The prevalence of cyberattacks shows no sign of slowing down as we begin 2023. In fact, several reasons indicate the number of global cyberattacks will increase in the coming year. Among them are:
- The emergence of malware-as-a-service allows cybercriminals with limited skills to launch sophisticated attacks;
- Geopolitical conflict increasing the number of state-sponsored and politically motivated attacks;
- Targeting of smaller organizations by cybercriminals to take advantage of security vulnerabilities;
- An increase in hacktivism where attacks are perpetrated in an attempt to promote a political or social cause;
- A rapidly expanding attack surface driven by the proliferation of IoT devices and a mobile workforce.
The threat landscape is evolving faster than it is possible to implement new controls to address emerging risks. Traditional security solutions cannot keep up or offer sufficient protection. They concentrate on using access controls to block malicious actors. Detection and response are required in addition to traditional controls to protect a computing environment.
Extended detection and response (XDR) is a new way of addressing security threats that put an organization’s valuable data resources at risk. We will look at the limits of traditional security solutions, the benefits of XDR, and how XDR improves threat detection and response.
Limitations of Traditional Cybersecurity Solutions
Traditional cybersecurity solutions can no longer handle the volume and diversity of cyberattacks. Legacy managed security services (MSSP) tools are plagued by multiple limitations that reduce their effectiveness against cybercriminals employing bleeding-edge techniques to launch their attacks.
Following are some of the most notable limitations of traditional, on-premises cybersecurity solutions.
- Traditional, rule-based cybersecurity solutions are not agile enough to address emerging threats.
- Legacy cybersecurity solutions do not provide the required level of visibility into cloud and distributed computing environments.
- Legacy tools and services can be difficult to configure and update efficiently, potentially missing security vulnerabilities.
- Legacy tools can be expensive as they require hardware, software, and a skilled technical security team.
The lack of visibility and agility of traditional tools hinders security operations and reduces an organization’s ability to detect threats that put its infrastructure at risk. This inability to meet emerging threats has led to an increased interest in XDR solutions.
What is Extended Detection and Response?
Extended detection and response is an innovative technological, cloud-delivered solution to cybersecurity that optimizes detection, investigation, response, and threat hunting in real time. XDR consolidates and unifies endpoint detection and telemetry from a variety of security and business tools ranging from email endpoint detection and response (EDR) to identity and access management (IAM) solutions.
XDR is a cloud-native platform built specifically with the capabilities to handle big data and provide security teams with the flexibility and scalability they need to address emerging threats. Another characteristic of an XDR solution is the opportunity to automate tasks to improve efficiency and minimize response time.
Capabilities and characteristics of an XDR solution
An XDR solution should offer the following capabilities and characteristics.
- Integration with existing security tools is a crucial characteristic of XDR solutions. The goal is to consolidate a security stack into a tightly integrated solution leveraging telemetry from the entire IT infrastructure. This integration provides streamlined visibility of the environment to identify weak signals that need to be addressed for effective detection.
- Intelligent automation incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) is necessary to run predefined procedures. The solution also needs the capability to adapt to variable conditions and situations, determine risk, and automatically respond with the appropriate actions.
- Consolidation of large streams of alerts can be performed to furnish a prioritized and condensed list that can be efficiently investigated manually. In addition, missing alerts are reduced and alerts can be confirmed automatically.
- Analytics and advanced threat detection are obtained by viewing threat data holistically, performing multi-faceted analytics, and responding immediately.
- An extensible data layer is provided by an XDR solution by using lower-cost and more efficient methods to selectively store data useful for threat hunting and identifying trends. An XDR solution does not save excess information that may be required for regulatory compliance. Its focus is on collecting and storing data needed for threat detection.
- Integrated response options allow for quick resolution by providing the necessary information from all security components.
- Deployment flexibility is a key to remaining agile and addressing the needs of organizations with multi-cloud environments and changing business requirements. The XDR solution should be capable of being deployed across all of a company’s computing landscape.
- Ease of Deployment is also important so organizations can quickly get the solution up and running to protect their environment.
A comparison between XDR and security information and event management (SIEM) provides further clarification of the XDR approach.
SIEM is a security solution that is designed to analyze and search aggregated log data. Log analysis can identify threats before they disrupt an organization’s operations or business, but threat detection is not its primary purpose. Several significant differences exist between XDR and SIEM.
- SIEM stores everything to address its focus on compliance while XDR concentrates on only retaining what is necessary for threat detection.
- SIEMs often need to be integrated with additional tools to provide detection capability.
- XDR is primarily delivered as a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution freeing the customer from upgrades. The XDR provider is responsible for curating the solution’s detection capabilities.
- XDR solutions are built with native big data capability that enhances their ability to perform threat hunting queries on large data lakes while controlling costs. XDR’s concentration on only saving data for threat detection minimizes the problem of handling and efficiently analyzing large volumes of data.
Benefits of an XDR solution
Benefits organizations can expect from implementing an XDR solution include:
- Enhanced and faster threat detection and automated response;
- Improved visibility and elimination of infrastructure blind spots;
- Centralization and elimination of security silos;
- Integration of key components for enhanced functionality;
- Improved analysis that allows threats to be prioritized.
A major benefit of XDR solutions is their ability to detect advanced persistent threats (APTs) from multiple weak signals. This enables XDR to identify threat actors who would remain undetected by traditional SIEM tools. Samurai employs a technique called “Boost scoring” to identify threats that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to detect.
How Does XDR Address the Limitations of Traditional Security Solutions?
XDR solutions address the limitations of traditional security solutions in multiple ways that include:
- Enhanced visibility into cloud, endpoint, and network data resources;
- Analytics with machine learning augmented by data curation and continuous updating of detection capabilities performed by a team of experts;
- Automated threat response with a reduction in false positives that needlessly expend resources;
- Workflow simplification with more selective and efficient alerts that reduce response time and lead to more effective responses.
Samurai’s XDR Solution
Samurai XDR is a comprehensive XDR solution that offers customers a modern approach to threat detection and response that improves their ability to keep valuable data secure. The XDR platform provides customers with advantages that include:
- Advanced threat intelligence produced by leveraging unique indicators of compromise to identify hidden risks;
- An API-driven architecture that is easy to scale and integrate with external applications and cloud resources;
- The ability to add custom rules to personalize automated security responses;
- Advanced machine learning technology that enables more efficient automation and enhanced threat analysis.
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