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Jun 13, 2023

Why Enterprises Should Take a Serious Look at XDR


No doubt the cybersecurity field has its fair share of industry jargon with little to no value other than marketing. But ‘extended detection and response‘ (XDR) isn’t just an impressive-sounding term. It is a different approach to cybersecurity and one that every enterprise should take a serious look at.

Threats and the bad actors behind them are lurking everywhere. They are constantly looking for new vulnerabilities they can exploit. But most importantly, they are on the lookout for victims with a bad habit of not paying attention. Those organizations represent the weak link in the cybersecurity food chain.

XDR takes a holistic approach to cybersecurity to detect and prevent attacks. Pulling it off requires a constant stream of data along with rock solid analyses. Employing a comprehensive XDR strategy does not allow an enterprise to not pay attention. Paying attention is part of the deal.

A Summary of XDR

A single blog post is not enough to delve into XDR in full detail. In a nutshell, XDR relies heavily on collecting a virtual mountain of data from as many endpoints as possible. Data is gleaned from emails, network transactions, and anywhere else it can be found. Then it is analyzed and correlated.

Correlating looks to find relationships between data sets and individual data points. By correlating data, potential threats are more easily recognized and prioritized. The most serious threats are mitigated before they become problematic.

Data correlation is key to an effective XDR approach for one simple reason: it provides context. Knowing the context of a potential threat makes for more effective prioritization. It also allows the cybersecurity team to weed out false flags that appear to be threats until reviewed in context. In that way, time isn’t wasted chasing down threats that don’t exist.

Why XDR Is So Important

Hillstone Networks is a firm believer in enterprise-level XDR. We place a high value on collecting and correlating as much data as possible. Furthermore, a well-designed XDR system gathers and correlates data in an intelligent way. Why does this matter to enterprises?

As previously stated, bad actors are always looking for vulnerabilities. Different types of threats can be addressed with independent solutions. But the more threats there are, the more disjointed the individual approach to preventing them becomes. XDR is a more cohesive approach that is easier to deploy across entire network systems in an intelligent and cohesive way.

Equally important is understanding that threat actors can be individuals, competitors, hacker groups, cybercriminals, and even nation states. With so many threats potentially coming from so many different directions, enterprises need a way to holistically manage all of them. That is exactly what XDR is designed to do.

Key XDR Characteristics

Every cybersecurity specialist, including Hillstone Networks, has a specific way of approaching XDR. There isn’t a single way to do it. That being said, XDR strategies tend to have some common characteristics. Here are a few of them:

  • Shared Intelligence – Local and external intelligence shared across the network.
  • Native Support – Correlation takes into account users and local technology assets.
  • Data Integration – External data is integrated to provide for faster, more accurate response.
  • Complex Analytics – Successful correlation requires complex analytics side-by-side.
  • Automated Processes – Automation is a big part of XDR in the modern era.

Enterprise networks have never been more attractive targets than they are now. For that reason alone, enterprises still not utilizing the XDR approach to cybersecurity need to think long and hard about changing things up. XDR is a more intelligent strategy that seeks to identify and mitigate threats holistically. When it is done right, it works extremely well.