Cybersecurity insights from industry experts.

By integrating detection response with information and event management, organizations can move beyond protective controls and harden their defenses.

Microsoft Security, Microsoft

August 2, 2023

3 Min Read
illustration of a security alert icon (an exclamation point inside of a triangle) with the word "alert" below it
Source: Skorzewiak via Alamy

Security teams are facing a growing trend of distributed people, applications, data, and identities. In part, this is due to the growth of remote work. As more and more employees continue working from dispersed locations, companies have to adopt new technology to support them. This can include everything from large-scale cloud platforms to individual software-as-a-service solutions. Gartner estimates that fully remote and hybrid workers will make up 71% of the US workforce by the end of 2023.

Not only does this broaden the attack surface that security teams have to monitor, but it can also lead to an increase in security alerts due to the sheer number of assets and identities that organizations have to protect. Further complicating matters is the fact that security teams don't always have a clear view of all their assets. Just 5% of IT decision makers report having complete visibility into employee adoption and usage of company-issued applications. This makes it difficult to accurately assess the company's risk posture.

However, there is a solution. By implementing unified extended detection and response (XDR) and security information and event management (SIEM), security teams can better correlate and contextualize security alerts across their entire infrastructure.

How XDR and SIEM Simplify Security Alerts

Cyber defenders as a whole are being pushed to do more with less. There are an estimated 3.4 million job openings in the cybersecurity field today, and 40% of security leaders reported feeling like they are at extreme risk due to labor shortages in a recent Microsoft research study. 

This concern is not unfounded given the current trends we're seeing across the global threat landscape. Last year, Microsoft's Digital Crimes Unit directed the takedown of 531,000 unique phishing URLs hosted outside of Microsoft. We've also seen a rise in password attacks, which increased by 74% to an estimated volume of 921 attacks every second in 2022. And in the case of phishing emails, threat actors are able to infiltrate the entire organization in just 72 minutes once a malicious link has been clicked.

This means that every moment counts when it comes to defending against cybercrime. However, security teams cannot reasonably be expected to respond to the overwhelming number of alerts they receive on a daily basis. That's where XDR and SIEM can help.

Unified XDR and SIEM counters alert fatigue by reducing the billions of individual XDR signal data into fewer alerts and incidents. This works in two key ways. First, XDR enables security teams to collect security alerts across the entire enterprise — pulling from endpoints, networks, and applications, as well as cloud workloads and the organization’s identity infrastructure. XDR can then connect these disparate alerts and analyze the data to help security teams prioritize which alert to address first based on its potential risk to the enterprise. This also enables teams to more easily visualize how attackers can move throughout their networks. 

SIEM is then used to make these alerts more actionable by applying advanced analytics and threat intelligence to the data gathered by XDR. This helps cut down on the amount of information that security teams have to analyze by distilling it down into only the most relevant information. Unified XDR and SIEM can also be used to create a single-pane-of-glass view that enables security teams to monitor and respond to threats across the entire enterprise — whether multicloud, hybrid cloud, or on-premises.

Cybercriminals are always looking for the next weak point. By unifying XDR and SIEM, organizations are empowered to move beyond protective controls and harden their defenses with sophisticated detection and response capabilities.

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