As much as we wish and dream, no one perfect cybersecurity solution can flawlessly detect and prevent all kinds of attacks. Most products only serve their intended purpose and take care of one element of cyber defense, such as threat intelligence or email security.
These products may not put an end to all cybercriminal activity, but they are effective tools for building a dependable security posture. When they work together, they can provide adequate protection that covers the full spectrum of threats affecting modern organizations. As cyber threats continue to evolve, the ability to integrate different products will prove crucial to mitigating those threats.
How Does XDR Work?
Extended detection and response enables different security products to operate together. XDR integrates solutions into a consolidated and unified platform for analysis, detection and remediation. XDR collects data from these security tools for unified analysis and easy access. It then normalizes and correlates data to bolster threat detection accuracy and minimize or even eliminate false positives.
Why Isn’t Cybersecurity as Effective as It Could Be?
James Andrew Lewis and William Crumpler, cybersecurity experts at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, explain that modern cybersecurity solutions are not as effective as they should be, partly because of their lack of interoperability. Organizations generally use dozens of cybersecurity software products from an average of 10 different vendors, but companies often can’t combine and integrate these products smoothly.
Many powerful security products are available nowadays, but none of them can address all threats without some drawbacks. These tools aren’t necessarily lacking in capabilities (in fact, many provide more functions than organizations can use), but they don’t work together to bolster each other and provide a better overall outcome. As a result, security teams struggle to manually correlate data from multiple products, allowing attackers to discreetly spot and exploit vulnerabilities via multilayered attacks.
If we want to maximize the outcomes of different security solutions, we need to ensure that multiple products from different vendors can work together to solve complex challenges. Rather than being bound to products from a single vendor, organizations should be able to bring the best options together under a platform that ensures seamless integration and optimized interoperation.
How To Achieve Interoperability
Extended detection and response, or XDR, is a technology that enables different security products to operate together. XDR integrates endpoint detection and response, network detection and response and other solutions into a consolidated and unified platform for analysis, detection and remediation.
XDR collects data from these security tools for unified analysis and easy access. It then normalizes and correlates data to bolster threat detection accuracy and minimize or even eliminate false positives. It thereby supports proactive threat hunting, broader forensic investigations and efficient incident response. XDR vendors develop their products as “captive” solutions. This means that, if the vendor claims its solutions support integration, this is usually limited to other products from the same vendor or with the leading solutions offered by popular vendors.
These solutions aren’t complete collections of every necessary security tool, and even if a complete cybersecurity solution existed, organizations often hesitate to abandon their existing cybersecurity products, given all the expenditure and training they have already invested. Also, one vendor’s EDR solution may work great, while its security information and event management or network traffic analysis solution isn’t as desirable.
Fortunately, an upgraded version of XDR, called Open XDR, expands the integration to all available security-related data from all third-party and open-source solutions. That delivers more comprehensive interoperability and better protection.
Why Is There Skepticism About XDR?
Solutions that integrate different cybersecurity products allow organizations to maximize the benefits of the different security tools at their disposal. They deliver better threat detection accuracy and faster responses. The benefits of this approach seem obvious. Many organizations may remain skeptical for at least two reasons, however.
First, there is a perception that vendors overpromise and overhype their products. Many security vendors take advantage of the lack of clear and established definitions for cybersecurity terms. For example, some vendors promise the ability to integrate multiple security solutions, but on closer look their products are limited to consolidating their own products, which undermines the basic premise of Open XDR. In addition, some vendors promise fast and easy deployment and “out-of-the-box” or “configurationless” operation, only for organizations to discover serious issues in the actual deployment, integration and operation.
Secondly, cybersecurity technology evolves very rapidly. Every year, new attacks, solutions and buzzwords emerge. This leads some organizations to think that adopting a product like Open XDR would be short-sighted given that it may be supplanted by some other technology a year or two later.
To gain the attention and trust of prospective users, XDR vendors and their solutions must demonstrate credibility by making only honest claims and by having a track record of effectiveness and efficiency. When it comes to the concern of evolving protection to address rapid advancements in attack techniques, buyers should be sure an XDR solution is based on real technology that can adapt in response to the changing threat landscape.
Combine Strong Cybersecurity Tools and Interoperability
Using strong, substantial security tools is a priority, but security teams are not taking full advantage of these tools if there is no cohesive strategy that takes into account how they interact with and support each other. Most reputable security products have enough features and functions. The challenge is to make the most of these capabilities by integrating the best products while considering cost, usability, effectiveness and efficiency.
This cohesive approach has obvious logistical advantages for swamped security teams, and it means that cybercriminals are less likely to be able to exploit weak spots in the organization’s cybersecurity armor. Any coach can tell you that a dozen incredible players are worth nothing if they can’t play as a team. Your cybersecurity infrastructure is a crucial team, up against formidable opponents, and no matter how strong its different components are, they need to work together to win.