To understand what XDR (Extended Detection and Response) stands for in layman’s terms, one could perhaps use the analogy of defence systems trying to repel an attack from aliens in a kind of Star Wars scenario.
In the cybersecurity world where threats are more the rule than the exception, nothing could be more embarrassing than when these threats materialize. With experts grappling with incessant and multi-pronged attacks and multiple response/endpoint systems, it was time for a comprehensive threat detection and response system. XDR is that system.
It is a new approach to threats across multiple security layers – email, endpoint, server, cloud workload, and network. XDR targets faster detection of threats and improved investigation and response times through security analyses that use AI and big data tools.
Analyst firm Gartner calls it “a SaaS-based, vendor-specific, security threat detection and incident response tool that natively integrates multiple security products into a cohesive security operations system .” Conventional silos used to deliver detection solutions would be replaced by detections in a cloud-native platform built on big data that unifies endpoint detection systems.
The next level in detection
XDR is not entirely a new technology or out-of-the-box innovation. Rather it is a new approach combining old knowledge and systems into a more robust solution in what is now a changed world. It draws from the learnings on cloud-native Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Network Detection and Response (NDR) technologies, which are considered to have reached feature-maturity over the last decade. XDR integrates them and proceeds to combine big data cloud storage, analytics and machine learning capability to provide a more centralized and comprehensive approach to security.
XDR takes off from where EDR ends. Once the cornerstone of threat detection, its limitations lay in the fact that it could only detect and respond to threats within managed endpoints (like laptops), thereby severely restricting the effectiveness of the SOC (Service Operating Center).
XDR, its successor, goes further. It eliminates false positives, ensures detection and response adopting a multi-level approach, and extends the range of EDR using latest technologies to correlate threat possibilities. Going further it deploys analytics, automation and artificial intelligence to pinpoint attacks well before they occur, and then suggest ways to neutralize them.
The purpose of XDR
The primary goals of an XDR solution are to enhance detection accuracy and improve security operations efficiency and productivity.
According to Gartner the four primary functions of an XDR system are:
- Collection and integration of various security products
- Centralization and normalization of data in a central repository for analysis and query
- Improved detection sensitivity resulting from the contribution of multiple security products working in coordination with each other
- Correlated incident response capability that can change the state of individual security products as part of the recovery process
The ABC of XDR
XDR is perhaps the most comprehensive threat negotiation system yet. Unlike earlier systems, it uses an integrated approach, machine-based threat detection and analytics for both internal and external traffic to eliminate zero-day, signature-based and hitherto unknown attacks.
Some of the key benefits it confers: 
- A unified platform, it is easier to maintain and manage, and reduces the number of interfaces that security must access during a response. It allows response management to be done from a single interface.
- XDR offers pre-emptive investigation into security threats at the incipient stage, providing tools to assist SOCs determine the nature and severity of a threat. Threat identification and investigation are done by correlating alerts and data and examination of the root cause, with predictions as to next steps in the attack vector. It provides information on known attack methods, tools, sources, and strategies across multiple attack vectors.
- It provides effective responses for threat neutralization drawing from its robust data collection and analysis thus facilitating tracing of the attack path and location, and reconstruction of attacker actions. offers ways and means to counter them.
- XDR solutions are designed to be flexible to account for such needs as storage upscaling, historical access of past and routine threats, new and multiple threat handling and full visibility on-system, on-premises and on-cloud, enabling thereby quicker actions for threat negotiation.
XDR and your organization
Organisations are expected to experience change in a number of areas, when implementing XDR.  
- Silo working of threat and security tools is expected to be a thing of the past as XDR is a unified platform. XDR will provide visibility across multiple layers, endpoints, servers, cloud workspaces and networks.
- Automatic, upfront and in-advance detection of threats 24/7 making for greater SOC effectiveness
- Fewer, faster and automated alerts, cross-domain analyses and threat identification covering internal and external sources
- With greater threat visibility across all data, hassle-free detection and fewer alerts, threat analysts will have greater assurance and thereby greater amount of time to address more complex security threats and incidents
- Weeding out of disruptions with no downtime or impact on users
- Quick recovery from attacks by removal of malware and remediation on damaged files and registry keys
Is XDR here to stay?
XDR has arrived at the time when big data and Artificial Intelligence are prevalent in industries and organizations. It would not be out of place perhaps to consider it a kind of offshoot from these developments. It directs organizational data into a data pool for extended sweeping, hunting, and investigation across security layers. Its AI tools and built-in analytics are then applied to the data setting off fewer but more effective ‘context-rich alerts’, which can be acted upon swiftly.
With its high reliability, AI-driven approach, comprehensive set up for both threat identification and neutralization, incisive, qualitative, and timely ‘context-rich alerts’, XDR can be considered a powerful tool in the cybersecurity threat space.
Contact us or email firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about XDR solutions and services that we offer. We’ll help evaluate your cybersecurity needs and recommend the solutions and services that best fit your organization’s goals.
 Gartner | Gartner Top 9 Security and Risk Trends for 2020
 Hunters article | Link : https://www.hunters.ai/blog/five-key-insights-gartner-innovation-insight-for-xdr
 CYNET Article | Link : https://www.cynet.com/xdr-security/understanding-xdr-security-concepts-features-and-use-cases/
 Crowdstrike | Link : https://www.crowdstrike.com/cybersecurity-101/what-is-xdr/
 Cyberpedia : What is XDR? – Palo Alto Networks