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Difference between EDR, XDR and MDR

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Are you looking for a simple, although clear, explanation of Cybersecurity terms? In this article, we’ll be explaining the meaning of EDR, XDR, and MDR. All of them relate to Threat Detection and Response. However, they differ in their scope and capabilities.

Before we dig into each one, let’s explain what TDR (or threat detection and response) is.

Cybersecurity solutions that identify threats by examining user behaviors are referred to as threat detection and response (TDR). These resources are useful for stopping extremely evasive attackers, limiting breaches, and enhancing endpoint security. A firm can cope with malware and other cyber dangers with the use of threat detection and response.

There are several approaches for creating a tool that detects threats and responds to them, such as Zero Trust, where all users require periodic permission. Threat detection and response must satisfy the demands of your organisation, regardless of the model or threat detection technique. Applications and sensitive data may be protected against sophisticated assaults with efficient threat detection and response.

Let’s break down each term:

  1. EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response): Endpoint Detection and Response focuses on monitoring and securing individual endpoints, such as desktops, laptops, servers, mobile devices, and other network-connected devices. EDR solutions are deployed on endpoints and work by collecting and analyzing endpoint data in real time to detect and respond to security threats. They often use behavioral analysis, machine learning, and signature-based detection to identify malicious activities and suspicious behavior on endpoints. EDR helps security teams gain visibility into endpoint activities and allows them to respond to and mitigate security incidents effectively.
  2. XDR (Extended Detection and Response): Extended Detection and Response is a “ more evolved, holistic, cross-platform approach to endpoint detection and response.”1 XDR aims to provide a more comprehensive and integrated approach to threat detection and response across multiple security layers and environments. XDR extends the capabilities of EDR and MDR solutions by aggregating and correlating data from various sources, such as endpoints, networks, cloud environments, and applications. This holistic approach allows XDR to identify and respond to advanced and sophisticated threats that may traverse multiple parts of an organization’s infrastructure. XDR aims to improve threat detection accuracy, reduce response times, and enable security teams to gain a broader understanding of security incidents.
    XDR explained

    Image What Is XDR? TrendMicro.


  3. MDR (Managed Detection and Response): Managed Detection and Response is not a stand-alone technology; however, it is more of a service provided by cybersecurity companies or managed security service providers (MSSPs). MDR combines technology, people, and processes to deliver proactive threat detection, analysis, and response capabilities. MDR providers use various security technologies, including EDR, XDR, SIEM (Security Information and Event Management), and threat intelligence, to monitor and analyze data from an organization’s endpoints, networks, and cloud environments. MDR services are typically outsourced, allowing organizations to leverage the expertise of security professionals who continuously monitor for threats, investigate potential incidents, and help respond to attacks. As explained in a Forbes article, “MDR is a service, not a technology, with vendors typically taking one of two approaches (or offering the flexibility of both, with a playbook created as part of the onboarding process).1
MDR explained

Managed Detection and Response. TrendMicro.

In summary, EDR focuses on endpoint-level security, while XDR takes a more integrated and cross-layered approach to detect and respond to threats across different environments. MDR is a managed service that monitors and responds to threats using a combination of technologies and human expertise. Organizations may choose to adopt one or more of these cybersecurity solutions based on their specific security needs, resources, and risk profiles.

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1 (n.d.). EDR, XDR, And MDR: Understanding The Differences Behind The Acronyms. Forbes.