EDR vs. XDR vs. SIEM vs. MDR vs. SOAR


In today’s digital landscape, organizations face an increasing number of security threats. To combat these threats, various tools and solutions have been developed, including EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response), XDR (Extended Detection and Response), SIEM (Security Information and Event Management), MDR (Managed Detection and Response), and SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response).

Each of these tools has a unique set of capabilities and is designed to address different aspects of cybersecurity. This article will examine the differences between these tools and how they can be used in tandem to provide a more comprehensive security solution.

What is EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response)?

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is a tool that detects, investigates, and responds to advanced endpoint threats. It is intended to compensate for the shortcomings of traditional endpoint protection solutions in terms of preventing all attacks.

EDR works on the endpoint similarly to a DVR, recording relevant behavior to detect incidents that escaped prevention. Customers who use EDR have complete visibility into all security-related endpoint activity. Among other things, it logs network connections, process launches, driver loading, registry changes, disk access, memory access, and registry changes.

The term EDR was coined in 2013 by Anton Chuvakin, a former vice president and security analyst at Gartner who is now a security product strategist. It was founded to compensate for the inability of older antivirus software and EPPs (Endpoint Protection Platforms) to completely thwart threats.

As a result of the changing threat landscape and increasingly sophisticated attacks, EDR has grown in importance in recent years. It is used to provide visibility into endpoint behavior and to detect and respond to sophisticated endpoint attacks.

What is XDR (Extended Detection and Response)?

XDR (Extended Detection and Response) is a security solution that aims to identify, investigate, and respond to advanced threats that originate from various sources, including the cloud, networks, and email. It is a SaaS-based security platform that combines the organization’s existing security solutions into a single security system.

An XDR platform collects raw telemetry data from a variety of technologies, including cloud apps, email security, identity, and access control. It integrates data from multiple security systems to improve threat visibility and reduce the time required to detect and respond to an attack.

XDR is a relatively new cybersecurity concept that was developed to help IT professionals sort through the flood of security alerts and detect threats more quickly. The inadequacies of traditional security technologies, which were unable to detect and respond to complex threats across multiple vectors, prompted the need for XDR.

In today’s cybersecurity environment, XDR is recognized as a critical technique for providing adequate coverage against complex threats. XDR was created to provide a comprehensive security system that can detect and respond to attacks from a variety of vectors, including the cloud, network, and email.

From a single console, it provides improved cross-domain threat hunting and forensic investigation capabilities.

What is SIEM (Security Information and Event Management)?

SIEM, or Security Information and Event Management, is a tool that assists enterprises in identifying, assessing, and responding to security threats before they disrupt business operations. It is a security management system that integrates security event management (SEM) and security information management (SIM).

SIEM is intended to increase the visibility of the IT environment, allowing teams to respond to perceived events and security incidents more efficiently through communication and collaboration. This could be critical in exponentially growing interdepartmental efficiencies.

Early in the millennium, businesses recognized the need for a more comprehensive security solution capable of managing the massive amounts of data produced by their systems. This is when SIEM first emerged. Today’s typical business generates far too much data to manage manually.

A modest SIEM system generates 1,500 events per second from up to 300 event sources. Because it provides a centralized view of all security-related data, a SIEM solution is required for an organization to monitor systems and report suspicious activity.

This facilitates identifying threats and taking action. It also offers forensic investigation and compliance reporting capabilities, both of which are essential for incident response and compliance.

What is MDR (Managed Detection and Response)?

MDR (Managed Detection and Response) is a cybersecurity service that is usually offered by a managed security service provider (MSSP). MDR is typically comprised of a combination of technology, processes, and people that collaborate to detect and respond to cyber threats.

It is designed to provide continuous cybersecurity threat protection, detection, and response. MDR solutions employ machine learning to investigate, alert, and contain cyber threats at scale.

MDR can be traced back to the mid-2010s when organizations began to recognize the need for a more comprehensive security solution capable of dealing with the increasing sophistication of cyber threats. According to a report by ResearchAndMarkets.com, the global MDR market is expected to grow from 2.6 billion in 2017 to 5.6 billion by 2027.

MDR has become an essential service in modern cybersecurity because it provides a proactive approach to threat detection and response, assists organizations in quickly identifying and mitigating threats, provides ongoing monitoring, and responds to cyber threats in real time. It is also a cost-effective solution for organizations because it does not necessitate additional staffing.

What is SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response)?

SOAR (Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response) is a software stack that allows a company to gather information about security threats and respond to security events without requiring human intervention.

SOAR platforms are used to improve the effectiveness of physical and digital security operations. SOAR technology enables task coordination, execution, and automation between diverse individuals and tools within a single platform. It can be summarized as the technology used to protect networks and devices from online threats, attacks, and unauthorized access.

SOAR has gained traction in the cybersecurity industry because it provides a centralized platform for incident management, reducing the need for manual procedures and various technologies. SOAR allows enterprises to easily plan, track, and report on incident management activities, which also improves incident response times and security posture.

What are the key differences between EDR, XDR, SIEM, MDR, and SOAR?

SIEM, SOAR, XDR, EDR, and MDR are all cybersecurity solutions that aim to provide advanced threat detection, analytics, and response capabilities to organizations. However, the features and capabilities of these solutions differ significantly:

  • EDR solutions are designed to collect and correlate endpoint activity to detect, analyze, and respond to security threats. They are primarily used for identifying and responding to threats on endpoints to improve incident response time, as well as for forensic investigation.
  • XDR is the evolution of EDR. XDR’s capabilities extend beyond endpoint detection. It offers detection, analytics, and response capabilities across endpoints, networks, servers, cloud workloads, SIEMs, and many other platforms. This provides a unified view of multiple tools and attack methods through a single pane of glass. Its primary functions include threat detection, alerting, in-depth analysis, and real-time response.
  • SIEM solutions collect, aggregate, analyze, and store large volumes of log data from across the enterprise. They are typically used for compliance, threat detection, and security incident management. SIEM is known for its broad approach, as it can collect data from almost any source across the enterprise to be stored for several use cases.
  • MDR, or Managed Detection and Response, is a type of cybersecurity service that is typically offered by a managed security service provider (MSSP). By combining technology and human expertise to perform threat hunting, monitoring, and response, MDR provides a unique cybersecurity solution. The MDR service allows customers to outsource the detection of and response to security incidents to a third-party provider, allowing for faster threat detection and limiting the impact on business operations.
  • SOAR solutions are designed to allow organizations to automate and streamline their incident response and security operations. They receive data from the SIEM and then take the lead on resolutions. They are typically used to coordinate and execute tasks between different teams, tools, and platforms. The SOAR capabilities that a SIEM solution does not have include:
    1. Automated response: SOAR can automatically invoke investigation path workflows and shorten the time it takes to resolve alerts, whereas SIEM requires manual intervention from an analyst to determine whether further investigation is required.
    2. Orchestration: SOAR can orchestrate and automate tasks across multiple security tools and systems, allowing businesses to streamline their incident response process. SIEM, on the other hand, is primarily concerned with the collection and analysis of log data.
    3. Multi-vendor support: SOAR platforms frequently allow for integration with a wide range of security tools and systems regardless of the vendor, whereas SIEM solutions typically only work with data from the same vendor.

In summary, SOAR is used to automate and improve the efficiency of security tasks. XDR provides a unified view of various tools and attack vectors. EDR’s primary focus is endpoint security. MDR is a service that provides ongoing cybersecurity threat detection and response. SIEM is primarily used for threat detection, compliance, and incident management.


What Is the Relationship Between SIEM and SOAR?

SIEM and SOAR both aim to improve an organization’s ability to detect, analyze, and respond to security threats. SIEM focuses on gathering and analyzing data from multiple sources, whereas SOAR focuses on automating and optimizing the response to such data. After receiving data from the SIEM, the SOAR can take the lead on resolutions. Without a SOAR, security teams would be forced to act on data and insights from a SIEM through a variety of external interfaces.

Does XDR replace SIEM and SOAR?

The simple answer is no. SIEM and XDR are very different. SIEM collects, aggregates, analyzes, and stores large amounts of log data from all business areas. The original SIEM strategy entailed collecting and storing all event and log data from virtually any organizational source for a variety of use cases. When SOAR receives SIEM data, it can start the resolution process.

In short, SIEM platforms typically lack log repository and analysis capabilities. A SOAR can respond in ways that a SIEM cannot. The functionalities of SIEM and SOAR complement each other, and XDR lacks the potential to replace the two – particularly because it lacks a holistic approach to efficiently supporting security operations (in most cases).

Given its limited capabilities and support for data sources, the majority of XDR use cases revolve around security teams augmenting their threat detection and incident response capabilities with a SIEM.

Do I need all three tools: SIEM, SOAR, and XDR?

It depends on the specific needs and goals of an organization. Systems such as SIEM, SOAR, and XDR can help with both security and incident response.

  • A SIEM tool collects and analyzes log data from various organizational sources, such as network devices, servers, and apps. Its primary function is to manage security data and events.
  • SOAR is an incident response tool that automates incident response procedures. It allows security teams to coordinate and automate processes that involve multiple security technologies and platforms.
  • The XDR tool connects and correlates data from various security tools and platforms. It provides a unified view of security data from endpoints to networks to servers to cloud workloads to SIEMs. It aids in threat detection, investigation, and response.

Organizations are not required to have all three tools. A company may discover that a combination of SIEM and SOAR is adequate, or that XDR is the best solution for their needs. It is critical to assess an organization’s specific needs and goals before selecting the tools that will best meet those needs.