Recent ESG research found that organizations are interested in extended detection and response (XDR) technology because current tools struggle to detect and investigate advanced threats.
Today’s threats are more advanced than ever, with attackers more sophisticated, better funded, and well equipt to inflict damage.
Despite investments, SOC teams are still struggling, chasing false positives and performing manual tasks to detect and investigate alerts accurately. XDR solutions, like The Anomali Platform, can help address these challenges by aggregating alerts, surfacing relevant threats, and integrating intelligence to present a timeline of events related to cyber-kill chains that improve threat detection while streamlining investigations.
The report found that security professionals are interested in using XDR to help them address several threat detection and response challenges. The common XDR use cases analysts have in mind are:
- Help prioritize alerts based on risk
- Improved detection of advanced threats
- More efficient threat/ forensic investigations
- A layered addition to existing threat detection tools
- Improve threat detection to reinforce security controls and prevent future similar attacks
Users want XDR to fill gaps within their security stack while improving the efficacy and efficiency of threat detection and response.
So, how does XDR do that? Let’s look at the common XDR use cases security teams are looking for.
Help prioritize alerts based on risk
A Security Operations Center’s primary responsibility is monitoring security events and investigating and responding promptly. SOC Analysts need to act quickly when threats arise. They must ensure that threats with elevated risk scores get elevated for further research, investigation, and analysis.
Unfortunately, most analysts suffer from alert fatigue and cannot process the overload of alerts to determine what’s real and false. This can also result in some alerts being ignored and missed. Research by Invicti found that SOCs waste an average of 10,000 hours and some $500,000 annually on validating unreliable and incorrect alerts.
An effective XDR solution integrates automation and machine learning to minimize false positives and enable security analysts to focus on the highest priority events to respond quickly. This helps increase efficiencies and enables organizations to quickly experience the key benefits of an XDR solution. With XDR solutions that integrate threat intelligence, like Anomali’s, you can uplevel your analysts with a critical understanding of the threat and what’s needed to remove it from the environment.
Improved detection of advanced threats
Threat actors continue to evolve, and cyber-attacks increase in complexity. Keeping up with an ever-changing threat landscape to identify complex attacks is challenging.
Threat intelligence needs to be at the foundation of any security program. Threat intelligence enhances detection capabilities and informs security professionals of potential cyber risks with real-time information to help them better understand their adversaries and attack vectors that affect the security of my business.
Extended detection and response solutions collect telemetry from security tools in real-time to eliminate security gaps and provide an integrated platform for effective threat detection. Through one platform, they provide increased visibility across multiple security tools (Big Data Lake, UEBA, SOAR, TIP, NDR, or EDR).
But not all XDR solutions integrate threat intelligence.
Anomali takes the data collection process further by integrating threat intelligence with our XDR solution. Data is normalized and enriched and then correlated with the world’s largest curated global intelligence repository.
This enables organizations to understand what’s happening inside and outside their network to keep an eye on and detect advanced threats.
More efficient threat/ forensic investigations
Context is important when trying to understand a threat. XDR solutions integrate automation and machine learning to correlate all relevant threat information and apply situational security context to more quickly reduce noise signals and assist with identifying the root cause.
XDR solutions can help security analysts understand the context and prioritize risks for faster, more accurate incident triage and effective response.
With integrated investigation frameworks, like MITRE ATT&CK, organizations can defend throughout the entire attack lifecycle, gaining critical insights into the stage of an attack and relevant intelligence on what to do about it.
ATT&CK can be helpful to cyber threat intelligence as it allows for describing adversarial behaviors in a standard fashion. Actors can be tracked with associations to techniques and tactics in ATT&CK that they have been known to utilize. This gives a roadmap to defenders to apply against their operational controls to see where they have weaknesses against certain actors and where they have strengths.
Predictive capabilities can help defenders understand what might happen next and how to prevent it.
A layered addition to existing threat detection tools
XDR provides a holistic, more straightforward view of threats across an organization’s entire technology landscape, providing the real-time information needed to deliver threats to the right people for better, faster outcomes.
Often when hearing some people describe an XDR solution, some think they’re talking about a SIEM. But XDR and SIEM are two different things.
A SIEM collects, aggregates, analyzes, and stores large volumes of log data across the enterprise. Security teams can get overwhelmed by the sheer number of alerts from a SIEM, causing the SOC to ignore critical alerts.
XDR solutions have emerged to meet the need for a big data solution that helps organizations better detect and respond to threats. XDR solutions utilize data lakes to collect, store and correlate telemetry from key XDR components and relevant data sources.
An Open XDR solution, like Anomali’s, utilizes an organization’s existing security infrastructure, aggregating data across on-prem, cloud, and hybrid sources. Instead of ripping and replacing current security tools, Open XDR solutions connect with existing infrastructure to provide a unified extended detection and response platform and increase return on investments.
Improve threat detection to reinforce security controls and prevent future similar attacks
With an increasing dependency on the cloud and a growth in digital transformation and remote workforces, the expansion of the enterprise attack surface will continue to create challenges for security teams and opportunities for their adversaries.
Organizations that run on top of XDR architectures can move closer to managing their security infrastructure as an integrated, unified platform. With XDR, Security Operations Centers (SOCs) can break silos to converge all security data and telemetry collected and generated by security technologies they’ve deployed (tech that includes firewalls, EDR, CASB, SIEM, SOAR, TIP, etc.). With this information, they can generate strategic threat intelligence that empowers immediate threat detection, streamlined investigations, and high-performance, automated response capabilities that isolate and mitigate threats before they escalate into costly and disruptive incidents.
With Anomali’s XDR solution, security teams can:
- Identify gaps in security coverage,
- Take action to mitigate these gaps, and
- Prevent follow-on attack stages.
- Automatically disseminate data to other security controls for blocking and monitoring—including SIEM, Firewall, IPS, EDR, and SOAR.
Put simply, our open XDR solution helps management teams amplify visibility, enrich it with relevant context, predict an adversary’s next move, and, ultimately, stop the attack.
The Anomali Platform:
- Helps reduce false positives, enabling analysts to cut through the noise by only analyzing, validating, and responding to relevant threats.
- Delivers an increased understanding of the attacker and its techniques and tools to enable an optimized response.
- Enables analysts and incident responders to investigate via an integrated workbench to increase security-analyst productivity in threat research, analysis, and finished intelligence publication.
- Identifies gaps in security coverage to take action to mitigate these gaps and prevent them from re-occurring.
- Automatically disseminates data to other security products via the industry’s most extensive set of turnkey integrations for blocking and monitoring—including SIEM, Firewall, IPS, EDR, and SOAR.
CISOs want XDR tools to improve security efficacy, especially advanced threat detection. Additionally, they want XDR to streamline security operations and bolster staff productivity.
A good starting place is to invest in an Open-XDR solution that maximizes the value of your current security investments. This allows you to leverage your existing infrastructure while providing the latest technology to help defend against today’s most common threats.
As ESG states, XDR is still an emerging technology. Organizations are starting to understand that it can help bolster security analytics efficacy, streamline security operations, and anchor their SOCs with tightly integrated security operations and analytics platform architecture.
Download the research to read more. Or reach out to learn more about Anomali’s open-XDR solution.