What is XDR? The Promise of XDR Capabilities Explained

December 4, 2023
Mark Wojtasiak
Vice President of Product Marketing
What is XDR? The Promise of XDR Capabilities Explained

SOC teams are burning out from a security paradigm that neither works nor is sustainable. Regardless of how proactive your analysts are, a breach is only a matter of time. What’s more, with recent technological advancements in attack tactics, such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), the battle is becoming even more one-sided.

AI-Enhanced Attacks Are Formidable

Cutting to the chase, today’s threat landscape has been optimized by attackers to target gaps in even your most sophisticated security programs. The speed at which they adjust their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) is formidable and accelerating. Combined with AI-enhanced offensive capabilities, your ability to defend your enterprise becomes more challenging every day.

That’s not a scare tactic, just a reality check.

The Defenders’ Dilemma

In short, security technologies and models that served you well in the past are no longer effective against advanced hybrid attacks. Consequently, your team must assume that breaches are occurring somewhere in your hybrid enterprise, even if they don’t know where, when, or how. 

Therefore, your analysts must adopt a defensive approach that will enable your enterprise to weather the continuous storm of unknown attacks without damage, disruption, or loss of data. Your defenders’ dilemma is to decide which incidents to focus on first and hope that no unseen, unresolved attack poses a higher risk to the organization.

“Hope” is no substitute for visibility, speed, and accuracy in defending your enterprise against sophisticated hybrid attacks.

Customer Outcomes Over Tech Requirements

There have been plenty of discussion panels about the protection that extended detection and response (XDR) can potentially provide, but current XDR approaches have been less than satisfactory.

There are several reasons for this.

First, let’s acknowledge that new technologies will never stop being developed. 

Second, enterprises will never stop adding them to satisfy their use cases. 

Third, with new technology advancements such as cloud computing, edge computing, remote collaboration tools, and AI advancements come new vulnerabilities. 

Fourth, new attack trends accompany those vulnerabilities. Fileless attacks targeting your hybrid environments and workforce are just one example. 

All of these factors only add more complexity to an environment that’s already quite difficult to secure. 

And fifth, in response, your team adds more tools to address those new vulnerabilities. This triggers more anomalies, more alerts, signals, and noise, and less time to deal with them. The more technology and tools your team uses, the further it falls behind and the worse the outcomes.

Oh, the irony.

The Purpose of XDR 

To optimize outcomes for your enterprise, your analysts must be able to detect, prioritize, investigate and respond to a security incident quickly and accurately. The most effective approach will need to include AI-driven coverage, clarity and control. 

Fortunately, by seeing what’s not working, we can identify which functionality and technologies are needed to best support your current technology stack, business objectives and risk thresholds. 

But it takes time, the right approach and the right technologies to relieve the pain points of the current approach, and to achieve and maintain intended outcomes. That means finding ways to add scalability and efficiency to your defense posture. 

In other words, reduce complexity, system overlap, and alert redundancy, so that your tool stack enhances your team’s effectiveness rather than inhibiting it. 

The purpose of extended detection and response (XDR) is to do exactly that. 

The Promise of XDR With An Integrated Signal Approach

But what’s the best way to deliver on the purpose and promise of XDR?

The ongoing need is innovating and expanding your XDR capabilities to outpace bad actors and meet your SOC team’s needs. 

This requirement is accomplished with identity-centric authentication and authorization strategies, coupled with more effective threat detection and response capabilities via an AI-driven platform that:

  • Optimizes coverage with an integrated attack signal across the entire hybrid attack surface – Email, SaaS, SASE, Datacenter, IoT/OT, Public Clouds, identities, and endpoints.
  • Maximizes clarity with an integrated AI-driven Attack Signal Intelligence that thinks like an attacker, knows what’s malicious, and focuses on what’s urgent to prioritize real attacks in real time. 
  • Exercises control with integrated, automated, managed investigation and response actions that let SOC teams move at the speed and scale of hybrid attackers.

These three are the pillars of the Vectra AI Platform that delivers on the promise of XDR via its unrivaled, integrated AI-driven signal at speed and scale. Vectra is dedicated to continuously innovating XDR capabilities to deliver the security ML/AI capabilities your security team needs to outpace bad actors and meet your XDR needs