NDR vs. XDR vs. EDR: What are the Differences?
NDR, EDR, and XDR are three cybersecurity technologies that, when combined, provide a comprehensive defense against cyberattacks.
Comparing NDR, EDR, and XDR
All three tools are meant to make threat detection, response, and analysis more effective. As modules in a single security stack, there are important differences in how they function and what they monitor:
|What it does
Analyzes north-south and east-west (network) traffic. Deploys machine-learning, behavioral analysis and threat databases to detect known attack signatures as well as anomalous activity that may be an indicator of attack. Builds a baseline of normal traffic patterns.
Provides broad security visibility by monitoring every device on the network passively, without impacting performance or availability. Integrates with and complements EDR and SIEM to provide the enterprise with a comprehensive security approach.
Network data can be expensive to store because it can be voluminous, more voluminous than application logs or EDR alerts.
Monitors and analyzes endpoints or end-user devices; searches for indicators of attack; employs behavioral analytics to detect patterns that may indicate malicious behavior or match known threats in the database; sends alerts and can isolate compromised endpoints.
Provides deep security visibility with strong detection capabilities and a layer of defense beneath firewalls, antivirus, and other tools.
Does not provide insight into network, cloud, servers or other elements of the enterprise. Limited ability to detect new attack patterns and zero-day attacks. Not applicable to all endpoints (e.g. printers, IP phones).
Pulls together data from disparate sources, potentially including endpoints, servers, cloud deployments, and networks. Typically includes machine analysis capabilities.
Provides security teams with a single pane of glass through which to assess aggregated data and respond rapidly to threats.
May introduce complexity to the security apparatus, or decrease the effectiveness of other security tools due to vendor lock-in and insufficient integration.
What’s the SOC Visibility Triad and how do NDR, EDR, and XDR fit into it?
Gartner coined the term SOC Visibility Triad to explain how three technologies—NDR, EDR, and SIEMs—can be integrated so organizations can more effectively detect and respond to cyber threats and improve their overall cybersecurity posture. A SIEM (Security Incident and Event Management System) is software that provides incident responders with a centralized viewport into an organization’s security data. SIEMs monitor and aggregate—typically ingesting NDR and EDR logs and flow data in real time—then apply analytics to enhance anomalies or raise alerts.
NDR effectively provides visibility into network traffic that EDR and SIEM lack, and can help defenders detect and understand attackers’ behavior and movement in ways the other two pillars do not. It also complements other sources of log data in the SIEM, and can provide additional context that accelerates incident response.
While most enterprise-level SOCs still use SIEMs, some are replacing them with XDR, or adding XDR to the technology stack as an additional defensive mechanism. This is why it is increasingly common to see the SOC Visibility Triad defined as a combination of NDR, EDR, and XDR — even though there is still debate about what exactly XDR’s function is, whether or not it can replace SIEM, or if it is meant to augment SIEM capabilities and streamline alert functions.
What is the best security solution for your organization?
Increasingly, security teams are seeking integrated solutions that address natural limitations of the individual tools they use. The concept behind the SOC Visibility Triad provides a strong basis for this integration, whether it utilizes XDR as a substitute for SIEM or an addition that furthers integration and improves overall visibility and responsiveness.
Open solutions, such as Corelight’s Open NDR platform, provide the benefit of community-driven analysis and simplified integration with some of the most effective EDR and XDR tools.
Learn how Corelight integrates with Crowdstrike’s Falcon Insight XDR solution.
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