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How XDR can benefit your organization

How XDR can benefit your organization

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Hwei Oh
05/10/2024
5 min read
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Organizations of all sizes face multiple cybersecurity challenges these days. Speaking recently at the Munich Security Conference, FBI director Christopher A. Wray said that the current threat environment is “more severe and more complex than ever before.”

Not only have hacking tools grown more sophisticated, but they’re also easier to obtain. Additionally, artificial intelligence and the use of deep fakes make threat actors more convincing when using social engineering tactics, as reported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Adding salt to the wound, a years-long cybersecurity personnel shortage means organizations have too few cybersecurity resources to call on. The cybersecurity labor shortage affects organizations of all sizes equally—larger organizations might have more personnel in general, but they also have a much larger attack surface to protect.

To combat these growing threats, the cybersecurity industry came up with increasingly sophisticated tools. Although each of these tools has generally improved an organization’s ability to defend itself, they inadvertently led to:

  • Increased costs.
  • Complexity due to handling multiple vendors (billing, contracts, additional departments).
  • Complexity due to handling many point solutions (small teams getting overwhelmed).
  • Potential conflicts between vendors and point solutions.

To resolve these issues, the industry developed XDR—extended detection and response—an advanced approach to cybersecurity that consolidates multiple vendors and solutions into one offering.

But is XDR for every organization? Let’s dive into when XDR is recommended.

Modern cybersecurity requires overcoming operational challenges

Twenty years ago, companies predominantly used in-house servers and monolithic ERM (enterprise resource management) systems. Smartphones weren’t as ubiquitous, nor was the extensive offering of cloud services and SaaS (software-as-a-service) offerings.

Today, on-prem infrastructure is a small fraction of a company’s overall architecture as cloud services have become much more crucial. As a result, internal IT environments are now extremely complex. Attack surfaces are larger, making threats more challenging to defend against.

To make matters worse, many organizations also suffer from Shadow IT—the use of an unauthorized cloud service or software that hasn’t been vetted by the company’s IT department. Shadow IT occurs often in companies with a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy where users can use personal devices for business emails and apps. Shadow IT is a relatively common issue given many organizations’ sprawling cloud environments.

To adapt to the new cybersecurity needs this new infrastructure required, companies had to invest in more and more point solutions, each specializing in its own cybersecurity niche, ultimately leading to:

  • Too many tools.
  • Excessive complexity.
  • Conflicts and lack of integration among tools.
  • Vendor confusion.

Despite the many sophisticated solutions, hackers were still finding ways to infiltrate networks through social engineering techniques—requiring additional tools to detect anomalous behavior.

Eventually, investing in cybersecurity became predominantly a game of understanding all the different acronyms belonging to the latest point solution. It also created a broader challenge of having too many tools to manage. And, since most companies had no overarching strategy, there was minimal integration of all those tools. This made it difficult to know what threats were in the environment as well as being able to respond to them because there were too many disparate platforms with which to work.  

Cybersecurity departments are usually small enough to begin with. Then add the talent shortages, and the implemented solutions are often barely optimized. The upshot is an expensive, complex vendor ecosystem that produces a weaker-than-expected security posture. Unfortunately, many leaders may not even be aware that these issues are problems and may consider their experience unavoidable.

So a new solution was required.

How XDR solves these operational issues

XDR is the latest evolution in cyber resiliency. It brings all the different point solutions together into a single, holistic offering, thus centralizing analytics in a vendor-agnostic way, meaning different vendors and tools could be managed through a single solution.

The cybersecurity tools we have access to are excellent (for the most part). We are now far better equipped to handle cyberthreats than ever before. It was the lack of cohesive integration intelligently managed by a competent team that resulted in problems, not the tools themselves.

XDR solves that. It brings the best of cybersecurity tools together under a single umbrella

Unlike siloed solutions, XDR aggregates data from an extensive list of sources such as:

  • EDR solutions
  • cloud platforms
  • network data
  • file logs
  • access logs
  • SIEMs
  • And more

It’s a natural evolution of EDR, which focuses only on the endpoint. XDR provides a single platform where you can analyze all the data from these multiple solutions and even correlate them. This gives you a greater understanding and environmental context of any alerts or indicators that point to a potential compromise. Beyond that, the XDR solution also lets you address threats directly, thus streamlining your response capabilities.

With XDR, organizations have a vastly simplified vendor ecosystem, saving their teams time and increasing productivity. The end result is more comprehensive security, achieved more efficiently.

How do I know if XDR is right for my organization?

XDR ideally suits organizations with a maturing cybersecurity department, a goal to which all organizations should aspire. 

Younger or smaller organizations might want to begin with a more basic solution, such as EDR. However, this is just a starting point, and it’s best to roadmap toward XDR instead of falling into the trap of using multiple vendors.

Ultimately, all organizations should move to XDR because it encompasses complex cloud environments, a point that all organizations will inevitably reach in today’s landscape. XDR provides comprehensive, proactive detection and response capabilities.

However, some organizations might not have the expertise to properly plan out their roadmap to XDR. In this case, they might want to work with an experienced managed security provider such as SolCyber who can provide the necessary expertise to guide them. SolCyber also offers enhanced MDR (managed detection and response) solutions for resource-strapped organizations.

The complexity of the current threat landscape doesn’t mean that organizations have to go broke implementing numerous solutions that conflict with each other. XDR fills that gap and makes it possible for organizations to achieve a robust security posture without breaking the bank.

To learn more about SolCyber’s XDR++ service, contact us today for a no-obligation call.

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Hwei Oh
05/10/2024
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or MDR or XDR.

What it requires is practicality and reason.

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The world doesn’t need another traditional MSSP or MDR or XDR.
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