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Detection and Response: EDR, MDR & XDR Explained

By October 17, 2022November 17th, 2022No Comments
difference between EDR, MDR & XDR

In this article we explain the key differences between Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR), Managed Detection & Response (MDR) and Extended Detection & Response (XDR)

Digital transformation has brought many opportunities for organisations to grow and innovate. However, as technology evolves, the risks of cyber security breaches and attacks increase too. Organisations therefore need to be prepared for breaches and cyber attacks, and being prepared involves a change of mindset – from when not if a breach occurs to when a breach occurs.

Being prepared involves anticipating threats and proactively being on the lookout for them, and then having robust processes and resources in place to respond to breaches. Detection and response enables an organisation to proactively hunt out and address security risks. There are a myriad of detection and response tools, platforms, solutions and service providers available. However, detection and response doesn’t always have to be complicated.

So what are the key differences between EDR, MDR and XDR?

  1. Unsecured endpoints will leave your organisation wide open to cyber attacks: Every device that connects to your network is known as an endpoint, and each endpoint makes your organisation vulnerable to cyber attacks. Laptops, tablets, mobiles or IoT, and smart devices all provide a potential entry point for attackers to gain access to your data, and to damage your infrastructure, operations, and reputation.
  2. EndPoint Detection & Response (EDR) provides advanced protection: An EDR platform/solution proactively monitors those devices, giving full visibility of what’s happening with them. It also undertakes advanced threat hunting on connected devices, providing increased detection, investigation, and response capabilities so that threats can be quickly resolved as they arise.
  3. Managed EDR Services take the pain out of endpoint protection: When EDR monitoring and incident response is outsourced to an MSSP (Managed Security Services Provider), it is known as a Managed EDR service. A good MSSP will be able to support a range of EDR platforms. Here at Infosec Partners, we provide a Managed EDR service and can support EDR solutions from leading providers including Fortinet, Cynet and Redseal.
  4. Managed Detection & Response Services (MDR) is essentially Managed EDR: MDR is not a specific tool or platform but a service that combines technology and human expertise to provide threat hunting, monitoring and response. MDR is essentially EDR purchased as a managed service.
  5. MDR can be a supported service: Most MSSPs offer MDR as a service. There are typically a number of different approaches when providing an MDR service. A supported service is where an MSSP undertakes the threat hunting activity and notifies and guides your in-house security team through the containment and remediation process.
  6. MDR can be a fully managed service: In this instance, the MSSP offers a fully managed service on a client’s behalf. The MSSP provides 24/7 network-wide advanced threat intelligence, threat hunting and security monitoring. Security experts and analysts also work to quickly investigate and respond to threats when required.
  7. Extended Detection and Response (XDR) covers the whole network: XDR extends on EDR’s capabilities to include more than just endpoints. XDR pulls together detection and response capabilities for the whole infrastructure – endpoints, networks, and cloud services – into a single platform with a central user interface, making it easier for teams to detect and prioritise responses.
  8. XDR encompasses broader network monitoring capabilities: XDR can augment existing security monitoring capabilities. Therefore, alongside an EDR, other tools such as firewalls and SIEM can also be employed, collectively forming part of a comprehensive MDR cyber security solution that provides a network-wide threat detection and incident response strategy.
  9. Managed XDR expands on EDR and MDR: XDR can be purchased as a managed solution, providing access to experienced experts in threat hunting, threat intelligence and analytics. Managed XDR expands further on EDR/MDR solutions to provide managed protection of both endpoints and the entire network, ensuring that all threats and breaches can be quickly detected and responded to.
  10. XDR is essential for organisations of all sizes: If your organisation holds sensitive data or has valuable or critical assets, then you need round the clock cyber security protection to keep those assets secure. Organisations of all sizes, including SMEs, need to be proactive in finding, stopping and responding to cyber threats, and XDR provides this additional defence and protection. If your organisation doesn’t have internal resources, then outsourcing to an MSSP is your best option.

Hopefully, you now know the main differences between EDR, MDR and XDR, and how they can be combined to ensure a robust detection and response strategy. If your organisation requires support with defining, implementing or managing a detection and response programme, then please get in touch. We work with clients of all sizes across multiple industry sectors to ensure their critical assets are secure.


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