| Cybersecurity

MDR, EDR-as-a-Service, NDR, XDR: how to choose the best approach for your IT security?

The terms "MDR", "EDR-as-a-Service", "NDR" and "XDR" refer to IT security technologies designed to help companies detect, prevent and respond to security incidents. Understanding these security tools (EDR, NDR, XDR) - which enable you to supervise all or part of an Information System (IS) - or their operating services (EDR-as-a-Service, MDR), is essential to adopting the most effective supervision strategy for your digital environment.

Since the 90s, the protection of Information Systems (IS) has become a major strategic issue for companies and organizations, due to the increase in threats linked to the development of the Internet. This evolution has led to the emergence of new protection tools, such as antivirus software, which have themselves evolved to offer professionals more comprehensive protection for their assets. 

Understanding their differences and objectives

MDR (Managed Detection and Response): MDR security solutions offer a managed service to detect and respond to security threats, in real time. This approach often uses a combination of technologies, such as behavioral analysis, security monitoring and automated incident response, as well as expert security teams who continuously monitor security events and alerts.

EDR-as-a-Service (Endpoint Detection and Response-as-a-Service): EDR-as-a-Service is a security technology that monitors endpoints such as laptops, servers and mobile devices for threats. It also collects data on user and machine activities, enabling potential threats to be detected more quickly.

NDR (Network Detection and Response): NDR is a security technology that monitors network traffic for threats. It often uses behavioral analysis techniques to detect anomalies in traffic patterns and user behavior.

XDR (eXtended Detection and Response): XDR is a more comprehensive security approach that integrates multiple security technologies, such as MDR, EDR and NDR, to provide a more complete view of potential threats. XDR also makes it possible to consolidate security alerts from different sources to facilitate the management of security incidents.

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IT security and incident detection: two complementary approaches

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions monitor endpoints such as workstations, servers, cell phones, tablets, etc., using information sources present on these endpoints - such as event logs or processes running on the endpoint - to detect suspicious behavior. EDR solutions are complex to configure and fine-tune, due to the large number of false positives they can generate. For this reason, many companies offer EDR-as-a-Service to maintain proper configuration, while minimizing false positives.

NDR (Network Detection and Response) solutions detect unusual network flows based on various criteria - such as volume, frequency, date or source of exchanges. They are capable of taking measures on the network to contain a potential threat in the event of suspicious behavior (quarantining part of the network, cutting off certain types of exchange, etc.).

While the EDR detects events taking place on a workstation, the NDR traces events occurring between workstations. 

MDR and XDR: together for enhanced safety

XDR (eXtended Detection and Response) and MDR (Managed Detection and Response) tools have emerged in response to the need to analyze data from different security tools.

XDR solutions are able to identify the attack pattern of a group of attackers and react accordingly, using external sources of information - such as endpoints, exchanges between them - to add further context to events occurring on the IS, thanks to Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI).

XDR solutions bring together several monitoring concepts in a single solution, while MDR solutions combine these different technologies with a notion of service. This means that users can delegate the complete management of one or more security tools to a team of external experts trained in these technologies - and familiar with best practice in alert management procedures. This speeds up the processing of alerts, and relieves in-house teams of part of their analysis workload.