According to analyst firm Gartner, Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is “a SaaS-based, vendor-specific, security threat detection and incident response tool that natively integrates multiple security products into a cohesive security operations system that unifies all licensed components.”

XDR enables an enterprise to go beyond typical detective controls by providing a holistic and yet simpler view of threats across the entire technology landscape. XDR delivers real-time information needed to deliver threats to business operations for better, faster outcomes.

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) primary advantages are:

  • Improved protection, detection, and response capabilities
  • Improved productivity of operational security personnel
  • Lower total cost of ownership for effective detection and response of security threats

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) holds the promise of consolidating multiple products into a cohesive, unified security incident detection and response platform. XDR is a logical evolution of endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions into a primary incident response tool.

Why enterprises need XDR security

SOCs need a platform that intelligently brings together all relevant security data and reveals advanced adversaries. As adversaries use more complex tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) to successfully circumvent and exploit traditional security controls, organizations are scrambling to secure increasing numbers of vulnerable digital assets both inside and outside the traditional network perimeter. Security teams have been historically stretched for years, and with recent work-from-home requirements the strain on resources has been amplified – security professionals are being once again required to do more with the same or fewer resources, and with strict budget constraints. Enterprises need unified and proactive security measures to defend the entire landscape of technology assets, spanning legacy endpoints, mobile, and cloud workloads without overburdening staff and in-house management resources.

With bad actors including “lone wolf” attackers, hacking groups, nation states and even potentially malicious insiders constantly circling, enterprise security and risk managers are left to overcome too many disconnected security tools and data sets from too many vendors. Security staff struggle with a sea of data that results in alert overload, with too many false positives and little integration of data with analysis tools or incident response, and all under historic levels of operational stress.

Enterprise security and risk management leaders should consider the security advantages and productivity value of an XDR solution.

How does XDR work?

The primary value propositions of XDR products include improving security operations productivity and enhancing detection and response capabilities by including more security components into a unified whole that offers multiple streams of telemetry. XDR can also analyze TTPs and other threat vectors to make complex security operations capabilities more accessible to security teams that do not have the resources for more custom-made point solutions.

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) security provides advanced threat detection and response capabilities including:

  • Detection and response to targeted attacks
  • Native support for behavior analysis of users and technology assets
  • Threat intelligence including shared local threat intelligence coupled with externally-acquired threat intelligence sources
  • Reducing the need to chase false positives by correlating and confirming alerts automatically
  • Integrating relevant data for faster, more accurate incident triage
  • Centralized configuration and hardening capability with weighted guidance to help prioritize activities
  • Comprehensive analytics

What are the benefits of XDR?

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) products add value by consolidating multiple security products into a cohesive, unified security incident detection and response platform. XDR is an efficient evolution of endpoint detection and response (EDR) platforms into a primary incident response tool. Detecting today’s advanced threats requires more than a collection of point solutions. XDR can optimize response with advanced context.

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) security provides advanced threat detection and response capabilities including:

  • Converting a large stream of alerts into a much smaller number of incidents that can be focused on for manual investigation
  • Providing integrated incident response options that have necessary context from all security components to resolve alerts quickly
  • Providing response options that go beyond infrastructure control points, including network and endpoints
  • Providing automation capabilities for repetitive tasks
  • Reducing training and up-leveling Tier 1 support by providing a common management and workflow experience across security components
  • Providing usable and high-quality detection content with little-to-no tuning required

While enterprises may initially use XDR to protect end users, the applications and data they access, they will also benefit from additional extended values of XDR:

  • Detection
    Identify more threats by combining endpoint telemetry with a growing list of security controls within the McAfee portfolio as well as third-party security events collected and analyzed by security information and analytic platforms.
  • Investigation
    Human-machine teaming correlates all relevant threat information and applies situational security context to more quickly reduce signal from noise and assist with the identification of root cause.
  • Recommendations
    Provide analysts with prescriptive recommendations to further an investigation through additional queries as well as offer relevant response actions that would most effectively improve the containment or remediation of a detected risk or threat.
  • Hunting
    Provide a common query capability across a data repository containing multi-vendor sensor telemetry in search of suspicious threat behaviors, allowing threat hunters to locate and take action based on recommendations.

A comprehensive XDR platform requires a vendor that can deliver a product portfolio with breadth, depth, and market maturity to seamlessly and meaningfully interconnect and correlate detections across multiple alerts.

McAfee XDR

McAfee XDR solution advantages

Only McAfee provides the ability to combine world-class threat intelligence and adversarial research, high-fidelity endpoint telemetry, comprehensive device-to-cloud data protection and risk posture assessment, unified policy and reporting, vendor-agnostic event collection and correlation, and AI-guided investigation to reduce triage and remediation efforts. McAfee XDR solution advantages:

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) can improve the productivity of security personnel by:

  • AI and Expert System Security Analytics
  • Detections at the endpoint, sandbox, network, Internet perimeter/edge/gateway, and cloud in a single interface 
  • Combine threat and detection data from your environment with MVISION Insights for richer, more meaningful alerts
  • More context leading to faster detection and higher fidelity alerts

Simpler is better when improving visibility

McAfee XDR helps the SOC respond faster and more accurately to detect and respond to threats while reducing the complexity of security configuration and requiring fewer resources:

  • ONE source of prioritized alerts based on an expert alert schema to interpret data in a standard and meaningful way
  • ONE consolidated view to uncover events and the attack path across security layers
  • ONE source for AI-guided investigations to rapidly narrow scope, understand the impact, identify the path to resolution and take action

Reduced Time to Detect Threats

McAfee XDR collapses the time it takes to detect, contain, and respond to threats, minimizing the severity and scope of impact.

Proactive Threat Management

With McAfee XDR, security personnel automatically receive prioritized threats with drastically reduced false positives and other “noise”.  McAfee XDR provides a predictive assessment of your current security posture and can both defend your environment and tune your countermeasures before an attack.

Minimize Alert Noise and Fatigue

McAfee XDR prioritizes your view of threats across the entire organization by correlating threats and adding expert threat intelligence. Artificial intelligence and Big Data analytics provide security personnel with fewer, more meaningful, and richer alerts prioritized by severity.

Optimized Detection and Response Cycles

By automatically correlating threat data from multiple sources and leveraging guided investigations, McAfee XDR speeds up and removes the manual steps involved in investigations and enables analysis that was previously difficult and tedious – and which wasted valuable time to resolution.

Clear, Concise and Contextual View of Threats

By viewing more contextual alerts across more threat vectors, events that seem benign on their own suddenly become meaningful IOCs. This allows you to connect more dots into a single view, enable more insightful investigations, and gives you the ability to detect threats earlier.