XDR vs EDR: What's the Difference?

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Extended Detection and Response (XDR) are enterprise cybersecurity solutions that provide automated cyber threat detection and response through data visibility, threat intelligence, and big data analytics. But while EDR is an effective defense against cyberattacks, XDR expands on EDR with additional protections at the network, server, cloud, and application levels.

XDR and EDR Features

XDR and EDR are replacements for outdated, reactive approaches to cybersecurity. XDR and EDR solutions have similar features, namely:

Rapid Threat Response

XDR and EDR support automated threat detection and response, enabling organizations to employ rapid prevention and remediation in a cyberattack to reduce cost and damage.

Preventative Approach

Whereas traditional security solutions focus on detecting and remediating ongoing threats, EDR and XDR collect in-depth data analytics and threat intelligence to identify threats beforehand and prevent any security incident.

Threat Hunting Support

XDR and EDR solutions can aid threat-hunting efforts with deep visibility and easy access to data. In addition, their capabilities enable proactive security and empower security teams to identify and remediate potential security issues before they can exploit an organization's vulnerabilities.

What Is the Difference Between XDR and EDR?

Both EDR and XDR involve continuous monitoring, threat detection, and automated response to cyber threats, but EDR's scope is limited to endpoints while XDR is more comprehensive. By unifying the detection and analysis of cyber threats against an organization's network, cloud workspaces, and endpoints, XDR can more effectively ward off cyberattacks than EDR alone.

The initial purpose of an EDR system was to provide perimeter-wide protection for an enterprise network. EDR products monitor events of endpoint agents and collect telemetry data for contextual information to detect suspicious activity and remediate issues. EDR functionalities provide proactive endpoint security to help security teams address gaps and blind spots. However, EDR systems can't save the network or system independently. In addition, they offer limited visibility into the actions of threat actors at the endpoints.

On the other hand, XDR takes a broader view of data integration from an endpoint, cloud, identity, and different digital environments. As a result, it fills the information gaps and, unlike EDR, brings clarity into every phase of an attack, starting from endpoint to payload.

What's Better: XDR or EDR?

When deciding between XDR and EDR, organization leaders should consider their computing environment, its architecture, and the type of security controls needed to protect critical assets. Additionally, the integration of XDR into an organization's security platform can enable it to collate system-wide information, providing a more accurate idea of previous attacks—and those in progress.

While EDR has limitations, XDR offers complete protection to the network and systems with increased network distribution, incorporation of external services, and broader system access.

The global shift to remote work arrangements has increased cybersecurity risks beyond experts’ initial estimates. To address the growing number and severity of cyberthreats, CISOs and security analysts must look beyond traditional EDR solutions and start thinking in terms of XDR. Although securing endpoints is critical for protecting the environment, today's workplace demands holistic solutions that include network telemetry, behavioral analysis and continuous authentication.

As a human-centric subscription-based 24x7x365 Managed XDR service, CylanceGUARD® provides the expertise and support businesses need. CylanceGUARD combines the comprehensive expertise embodied by BlackBerry Cybersecurity Services with AI-based Endpoint Protection (EPP) through CylancePROTECT®, continuous authentication and analytics through CylancePERSONA, and on-device threat detection and remediation through CylanceOPTICS®. In short, it provides businesses with everything they need to contend with a modern threat landscape—no matter what that landscape throws at them.