Why the Most Effective XDR Is Rooted in Endpoint Detection and Response

Extended detection and response (XDR) solutions deliver powerful capabilities to help security teams fight adversaries by increasing visibility, simplifying operations and accelerating identification and remediation across the security stack. XDR platforms gather and aggregate security data from a variety of sources to help detect and contain advanced attacks. But when it comes to efficiently analyzing threat data and quickly identifying the root cause of an incident, not all XDR solutions are alike. The most effective XDR solutions are rooted in endpoint detection and response (EDR), because if you don’t start with EDR, you don’t have XDR.

Endpoints are involved in every stage of a cyberattack. Threat actors exploit endpoints to gain a foothold in the network. They use endpoints as stepping stones to traverse a network. And they ultimately target high-value endpoints such as servers to disrupt business-critical applications or steal confidential data. Endpoint telemetry is therefore essential for detecting compromised assets, correlating threat data across domains and isolating complex attacks. 

Endpoints Provide a Unique Window into Threat Data

In a typical attack, an adversary might gain initial access to an endpoint such as an employee laptop through a phishing ploy or malware infection. Once inside, attackers typically exploit identity and user credentials to masquerade as a legitimate user and move laterally across the network, elevating privileges to gain administrative access to servers or other critical infrastructure and wreak havoc. 

Endpoint telemetry helps security analysts spot abnormal activity that might be symptomatic of a malicious attack such as:

  • Unusual inbound and outbound network traffic
  • Unknown applications or executables running on endpoints
  • Suspicious registry or system-file changes
  • Unusual Domain Name System (DNS) requests and registry configurations
  • Abnormal activity associated with administrator or privileged accounts
  • An increase in incorrect logins or access requests 
  • Anomalous activity, such as an increase in database read volumes
  • Large numbers of requests for the same file
  • Unauthorized settings changes, including mobile device profiles
  • Large volumes of compressed files or data bundles in incorrect or unexplained locations

EDR solutions continuously monitor endpoints, gathering security data and using artificial intelligence to identify indicators of compromise that help security teams quickly detect and mitigate endpoint-related threats.

Falcon XDR: Extended from the Industry’s Leading EDR

Falcon XDR takes EDR to the next level by enriching EDR data with the most relevant telemetry from across the security ecosystem, including:

  • Email security and anti-phishing solutions
  • Network analysis and visibility (NAV) solutions
  • Identity and access management (IAM) solutions
  • Threat and vulnerability management solutions
  • Cloud security solutions
  • Operational technology (OT) and Internet of Things (IoT) security solutions
  • Secure web gateway solutions

Falcon XDR ingests, aggregates, analyzes and prioritizes events and alerts from a wide variety of sources and delivers them to security teams in a normalized format through a single console. With Falcon XDR, security teams can quickly and easily detect, hunt and investigate sophisticated threats across multiple technologies and domains. By correlating endpoint threat data with other telemetry data, security professionals can efficiently reconstruct timelines, identify the root cause of an incident and take corrective action.

Time is of the essence when a threat actor strikes. According to the CrowdStrike 2022 Global Threat Report, once an adversary penetrates a network it only takes an average of 1 hour and 38 minutes for them to break out and move laterally. But it takes the average organization over six days to detect a cybersecurity incident. Falcon XDR helps security professionals identify threats and stop adversaries before they break loose and cause irreversible harm.

Don’t Fall for a Souped-up SIEM Solution

Some security information and event management (SIEM) vendors have repositioned their products as XDR solutions to tap into the growing XDR market. At their core, SIEM solutions are designed to ingest and aggregate log data from different sources. Some SIEM vendors have added rudimentary analytics functionality to their products and incorporated additional data sources to extend visibility, but at the end of the day, SIEM solutions mostly function as vast log repositories that require lots of scripting and manual intervention. To get to the bottom of an issue, security teams are often forced to sift through and piece together diverse log data generated by different systems — a time-consuming and error-prone proposition. 

Best-of-breed XDR solutions eliminate manually intensive, drawn-out administrative processes. They transform raw data into meaningful and actionable insights, and support automated responses to help security teams improve visibility, streamline operations, and accelerate threat detection and mitigation efforts.

More on this topic > XDR vs. SIEM

Anchor Your XDR Transformation in EDR

Every successful XDR transformation has its foundation based in EDR. Or as Forrester phrases it in its recent XDR report, “… good XDR lives and dies by the foundation of good EDR.” XDR builds on the principles and processes that EDR first establishes, and then XDR optimizes and extends from there.

More tactically, endpoint data has to remain the focal point to achieve XDR success. As Forrester explains, “By anchoring [threat] detections in endpoint alerts, XDR optimizes detections that are already market-validated as higher efficacy.” So even as your XDR capabilities mature, EDR detections act as clear markers that XDR enriches and orchestrates across your security ecosystem. 

To make the most of XDR, it needs to start with EDR at the core and build out from there. Falcon XDR is a powerful extension of the industry’s leading EDR technology — giving security teams what they need in order to rapidly identify, hunt and eliminate today’s most sophisticated threats.

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