How XDR Platforms Are Revolutionizing Ransomware Protection

Your assets and your work belong to you — and that likely means you keep them on hand, with a personal or corporate computer to store and use said assets as needed. But what if you were to find you couldn’t access them, even on your own computer? What if you were told you could only access your software or your data by paying to have it decrypted? If this sounds familiar, then you might have heard the term, “ransomware”. Ransomware is a type of malware that targets a user’s data and encrypts it for ransom payment. Only by paying the ransom holder will a user be able to access their own assets once more. It sounds harrowing, of course, but thankfully, there are solutions. Thanks to the growth of technology today in the cybersecurity space, you can use XDR solutions to keep ransomware at bay.

Detection and Response

XDR, or Extended Detection and Response, is a systematic solution to the threats of the World Wide Web. It involves a suite of programs being used to mitigate security breaches on your network — and responding when those threats do present themselves. Detection and response are the main functions as the name suggests, but what is amazing is the level of automation and holistic approach that’s allowed within an XDR platform. An individual — or a whole corporate infrastructure — can respond to threats in a way that keeps the network safe and protects against future attacks with comprehensive information, all thanks to XDR.

What Does “Extended” Mean?

Here’s where things get a bit more interesting: detection and response aren’t new. EDR, or Endpoint Detection and Response, is the term given to tools that allow for the protection of a specific user’s endpoint. To put it simply, the focus is on a single entryway into the network, a single device, and protecting that entry is what informs each rule-driven response to potential threats. However, Extended Detection and Response, or XDR, is the next level of protection: its focus is not one device, but the whole of a network and its assets. From imposing enterprise-level security rules to creating a protective approach to cloud computing and various endpoints — rather than just one — XDR offers the future in cybersecurity measures to stay ahead of the curve. After all, threats never sleep.

What’s Changed?

Because XDR is the next step in cybersecurity platforms, it imposes some necessary changes to the way threat detection and response is handled — especially in the case of ransomware and other types of malware threats. With some old tricks revisited, and new technologies giving cyber attackers an array of options for leverage, it only makes sense to ensure that your security measures are made to meet the challenge. That’s why the following reasons have put XDR at the top of the list for defending against ransomware today:

Email Phishing

If you do business in today’s world, you know that email is the number one communication medium — and that it’s available at your fingertips no matter where you are. The same is true of anyone with access to your enterprise email accounts, and the truth of the matter is, if you’re only focused on endpoint detection, you may not come across a threat soon enough to act. Email phishing isn’t new, but it’s evolved greatly, and it’s easier than ever to come across something nefarious without protection. However, when using an XDR solution that integrates email suites, cloud communications, and other various accessible resources of your network and your enterprise, it becomes far more difficult for you to become a victim to age-old scams that can normally access you from anywhere.

Cloud Infrastructure

Because an endpoint is only one portion of your network, it’s clear that EDR only accounts for partial protection. While the methodologies are sound, they don’t make the difference they should when it comes to the systems that connect these endpoints, these varying devices, and servers, all through your corporate network. Instead, it’s XDR that aids in providing your cloud-based communications, mobile devices, and other remote connections with the protection against network invasions from malware. The goal to integrate all systems and endpoints with consistent security measures is a major tenet of XDR solutions, and without such consistency, there can be weak links in the armor.

This armor, so to speak, is meant to protect these interconnected endpoints and systems from cyber threats, but any weak link is a doorway to malware — which is why XDR responses find ways to shut down that connection when necessary, to protect the whole of the network from becoming similarly compromised. Everything is connected now, so it’s only right that an internal measure is exercised to keep that connection from being a problematic tool, a route for ransomware and other cyber attacks.

Intelligent Responses

While some threat analysis is a part of any EDR solution, the XDR integrations make for a much more coherent, cohesive picture of what threats mean and how to respond now and later. XDR systems apply artificial intelligence to analyze trends in threats that occur, and from doing so, it discovers ways to not only respond to threats but also discover and share methods on how to mitigate the risk of an attack altogether.

This threat intelligence, as it’s sometimes called, is an important facet of XDR technologies, because it’s just as important to learn from threats as it is to try avoiding them. Whatever happens, there’s a response to take, and XDR solutions are the way to find out what response is best for your given situation.

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