Open XDR

Explaining Open XDR: How It Works & Where It Fits

Andrew Douthwaite

November 17, 2022


Summary of Key Points

  • XDR stands for Extended Detection & Response. It combines EDR (Endpoint Detection & Response) with other cybersecurity tools, creating a single platform to identify and respond to threats.
  • There are two kinds of XDR solutions: open and closed. Open XDR allows for integration with tools by different vendors, while closed XDR can only integrate with tools from a single vendor.
  • VirtualArmour’s managed open XDR goes a step further by providing expert guidance and administration for open XDR platforms. Having this kind of support allows an organization’s in-house IT staff to focus on tasks that advance business goals and leave cybersecurity to experienced pros.

Open XDR is a cutting-edge approach to identifying and addressing network threats, but what makes it different from standard XDR solutions—and what value does it offer organizations? Understanding what makes open XDR unique can show you how to fit it into your cybersecurity posture, reducing your risk and giving you peace of mind during your everyday operations.

As providers of high-end managed open XDR and other state-of-the-art cybersecurity services, our team at VirtualArmour knows how to implement these tools for maximum results. Read on as we show you how open XDR works and where it fits in your IT environment.

See also:

Group of IT professionals gathered around computer to represent XDR solution
Via Adobe Stock.

What Is XDR?

XDR stands for Extended Detection and Response. It’s a newer and improved version of EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response), which is an umbrella term for tools that protect your network’s access points—or endpoints—from ransomware, malware, and other threats.

Where XDR differs from EDR is that it covers more than just your endpoints. In fact, XDR integrates EDR technology with other parts of your security stack. Essentially, it becomes a single platform from which you can detect, monitor, and respond to threats across your:

  • Network
  • Endpoints
  • Cloud environment
  • Identity access and management tools
  • Apps

However, not all XDR tools are the same—so let’s take a closer look at the two main types: open or closed.

Open XDR vs. Native (Closed) XDR

Both Open XDR and closed XDR solutions are made to bridge gaps between different cybersecurity tools, providing single-pane visibility for your security stack and making it easier to manage efficiently. The difference comes down to the kinds of tools each type of XDR solution is capable of integrating.

Open XDR

Open XDR systems are designed to work with programs and tools from different providers. This makes them an especially popular choice for organizations who are updating their cybersecurity posture, as their legacy systems are unlikely to have come from a single source originally.

Closed XDR

Closed XDR solutions are also called native XDR solutions, because they’re designed only for use with tools belonging to the same security vendor. Using this type of XDR solution requires an organization to switch any cybersecurity tools from different vendors to those supplied by the vendor who provided it.

Person accessing multiple cybersecurity tools from single platform to represent XDR concept
Via Adobe Stock.

How Open XDR Benefits Organizations

Ultimately, each organization has to make its own decisions about whether to use open or closed XDR—but open XDR provides several unique advantages. Here are a few of the most important if you’re considering open XDR for your business:

Pick & Choose Your Vendors

Since open XDR solutions are built for compatibility with security tools from different vendors, you won’t be locked into choosing an entire suite of options from a single provider. Find a firewall you like from one vendor but prefer the endpoint protection another offers? Open XDR lets you use both.

Stay Up to Date

Choosing a closed XDR solution doesn’t just mean you’re tied to the same vendor’s tools now—it also makes it harder to switch later on if one or more of those tools becomes obsolete, because you can’t get rid of one without getting rid of them all (at least, not if you want to keep your security stack complete).

Open XDR, on the other hand, makes your stack modular, allowing you to switch out any part of it at your convenience. This makes it easier to keep your security stack current and make sure it meets the needs of your growing organization.

Plug Security Gaps

Using a single vendor to cover all your cybersecurity needs can be effective, but you have to choose carefully, because not all vendors invest equally in their products. That means picking and choosing from different providers—which is only possible with open XDR solutions—can actually leave you with fewer security gaps than trusting a single source to provide you with every cybersecurity tool in your stack.

Of course, trying to sort out the best possible tools available from the wide range of different vendors that exist can be time-consuming and difficult, especially if you’re not an IT expert. That’s why managed open XDR can be an even better investment for many organizations.

Cybersecurity expert troubleshooting for client in front of computers
Via Adobe Stock.

VirtualArmour’s Managed Open XDR: A New Approach to Threat Detection & Response

VirtualArmour takes the concept of open XDR one step further by providing expert guidance and hands-on assistance to integrate your stack and normalize the data it provides. This concept—called managed open XDR—provides additional benefits, including:

  • Expert-built custom integrations for specific tools
  • Hands-on assistance setting up access controls and tenant structures
  • AI correlation of data to provide enhanced visibility
  • On-demand troubleshooting and consultation to find the best tools for your stack

By entrusting the management and oversight of your open XDR solution to professionals who live and breathe cybersecurity, you can give your in-house IT team more time and resources to spend on processes that improve your operations—like improving the speed of your network and adding additional features for users.

Open XDR: Where Freedom Meets Protection

Open XDR solutions give you the power to choose the cybersecurity tools that work best for your organization, while providing a unified framework for accessing and controlling them. As such, they represent an ideal way to retain your autonomy while taking threat detection and response for your organization seriously.

To learn more about the benefits of managed open XDR, contact us and speak with a member of our team. We’ll be happy to show you how our help can improve your open XDR solution even further and keep your organization’s digital assets safe.

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