The cybersecurity terrain has evolved rapidly in recent years, and continues to change at an alarming pace. The last 10 or so years, have seen the market flooded with new cyber security tools, each attempting to outflank the latest threat developments, to offer the ultimate in online protection. Cyber threats are becoming more sophisticated and continue to grow in number, and further security challenges have arisen through the rise in remote work, and hybrid networks that combine cloud assets with on-premises IT functions.
Needless to say, the cyber security picture has become more complex over the years, with security teams tasked with defending an ever-expanding attack surface against dynamic and advanced threats. To achieve continuous protection in this high-risk environment, businesses need cohesive cybersecurity solutions that work systemwide, offering seamless integration and automation to help them outsmart modern threat actors.
This is why more businesses are exploring the benefits of Extended Detection and Response (XDR) solutions. These revolutionary platforms enable businesses to synchronise threat detection and response across their networks, cloud services, mobile devices, and more to provide holistic protection that surpasses the capabilities found in traditional security tools.
As a leading IT services provider to businesses across York, North and East Yorkshire, Armco IT is committed to helping organisations safeguard their digital assets using the best cyber security tools on the market. In this article, we want to explain why XDR could be a savvy security investment for your business, and outline some of its advantages compared to conventional security tools.
What is Extended Detection and Response (XDR)?
Extended detection and response (often shortened to ‘XDR’) is a cyber security solution that provides system-wide cyber risk protection. While traditional security tools tended to combat a specific threat such as malware, or operate at a single point of vulnerability, XDR solutions consolidate data from multiple security systems to deliver more complete, holistic protection against cyber attacks, data loss, unauthorised access, and more.
XDR tools are designed with the modern workplace in mind, offering the ability to detect and respond to threats across cloud services, mobile and desktop devices, networks, email services, servers, and more. Through data integration and centralisation, XDR makes it easy for security teams to gain visibility into an organisation’s technology environment. This empowers security teams to take swift and decisive action against emerging threats, ensuring that risk can be quickly neutralised before any damage occurs.
Why Traditional Security Tools Can Fail to Counter Modern Threats
XDR is a relatively new concept in the field of cybersecurity, having risen to prominence around the mid 2010s. This development can largely be attributed to the limitations of traditional cyber security tools, which often lack the scope and capacity to deal with the scale and variation found in today’s cyber threats. Traditional cybersecurity tools fall short of their modern counterparts (like XDR) for a number of reasons:
- Rule-based security systems don’t address new threats. Traditional tools typically leverage ‘known threat signatures’ to detect imminent attacks. While this is effective at thwarting attacks for which signatures exist, threats that have never been seen before (such as ‘zero day exploits’) are often able to evade detection.
- Limited Visibility. Traditional security tools were often designed with a specific task and setting in mind. As a result, they can struggle to provide oversight and visibility into the distributed computing environments operated by many businesses today.
- Update and Configuration Challenges. Legacy security systems often feature outdated user interfaces, a lack of automation, limited integration, and complex configuration settings. This can make such platforms difficult to set up, manage, and update, which can, in turn, result in vulnerabilities going unchecked.
- Costly and Demanding Maintenance. Legacy security tools often rely on a mixture of software and dedicated infrastructure, resulting in higher maintenance costs than modern alternatives. Traditional tools can be technically complex, requiring specialised knowledge to manage effectively.
The complex, siloed nature and limited reach of traditional security solutions hinder their ability to combat emerging threats and provide the comprehensive protection businesses need to safeguard their vast and diverse digital networks.
The Capabilities and Benefits of XDR Solutions
So what functionality, features, and capabilities make XDR solutions such a profound upgrade compared to legacy technologies? Here are some of the common characteristics of XDR systems:
XDR brings together data streams and insights from a range of different security systems and architectures, to create a holistic, unified picture of cyber security across a business’s digital systems. This helps security teams quickly identify suspicious activity, and take data-informed action to address security vulnerabilities.
Automated processes that leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence are a key feature of XDR solutions. These next-generation capabilities allow the platforms to detect subtle threat correlations spanning separate systems, and identify complex threat escalations that traditional security tools would lack the integration to spot.
XDR solutions gather and consolidate large amounts of security event data, which machine learning algorithms then analyse and learn from to foresee future incidents with greater accuracy and reliability. This ensures the system’s vigilance undergoes continuous improvement, resulting in faster threat detection and response that’s able to block threats at the formative stages of an attack.
Easy and Flexible Deployment
Unlike many of the systems they replace, modern XDR solutions are designed to be intuitive and simple to deploy. Offering high levels of customisability, the platforms can be tailored around the topography of any digital network, providing threat protection that covers multi-cloud, hybrid, and on-premises environments. The systems can be set up quickly, and easily adjusted to meet changing business requirements.
The Benefits of XDR
As a business, you’ll enjoy a range of benefits by adopting an XDR solution, these include:
- Consistent and accurate threat detection driven by data insights.
- Lightning-fast threat remediation supported by automation.
- Single-pane-of-glass streamlined security governance.
- Forensic analysis that supports informed risk management and threat prioritisation.
If you’re interested in deploying an Extended Detection and Response solution in your business, start a conversation with your IT team or IT service provider today. They’ll be able to assess your current cyber security infrastructure for persistent security challenges and vulnerabilities, recommend XDR platforms that offer the right features and integrations for your network, and coordinate a smooth implementation project.
In our next blog, we’ll explore the cyber risks that make employee security awareness such a vital element of cyber security in today’s fast-moving threat landscape.
Armco IT – IT Services, Support and Solutions for North and East Yorkshire Businesses
Based in Malton, we provide proactive IT support and services throughout Yorkshire, covering York, North, and East Yorkshire. With a proven track record across various sectors like manufacturing, design, professional medical services, and insurance, we excel in delivering impactful IT solutions. Our focus is on maintaining, optimizing, and securing your digital infrastructure, allowing you to prioritize your business’s growth and success. Reach out to our team today to initiate our collaboration.
Interested in enhancing your security posture? Contact us now for a complimentary half-hour cyber security awareness training session. Gain valuable insights to safeguard your invaluable digital assets effectively.