While so many benefits are associated with the current digital era, it also exposes us to the great danger of potential harm via cyber insecurities. As such, it is crucial for security teams to unearth and solve every potential cyber security breach and attack. Some of the common cyber security measures regularly taken include inspection of all URLs embedded in blocked emails, review of all login requests, whether blocked or allowed and examination of all files hosted by blocked websites, among other measures.
Most organizations use a dozen or so security tools from varying vendors. These security solutions generate numerous alerts that require reviewing. Notably, the security tools operate in isolation, meaning that following through with signals requires hand-correlating measures between diverse management consoles. Such an operation can cause security leaders to slow down in response to attack alerts and conduct lesser investigations.
• Did You Know?
About 50% of security leaders state that one of the most significant challenges they face in cyber security is the complexity of their working environment. Further research shows that over 75% of organizations have disintegrated security architectures due to the use of various security products. It becomes tough to investigate security alerts in such organizations due to a high rate of digital footprint. There is generally insufficient time or human resources to explore every alert in a day.
What is XDR?
The Extended Detection and response (XDR) security tool is fast capturing the attention of many cybersecurity professionals. According to Garner, XDR is a security threat detection incident response tool that is Saas-based and vendor-specific. It traditionally integrates various security products into cohesive security operations unifying all licensed components.
While many security solutions are influential within their sphere, they cannot operate alone due to limited capabilities and scope. For instance, a firewall may be an effective security tool, but it can only offer little cover to traffic moving across a specific point in a network. The truth is that we are facing too sophisticated threats that require more control and visibility to span the entire network distribution.
XDR is the solution we need since it represents an innovative security paradigm in which unique security controls view, correlate, and share data in collaboration with other coordinated security platforms to detect and handle attacks. This security solution makes it possible to detect threats and deliver a coordinated response covering the entire attack base.
What are the Challenges of Delivering XDR
Many vendors choose XDR train over other security technologies because it enables different technologies to integrate and work as one integrated system in the detection of and response to cyber threats. Despite the great benefits of XDR solutions, they also face several challenges, including the following:
1). Many Vendors Underutilize XDR solutions
Many vendors only cover one or a few attack vendors – network, cloud, email, or endpoint. However, XDR can cover multiple solutions when collaborating with other vendors. In other words, the XDR solution depends on other vendors building their technology. It also means that your XDR solution scope can only be limited to just a portion of your organization’s attack surface.
2). It Is Not Easy To Deliver an Effective XDR Solution
It can be challenging for organizations offering complete security solutions suites to deliver effective XDR solutions. A company offering multiple products can lack the investment and resources necessary to integrate them effectively. It can get even more challenging when the components acquirement involves significant acquisitions. The requirements following large install bases can hinder substantial changes needed for integration.
XDR functions, in such cases, act as a thin overlay to compensate for the fact that there are significant limitations on the way these tools can function and that they don’t interoperate. These limitations can cause significant challenges to security teams.
3). Most Vendors Ignore Investigation and Validation
Most vendors focus more on extended response and detection but ignore investigation and validation. As a result, human security professionals get ahead of them, especially as security breaches continue to increase.
XDR solution cannot be effective without deep integration, broad attack coverage, and a complete focus on detection, investigation, and response.
What Are the Benefits of an Effective Solution?
There are three benefits that organizations can benefit from if they invest in an effective XDR solution: Expansive detection, proper analysis, and detailed response. Notably, an organization can only enjoy these benefits if it supports an appropriate solution.
1). Expansive Detection
An effective XDR solution should successfully collect data from the entire organization before correlating and analyzing it. It should also reduce vast amounts of raw data into lesser high-fidelity details on potential incidents.
It is far easier to find an active threat when you have threat telemetry in most attack vectors. While it is essential to collect data, it only covers 50% of the process. When examining any XDR solution, it is equally important to look carefully at the analytics used in detecting the incidents.
2). Expansive Analysis
Once you detect a potential threat, you should arrange for an investigation. An appropriate XDR solution offers the analysis your organization needs and answers essential questions: Is this a false or real threat? Could the danger be an indication of a more significant threat to come? What is the scope of the danger?
Most of the cyber attacks today are multi-staged, with most of the components disappearing after they serve their purpose. As such, you should be careful even when you don’t see indicators that previously triggered an alert. Ensure you thoroughly investigate and take all the necessary precautions before declaring the organization free of threat.
Many XDR solutions rely on a human security team to investigate a threat. Unfortunately, most of these human securities are underequipped and not well-prepared to hunt down all the potential incidents. We cannot ignore the large volumes of alerts and resource limitations caused by the high cyber security skills gap.
A well-trained and experienced security analyst looks at the potential incident, determines how best to investigate and verify it, and decides on the best response steps to remediate and return to safe operations. Comprehensive analysis requires enough time, a resource that most organizations lack.
The good news is that some XDR solutions are augmented with AI (Artificial intelligence) trained to investigate alerts robotically. The AI system establishes the context of a potential attack, conducts an extensive analysis, determines its nature and range, and provides essential information to speed up response and investigation.
3). Detailed Response
A proper XDR solution should provide an adequate response to quickly control and mitigate an incident. This calls for the marshalling of as many resources as possible to conduct an effective, coordinated response in line with the full scope of the incident.
An effective XDR solution should further offer pre-defined responses that can be repeated in other threat scenarios. It also provides solutions that can be used at the step of a security bridge. Ultimately, a detailed response makes it easy to close gaps in a security framework that caused a network threat.
What Questions Should You Ask Yourself When Choosing an XDR Solution?
We can all agree that XDR plays a vital role when enhancing an organization’s ability to detect, examine and respond to threats. However, just like with other technologies trickling into the market, there is a lot of competition and hype. As such, you must be wise when purchasing your XDR solution since not all the solutions are identical.
The following questions can help you choose the best XDR solution.
• Will the XDR solution effectively improve the organization’s security posture?
It is crucial to make good purchasing decisions for an effective solution. Ensure you fully understand the capabilities of the XDR solution, including what it can do and what it cannot do.
• How much will the XDR solution reduce our overhead?
The best way to answer the question is by mapping the requirements and functions of the solution to the resources and technologies you have set.
• Will the solution support network innovation in the future?
It is crucial to determine if the XDR solution of your choice can support you as you expand technology, such as adding new cloud platforms, deploying new-edge devices, or extending the SD-WAN infrastructure.
Cybersecurity is a real challenge today. By investing in the right XDR solution though, companies can take their security measures to the next level. If you’ve got any queries, please feel free to reach out to us!