The field of cybersecurity is rife with acronyms. From AES to VPN, these technical alphabet soup terms have been part of the knowledge of not only cybersecurity experts but also organizations that are planning to buy security solutions or implement security technologies.

Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) has released its 2023 Technology Spending Intentions Survey, and it includes four terms those concerned with cybersecurity need to be acquainted with. Not all of them are new, but it is advisable to be familiar with them, as they are expected to be important areas of cybersecurity spending in 2023.

XDR – Extended Detection and Response

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is an approach in cybersecurity characterized by unified and integrated data visibility. It was developed in response to the rapidly evolving nature and increasing volumes of cyber threats by allowing organizations to proactively defend themselves with the full awareness of multiple attack vectors.

Markets and Markets project that the XDR market size will reach $2.4 billion by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 19.1 percent for the period 2022 to 2027. Other estimates put the CAGR at over 20 percent, reflecting the increased internet in this cybersecurity approach in view of the rapidly evolving nature of the threat landscape.

One of the biggest cybersecurity challenges XDR addresses is the overwhelming amounts of security data organizations have to deal with. Security visibility is all about having information about attack surfaces and security events, which have become massive nowadays because of the number of new devices and technologies. However, the abundance of data can also pose a problem, as it hampers the prompt response to crucial alerts because of inefficient data handling. It is common for organizations to use disjointed tools that generate huge amounts of data including false positives and less important alerts. Organizations have a hard time going over all of the data, prioritizing them, and responding to each and every one of them.

XDR addresses this problem by unifying various disjointed security tools under a common dashboard, which makes it easy to view and analyze data from different sources. Also, XDR enables scalable automated responses to address simple security events, which comprise most of the security alerts. This frees up significant time for human security analysts so they can focus on more important concerns.

MXDR – Managed Detection and Response

MXDR refers to the combination of XDR and Managed Detection and Response (MDR). It is a new term used to encapsulate the setup wherein organizations purchase cybersecurity products that provide advanced functions for them to tinker with while having the advantage of not worrying about settings and the optimal use of available features and functions.

XDR is a cybersecurity product that can be obtained in full from a single vendor. MDR, on the other hand, is a cybersecurity solution managed by a third-party provider. Both have advantages and drawbacks, and organizations are not limited to just one or the other. In 2023, innovative solutions that embody the MXDR concept are set to gain traction or at least have improved awareness among customers.

ESG Research suggests that MXDR will be a popular option and not just a mere concept that brings together the benefits of XDR and MDR. A significant 34 percent of the organizations surveyed by ESG said that if they were to choose an MDR vendor, they would go for one that is primarily focused on XDR.

This is not surprising given that many cybersecurity professionals tend to be keen on being hands-on with the systems they are using. However, the reality is that the cybersecurity skills shortage continues to be a problem. The limited cybersecurity experts overseeing an organization’s security posture do not have the luxury of being too meticulous and involved in all aspects of their security operations. They could use some support from managed services.

DRs

This is not an actual cybersecurity term but a portion common among multiple acronyms like Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) and Cloud Detection and Response (CDR). Essentially, these are “more DRs.”

While XDR is a reliable approach to defending organizations from various cyber threats, it is not a magical tool capable of addressing all kinds of attacks. It is far from perfect, and there will be instances when organizations would have to employ other solutions to fortify their security posture.

XDR brings together different “detection and response” solutions to achieve more efficient handling of security data and events. It maximizes the real-time functionality of EDR and the network traffic analysis strengths of NDR (Network Detection and Response). However, XDR may not have everything it needs to address emerging threats. There will come a time for new approaches such as Data Detection and Response and Identity Detection and Response to be incorporated into an organization’s security posture

XDR is not a fixed cybersecurity approach. It can continue integrating other DRs the way it did with EDR and NDR. However, its existence does not prevent the rise of other possibly more advanced DR technologies that are more attuned to specific emerging threats in 2023 and beyond.

SBOM

SBOM refers to the Software Bill of Materials. The United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) defines this as “a nested inventory, a list of ingredients that make up software components.” It is regarded as a key component in software security and the management of risks in the software supply chain.

SBOM gained prominence when it was mentioned in the 2021 Executive Order of the United States President regarding the need to enhance software supply chain security in response to major cyber attacks that targeted the software supply chain. This was around the time when the SolarWinds attack was made known.

The software bill of materials is not a specific cybersecurity product or technology, but it is a crucial part of the application security and attack surface management discussion. With the surge in open-source software use and cloud-native application development, it becomes more important than ever to pay attention to SBOM to enable community engagement and development.

By now, it should be clear that cybersecurity is best undertaken as a global collaborative endeavor. It would be extremely difficult to secure the software supply chain when there is no transparency of software components. The knowledge of these software components allows everyone to examine and detect potential security issues and resolve them before threat actors get to exploit them.

Some say that the cybersecurity industry is one of the biggest offenders when it comes to introducing gimmicky acronyms and terms. This is not enough reason, though, to ignore or downplay important terms and concepts that address actual problems and bolster the cyber defense.

The field of cybersecurity is rife with acronyms. From AES to VPN, these technical alphabet soup terms have been part of the knowledge of not only cybersecurity experts but also organizations that are planning to buy security solutions or implement security technologies.

Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) has released its 2023 Technology Spending Intentions Survey, and it includes four terms those concerned with cybersecurity need to be acquainted with. Not all of them are new, but it is advisable to be familiar with them, as they are expected to be important areas of cybersecurity spending in 2023.

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