XDR Definition & Meaning

XDR (extended detection and response) provides a comprehensive solution for security management, endpoint detection and response, and threat intelligence. Enterprises often have multiple security solutions for different purposes. SIEM (security information and event management), which collects large amounts of data to monitor, and EDR (endpoint detection and response), which detects and combats threats at endpoints such as laptops and mobile devices, are two primary examples. But it’s challenging for enterprises to maintain an overall security system when they are using multiple separate solutions. XDR attempts to remedy this by pulling together all of an enterprise’s security layers and analyzing its data in one platform.

XDR solutions use a data lake to compile all forms of data from many locations, including a company’s public cloud or private cloud and their endpoint security and other security data as well. This removes the data silos that exist in companies’ security systems. By applying advanced data analytics to the data within the lake, an XDR solution helps automate the security analysis process and prioritizes alerts so that security teams aren’t inundated with every single alert. This is a common problem in large enterprises: SIEM and EDR solutions can send alerts for every small security notification, and IT employees aren’t able to efficiently sort through them. XDR helps locate the important threats and prioritizes problems that arise.

Accessing all of that data in one place gives XDR a more comprehensive picture of an organization’s entire security. Because XDR analyzes all of the security data, it can more easily build connections between threats as they arise and can better locate the root cause of a security issue or breach. This allows XDR to make defensive adjustments based on the details of the threat that is uncovered. In contrast, other siloed security solutions may not have access to all of the data and may not be able to find the initial issue as quickly.

XDR’s advantage over EDR

Endpoint detection and response is very helpful for enterprises, especially if they have many devices with sensitive data. But security threats extend to more platforms than just endpoints. Cloud network security issues, perimeter threats, and malicious emails are just a few examples. XDR can detect and respond to all of these. It provides an overview of threats and analyzes how to manage them.

XDR providers

Security providers, some of whom also provide other security solutions, offer XDR for enterprises. They provide a method of managing multiple security platforms and responding more quickly to threats. Here are just a few:

  • TrendMicro
  • McAfee
  • Palo Alto
  • Cynet
  • Microsoft Defender (365 and Azure)

Alternate definitions of XDR

XDR also refers to external data representation, a standard for data to be transmitted over different systems. XDR encodes the data using its own language so that it can move across operating systems.






Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps
Jenna Phipps is a contributor for websites such as Webopedia.com and Enterprise Storage Forum. She writes about information technology security, networking, and data storage. Jenna lives in Nashville, TN.

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