Cybersecurity is a mix of both reactive and proactive approaches. In the past, enterprises were often limited to the reactive approach. With compliance and security strategies gaining prominence, the proactive approach is also getting the spotlight. Compared to other industries, cybersecurity is highly dynamic and cybersecurity teams adopt any new technologies that can help them optimize.
One of the major reasons for this is because attackers are constantly updating their strategies and cyber attacks are constantly evolving. In order to keep up with the pace of the attackers and detect sophisticated cyber threats, security teams need to have the latest technology in place.
As threat detection and response continue to be the top priority of any organization, understanding the threat detection and incident response (TDIR) framework is essential for any organization. This article discusses the evolution of the TDIR framework, the different concepts that fall under the purview of TDIR, and their unique characteristics.
Evolution of TDIR
TDIR has always been the top priority for security teams. Traditionally, log aggregators and log management tools were extensively used to detect security threats. However, with the increase in the volume of data being processed and the evolution of threats, legacy solutions no longer are in a position to ingest, analyze, retain, and search through the log data. Further, with the extensive adoption of cloud, the IT infrastructure of organizations has drastically evolved, leading to the need for a comprehensive security solution to detect and defend against attacks.
This evolution has prompted organizations to develop in-house solutions to meet their unique security requirements. However, in-house solutions are highly resource-intensive and have their own limitations when it comes to threat detection and remediation.
Over time, this opened up a new market space and TDIR solutions started emerging. At present, TDIR comes in different shapes and sizes and organizations can choose from a range of different forms of TDIR solutions available in the market.
Where does EDR, XDR, and NDR play a role?
Threat detection and mitigation mechanisms of an organizations vary depending on the industry they operate in and the organization’s size and stature. For instance, a small-scale financial organization may not require a complex cyber defense mechanism. However, this is not the same for a bank.
Security teams need to adopt the right technology that suits their organization based on their requirements. Currently, there are several different tools that fall under the threat detection and response category. Let’s understand each of them and how they’re different from each other.
Endpoint detection and response
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions help organizations monitor their endpoints against cyberthreats. Compared to traditional threat detection systems, EDR solutions focus more on identifying and mitigating threats such as ransomware, zero-day vulnerabilities, fileless malware, and active attacks that specifically target endpoint solutions. Due to cyber threats constantly evolving and organizations embracing remote work—with employees working from anywhere, often in BYOD setups—EDR solutions are gaining prominence in the cyber space.
Extended detection and response
Most organizations use different tools to detect and respond to threats across their network. However, managing multiple solutions can be troublesome and can lead to certain vital alerts being overlooked. This is where an extended detection and response (XDR) solution comes into play. XDR solutions are considered to be the one-stop solution that helps organizations detect and respond to threats across the network by aggregating threat data from different security tools used in the organization. These solutions make threat detection and response easier by providing a centralized view of threat data and automating the response mechanism.
Network detection and response
According to Gartner, network detection and response (NDR) products detect abnormal system behaviors by applying behavioral analytics to network traffic data. NDR solutions continuously monitor network traffic and identify if there are any ongoing threats. Further, these solutions use non-signature based techniques to detect anomalous network activities. Similar to what a user entity and behavior analytics (UEBA) solution does, NDR solutions identify behavioral deviations from a previously derived baseline.
All of the above mentioned solutions fall under the purview of the TDIR category. Now comes the bigger question—where does security information and event management (SIEM) sit amongst all these?
SIEM will hold its fortress
While EDR, XDR, and NDR each continue to develop, SIEM will still play a vital role in an organization’s network security strategy. This is because of SIEM’s scope. While TDIR solutions help analyze data for threat detection and response, they may fail to collect and analyze all the events in a disparate network. Furthermore, the security analytics capability (correlation, analytics) of SIEM is essential for organizations to conduct threat investigation and forensic analysis.
Also, compared to TDIR solutions, SIEM solutions are highly customizable, meaning organizations can optimize the solution in such a way that it meets the specific security requirements of the organization. Just like UEBA, any TDIR solution will require the support of a SIEM solution to operate at an optimum level. Without a SIEM solution in place, it would be difficult to monitor incidents and events that happen in a network continuously.
Integrating TDIR solutions with a SIEM solution can help improve an organization’s threat detection, investigation, and response mechanism. What’s more, the growth of cloud SIEM looks promising and can help monitor and secure hybrid networks.
While threat detection and mitigation will continue to be the top priority for organizations, it is important to note that log management and security analytics must be the foundation for their security strategy. Continuous monitoring of the network is vital for organizations to understand their current security posture and make necessary adjustments to their systems to meet changing security requirements. For this, having a solution that is flexible and customizable is important.
With a SIEM solution in place, this can easily be achieved. On top of SIEM, if there is a TDIR solution deployed, it makes the security better. While TDIR solutions are can-haves, SIEM solutions are must-haves for any organization that wants to stay on top of their network.