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Jun 15, 2023

XDR and MDR Are Two Sides of the Same Coin


Threat detection and response is part of a comprehensive solution designed to keep networks, clouds, data centers, etc. secure. At the heart of threat detection are two solutions known as extended detection and response (XDR) and managed detection and response (MDR). The two solutions are two sides of the same coin.

Both XDR and MDR have the same objective: to enhance an organization’s threat detection and response capabilities. In simple language, the goal is to identify threats as early as possible, then respond with strategies designed to prevent successful attacks. The earlier and more accurately threats can be detected, the more successful response strategies tend to be.

XDR: An Extension of EDR

Before XDR, we had traditional endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions. EDR was limited by its very design. XDR takes things to the next level by expanding well beyond endpoints to include nearly every other area within a secured environment. XDR provides better coverage, if you will.

XDR includes public and private cloud environments, local and wide area networks, and even email systems. Its biggest advantage is its ability to gather and correlate data from an endless number of sources. Such a heavy emphasis on data correlation provides a more holistic view of the many threats possible across an entire infrastructure.

At Hillstone Networks, XDR is just one of many solutions we offer clients. Our XDR capabilities feature:

  • Advanced Detection – We leverage vast amounts of data to compare potential threats against expected behavior within a given environment. Any suspicious activity triggers an advanced response.
  • Manual and Automated Response – Detected threats are addressed with automated responses. All the while, continual visibility gives IT personnel the opportunity to immediately intervene when threats are detected.
  • Single Dashboard Visibility – Tying everything together is a dashboard through which all critical information, processes, and tools are easily accessible. Single dashboard visibility improves efficiency and response times.

It goes without saying that XDR is a next generation solution for ever evolving security threats. From our perspective, it is non-negotiable at the enterprise level. But even SMEs would find it useful.

MDR: Adding Expert Human Support

Rather than being a traditional software solution, MDR is a comprehensive security-as-a-service option. It combines the latest in software tools with continual monitoring conducted by IT security experts with specialized knowledge. In some cases, an entire security team is assigned to handle MDR.

MDR adds an extra level of security by combining both software and human components that not only identify and respond to threats, but actually go hunting for them before they make themselves known. Even the most sophisticated attacks that get by XDR run into a formidable foe with MDR.

Some of the benefits of a comprehensive MDR solution include:

  • Threat Investigations – Every incident is investigated for the purpose of assessing and understanding its context. Effective countermeasures can be implemented based on what is learned.
  • Threat Prioritization – Security experts can prioritize threats so that the most important ones are handled immediately. Minimal threats can be set aside until the team has time to deal with them.

The main difference between XDR and MDR is who provides the human aspect. With an XDR solution, you combine your human security team with a comprehensive software solution. In an MDR scenario, you are outsourcing intrusion detection and response to a third party.

One way or another, intrusion detection response is a must. Contact Hillstone Networks to learn more about our XDR and MDR solutions. We are committed to providing clients with best-in-class service coupled with the latest security technologies, strategies, and protocols.