The Road to XDR

The Road to XDR

XDR (eXtended Detection and Response) is a cybersecurity acronym being used by most vendors today.  It is not a new strategy. It’s been around for a while but the journey for customers and vendors has been slow for many reasons. For McAfee, XDR has been integral to our vision, strategy and design philosophy that has guided our solution development for many years. Understanding our road to XDR can help your organization map your XDR journey.

The Building Pressure for XDR

Let’s start with why XDR?  The cry for XDR reflects where cybersecurity is today with fragmented, cumbersome and ineffective security and where folks want to go.  In my CISO conversations it is well noted that security operation centers (SOC) are struggling.  Disjointed control points and disparate tools lead to ineffective security teams.  It allows adversaries to more easily move laterally across the infrastructure undetected and moving intentionally erratic to avoid detection.  Analysts only know this if they manually connect the thousand dots which is time consuming leaving the adversaries with ample dwell time to do damage. It’s no secret. There is a lack of security expertise, and these are regularly tested.  Their investigations are cumbersome, highly manual, and riddled with blind spots. It’s nearly impossible to prioritize efforts, leaving the SOC simply buried in reactive cycles and alert fatigue.  Bottom line—SOC metrics are getting worse—while adversaries are becoming more sophisticated and creative in carrying out their mission.

XDR has the potential to be a one-stop solution to alleviating these SOC issues and improving operational inefficiencies.

XDR Options

Many cybersecurity providers are trying to offer an XDR capability of some sort. They promise to provide visibility and control across all vectors, and offer more analysis, context and automation to obtain faster and better response when reacting to a threat. Point players are limited to expertise in their domain (endpoint or network) and can’t offer a critical, proven cross-portfolio platform. After all, can your endpoint platform offer true XDR functionality it it’s not also connected to network, cloud and web?

McAfee’s long-time mantra has been Better Together. That mantra underscores our commitment to deliver comprehensive security that works cohesively across all threat vectors – device, network, web and cloud and with non-McAfee products.  Industry analysts and customers agree that McAfee is well positioned to deliver a solid XDR offering given our platform strategy and portfolio.

There is more to the McAfee XDR Story

Now, what if you had that same comprehensive XDR capability that not only offered visibility and control across the vectors, but also allows you to get ahead of adversary and empowering you to be more proactive. It could give you a heads up on threats that are likely to attack you based on global and industry trends, based on what your local environment looks like. With this highly credible prediction comes the prescribed guidance on how to counter the threat before it hits you. Imagine it also supplies prescriptive actions you can take to protect your users, data, applications and devices spanning from device to cloud. Other XDR conversations can’t take the conversation to this level of proactivity. McAfee can in our recently announced MVISION XDR.

Not only does McAfee take XDR to the next level, but it also helps you better mitigate cyber risk by enabling you to prioritize and focus on what most matters. What if your threat response was prioritized based on the impact to the organization? You need to understand what the attackers are targeting. How close are they to the most sensitive data based on the users and devices? MVISION XDR offers this context and data-awareness to focus your analysts on what counts. For example, threats that jeopardize sensitive data from a finance executive on his device will automatically be of priority versus a maybe threat on general purpose device with no data. This data-awareness is not noted well in other XDR conversations, but it is with recently announced MVISION XDR.  

Let’s look at McAfee’s journey and investment with XDR and how we got to this exceptional XDR approach.

McAfee XDR Journey

McAfee’s XDR Journey did not simply start up recently because a buzz word appeared that needed to spoke to.   As noted earlier, McAfee’s mantra “Together is Better” sets the stage for a unified security approach, which is core to the XDR promise.  McAfee recognized early on that multi-vendors security ecosystem is a key requirement to build a defense in depth security practice. OpenDXL the open-source community delivered the data exchange layer or the DXL message bus architecture. This enabled our diverse ecosystem of partners from threat intelligence platforms, to orchestration tools to use a common transport mechanism and information exchange protocol. Most enterprise security architectures will be a heterogenous mix of various security solutions. McAfee is one of the founding members of the Open CyberSecurity Alliance (OCA) where we contributed our DXL ontology – enabling participating vendors to not only communicate vital threat details but inform what to do to all connected multi-vendor security solutions.

Realizing EDR is network blind and SIEM is endpoint blind, we integrated McAfee EDR and SIEM.  McAfee continues to deliver XDR capabilities by bringing multiple telemetry sources on a platform from a single console for analytics and investigation, driving remediation decisions with automatic enforcement across the enterprise.  When you combine  MVISION XDR the first proactive, data-aware and open XDR and released MVISION Marketplace and API further supporting the open security ecosystem for XDR capabilities, organizations have a solid starting point to advance their visibility and control across their entire cyber infrastructure.

Before all the XDR hype, McAfee customers have been on the XDR path. Our customers have already gained XDR capabilities and are positioned to grow with more XDR capabilities. I encourage you to check out the video below.

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