Cyber security is an exciting, exhausting and incredibly important branch of IT. The solutions and technologies that have surfaced in the last 5 to 10 years are diverse and attuned to protect an expanding attack surface. However, due to the rapid pace of evolving threats and technology innovations, IT teams are challenged to keep up with the maddening industry standard of shifting acronyms. Ultimately, we’ve observed a goal emerge around a vision for what has been coined “Extended Detection and Response (XDR)” where security is highly integrated across the enterprise for lightning fast response and simplified security management. 

XDR is set up to be the most holistic, cross-platform approach to threat detection and response since it provides a unified view into every imaginable attack vector. It uses AI to analyze data across endpoints, networks, servers, cloud workloads, SIEM and much more in order to resolve incidents many times more quickly than manual event monitoring. XDR doesn’t negate all of the other endpoint and managed security solutions in use, but it does raise the question on what its key differences are. Here’s a look into Volta’s security portfolio and how XDR differs from other security solutions.

SOC as a Service

With Volta’s SOC as a Service offering, clients receive the functionality of an in-house SOC team of analysts who have eyes on their infrastructure 24x7x365. We provide the people, and the processes necessary, to monitor the network and endpoints of an organization for critical threats. When we are in a SOC as a Service engagement, we offer the ability to ingest a client’s alerts into our SIEM platform, or we can monitor activity from a SIEM they already use. SIEM was considered the backbone of the cyber security stack for years because it was the first solution to bring together large amounts of alert information from multiple places for centralized visibility. As EDR solutions evolved, it became clear that the value of a SIEM was limited by the type and depth of the data collected, and the level of analysis possible.


Managed Detection and Response leverages EDR solutions. EDR solutions are made up of multiple layer-specific tools designed to provide deep visibility into a particular endpoint. EDR leverages cyber intelligence to record past security events which allows security teams to detect and analyze suspicious activity over time. This kind of preventative defense marks a transition from responsive security to proactive threat management. 

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) is a service Volta offers to bring a greater breadth of tools (like EDR) into a client’s security posture, which allows for deeper detection and investigation across a larger attack surface. Volta’s MDR stack includes best in breed solutions for: endpoint detection, SIEM, Network Traffic Analysis (NTA), User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA), asset discovery, vulnerability management, intrusion detection, and cloud security. (Am I missing something? Is this right?). In an MDR engagement, Volta’s team of security experts provide manual and automated threat hunting to detect advanced threats and vulnerabilities.


Now let’s circle back to XDR. It is definitely the buzz-worthy acronym of the moment in the cyber security world, but just what sets it apart from SOC and MDR? Volta’s XDR solution provides all of the same capabilities as our MDR solution, but it extends protection across the enterprise to produce a solution that includes behavioral analytics, better forensic capabilities, advanced threat hunting and detection, and rapid response across all environment components. For example, in an MDR engagement with Volta, our response time is typically 15-25 minutes. In an XDR engagement, that response time is reduced to about 5 seconds. 

The scope of data ingested by XDR, coupled with automated remediation, is perhaps the biggest disrupting factor XDR holds on the market. XDR analyses data across endpoints, cloud infrastructure and workloads, network layers (including the entire application stack), servers, mobile devices, SIEM and much more. Out-of-the-box integrations and pre-tuned detection mechanisms across multiple different products and platforms provide the context required to detect sophisticated and distributed attacks. 

Unlike EDR, XDR’s ability to integrate multiple signals allows for visibility into every phase of an attack, from endpoint to payload. With a complete attack story, analysts can immediately understand the full scope of the threat and respond to it. And since XDR relies on automated correlation and machine learning processes, it’s better at prioritizing alerts for investigation which minimizes fatigue and enables security analysts to better focus their efforts.

In conclusion, it’s easy to get somewhat disillusioned by the next shiny, new term when every past security solution was similarly hyped up. But XDR really does feel different. If you want a platform that can encompass your entire digital footprint without the need for a bundle of point solutions, XDR is it. XDR provides your team with a holistic view of the entire enterprise, allowing for more intelligent decisions based on the telemetry it collects. Check out Volta’s security portfolio and chat with us about what platform could be the right fit for your organization. Thank you for checking out our comparison guide for XDR vs. MDR vs. SOC Services! Find another great blog for this discussion from SentinelOne here