Understanding SIEM, MDR, and XDR

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A Guide to Cybersecurity Detection and Response

New cybersecurity innovations continue to fill the market each year as organizations attempt to stay ahead of threat actors. The challenge is sifting through all the options to find the solutions that best fit your organization’s needs. While this is not a new challenge, emerging pressures from cyber insurance providers and governing bodies have become more prescriptive in their requirements.

You may have or will deploy solutions such as Security Information Event Management (SIEM), Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR), Managed Detection & Response (MDR), or Internet of Medical Things (IoMT) monitoring. A newer solution in the Security Operations Center (SOC) toolkit is Extended Detection & Response (XDR).  But what’s right for you?

What to Know About SIEM, MDR, and XDR

What’s the difference between SIEM, MDR, and XDR?

We’ll keep this very high level, but if you’d like a deeper dive, there will be links to resources throughout this article, and the Fortified Health Security team is always available to speak with you. SIEM and EDR, while complimentary, play very different roles. SIEM collects, stores, and analyzes threat event data. It’s a useful, but passive tool that requires continuous intervention and fine-tuning by security analysts to define what threats are both credible and critical. MDR is a service that monitors endpoints (Endpoint Detection Response, or EDR) for threats and delivers automated responses to isolate or remediate detected threats.  XDR can provide the next step in your cybersecurity defense.  While SIEM isn’t typically focused on detailed activity at the endpoint, and EDR/MDR has limited visibility to the network and cloud. XDR goes further by combining the capabilities of SIEM, and EDR/MDR in addition to feeds like IoMT. And a holistic XDR solution also provides visibility into network threats rather than just endpoints. Many view XDR as the natural progression in the cybersecurity stack, as it brings intelligence, visibility, and response into a single management console.

Why does XDR matter?

XDR helps cybersecurity teams become more effective and faster in response to threats.  Speed is a huge advantage for teams utilizing XDR to mitigate or respond to incidents. Faster response usually leads to reduced downtimes and lower remediation costs. According to the IBM Cost of Data Breach Report 2022[PD1] , “Organizations that have deployed XDR technologies experienced an average lower cost of USD 4.15 million than the organizations that haven’t deployed XDR technologies.” And often cyber insurance providers require specific security capabilities, like the capabilities that XDR provides, to maintain coverage.  

XDR in healthcare

Finding experienced cybersecurity professionals that have hands-on experience with XDR can be difficult. And if you’re considering an XDR solution, understand that not all XDR solutions are created equal – there’s no standard approach, integrations or features that are guaranteed. The two primary approaches to XDR are 1.) endpoint vendors acquiring or partnering with technology vendors that have traditionally focused on network and cloud monitoring or 2.) SIEM vendors acquiring or partnering with endpoint vendors. Both approaches can be valuable, and often success is dependent upon how well the tools can be merged into a single platform. Understanding what integrations you need today and in the future is a great starting point. Ensure integrations are available for your critical apps, endpoints, network monitoring, identification such as Active Directory, and any cloud services needed. Once you have that important information, you can start to evaluate the level of effort and resources needed to make the XDR transition for your organization. Many healthcare organizations may choose to work with an outside provider for one or all of these services.

Fortified XDR

As a managed security service provider, Fortified offers a fully-managed service that monitors and responds to threats within healthcare ecosystems. We conduct our operations through a Healthcare Security Operations Center (HSOC) in order to provide 24/7 services designed to reduce the number of operational security personnel an enterprise needs to hire, train, and retain an acceptable security posture. Our goal is to supplement an organization’s existing team and allow those internal resources to prioritize efforts in other important areas. We’ll have your back while you focus on things that move your business forward.

As a Healthcare MSSP, our team offers up-to-date healthcare threat intelligence and visibility into advanced threats. And our advanced monitoring, analysis, investigation, threat hunting, and carefully considered response go beyond active monitoring. Our cyber team proactively searches for threats undetected in networks and has the capability to stop threats that slip past initial security defenses.

The Fortified Threat Analyst team sends detailed client notifications that include relevant data, explain what’s happening, and detail healthcare-specific recommendations that are a step above automated investigations. The goal is to help our clients connect the dots and optimize their internal security team as quickly as possible.

If you’d like to learn more about our Healthcare Security Operations Center and XDR solutions, we’re here to help. Please contact us today.