Extended detection and response (XDR) is rapidly emerging as an essential tool in the fight against cyberthreats. In essence, it represents the culmination of a trend in the security industry that has been ongoing for several years, in response to the growing sophistication of threats dominating the landscape.

Knocking Down Silo Walls

A common theme in security is the need for multilayered, multi-vector security. This is because today’s most damaging threats often exploit vulnerabilities in multiple systems and vectors.

For example, some of the latest ransomware threats attack email systems, online applications, and backup systems in a complex, interconnected way that makes it difficult to detect when the security solutions protecting those systems are not communicating with one another.

The trend away from best-of-breed security strategies to single-vendor and platform-based security is another reflection of the need to integrate multiple sources of visibility and threat data into a unified system of detection and response to threats.

XDR takes this to the next level. An XDR solution integrates, correlates, and normalizes alerts and data coming from multiple security controls across multiple silos, much like a SIEM system. In addition, like a SOAR system, it automates responses to detected threats. All of this is powered by advanced analytics, machine-learning algorithms, and broad integration with many different types of security solutions.

Benefits of XDR

  • Comprehensive visibility: XDR provides a single console that collects and correlates data from multiple security layers to give a complete picture of the security environment.
  • Automated detection and response: XDR uses machine learning and analytics to detect and automate responses to cyberthreats, reducing the workload of security teams.
  • Streamlined security operations: By integrating with other security products, XDR streamlines security operations and enables organizations to respond quickly to threats.
  • Reduced risk: XDR minimizes the time it takes to detect and respond to threats, reducing the risk of successful attacks.

XDR Implementation

Organizations that already have a fully resourced security operations center (SOC) should have the capacity to integrate XDR into their operational structure with little trouble.

However, organizations that do not have a strong SOC in place will likely find that a SOC-as-a-service solution that includes XDR — such as Barracuda XDR, offered via managed service providers — will be more cost-effective and much easier to implement.

In this model, dedicated third-party security teams use XDR to integrate your existing security infrastructure, monitor activities, and respond to alerts when they occur. Ramp-up time is relatively quick, and it avoids the capital outlays required to build an XDR-powered SOC in-house from scratch.

Originally published on the Barracuda blog, by Tony Burgess, May 4, 2023