Cyberattacks have become more common, more advanced and more costly, which is driving the need for a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. Central to every security strategy is a detection and response capability which catches threats that have circumvented traditional security measures. Here we explore three main detection and response tools:
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is a cybersecurity solution that captures all endpoint activity and leverages advanced analytics to provide real-time visibility into the health of all endpoints; detect anomalous activity; alert the information security (Infosec) team to events; and provide remediation suggestions and capabilities to respond, stop an attack in progress or limit its spread.
Endpoint detection and response solutions have the following capabilities:
Managed detection and response (MDR) is endpoint security “as a servce.” This service manages endpoint security technologies for organizations which includes EDR. Service capabilities typically include: :
The main benefit of MDR is that it helps rapidly identify and limit the impact of threats without the need for additional staffing. This is especially important given the global shortage of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals and the related skills gap, particularly as it relates to protection of cloud-based systems and assets.
Extended detection and response (XDR) streamlines security data ingestion, analysis and workflows across an organization’s entire security stack, enhancing visibility around hidden and advanced security threats and unifying the response.
An XDR platform collects and correlates data from across the infrastructure so it can improve threat visibility across the enterprise, accelerate security operations and reduce risk. XDR analyzes, prioritizes and streamlines this data, so it can be delivered to security teams in a normalized format through a single, consolidated console.
XDR platforms typically offer the following capabilities:
Previous incarnations of threat detection solutions focus on one layer of the security architecture at a time. For example, EDR solutions monitor endpoints while network traffic analysis solutions are dedicated solely to network traffic. Data from these tools are rarely integrated or unified, which prevents the organization from having complete and accurate visibility across the enterprise.
Organizations that buy several individual security products to build a multilayered security architecture may inadvertently create a complex security stack that delivers many alerts without the proper context. As more tools become involved, conducting investigations becomes more difficult, which is one reason why the length of time required to identify a breach has increased in step with the adoption of the multilayered security model.
Further, relying on individual security tools often create silos and gaps within the security architecture. The more complicated the security silos, the greater the likelihood that a security gap will be created and go unnoticed until there’s a breach.
XDR addresses these issues and others commonly associated with a multilayered defense strategy. XDR coordinates and extends the value of siloed security tools, unifying and streamlining security analysis, investigation and remediation into one consolidated console. As a result, XDR dramatically improves threat visibility, accelerates security operations, reduces total cost of ownership (TCO) and eases the ever-present security staffing burden.
EDR is the baseline monitoring and threat detection tool for endpoints and the foundation for every cybersecurity strategy. This solution relies on software agents or sensors installed on endpoints to capture data, which it sends to a centralized repository for analysis.
MDR is essentially EDR purchased as a service. This service manages endpoint security and focuses on mitigating, eliminating and remediating threats with a dedicated, experienced security team.
XDR extends EDR capabilities to protect more than endpoints. The XDR solution “extends” across the infrastructure, streamlining security data ingestion, analysis and workflows across an organization’s entire security stack to enhance visibility around hidden and advanced threats, and to unify the response. When purchased as a managed solution, XDR will also provide access to experienced experts in threat hunting, threat intelligence and analytics.
|Capabilities||Monitors endpoints for threats that have circumvented antivirus solutions and other preventative techniques.||EDR “as a service.”|
Provides the same capabilities as EDR, plus 24/7 managed services to monitor, mitigate, eliminate and remediate threats.
|Full-spectrum, threat-centric security solution that integrates data from various existing security tools to improve visibility and reduce risk.|
|Components||Real-time endpoint monitoring|
Behavioral analysis (IOCs and IOAs)
Threat database and graphing
|EDR capabilities + 24/7 managed services including:|
Human threat hunting
Managed investigation services
Prioritization of threats and alerts
Central communication and coordination hub for managed service and in-house teams
|EDR capabilities +:|
Autonomous analysis, response and threat hunting
Automatic investigation and scoring
Actionable threat summaries
Advanced detection, incident response and threat hunting
|Methods, Tools and Technologies||Software-based EDR solution||Endpoint protection platform (EPP)|
Network analysis and visibility (NAV)
Identity and access management (IAM)
Cloud workload protection platform (CWPP)
Cloud access security broker (CASB)
Data loss prevention (DLP)
|Threat Visibility||Endpoints||Endpoints||All endpoints, users, network assets, cloud workloads, email, data and other assets|
EDR tools are a core component of every cybersecurity strategy and the foundation for all advanced cyber solutions and capabilities.
MDR combines the real-time monitoring and response capabilities of an EDR solution with highly skilled cybersecurity professionals to conduct proactive security actions such as threat hunting, threat intelligence and managed response.
The next frontier in threat-centric security prevention, XDR provides the highest level of protection through EDR and sound integration of tools and systems across the network architecture to eliminate silos and gaps that put the organization at risk.
Every organization’s needs are different. While security is imperative, it is important to select a security tool that provides the right level of coverage based on the risk profile of the business.
Choose EDR if your organization:
Choose MDR if your organization:
Choose XDR if your organization:
Hunting threats and responding to them once discovered, Polar Bear Cyber Security Group’s MDR provides a wide array of security services, including investigation, analysis, response and recovery of incidents through a detailed remediation plan. To mention the main benefit of MDR, it helps rapid identification of threats and limits the impact of threats.