As a cybersecurity enthusiast with a special interest in current SIEM solutions, I've chosen to evaluate a number of SIEM-like solutions available today, particularly EDR, XDR, and SOAR.
In this blog, I'll try to demystify some of the popular security solutions by evaluating their similar and unique features.
Gartner describes XDR as "a SaaS-based, vendor-specific, security threat detection and incident response tool that natively integrates multiple security products into a cohesive security operations system that unifies all licensed components."
XDR aims to solve the issue of siloed detections and responses across multiple security layers, like the cloud, endpoints, point solutions, and other network components. It is designed to provide richer threat intelligence than current security solutions. XDR solutions also offer automated analysis of different data, correlating data points across the different layers to give more accurate threat detection results.
If you're the adventurous kind that's built your own SOC team, investing in an XDR solution can be invaluable for your security program. If you're unsure of whether you need to build your own SOC or outsource your security, we suggest you read another blog of ours, In-house SOC or MSSP? How to choose security that works for your organization, to help you make that decision.
XDR solutions can:
EDR functions as a subset of XDR. EDR solutions offer an exclusive protection of endpoints by monitoring malicious activity happening on them. EDRs collect data, such as user logins and process executions, and can perform behavioral analysis to spot anomalous events.
EDR solutions can:
Considering that EDR revolves entirely around securing endpoints, people might assume that antivirus solutions are the same as EDR. The truth is that antivirus solutions do only a part of what EDR does. Antiviruses use signature-based detection to identify that a malware is in your network, but don't really give you details on how it entered the network and what caused the infection to spread. EDRs can also detect advanced persistent threats and fileless malwares that don't leave signatures and often identified by antivirus solutions.
SOAR is a solution that converges three primary security functions: management of threats, incident response, and automation of security operations, into a single holistic security solution. SOAR aims to alleviate the strain on IT security teams that manage an overwhelming number of network alerts; overlooked alerts will negatively impact security. SOAR ensures that threats are identified and a response strategy is implemented. The system is then automated to the maximum extent possible to run more efficiently. A novel feature of SOAR is the use of playbooks which automate and coordinate workflows; these may include any number of disparate security tools, as well as human actions.
SOAR solutions can:
I won't get into SIEM in this article. If you're looking for the reasons SIEM is a great security option, here's an article that expounds on that.
XDR is more of a new-gen concept that aims to improve on SIEM, or at least that's how XDR vendors tout it. Some look at it as an evolved platform that is more intensely focused on threat mitigation than even a SIEM solution, since compliance management is at the heart of SIEM and threat management is only a consequence of that. XDR relies heavily on multiple detection mechanisms to create rich data repositories, and then zooms in on narrower data sets to provide more granular information on network activity.
EDR has a more organic relationship with SIEM as it processes raw log data, identifies suspicious events, and only sends the alerts generated by these events to the SIEM solution. SIEM solutions collect and aggregate all security data sourced from integrated platforms logging event-related data—from EDRs, even XDRs, firewalls, network devices, intrusion detection and prevention systems, correlate this data across devices, and analyze incidents and issue alerts accordingly. Since the amount of data being sourced is large, SOC teams usually experience alert fatigue.
If you want to learn more about fine tuning your SIEM solution to reduce alert fatigue and get the best results, read our new e-book: "Getting the best out of your SIEM".
SOAR, on the other hand, is designed to help security teams automate response to incidents by responding to the endless alerts generated by SIEM. With SOAR, SOC teams can handle the overflow of alerts efficiently by creating adaptive, automated incident response workflows. This gives them the ability to prioritize threats and deliver faster results.
Ultimately, an organization's best security approach is still SIEM and SOAR as they're suited to a variety of use cases that address compliance, operations, and security under one umbrella. This design is tried and tested, and is known to improve the efficacy of the SOC team and successfully mitigate vulnerabilities the organization.
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