When it comes to cybersecurity, there are a lot of acronyms you might come across. EDR, NAC, ZTNA, DLP—the list goes on.

However, some will be much more critical to your business than others, and in this blog, we’re going to take a closer look at the difference between SIEM and XDR, as well as the crucial differences between them and SOAR.


What is XDR?

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is a software solution that acts as a single source of truth for all of the data originating from previously siloed cybersecurity tools.

XDR is defined by Gartner as a “unified security incident detection and response platform that automatically collects and correlates data from multiple proprietary security components.”

This means that an XDR platform brings together security telemetry from endpoints, cloud applications, email clients, servers and more, giving security teams a single dashboard to monitor, investigate and respond to threats.

How XDR works can be summed up in three steps:

  1. The platform collects and normalizes data from every element of your network.
  2. XDR correlates all of this data and leverages AI and machine learning so it can automatically adapt to new attack patterns and methodologies to detect anomalies and potential attacks.
  3. XDR facilitates efficient responses by prioritizing threats based on potential severity, making it easier for security teams to make faster decisions. The system can also automate certain investigation routines and response actions that would previously be time-consuming for humans to deal with.


What is SIEM?

SIEM stands for Security Information and Event Management, and like XDR it is a solution designed to help organizations detect, analyze and respond to cyber threats, providing real-time monitoring, threat detection, incident response and compliance management.

The key components of SIEM:

Data collection

SIEM covers a wide range of network sources, including endpoints, servers and applications, collecting log data, security events, and system activity logs.

Log management

SIEM centralizes the management of log data, allowing for easy search, retrieval and retention of logs for compliance and/or investigative purposes.

Event correlation

Like XDR, SIEM analyzes and correlates log data to identify patterns and, ultimately, applies predefined rules or algorithms to help identify potential attacks and generate automated alerts and notifications.

Real-time monitoring

SIEM provides a holistic view of an organization’s ‘attack surface’, with continuous monitoring of security events in real-time. This allows security teams to track cyber activity, detect threats and respond appropriately.


What are the biggest differences between SIEM and XDR?

The difference between SIEM and XDR comes down to their approach and capabilities. SIEM primarily focuses on aggregating and analyzing log data for threat detection and compliance reporting, excelling in identifying known threats and delivering compliance reports. XDR, however, offers a more integrated and proactive solution, primarily aimed at threat analysts. Like a SIEM, it collects diverse data types but typically utilizes highly advanced AI and ML analytics for detecting sophisticated, multi-vector attacks.

Crucially, XDR includes automated response mechanisms to threats, a feature typically absent in traditional SIEM systems. This makes XDR more dynamic and effective in addressing complex, evolving cyber threats.

SIEM also typically focuses on network-centric security events rather than endpoint data—although it can incorporate some of this telemetry. Today, SIEM systems have started to evolve into XDR systems, while also including SOAR capabilities.

While SIEM provides a comprehensive log management and correlation platform, XDR offers a more integrated and proactive approach to threat detection and response, addressing more advanced and sophisticated cyber threats.


What is SOAR?

Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) software facilitates the automation of cybersecurity tasks between people and tools, all from a centralized platform. Although it used to be a standalone tool, nowadays a SOAR module is available in all modern SIEM and XDR platforms. It acts as the “response” element in Managed Detection and Response (MDR).

The benefit of SOAR is that it empowers security teams to focus on more business-critical activities, while automation can handle repetitive and time-consuming tasks. This not only makes your team more efficient, but it also reduces ‘alert fatigue’ from having to deal with threats emerging from multiple cybersecurity tools.

SOAR works by triggering ‘playbooks’ on collected alert data and then automating response workflows and tasks. The SOAR element allows you to analyze and prioritize through a combination of machine learning and human intervention, which significantly streamlines the handling of cybersecurity threat investigation and response.


How does Kudelski Security’s MDR service leverage XDR to support your cybersecurity?

Kudelski’s MDR ONE Resolute offers the scope and coverage of a comprehensive XDR solution while taking the burden of extensive and thorough cybersecurity off your team’s desk. Alternatively, we can work closely with in-house teams to maximize your defense infrastructure.

Whatever the composition of your network environment, our always-on, proactive MDR services are designed to protect your organization. With our dedicated FusionDetect™ platform, combined with the expertise of our cybersecurity professionals, we will:

  • Monitor threat telemetry 24/7, allowing you to outsource the burden of day-to-day cybersecurity management.
  • Rapidly detect threats via our detection methodology tailored to your network environment.
  • Unearth unknown threats.
  • Respond quickly to deal with attacks, while we can also work alongside your internal team to enable fast remedial action.

Ready to explore the next level of cybersecurity protection? Get in touch with our experts at Kudelski Security to learn more.

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