from one dashboard view, helping teams collaborate effectively in incident response. Third-party testing was excellent as was analyst validation; its unrivaled attack technique coverage earned it the “Strategic Leader” award from AV-Comparatives.

Advanced security architecture of Cortex Data Lake allows it to reduce alert overload by consolidating logs from various sources into one centralized repository and stitching them together, giving analysts more visibility into related incidents through dashboard reports. As a result, analysts see fewer alerts that need their attention; making security operations centers more efficient. If any alert falls into Malware, Port Scan or Cloud Cryptomining categories then an investigation playbook will automatically start as well as being handled accordingly.

Cortex XDR Architecture

Cortex XDR uses existing Palo Alto Networks devices as sensors to collect log and telemetry data, with the number of sensors depending on your license type.

Cortex XDR platform comprises an endpoint agent, the management console and data lake. The agent collects telemetry and logs from endpoints, networks and clouds while correlating these events with threat intelligence to detect attacks.

When an unknown executable file attempts to run, the agent first uses hash verdict lookup to determine whether there already exists a verdict against it. If such verdict exists, they use that information to assess if the file contains malware.

The agent performs local analysis of files by examining multiple features and attributes, using statistical models from WildFire Threat Intelligence for machine learning-based machine learning analysis. Once a verdict is determined, it’s used by the agent to block or quarantine them on endpoint and push an alert notification directly to management console.

Versions of Palo Alto’s Cortex XDR security

Cortex XDR integrates seamlessly with existing security tools and logs to provide a clear picture of an attack, helping you respond more rapidly to known threats while simultaneously identifying attack surfaces to reduce new attacks.

With machine learning powering its analysis, this solution scours file, network and cloud data to detect threats and malware in real-time, helping security teams integrate network, endpoint and third-party systems to block sophisticated attacks across all environments. Furthermore, behavioral analysis detects new threats quickly so investigations can move along more swiftly while alert fatigue is eliminated by consolidating individual alerts into incidents allowing teams to quickly verify any threats presented quickly with clear pictures of an attack.

SOC teams can use one dashboard to kill processes, isolate endpoints, execute scripts or block files in order to contain threats. Furthermore, the platform combines local analysis with WildFire threat intelligence into one actionable report so analysts can quickly ascertain an attacker’s origin, behavior and intent. Finally, using its proprietary XQL query language – SOC analysts can search events in Cortex data lake in order to create reports or even build custom widgets.

1. Cortex XDR Prevent

Cortex XDR Prevent is designed to keep ransomware, malware and other threats off an endpoint or network by using predictive analytics to quickly discover sophisticated attacks and establish root cause. By eliminating alert overload and providing rapid responses when needed, it allows security teams to focus on high-value investigations more efficiently.

Palo Alto’s WildFire malware prevention service leverages threat intelligence from over 10,000 subscribers to its WildFire malware prevention service to detect and block malicious code before it executes, helping stop ransomware, exploits, botnets, zero days and other advanced threats from spreading.

Cortex XDR leverages machine learning to analyze endpoint, network and cloud data simultaneously and detect signs of cyber attacks. With an easy deployment and use experience that comes complete with an intuitive graphical user interface.

Cortex XDR helps organizations avoid costly downtime caused by malicious attacks like zero days and ransomware. Furthermore, it secures unpatched applications while mitigating shadow IT risk to reduce business disruptions. Cortex XDR can even be integrated with other SOAR tools for quicker incident response.

2. Cortex XDR Pro

Cortex XDR Pro is an extended detection and response system designed to monitor security threats across cloud, network and endpoint devices. It combines signal and log data for incident prevention, detection, analysis and response into one tool; prioritizing alert triage so teams can respond swiftly when faced with cyber attacks.

Advanced Threat Detection from this platform combines machine learning and behavioral analytics to detect sophisticated attacks and quickly pinpoint their sources, while its root-cause analysis speeds up investigations and facilitates faster investigations. Furthermore, eXtended Threat Hunting allows it to detect stealthy identity threats.

Cortex XDR’s automated breach protection stops attacks at every stage in their lifecycle – such as lateral movement, scanning, data exfiltration and fileless attacks. Furthermore, it blocks malware, ransomware, phishing attacks and exploitation attempts.

This platform enables you to utilize flexible search features to identify indicators of compromise (IOCs), including signatures, hashes and addresses that indicate compromise. Furthermore, you can define automation playbooks for incident response that automate responses against low-level threats in order to significantly shorten response times.

Palo Alto Networks Cortex XDR (formerly Traps) is an endpoint security solution that protects from malware and attacks while simultaneously enabling Security Operations Center teams to identify root cause threats to optimize triage and incident response while continuously adapting defenses in real time.

This software aggregates information across networks, clouds and endpoints in order to detect attacks and thwart insider threat activity as well as accelerate investigations by quickly pinpointing alerts’ sources.

Advanced platform components of Cortex XDR

The platform incorporates key capabilities designed to protect endpoints, prevent attacks and enable rapid response times. These include:

Cortex XDR allows security analysts to centrally view all alerts and their artifacts related to an attack in one place, providing an overview of its timeline as well as helping pinpoint its root cause to speed investigations.

Additionally, it reduces alert fatigue by reducing the number of individual alerts to be reviewed. It integrates with third-party tools to provide a complete picture of an incident and speed up investigation processes.

The University offers Cortex XDR PREVENT to faculty, staff and students as personal device protection from Palo Alto Networks to prevent infections on personal devices. Cortex XDR Pro also allows accelerated detection and response on endpoints, networks and cloud resources for rapid detection and response times.

1. Analytics engine

Cortex XDR’s analytics engine detects post-intrusion activity on endpoints by analyzing traffic logs from external firewall vendors. This information is then cross-correlated with event logs streamed directly into Cortex XDR and alerts are generated when anomalous behavior is observed.

Cortex XDR allows you to efficiently monitor and manage security incidents across your network with complete visibility from endpoints, networks, identities and cloud sources. This reduces alert overload in the security operations center as well as enabling more streamlined investigations and threat hunting processes.

Cortex XDR’s behavioral analytics quickly identify threats with behavioral analytics and reveal their causes to streamline investigations and expedite containment efforts. The unified platform delivers laser-accurate detection with scalable performance for you to stop sophisticated attacks quickly. Furthermore, its single user interface enables investigation, triaging alerts, remediation actions or deployment automation/orchestration.

2. Prisma Access and GlobalProtect

Cortex XDR integrates seamlessly with Palo Alto Networks Prisma Access next-generation firewalls and GlobalProtect endpoint protection services, extending firewall security policies to remote locations as well as devices such as smartphones, tablets and IoT. Utilizing AI/behavioral analysis capabilities it detects malicious activities such as data transfers, processes or malware downloads utilizing a sophisticated analysis engine.

The analytics engine utilizes data from endpoints, network, identity management systems and public clouds to detect threats and enhance your security posture. It helps reduce alert overload for analysts by stitching logs from different sources into one log file while simultaneously identifying any irregular activity found within system and event logs.

Cortex XDR integrates with Palo Alto Networks WildFire malware prevention service and device control for additional layers of protection. You can manage these features via its user-interface console.

3. Cortex XDR agents

Cortex XDR (formerly Traps) is an advanced threat intelligence platform that integrates network, endpoint, third-party and cloud data to streamline investigations and prevent cyber attacks. This solution excels in MITRE ATT&CK evaluations while giving security operations teams visibility into all attack surfaces.

Cortex XDR agents allow users to define policies that provide protection and prevention actions for specific platforms, including Exploit, Malware, Restrictions, and Agent Settings profiles.

Policy exceptions and alert exclusion rules are easily created using this system, while your policies can also be exported for use on other systems – exporting your policy includes its associated Policy Targets, Global Exceptions and endpoint groups. To export it click “Export Policy.”

4. External firewalls and alerts

Cortex XDR integrates with external firewalls to collect and transfer data, then combine this information with local Cortex XDR analysis – helping detect attacks that would otherwise go undetected.

Protect against malware and other threats with patented behavioral analytics that continuously profiles endpoint, network and user behaviour. Stop stealthy attacks using advanced detection and response capabilities such as AI, machine learning and custom detection rules to stop them. Simplify threat investigations with the game-changing unified incident engine which intelligently groups related alerts together into incidents.

Log stitching helps eliminate confusion about an attack timeline by correlating firewall network logs with Cortex XDR raw detection sensor data, giving an accurate depiction of what events led up to each event, including threat root cause analysis. This can increase analyst productivity while simultaneously decreasing alert fatigue.

Sam is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.