Home Did you know ? EDR vs XDR: What you need to know

EDR vs XDR: What you need to know

Anastasios Arampatzis

by Mic Johnson

Endpoints aren’t limited to laptops and desktops anymore since their prevalence is increasing throughout businesses. As the number of people working remotely grows, so does the importance of securing and monitoring all the environment’s endpoints and the connections between them. As endpoints remain a primary vector for attacks, implementing endpoint security strategies is now essential for any enterprise.

“Endpoint security is the set of policies, practices, and solutions defending the endpoints on a network against external attacks from malicious exploits. Many technologies, from authentication and identity management to patching and antivirus, are used for this purpose,” security firm VIPRE clarifies.

Deploying an antivirus solution may be the answer to the problem. However, more than antivirus software is required when considering the sophistication of today’s complex cyber threats.

Using threat intelligence and data analytics to automate security operations better, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and eXtended Detection and Response (XDR) security solutions offer essential endpoint protection together with threat detection, investigation, and response.

There is a plethora of endpoint security options to choose from, but how do you know which one is right for you? Keep reading to learn about the critical distinctions between EDR and XDR.

What is EDR?

The term “endpoint detection and response” (EDR) describes a group of unified endpoint security solutions that work together to detect and prevent potential security breaches in real time by combining data collection, data analysis, forensics, and threat hunting.

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) platforms were developed to detect and respond to advanced threats like malware and cyberattacks by recording and analyzing user activity. According to Gartner, more than half of all businesses will have used EDR solutions to replace their aging endpoint security software by the end of 2023.

The evolution of endpoint security from a merely reactive service to a more proactive solution has been aided by endpoint detection and response (EDR). Endpoint detection and response (EDR) systems provide security teams with speedy access to incident data, augmented information, and indicators of compromise (IoCs). According to Forrester, endpoint detection and response (EDR) is a system that gathers security-relevant telemetry from endpoints, carries out anomaly detection, enables analysts to investigate from acquired telemetry, and facilitates response by analysts on affected endpoints.

What is XDR?

Regarding endpoint detection and response, XDR is a more advanced, all-encompassing, cross-platform approach. Whereas EDR gathers and correlates activities across numerous endpoints, extended detection and response (XDR) expands the detection area to include endpoints, networks, servers, cloud workloads, security information and event management (SIEM), and much more. This gives you a consolidated overview of all your security measures in one place. Productivity, threat detection, and forensics can benefit from out-of-the-box connections and fine-tuned detection techniques across various products and platforms.

According to Gartner, XDR is cloud-delivered technology that integrates multipoint solutions and advanced analytics to correlate warnings from many sources into incidents from individual weaker signals to achieve more accurate detections. Security operations teams with trouble managing a portfolio of best-of-breed solutions or leveraging a SIEM or SOAR solution may find this approach appealing because it eliminates product sprawl, alert fatigue, integration problems, and operational expenses.

XDR vs. EDR: Differences and Benefits

While endpoint detection and response (EDR) is an essential link in the security operations center’s (SOC) chain, it is simply one link. And although XDR may sound better than EDR at first, it is crucial to learn the distinctions between the two and find the best option. First, let’s compare:

  • Endpoint detection and response (EDR) focuses on safeguarding endpoints by providing comprehensive visibility and protection against threats to individual gadgets. By connecting security measures across endpoints, the cloud, email, and other channels, XDR encourages a more holistic strategy for cyber defense.
  • To discover previously unknown threats, EDR frequently employs behavior analysis engines, while XDR typically incorporates endpoint and network rules and behavior-based detection engines.
  • Whereas EDR can help teams with kill chain analysis, traffic filtering, and automated event response, XDR provides end-to-end tracing, lets you manage security across environments, and scales solutions as needed.

Both types of endpoint security solutions offer notwithstanding benefits:

  • Quick action in the face of danger: both EDR and XDR offer automatic threat detection and response. Businesses can save money and reduce potential damage by preventing or quickly fixing a cyberattack.
  • EDR and XDR improve proactive security by letting analysts spot and fix potential security holes before attackers exploit them. When it comes to threat hunting, having access to EDR and XDR’s wealth of data and in-depth analysis is invaluable.

EDR or XDR? This is the question!

While security measures are essential for businesses of all sizes, the needs of individual enterprises vary widely. Therefore, selecting a security product that provides the right kind of coverage is crucial, considering the organization’s risk profile. Keep the following in mind when picking between an XDR solution and an EDR solution.

Organizations starting to build a cybersecurity strategy and wish to set a foundation might consider implementing an EDR. These organizations typically have an existing cybersecurity plan and are looking to improve endpoint security by expanding beyond traditional Next Gen Antivirus solutions (NGAV). In addition, these businesses have information security experts dealing with EDR solution-generated alerts and recommendations.

On the other hand, businesses that prioritize enhancing threat detection and centrally managing threat analysis, assessment, and hunting will benefit more from XDR. These organizations are looking at finding a way to get a quicker response, hoping for a rise in return on investment (ROI) across the board for security goods.

Identifying the best vendors among the many available can be challenging. Given the dynamic nature of the threat environment, the proliferation of accessible solutions, the prevalence of acronymic naming conventions, and the wide range of features, it is helpful to have a snapshot of the complete picture.

Anastasios Arampatzis is a retired Hellenic Air Force officer with over 20 years’ worth of experience in managing IT projects and evaluating cybersecurity. Anastasios’ interests include among others cybersecurity policy and governance, ICS and IoT security, encryption, and certificates management. Anastasios has written for many publications and is currently a writer for Bora.

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