Native XDR vs Open XDR

Josue Ledesma

April 05, 2022

Native XDR vs Open XDR

As organizations continue to grow and invest in multiple third-parties, increase their workforce size, and cater to a new normal of remote and hybrid employees working across multiple  locations, new technologies are needed to help keep them secure. As a result, many companies are constantly investing in new technologies and solutions that help them stay proactive and account for an increased attack surface and more sophisticated threats.

EDR solutions have become much more commonplace across organizations who are looking to proactively manage their detection and response capabilities. Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services have also become a great way for organizations to partner with a security vendor to better manage their security with limited staff in house. Now, the market is a buzz with XDR  - or extended detection and response solutions as the next set of effective offerings  that focus on extend an EDR’s observability, detection, and response capabilities to stay ahead of the ever changing threat landscape

However, XDR solutions come in different forms, largely differentiated as Open XDR or Native XDR solutions. In order to make your organization more informed as you consider an XDR solution, we’re going to go through the differences between these two options and recommend when and why a company would opt for an Open XDR solution over a Native XDR solution and vice versa.

Why should organizations consider XDR?

XDR aims to bridge asset visibility gaps in enterprise organizations and leverage cloud-scale security analytics to provide high-fidelity, actionable insights to security operations teams. XDR solutions can often leverage and centralize non-endpoint sources of telemetry along with EDR tools, expanding a company’s detection and response capabilities, while accounting for their expanded infrastructure and cloud environments.

This gives companies several key benefits:

  • Faster response: Their time to respond and react is shortened, allowing them to flush out an attacker and contain the threat before too much damage is done
  • Reduced operational burden: They centralize threat intelligence analysis, resulting in cost optimization and a reduced burden on a security staff.
  • Improved Context for better decision making: Automated and AI-enhanced features result in stronger root cause analysis, recommended responses, and automated actions.

XDR tools should be considered to help organizations achieve a more comprehensive cyber resilient posture. However, the makeup of the organization and their security department affects whether they should consider a Native XDR or an Open XDR solution.

Differences between Native XDR and Open XDR

The solutions have their own pros and cons, meaning one type of XDR solution doesn’t rise up above the other. Here are the differences between the two and when you would want to use them.

Native XDR - features and benefits

Native XDR solutions are considered a straightforward evolution of traditional EDR solutions.They are designed as a single-vendor solution that has out of the box integrations with additional non-endpoint telemetry sources built into the solution and ready to be consumed upon set up.

This means organizations can rely on a single XDR vendor to provide a number of different security intelligence sources beyond just an EDR, boosting an organization’s overall security posture. This results in a more automated and streamlined solution for security departments because of the single-vendor model.

Key benefit of a Native XDR solution: Native XDR solutions ask less of their customers. All the integrations and telemetry sources are part of the solution itself, resulting in a solution that’s faster to deploy and requires shorter time to value.

Best for: Organizations with smaller security departments and teams. This is largely because these companies can make use of the additional security intelligence sources provided by the Native XDR solution. And because the department has fewer total available resources, they can rely on the Native XDR for set-up and integration, maximizing the solution’s effectiveness.

Open/Hybrid XDR - features and benefits

Open XDR solutions, also called hybrid XDR solutions, are vendor agnostic and considered more flexible than traditional native XDR solutions. They’re designed to be integrated with all the security intelligence and telemetry sources an organization might already have in their environment, regardless of the vendor behind them.

Open XDR solutions may sit on top of an already existing security tech stack, offering options to streamline an organization’s security operations. This can help organizations better leverage their existing vendor ecosystem, which is a common challenge for larger organizations.

Key benefit of an Open XDR solution: Open XDR solutions work with pre-existing security environments, regardless of vendor. This means a company can continue to use their separate security tools with a layer of integration across those silos.

Best for: Larger organizations that have larger security teams and departments, and a comprehensive security tech stack. With more and more security tools, departments can suffer from complications from managing multiple security tools — in these cases, an open XDR solution can provide the option of integrating security tools to give them a single platform to work off of.

Organizations should already be considering adopting an XDR solution

XDR solutions are a natural progression for organizations who have invested in EDR solutions and we recommend security leaders to start looking for the right XDR solution for their organization. As they go through the procurement process, companies need to consider what their security posture looks like today and what their roadmap looks like for their team over the next several quarters. This will help them understand whether a native or open XDR solution would be best.

For organizations who already have multiple security tools in addition to an EDR, and are looking to integrate these existing tools, an open XDR solution could be considered to help streamline and centralize current security analysis efforts. Just remember that there will be work to do to get the open XDR deployed, integrated and creating detections based on customer rules your team will have to create. If you have time and money, this could be an option for you.

However, if your team is small and your budget isn’t likely to increase, you may be better off opting for the single-vendor solution. A native XDR solution will provide security benefits faster as no services are needed to integrate your customer solution, and detections will be provided out of the box. If you are looking for a solution that can provide efficiency and effectiveness out of the box, a native XDR approach is more likely the option to go with. 

With any major security vendor or partner, considering how it fits holistically with your environment is key to finding the right one for your organization.

To learn more about XDR solutions available to you, join our webinar to hear more about Bitdefender GravityZone XDR.


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Josue Ledesma

Josue Ledesma is a writer, filmmaker, and content marketer living in New York City. He covers cyber security, tech and finance, consumer privacy, and B2B digital marketing.

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