Extended Detection and Response, or XDR, the cybersecurity topic that dominated the RSA conference 2022 show floor with multiple vendors, has been getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. A connected, unified approach to detection and response promises to give security professionals all the tools and capabilities they need to address the ever-growing attack surface.

At Cisco, we wanted to get an independent view of what XDR means to a security operations audience, so we partnered with ESG on a survey conducted in April 2022 of 376 IT cybersecurity professionals in North America, which explored some key questions and trends for security operations centers as it relates to XDR. This new eBook, SOC Modernization and the Role of XDR, provides insights into the survey. Unsurprisingly, 52 percent of organizations surveyed believe that security operations are more challenging than just two years ago, and it’s clear cybersecurity professionals are looking for the next architecture to solve these challenges.

81% dealing with cybersecurity skills shortage: Source: ESG Research Study, SOC Modernization and the Role of XDR, June 2022

More Threats, More Data, More Action

The distributed nature of the network is resulting in more data from multiple control points. The survey showed that while 80 percent of organizations are already using more than 10 data sources as a part of their security operations, they want even more as they realize the value of being able to aggregate, normalize, correlate, and contextualize data so they can take better actions faster. At the same time, 81 percent say that they have been impacted by the cybersecurity skills shortage, and more data without the capabilities and skills in place to act will only diminish the ability to address threats.

To help fill those skills gaps, improved threat detection playbooks and incident prioritization will be critical aspects of the security operations strategy. Another key tool widely recognized as important in building a foundation is the MITRE ATT&CK framework that can help your teams focus and understand adversary tactics and techniques based on real-world observations.

While a common industry definition remains elusive, one thing is clear: XDR will play a critical role in the modernization of the security operations center. Determining how it will help your security operations team, and which partners to work with as you build out your XDR approach, will determine your level of success.

Redefining simplicity and efficiency with XDR

You need XDR to transform your infrastructure from a series of disjointed solutions into a fully integrated ecosystem that gets you to your outcome more effectively and efficiently. Cisco has built XDR capabilities into the broad portfolio of our security products and easily integrates with existing solutions in your environment using open APIs. After you’ve read the ESG SOC Modernization and the Role of XDR eBook, we invite you to take a look at the Cisco XDR Buyer’s Guide, which outlines five key elements of XDR done right and provides some questions to ask as you consider which vendors you want to work with in building out your security strategy. Don’t wait to start planning how XDR will help your security operations team.

Source: ESG Research Study, SOC Modernization and the Role of XDR, June 2022

See XDR done right:

Cisco XDR Buyer’s Guide


Bob Stockwell

Product Marketing Manager

Cisco XDR