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Extended detection and response

Last Updated June 20th 2022, 1:36:11 pm

Extended detection and response (referred to as XDR) is a cybersecurity technology that monitors and mitigates cyber security threats.

The term was coined in 2018 by Nir Zuk, the founder and CTO of Palo Alto Networks.


Extended detection and response (XDR) delivers visibility into data across networks, clouds, endpoints, and applications while applying analytics and automation to detect, analyze, hunt, and remediate threats.[1]

XDR breaks down traditional security silos to deliver detection and response across all data sources.[2]

XDR is “a SaaS-based, vendor-specific, security threat detection and incident response tool that natively integrates multiple security products into a cohesive security operations system.”[2:1]

XDR collects and correlates data across email, endpoints, servers, cloud workloads, and networks, enabling visibility and context into advanced threats. Threats can then be analyzed, prioritized, hunted, and remediated to prevent data loss and security breaches.[1:1]

Endpoint detection and response

Endpoint detection and response (EDR), a predecessor to XDR, improved on the capability of malware detection and remediation over antivirus’ simplistic approach to detection. EDR solutions are different from XDR in that they focus on endpoints (laptops, for example) and record system activities and events to help security teams (such as the SOC) gain the visibility needed to uncover incidents that would normally not be detected.[1:2]


Where EDR improved on malware detection over antivirus capabilities, XDR extends the range of EDR to encompass more deployed security solutions. XDR has a broader capability than EDR. It utilizes the latest and current technologies to provide higher visibility and collect and correlate threat information, while employing analytics and automation to help detect today’s and future attacks.[1:3]

How Does XDR Work?

With XDR, cybersecurity teams can:

  • Identify hidden, stealthy and sophisticated threats proactively and quickly
  • Track threats across any source or location within the organization
  • Increase the productivity of the people operating the technology
  • Get more out of their security investments
  • Conclude investigations more efficiently

XDR Benefits

  • Block known and unknown attacks with endpoint protection: Block malware, exploits, and fileless attacks with integrated AI-driven antivirus and threat intelligence.
  • Gain visibility across all your data: Collect and correlate data from any source to detect, triage, investigate, hunt, and respond to threats.
  • Automatically detect sophisticated attacks 24/7: Use out-of-the-box analytics and custom rules to detect advanced persistent threats and other covert attacks.
  • Avoid alert fatigue: Simplify investigations with automated root cause analysis and a unified incident engine, reducing the number of alerts your team needs to review and lowering the skill required for triage.
  • Increase SOC productivity: Consolidate endpoint security policy management and monitoring, investigation, and response across your network, endpoint, and cloud environments in one console, increasing SOC efficiency.
  • Root out adversaries without disrupting your users: Stop attacks while avoiding user or system downtime.
  • Shut down advanced threats: Protect your network against insider abuse, external attacks, ransomware, fileless and memory-only attacks, and advanced zero-day malware.
  • Force multiply your security team: Stop every stage of an attack by detecting indicators of compromise (IOCs) and anomalous behavior as well as prioritizing analysis with incident scoring.
  • Restore hosts after a compromise: Quickly recover from an attack by removing malicious files and registry keys, as well as restoring damaged files and registry keys using remediation suggestions.
  • Extend detection and response to third-party data sources: Enable behavioral analytics on logs collected from third-party firewalls while integrating third-party alerts into a unified incident view and root cause analysis for faster investigations.

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