XDR vs SIEM; why they’re not the same and what else you need to know
Welcome back, security fans. Here we are in the fourth installment of our blog highlighting XDR. In this edition, we present to you a comparison of XDR and SIEM – why they’re not the same and what else you need to know.
What is SIEM?
SIEM stands for Security Information & Event Management. What do they do? Well, it’s pretty much in the name, they (very broadly) collect and analyze security-relevant log data across an enterprise and store it for later use.
What are you doing with the information that a SIEM tool collects? Well, you can analyze it for rule-based pattern matching, correlate events, or search out indications of compromise. You will likely create some dashboards and alerts to take action on the events. This is good. You want and need a SIEM tool in your toolbox.
What is XDR and how is it different?
XDR stands for Extended Detection and Response. Recall from our first post that XDR is an approach. XDR solutions will also collect, correlate, and analyze security data including the Endpoint and Network data we talked about previously. In some cases, XDR may even use your existing SIEM. This is likely why most folks confuse SIEM and XDR. Both SIEM and XDR perform a similar function, however, a “strictly SIEM solution” typically pushes alerts to a Security Operations Centre, while XDR is a proactive solution that analyses behaviour and threats and can prioritize and coordinate siloed security tools to respond to attacks.
SIEM often generates a very large volume of alerts that can – let’s face it – be overwhelming to analysts whose job it is to ferret out the real threats. This high noise ratio can also consume your time causing misses on authentic threats in the crucial moment.
SIEM requires fine-tuning and hands-on processing from your team. As we’ve already learned, XDR is automated and proactive and seeks threats without the wasted resources of dedicating analysts to false positives.
XDR’s open architecture also makes it an easy resource to add to SIEM tools already in place inside your organization’s IT security. While SIEM is busy logging data, XDR is hunting across platforms and using proactive context-aware adjustments to networks and/or endpoints to replace the work that humans have to do with SIEM.
Are they the same? No. They function differently but have shared common goals. Can you afford to be without either? No. In fact, some might argue that without a SIEM tool you are missing a key piece of the XDR puzzle.
Will your organization benefit from XDR redefining your IT security’s flexibility to adapt on the cyber-battlefield? Absolutely. Detect. Analyze. Prioritize. Take your time back with XDR.