XDR – What’s Extended Detection and Response?

a image with purple tones of a person typing on a keyboard, representing a purple team excersise

XDR – Extended Detection and Response

Executive Summary

XDR, or extended detection and response, is a unified security incident platform that uses machine learning and, more recently, AI to automate detection and response.

Here’s how it works:

  • Incident-Based Investigation and Attack Visibility – XDR collects alerts from different log sources and correlates them into incidents, giving the security analyst a full view of each potential attack.
  • Automated Kill Chain and Handling – Using security signals from many different sources and its built-in automation, XDR can detect ongoing attacks and initiate an incident response action.

Extended Detection and Response

XDR is designed to provide a full or holistic view and an efficient way to protect against and respond to advanced cyber attacks. Threat actors today leverage legitimate applications instead of compiling their own programs, so relying on known signatures is impossible. XDR, therefore, improves upon endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities and analyzes behavior to find malicious patterns by integrating various security technologies into one unified platform.

Data Integration

XDR connects and collects data from otherwise siloed security solutions, combining them to improve the security analyst’s visibility. It integrates with EDR, network detection and response (NDR), and several other security solutions.

Threat Detection and Response

By collecting alerts and correlating them into incidents, the security analyst gets a full view of the possible cyber attack. This is achieved by using machine learning algorithms, advanced analytics, and AI to monitor several different security solutions.


When a threat is detected, the built-in automation can take effective incident response actions. For example, a user account can be locked, or a device can be isolated to disrupt the ongoing cyber attack.

Threat Visibility

The visibility is based on the number of alerts ingested from the monitored security solutions. Greater visibility can reduce the time it takes to investigate an incident, meaning that a full cyber attack can be successfully remediated before the impact is significant.

Asset Recovery

XDR can also leverage built-in automation capabilities to return assets compromised by an attack to a safe state.


What is XDR?

XDR stands for extended detection and response. It’s a cybersecurity technology that uses machine learning and AI to continuously monitor and respond to threats by analyzing several different log sources.

Why is XDR important?

XDR provides extended visibility, analysis, and response across endpoints, user identities, and networks, enabling security analysts to detect and respond to cyber attacks more quickly.

What makes XDR different from EDR?

XDR improves upon EDR by utilizing several different log sources for its automated analysis to detect anomalies and cyber threats.

What features should good XDR have?

Good XDR solutions should provide unified visibility across all security components and use automated threat detection and response. It should also integrate with external threat intelligence feeds and identify anomalous behavior.

What challenges does EDR implementation pose?

XDR implementation can be challenging due to factors like centralized management integration. Lack of skilled staff and the need for machine learning algorithms to refine detection can also be challenges.