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13 Oct 2022

EDR security versus MDR or XDR

XDR is swiftly becoming one of the essential tools for complete cyber protection. It’s trending in the USA – 93% of organisations are either working on XDR projects or looking to do so in 6-12 months*. But what is XDR, and does it serve as a good replacement for existing EDR or MDR services?

EDR (endpoint detection & response) and MDR (managed detection & response) are a valuable part of your cybersecurity protection. However, they have their limitations. XDR (extended detection & response) is a supercharged combination of EDR security and MDR.

EDR security vs MDR

EDR is dedicated to discovering, investigating and responding to threats on all endpoint devices attached to your systems. It monitors each endpoint, be it an employee laptop or a company server, and collects data into a database.

XDR (extended detection & response) is a supercharged evolution of EDR security and MDR

Automated programmes within your chosen EDR solution then monitor this data for anything that indicates a security breach. It sends alerts to your business, and shuts down the access point to prevent an attack.

On the other hand, MDR services are much broader in their security offerings. MDR can be used to supplement internal security teams with outsourced support. Or you can utilise an expert external team to handle all of your cyber threat assessments, detection and responses.

MDR saves your team from stretching themselves too thin trying to do multiple jobs at once. It also gives your security the dedicated focus it needs.

Whereas EDR runs the risk of swamping your team with cyber threat alerts, which can make it harder to remove false alerts, outsourced MDR services can evaluate signals much faster. MDR also reroutes only the important alerts to response experts.

However, EDR can be crucial for protecting your employees’ devices. It protects against vulnerabilities, malware, and active attacks in a more cost-effective setting.

The power of XDR

XDR, at its core, is essentially an evolution of EDR and MDR. XDR combines all aspects of the two into one umbrella solution with added capabilities for complete cyber protection.

Extended detection response solutions recognise that equal focus should be placed on all aspects of your security structure, not just the endpoints. XDR is designed to provide 24/7 multi-layered visibility across all your data, including your endpoints, network and cloud.

This not only reduces integration requirements, but also allows more threat assessments to be carried out automatically, without needing intervention from your team.

Whilst like EDR, XDR handles automated responses to threats, unlike EDR it also employs state-of-the-art AI algorithms to handle the lower level threats that do not require human attention. These algorithms will sort through alerts and handle the responses to low-level threats themselves. AI also lowers the chances of receiving false positives.

Due to its broader nature and ability to adapt to modern IT infrastructure, XDR presents lower costs in the long term compared to both EDR and MDR.

If you would like an analysis of your IT security vulnerability, you can book a 30-minute cybersecurity consultation with one of our experts.

* Source: Enterprise Strategy Group, March 2021.

Graham Smith

By Graham Smith