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What’s the Difference Between MDR, XDR, and EDR?

What is the difference between EDR, XDR and MDR

Corporate cybersecurity is constantly evolving, the complexities growing every day with difficult-to-understand buzzwords and acronyms thrown into consultations between cybersecurity experts and corporate leadership teams. This can make it difficult to make decisions on which products and services your company needs to keep its IT assets safe. Three of the commonly confused terms are MDR, XDR, and EDR. In this guide, we’ll discuss the difference between these three cybersecurity terms so that you can make an informed decision about what your business needs.

What is EDR?

EDR stands for End Detection and Response. It combines real-time continuous monitoring with data analytics to better threat detection. By setting up automated rule-driven responses, companies can mitigate cyber threats, prevent attacks, and proactively secure endpoints and isolate advanced threats.

What is XDR?

XDR is short for Extended Detection and Response. XDR expands what EDR can do by giving IT managers and directors greater visibility into their organization’s entire IT infrastructure. By comparison, EDR only examines endpoints. XDR includes detection and monitoring for:

  • Endpoints
  • Cloud Infrastructure
  • Networks
  • Servers
  • Mobile Devices

Instead of having many separate dashboards and tools to monitor, XDR has the potential to simplify enterprise security network management with a single dashboard for enhanced visibility and enforcement of established security policies. This consistency and simplicity can often make it easier to stick with best practices for cybersecurity and to reduce the rate of incidents.

What is MDR?

MDR is the acronym for Managed Detection and Response. It can be used on top of either XDR or EDR to provide even greater coverage. MDR means that you have a security operations team monitoring, analyzing, triaging, and responding to incidents 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This security team typically works outside of your internal IT team. When your team is off, there is still someone keeping an eye on your company’s security posture. This leaves your company much less vulnerable. For smaller enterprises that do not have a dedicated cybersecurity team, managed detection and response via MDR services can augment the IT team by providing a cost-effective way to access this expertise.

How to Decide Between EDR, XDR, and MDR for Your Company

Ultimately, business leaders must make the decision between EDR, XDR, and MDR based on their company’s needs, budget, and risk tolerance level. If budgetary constraints didn’t factor into the choice, a combination of XDR and MDR is the most comprehensive. It provides a level of comprehensive protection that can significantly reduce the risk of a devastating cyber-attack. However, this option is the most costly.

At a minimum, companies should implement EDR. This is the most affordable option and should be a starting point for building a cybersecurity monitoring program. It does leave networks, mobile devices, and many pathways vulnerable, however it establishes a solid foundation for enterprise security within any organization.

MDR is the right choice for companies who do not have the time to manage and monitor an EDR or XDR solution. Typically, it is a fit for those companies who do not have their own cybersecurity teams in place. Historically, MDR was too costly for smaller businesses, however this is starting to change with more competitors entering the market with creative solutions for smaller businesses.

Protect Your Business With Up-to-Date Cybersecurity Technology

If you want to protect your business with up-to-date technology, consider working with an MSP like Element 4. We can help you navigate the evolving landscape of cybersecurity without wasting money through trial and error. Contact Element 4 to discuss how we can help manage your company’s cybersecurity needs in a cost-effective and efficient way.

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