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May 17, 2024

An Introduction to the Core Functionalities of NDR


Network detection and response (NDR) is one of several cybersecurity strategies Hillstone Networks relies on to protect client networks. Its main purpose is to monitor network traffic in search of suspicious activity. At its core are four different functionalities that drive its ability to keep cybersecurity threats in check.

Does your organization take advantage of NDR? If not, perhaps it’s time for your IT and security teams to take a new look at it. We would be happy to help. Hillstone Networks is fully prepared to help your organization deploy and manage an NDR strategy. With that said, let us discuss NDR’s core functionalities.

1. Monitoring Traffic

If we had to point to one of the functionalities as potentially being more important than the rest, monitoring traffic would be the clear choice. NDR rests on the ability to do just that. NDR solutions continuously monitor network traffic in both directions. They analyze data packets and metadata to establish baseline behaviors.

Such behaviors need to account for normal user activity patterns. They need to account for communication protocols, data transfer volumes, application requirements, workload variables, and more. As for the purpose of establishing baselines, they provide the starting point for identifying anomalies.

2. Data Analytics

Though baselines provide the starting point for identifying anomalies, you still need a way to quantify said anomalies. That is where data analytics comes in. NDR solutions employ a variety of analytics techniques to compare traffic data against the baselines. The goal is to detect activities that deviate from the baseline data.

Common analytical strategies include behavioral analysis and the application of machine learning. As an NDR solution’s database grows, it has access to more information for comparison purposes. Theoretically, the solution should be more accurate at identifying suspicious behavior as time goes on.

3. Threat Detection

Data analytics will inform about deviations from baseline. It will identify anomalies. But what happens next? An NDR solution will trigger security alerts. The alerts are meant to activate security teams and their investigations. The tricky part is prioritizing alerts so that security team members do not spend an excess amount of time chasing down minor issues while ignoring more serious threats.

A good NDR solution has built in prioritization capabilities. It prioritizes alerts based on severity and potential impact. Of course, both are open to interpretation. An NDR solution really should be open to priority customization. IT teams should be able to set their own priorities.

4. Incident Response

Threat detection and security alerts only go so far. Therefore, the final core functionality of NDR is incident response. NDR tools can be integrated with other security tools to facilitate an efficient and effective incident response.

Examples of common responses include isolating threatened systems, blocking suspicious traffic, and even collecting forensic evidence the security team will utilize during future investigations. Whatever an organization’s response might be, its main goals are to eliminate the threat, contain the damage, and provide a foundation for addressing similar threats in the future.

Why Your Organization Should Consider NDR

Here’s hoping your organization is already utilizing NDR. If not, there are plenty of viable reasons for doing so. Consider implementing NDR to improve early threat detection, threat viability, and threat hunting. Implement it to improve your organization’s overall security posture.

Hillstone Networks is here to help. We can provide a thorough NDR assessment along with recommending appropriate tools for protecting your network. With NDR implemented, your organization will be better prepared for inbound attacks. You will be better prepared to contain threats and prevent future attacks on your network.