What Is Managed XDR?
Managed Extended Detection and Response (Managed XDR) is the application of a managed services framework to XDR. It augments and optimizes threat detection, investigation, response, and hunting across a business’s entire IT ecosystem.
Through Managed XDR, organizations get the support and expertise necessary to close skills gaps and build a mature security program. And with 24x7 monitoring and mitigation by cybersecurity experts, Managed XDR simultaneously helps protect IT assets from cyberattacks and eliminates many of the challenges of modern cybersecurity.
Managed XDR Benefits
The key benefits of Managed XDR are:
- Holistic telemetry beyond the endpoints
- Around-the-clock coverage of a business’s full IT ecosystem
- Actionable cyber threat intelligence (CTI)
- Reduced total cost of ownership
- More efficient prioritization of cybersecurity alerts and notifications
The cybersecurity skills shortage has yet to improve, as noted in a report from the Information Systems Security Association and Enterprise Strategy Group ESG. That’s why as threat actors become more numerous and sophisticated, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is no longer enough. Yet many small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) lack the budget and expertise to develop a mature cybersecurity program.
Instead of attempting to navigate XDR yourself, look to a Managed XDR vendor. According to a survey of cybersecurity decision makers, 51 percent of respondents who plan to outsource XDR management are extremely confident in their ability to gain a return from XDR, as opposed to 35 percent managing XDR themselves.
Managed XDR supplies your business with a team of cybersecurity experts. With these resources, you can plan and establish a mature and effective cybersecurity program at a much lower cost. Managed XDR also helps solve common problems in security operations centers (SOCs), such as alert fatigue, lack of visibility, and complex setup of Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems.
More Benefits of Managed XDR
- Advanced threat identification and remediation
- Access to deep security and threat prevention expertise
- Automatic cybersecurity framework mapping
Managed XDR Features
Managed XDR combines the core features of XDR with:
- Support from experienced analysts and security professionals
- 24x7x365 monitoring
- AI-powered endpoint protection
- Continuous threat detection and hunting
- Incident/event management and response
- Notification management
- Compliance management
- Preauthorized and customizable analyst interactions and interventions
- Advanced orchestration
- Tailored response playbooks, triage, and filtering methods
- Organized, contextualized telemetry
How Managed XDR Works
Managed XDR improves an organization’s security posture by:
- Bridging cybersecurity skill and knowledge gaps
- Assessing networks and applications for vulnerabilities
- Enhancing incident handling and threat mitigation
- Optimizing existing infrastructure through new tools and integrations
Managed XDR can also empower security and IT teams by:
- Providing internal personnel with guidance and training
- Augmenting threat management through a combination of AI and human knowledge
- Offering advanced incident containment and digital forensics expertise
- Proactively identifying and mitigating attacks
- Reducing the workload and stress levels of security staff
Managed XDR Use Cases
There are two primary use cases for Managed XDR, namely:
Use Case 1: Augmenting Existing Security Teams
Most security teams, particularly those of small businesses (SMBs), are understaffed and overworked. They may be able to deploy XDR, but lack the resources to make the deployment effective. For these teams, Managed XDR acts as an extension of their SOC, providing them with the extra help they need so they can focus on impactful business priorities.
Use Case 2: Protecting a Business that Lacks Dedicated Cybersecurity Experts
Many businesses don’t have a SOC—or even a dedicated security professional. Traditionally, this meant offloading cybersecurity onto the IT department. Where XDR is concerned, this is at best untenable—at worst, risky and potentially disastrous. Through Managed XDR, businesses gain access to a reliable security team with the tools and expertise to address cyber threats and cyberattacks like ransomware and malware.
Selecting a Managed XDR solution includes assessing vendors' cybersecurity technologies as well as their service offerings. Factors to consider when evaluating a cybersecurity company for Managed XDR include:
How they measure success. Does the vendor have a record of preventing real-world threats, or only those in testing environments? Are they able to detect a threat before a successful attack?
Their level of expertise. Does the vendor have years of experience dealing with mutliple evolutions of cyber threats, technologies, and the industry? Do they have strong expertise with network, mobile, and endpoint security?
Their level of service. Does the vendor provide services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including holidays?
Managed Detection and Response (MDR) has a great deal in common with Managed XDR. Both combine advanced telemetry with security expertise for the purposes of threat hunting and incident management. Both act as an extension of a business’s existing cybersecurity capabilities.
But Managed XDR differs in that it builds on (extends) the MDR framework by incorporating XDR visibility that spans the entire enterprise and all of its potential attack surfaces.
What is Managed XDR?
Managed XDR is Extended Detection and Response (XDR) delivered as a managed service.
What’s the difference between Managed XDR and MDR?
Managed XDR is the intersection of Managed Detection and Response (MDR) with XDR capabilities. The two service delivery frameworks otherwise have a great deal in common with one another. To put it another way, Managed XDR is to MDR what XDR is to EDR.
What challenges does Managed XDR address?
The cost and complexity of deploying an XDR solution can be overwhelming, especially for businesses with smaller security teams and budgets. Data orchestration and ingestion is a significant roadblock to network security which, alongside skill shortages, configuration, notification management, and resource constraints, can limit the effectiveness of product-only security solutions. Managed XDR addresses the security challenges of organizations lacking the staff or expertise to handle their security on their own.
Why is Managed XDR important?
As attack surfaces continue to expand, threats continue to grow more complex and threat actors more sophisticated. Traditional perimeter-focused defenses no longer provide adequate protection, particularly where hybrid work is concerned. While larger enterprises may not have a problem deploying XDR solutions, SMBs typically lack the resources to do so.
With threat actors focusing more intently than ever on SMBs, all organizations need enterprise-grade detection, response, and mitigation. Managed XDR makes this possible.
What is prevention-first cybersecurity?
Reactive cybersecurity measures provide attackers with far too wide a window to exploit their targets. A prevention-first approach to cybersecurity addresses this by stopping threats before they have the chance to execute. Typically, this involves leveraging predictive AI and automated monitoring.
XDR is an important foundation of prevention-first security, providing both visibility and capabilities.