The cybersecurity industry is known for coining new terms and acronyms to ease the practitioner's life and stand out in the crowd. For IT professionals, everyday buzzwords will come across as gibberish to strategic decision-making and technologically novice customers. We often encounter many confusing definitions and technical jargon that can probably create a barrier to understanding the actual solution advantages and the outcomes to internal executives and the customers. Unfortunately, definitions for identical terms can vary from vendor to vendor, creating more challenges. This has caused the business, and IT leaders total confusion on what cybersecurity solutions are genuinely needed by the organizations and which are redundant.
XDR stands for - Extended Detection and Response, a new threat detection approach that provides holistic Protection against cyberattacks, unauthorized access, and misuse. This term was coined by Nir Zuk, CTO (Palo Alto Networks), in the year 2018. To deliver detection and response across all data sources, XDR breaks down traditional security silos. XDR is a SaaS-based (Security as a service), vendor-specific, security threat detection, and incident response tool that integrates multiple security products into a connected security operations system. How Does XDR Work? XDR brings an energetic approach towards threat detection and response. It provides visibility into data across clouds, networks, and endpoints while applying analytics and automation to address the increasingly sophisticated threats in today's age. With the help of XDR, security teams can:
XDR Benefits Blocking attacks with the help of powerful endpoint protection and leveraging AI-based regional analysis and Behavioural Threat Protection to stop malware, exploits, and file-less attacks to the organization.
MDR stands for Managed Detection and Response. It is a Saas-based (Security as a service) service designed as an alternative to an in-house Security Operations Centre (SOC). An MDR solution provides access to the tools and security experts an organization needs to protect itself against cyber threats. An MDR provider offers network monitoring and incident investigation and response round-the-clock. Deployment of MDR solutions is within the organization's range, which helps in providing deeper visibility and more detailed Protection than other managed security service offerings. In addition, an organization gains access to leading security technologies with MDR on their sides, such as endpoint detection and response (EDR), and specialized expertise, such as threat hunting or cloud security. Thus resulting, the organization aggressively deploys a functional SOC or increases the efficiency of an in-house security team. How does MDR Works? The MDR casually monitors, detects, and responds to threats within the organization. Security endpoints can get necessary visibility using an endpoint detection and response (EDR) tool. Data relevant to forensic, advanced analytics, and threat intelligence are passed down to human analysts, skilled in analyzing alerts and determining the appropriate response to reduce the impact and risk. In the end, with the help of human and machine capabilities combined, the threat is executed, and the endpoint that was affected is restored to its pre-infected/original state.
MDR providers act as a full-service outsourced Security Operations Centre for their customers, and partnering with an MDR provider carries several benefits:
The primary role of MDR and XDR is to help security teams within an organization with the struggles these teams face around increasing workloads and limited resources to work with. But in the end, both MDR and XDR approach the problem in their unique way. MDR solves these challenges faced by security teams by providing the internal security team of the organization with external resources. The MDR providers will offer an external Security Operations Centre that deals with most or all the duties necessary to monitor and protect an organization's IT infrastructure. There is a high probability that the MDR provider would use XDR solutions. Still, they will be operated or managed by the external SOC analysts rather than the available in-house team. As a result, an organization can cut down on high costs for security compared to maintaining similar SOC in-house and ensuring on-demand access to expert security talent when partnering with an MDR provider. In contrast, XDR is the tool that provides the solution to the challenges by simplifying them and allowing the analysts to do their jobs. By providing visibility on the organization's security architecture and automation of repetitive and time-consuming tasks, the XDR frees up security staff from these tasks and helps them concentrate on investigation and addressing potential threats to the business. Both solutions can improve an organization's ability to identify and respond to security threats. However, which solution is suitable for an organization ultimately depends on the maturity of the security team that the organization already has and its unique security requirements and business needs.
A managed security services provider (MSSP), traditionally outsourced managed cybersecurity, performs remote monitoring of the customer's environment to detect potential events or threats. If any disturbance is detected, the MSSP would report them to the customer and take the appropriate action. This, in turn, reduces an organization's vulnerability to potential threats. MSSPs are careful in ensuring that their customers possess the latest monitoring technology without facing the burden of acquiring, configuring, and monitoring it themselves. In addition, the ability to outsource monitoring means that an organization can concentrate its limited internal cybersecurity resources on major security tasks that need extra focus. MSSPs take an aggressive role in protecting their clients' systems from potential cybersecurity incidents. They provide virus scanning, firewall management, and similar preventive actions. Both the MSSP and the client benefit here since the probability of a security incident is decreased if the client's network implements best cybersecurity practices. Benefits of an MSSP The primary purpose of MSSP is to replace an organization's internal security team. By partnering with an MSSP, a company receives several benefits:
Organizations and businesses have always turned to managed security service providers (MSSPs) to fulfill their external security needs. In contrast, the MDR providers can detect lateral movement within a network. MSSPs usually work with rule-based detections and perimeter-based technology to identify potential threats. The types of threats that MSSPs handles are known threats, such as malware reoccurrence, exploitation of vulnerabilities, and high-volume attacks. MSSPs provide security professionals who perform log monitoring, management, and analysis but do not perform in-depth analysis. As a result, MSSPs can manage an organization's security only at the perimeter level, and their study does not involve extensive forensics, threat research, and analytics. MSSPs usually communicate via email or phone with security professionals while MDR providers carry out 24/7 continuous monitoring, which some MSSPs may not usually offer. As a result, management of firewalls and other daily security-related needs of an organization's network is a task that is more apt for an MSSP than an MDR provider, which offers a more specialized service. MSSPs provide service level agreements, i.e., SLAs for incident detection and response, whereas MDR rarely provides SLAs.