Last updated at Wed, 03 Aug 2022 13:23:02 GMT

Extended detection and response (XDR) is increasingly gaining traction across the industry. In a new research ebook sponsored by Rapid7, SOC Modernization and the Role of XDR, ESG identified that 61% of security professionals claim that they are very familiar with XDR technology. While this is an improvement from ESG’s 2020 research (when only 24% of security professionals were very familiar with XDR), 39% are still only somewhat familiar, not very familiar, or not at all familiar with XDR.

Security professionals are still unsure of all the associated capabilities that they can leverage with XDR, and frankly how to define the solution. ESG reports that 55% of respondents say that XDR is an extension of endpoint detection and response (EDR), while 44% believe XDR is a detection and response product from a single security technology vendor or an integrated and heterogeneous security product architecture designed to interoperate and coordinate on threat prevention, detection, and response. Nevertheless, XDR remains to be standardized in the industry.

Keeping up with threats

XDR, as defined by Rapid7, goes beyond simple data aggregation. It unifies and transforms relevant security data across a modern environment to detect real attacks. XDR provides security teams with high context and actionable insights to extinguish threats quickly. With XDR, organizations can operate efficiently, reduce noise, and help zero in on attacks early.

According to ESG, security professionals seem to have a number of common XDR use cases in mind. 26% of security professionals want XDR to help prioritize alerts based on risk, 26% seek improved detection of advanced threats, 25% want more efficient threat/forensic investigations, 25% desire a layered addition to existing threat detection tools, and 25% think XDR could improve threat detection to reinforce security controls and prevent future similar attacks.

The theme and core capabilities that are common align with filling in gaps within the security tech stack – while improving threat detection and response.

Holistic detection and response

More than half of security professionals, surveyed by ESG, believe XDR will supplement existing security operations technologies; 44% of those surveyed see XDR as consolidating current security operations technologies into a common platform.

Security operation center (SOC) analysts struggle with numerous disparate tools and systems. It often leads to having to sift through a lot of data (often noise) and context-switching (moving from one tool to another). XDR aims to:

  • Unify broad telemetry sources (e.g. users, endpoints, cloud, network, etc.) into a single view and set of detections. It helps analysts curate detections, comprehensive investigations, and much more ultimately enabling simpler, smarter, and faster executions.
  • Embed expertise to help guide incident response (e.g. recommendation actions and next steps, automations, etc.) to enable security professionals to respond to threats with a single click – or without resource involvement.
  • Empower security teams to be more proactive around detection and response by enabling hunting, guiding forensic and investigation use cases, and more automation to streamline SecOps.
  • Unlock greater efficiency and efficacy for security teams at each step of the detection and response journey (from initial deployment and data collection, to finding threats and incident response).

Regardless of how XDR is defined, security professionals are interested in using XDR to help them address several threat detection and response challenges. InsightIDR, Rapid7’s cloud-native SIEM and XDR, is an XDR solution before it was even “coined” and users are achieving XDR outcomes. XDR has improved security efficacy and efficiency, unified data, and helped streamline security operations.

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