Accuracy in cybersecurity solutions depends heavily on quality and breadth of threat intelligence. Even top tools may produce too many false positives that overwhelm security teams and cause alert fatigue.

While EDR and MDR solutions focus on endpoints, networks, email accounts and emails respectively, XDR expands upon this model by correlating security telemetry from multiple environments into a unified solution to reduce time to detection and response for more precise threat mitigation.

Understanding EDR and XDR

As cybersecurity threats expand in size and scope, so too does the demand for comprehensive threat detection and response capabilities. Merely responding to threats doesn’t suffice – in order to prevent attacks in the first place organizations must deploy technology that constantly monitors their environment and alerts teams whenever suspicious activity is identified.

Most EDR solutions tend to focus on endpoint detection, but this approach is insufficient given today’s threatscape. Attackers now traverse networks, use cloud services for infiltration purposes and exploit remote work arrangements in order to gain entry and steal valuable data – EDR isn’t capable of providing sufficient visibility or detection due to time, bandwidth or skilled workforce requirements – it also cannot scale with these threats effectively.

XDR was developed to fill these gaps by leveraging non-endpoint telemetry with threat intelligence from EDR solutions to create more comprehensive visibility, detection, and response capabilities for teams. By doing this, multiple point products become obsolete while teams can stop attackers before they reach endpoints with one integrated solution that leverages both detection power of EDR solutions as well as security integration of MDR for total endpoint protection.

What Is Extended Detection and Response?

An XDR platform offers full visibility and integration with all of your cybersecurity tools to identify, prioritize, hunt, and resolve threats to prevent data loss or security breaches. In comparison to EDR solutions that focus on endpoint security (computers, smartphones and mobile devices) to detect malware infections, an XDR solution takes a more comprehensive approach by tracking threats across email accounts, endpoints, servers, cloud workloads and networks.

Forrester notes that an effective XDR solution exceeds traditional SIEM by offering native, relevant, actionable, and curated security telemetry to reduce noise and provide high-fidelity detections. Furthermore, such solutions feature advanced capabilities like forensic analytics and threat hunting that automatically pinpoint the root cause of threats so analysts can take immediate actions against them.

An XDR platform can bring many advantages to businesses with complex IT environments. It can eliminate time spent switching between security tools, correlating alerts and reducing false positives; and help free up overburdened cybersecurity staff so they can focus more strategically on more strategic tasks.

How Do EDR and XDR Work?

EDR solutions provide visibility and prevention of specific endpoints within a network, using behavior-based detection engines and threat intelligence to detect advanced threats and malware. Furthermore, these solutions have automated response capabilities which isolate infected endpoints quickly so as to remove or destroy them safely.

But due to their narrow focus, EDR solutions often generate many alerts that are difficult to correlate with activity happening elsewhere on a network or cloud server, or with possible attack vectors. This can leave security teams suffering from alert fatigue while decreasing productivity and effectiveness when fighting cyber attacks.

XDR provides comprehensive visibility and threat protection across an entire IT infrastructure, using a central platform. It collects data from multiple sources–endpoint, network and third-party platforms as well as internal systems–using UEBA to detect anomalous patterns before collating this information and running analysis to detect unknown threats, reduce mean time to detection (MTTD), automate response actions like blocking external IP addresses or isolating an infected endpoint from further network usage.

XDR and EDR Features

XDR solutions not only detect and respond to threats, but they also offer greater insight into threat behavior across a broad attack surface. This can significantly decrease time needed to detect an attack while attenuating its impact and scope through providing context and visibility required for swiftly taking corrective actions.

XDR solutions employ artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to detect threats based on their characteristics, including file analysis, device activity and behavioral anomalies. Furthermore, these centralized alert views from various security tools including SIEM technologies and endpoint protection tools help streamline investigation and response by eliminating the need to manually manage multiple alerts from different security tools.

XDR solutions can also integrate seamlessly with other security products through API-connected ecosystem integrations and automated threat response capabilities, increasing visibility, speeding operations up, and lowering total costs of ownership of cybersecurity stacks. However, before purchasing one it’s essential to understand all its features first.

Comparing EDR and XDR Capabilities

As organizations expand their use of remote work, more endpoints have emerged for cyberattacks to penetrate. Traditional antivirus alone no longer suffices in protecting against sophisticated threats.

EDR solutions often rely on endpoint telemetry alone to detect anomalous behavior, yet this data often lacks context from other sources such as networks and clouds, leading to an alarm overload which aggravates alert fatigue while decreasing team effectiveness.

XDR collects and analyses data across your entire security infrastructure. It combines network telemetry, cloud applications/devices monitoring data, identity data, and identity protection into one centralized solution that gives greater visibility and detection capabilities.

XDR integrates threat detection, response, and remediation into one seamless solution for faster investigations and enhanced security operations. This leads to increased productivity, lower security costs, and decreased risks in your Organization.

Is XDR better than EDR?

Many cybersecurity professionals view XDR as the go-to solution for end-to-end threat detection, but implementing and managing such solutions requires time and resources that SOCs may lack.

Security teams today struggle with managing the overload of alerts generated from disconnected tools and data sets from different vendors, which often results in alert overload, false positives and slow response times.

XDR solves these challenges by consolidating data and alerts from various solutions into a single platform, streamlining alerts for easier interpretation, while decreasing interface usage for response purposes – improving productivity while helping organizations meet or surpass their mean-time-to-detect (MTTD) and mean-time-to-respond (MTTR) goals.

XDR can also provide more effective responses by tracking and reconstructing attack paths, providing security teams with greater insight into their IT environment, while decreasing false positives for faster remediation of threats with confidence. Furthermore, its detection capabilities go well beyond endpoints to include user personas, cloud environments, IoT devices and other aspects of business networks.

Why Do Organizations Need XDR?

Under limited security resources, XDR can help organizations enhance their threat detection and response capabilities, reduce point solutions costs and enhance visibility across their entire infrastructure.

XDR can provide security analysts with intelligence that helps identify how attackers breached security systems, pinpoint files impacted by attacks and identify vulnerabilities exploited – thus helping them effectively protect against future attacks.

XDR can also aid investigation processes by consolidating multiple alerts into one view, helping reduce noise, eliminate false positives and speed up investigations. Furthermore, its automated implementation of built-in policies may streamline remediation processes further.

When selecting an XDR solution, it is critical to evaluate its scope of coverage. Look for solutions that cover all your endpoints (including BYOD devices), networks and cloud resources as well as third-party integrations that provide additional coverage against potential attack surfaces.

XDR vs EDR – Benefits

XDR not only improves threat detection and response but also simplifies cybersecurity operations by helping organizations eliminate siloed security solutions with one comprehensive platform to manage endpoint, network, and cloud environments from.

EDR’s limited scope and reliance on endpoint telemetry limit the amount of data available for analysis, leading to multiple alerts being generated due to anomalous activity on an endpoint that are hard to correlate, creating alert fatigue for teams as well as lack of visibility into cybersecurity environments.

Contrast this with XDR, which relies on API-connected ecosystem integrations to build and execute playbooks that automatically take action against 3rd-party security tools. This approach can be particularly effective for more mature security operations teams using Security Orchestration and Automated Response (SOAR) platforms to orchestrate multi-stage threat orchestrations. Furthermore, fully managed XDR solutions also support advanced threat hunting by providing teams with one view across different sources that allows them to analyze threats more thoroughly; improving accuracy, reliability and incident response time as well as providing in-depth forensics capabilities for incident response times as well as providing in-depth forensics capabilities and analytics capabilities.

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.