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Stupid Is as Stupid Does: XDR Is About the Journey, Not the Destination

Music is lovely, isn’t it?

It has the ability to brighten days with upbeat bars or provide a comfortable place of solace and reflection via gentle, soothing notes. Whether you typically opt for Black Sabbath, Shakira, or Bob Marley, music meets our ears in many different ways – and harmony is not always one-size-fits-all. We recognize this when a friend, sibling, partner, or stranger earnestly (yet tonelessly) attempts to mimic Mariah Carey’s five-octave range, resulting in room-clearing screeches that can only be found in a nature documentary.

While I’m not a Grammy-winning artist myself, my point is that harmony is relatable and relevant across any industry, method, measure, or format – even security. Trends and messaging have increasingly pointed to the consolidation of everything across Security Operations Centers (SOC) so they can act in a harmonious manner, not missing a beat to provide protection across the entire enterprise. We’ve seen this as conversations shift from endpoint detection and response (EDR) to extended detection and response (XDR), with the latter promising lower total cost of ownership as well as improved protection and productivity. Who wouldn’t want this!

But the truth is, it isn’t lack of desire for full protection in the most cost-effective and efficient manner, but lack of knowledge or perceived roadblocks. Enterprises across the world have been affected by the global pandemic, uprooting familiar processes. Companies were forced to introduce quick, sometimes temporary solutions for larger systemic issues all without 100 percent certainty where endpoints may lie and what damage this vulnerability presents, especially as bad actors extort the chaos created by COVID-19 to double down on attacks.

This upheaval has started to settle down and enterprises now have more time and energy to audit their businesses and processes with fresh eyes. It isn’t a matter of the pandemic, with hope, nearing its end, to just re-plug in an existing solution stack – but rather looking at how the business has changed and adapting to these changes for now and into the future. This includes changes across staff, solutions, shifting skillsets to manage increased workloads, and yes – increased, and perhaps hasty, consolidation attempts.

Penning the Lyrics

According to Enterprise Strategy Group, more than 80 percent of organizations are singing the tune of change with plans to increase spending on threat detection and response. They are hearing the melodious mandate to meet the needs of today’s “new-normal-digitally transformed-modern” enterprise. For many, this means an investment in extended detection and response (XDR) technology.

Enterprises are already feeling the pressure. They have their bottom lines trapped on repeat, looping in their minds. They are seeking counsel, support, and direction – not to be chastised by their choices – but rather guided to create and implement strategies that best fit their business.

That being said, the potential for XDR is tremendous. But you have to crawl before you can walk. I’m sure many of us may feel silly, or even stupid, thinking back to when we carried Walkman and Discmans, clunkily fumbling for them in our pockets or purses, forever tethered to the device if you wanted to listen to music. But at the same time, we recognize the progression from Walkman to iPod to iPhone to Bluetooth and voice-activated technology, and more. The Discman and Walkman crawled so digitized music could walk.

This natural progression is no different in the security industry, and the onus is on vendors to make this connection. Enterprises, after all, are not still storing floppy disks locked in a filing cabinet as a security measure. While XDR is the latest technology, the journey to XDR includes the fundamental need of endpoint detection and response (EDR) capabilities. EDR is a foundational piece in getting XDR right – or put another way, XDR is an efficient evolution of EDR platforms. EDR crawled so XDR could walk. XDR will walk so the next technology can fly.

Hitting the Right Notes

This is what true innovation is, the constant desire to advance processes, products, and experiences. It is what XDR promises, to improve and streamline processes across enterprise SOCs, providing meaningful context, actionable intelligence, and the visibility and control necessary to connect solutions that orchestrate together in symphonic harmony.

In fact, from a philharmonic standpoint, symphonies by definition are made up of different types of instruments (endpoints) generating music (data) where each requires incredibly specific methods of tuning and expertise by musicians (SOC analysts) in order to ensure they can be harmonious with the group. Musicians are not born with their skillset, but rather they test and learn – and fail – trying to see which instrument is the best fit for them, which notes they can hit, and which notes are best suited for another instrument or musician to manage.

We must be the conductor and connecting point here to show the true benefits and value of XDR. While the journey is different for every enterprise (and vendor), the end goal is a protected society where good prevails over bad. It is our job to guide these choices and take responsibility regardless of where an enterprise is at in their journey – to show how innovation builds on itself, always striving to better experiences and outcomes.

Where are you in the journey to XDR? Check out the on-demand webinar below and start asking questions.