What is XDR (Extended Detection and Response)?

What is XDR Extended Detection and Response
Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is a security concept for extended detection and defense against security threats across the entire IT infrastructure of an enterprise. In contrast to Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), XDR not only focuses on endpoints but also integrates servers, networks, applications, and cloud services into threat detection and defense.

What is XDR (Extended Detection and Response)?

Extended Detection and Response, abbreviated XDR, is still a fairly new security concept. The term was coined in 2018 by the US company Palo Alto Networks and Gartner analysts, among others. In the meantime, several products exist that implement this security concept. It is a conceptual and technical approach from the security environment that enables the detection and defense against security threats across the entire IT infrastructure of a company.

Unlike predecessor concepts such as EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response), XDR not only focuses on threat detection and defense at endpoints but also integrates all IT layers, applications, and devices such as servers, networks, applications, and cloud services into a uniform, transparent security management.

The security of the IT infrastructure is no longer viewed only in sub-areas, but holistically. The system collects, correlates, and analyzes data from the individual components and uses the information obtained for automated or manual threat prevention measures. XDR is not a purely reactive concept, but can also take proactive action. Security dashboards are provided to security personnel for a quick overview of the security and threat situation.

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The goal of Extended Detection and Response is to ensure a high level of security for the IT infrastructure and prevent damage from data breaches, data loss, and other cyber threats.

Systems and components involved in Extended Detection and Response

XDR doesn’t just focus on endpoint security. It takes into account an organization’s entire IT infrastructure. This includes:

  • Virtual and physical servers
  • Networks and network components such as routers and switches
  • Applications such as email, ERP applications, databases, etc.
  • Cloud services and cloud workloads such as computing, storage, software, platforms, and services

Differentiation between XDR and EDR

Extended Detection and Response can be viewed as an extension of the EDR concept. EDR stands for Endpoint Detection and Response and focuses on the security of endpoints such as PCs or laptops. Unlike simple antivirus solutions, EDR is able to record and analyze endpoint behavior.

Endpoint cybersecurity attacks and malware can be detected with EDR based on suspicious behavior. Instead of looking for malware and virus signatures, Endpoint Detection and Response identifies threats based on endpoint behavior and then defends against them. XDR goes a step further by including all systems, components, and layers in the analysis and threat mitigation.

Like EDR, Extended Detection and Response leverages machine learning and AI techniques for threat analysis and automated threat response.

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Benefits of Extended Detection and Response

By including all systems, components, and layers of the IT infrastructure, XDR increases the visibility and context of potential cybersecurity threats. The view is not limited to sub-areas and a comprehensive picture of the security situation emerges. Events can be correlated in order to respond more quickly with prioritized measures.

The holistic view also improves the ability to respond proactively and automatically. Those responsible for IT security work more efficiently and in a more targeted manner. Security management is centralized and thus more productive.