XDR and Zero Trust: How combining both is boost to your cyber security

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The rapid change in technology and integration of various technologies and approaches with each other has made cyber security a complicated task. Organizations have to cover a broader attack surface now, and relying on one security tool is obsolete. But to ensure the success of cybersecurity efforts, security fortification must continue. Therefore, XDR technology provides a higher level of data security through an alliance with Zero Trust.

As the cloud-based data culture expands attack surfaces, Zero Trust emerged as a new security model to protect devices from unauthorized access. Along the way, experts have found that Zero Trust and XDR possess common interests in access management and data security.

When used alone, XDR provides strong security capabilities, but enterprises can strengthen their security posture with a Zero Trust approach. Strong endpoint controls (user, device, cloud workload, and more) and enterprise-wide data correlation and collection from across the IT infrastructure are two of XDR's major assets underpin a Zero Trust strategy.

Combining their security capabilities has become a master stroke, lifting more burdens from security teams and taking data security to an unprecedented level. 


Never Trust; Always Verify 

It’s tradition among security experts, especially in the cloud computing era, to ward off external security threats using VPNs and firewall-powered network perimeters. This system assumes that every internal element is secure and above scrutiny. This approach hasn't considered the danger of the malicious actor within insider threats, which could be equally devastating.

Zero Trust is a trust-centric IT security philosophical approach representing a more holistic security measure. As the name suggests, Zero Trust; never trusts anything (device or user), whether inside or outside the security perimeter. Zero Trust views trust as a significant weakness in the war against data breaches and theft.

In line with this policy, Zero Trust continuously verifies or authenticates devices and user identities across the network. Zero Trust also provides robust security measures and ensures protection against authorization misuse. 


The XDR and Zero Trust Connection

The bond between Extended Detection and Response (XDR) and Zero Trust has created a buzz in cybersecurity. These two can combine their unique strengths to enhance any organization's security posture.

XDR is a holistic improvement to Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR). Unlike EDR, which focuses on endpoint protection, XDR protects the entire IT infrastructure, such as email, endpoints, and cloud computing. Through its data visibility, analytics, and threat intelligence capabilities, XDR detects and responds to threats automatically.

XDR collects and correlates data from numerous sources like endpoint telemetry, logs, and network traffic to proactively and more accurately detect and respond to threats and security incidents. With XDR, you can be sure that the most complex and dangerous threats will receive the required attention.

On the flip side, Zero Trust is a holistic security philosophy that promotes an assumption of compromise, least privilege access, and routine verification. Another exciting element of Zero Trust is its micro-segmentation capabilities. With Zero Trust's micro-segmentation, it is possible to grant special access to specific users within the network without compromising the war on insider threats. 

Zero Trust's micro-segmentation breaks down the network into smaller perimeters. Unlike the flat network approach, which gives network users access to data and applications. Zero Trust's micro-segmentation limits the scope of attack to a smaller perimeter. These micro-segmentations also prevent the lateral movements of cybercriminals in the case of a successful breach.

One principal collaboration area between XDR and Zero Trust is the complementary role of Zero Trust's continuous authentication and XDR's continuous data collection and correlation. This data collection and correlation provide insights for security experts to form a suitable Zero Trust strategy as per their need to verify the users and further implement effective IAM (identity and access management).

In addition, XDR's threat visibility capabilities enable security teams to apply Zero Trust to network areas with more significant security needs.


Benefits of a Zero Trust and XDR Collaboration

XDR is effective when used alone, but when paired with Zero Trust Framework, organizations can achieve further enhanced security by applying end-to-end zero trust architecture. Two components of the XDR can make the zero trust approach more fruitful: organization-wide data collection and stronger endpoint control. By merging XDR and Zero Trust, organizations stand to benefit from the following: 

Improved Visibility and Monitoring

For the best proactive security measures, the organization must keep its monitoring and verification up to scale. XDR provides insights based on real-time visibility and monitoring of the network. These insights can be used to form the best zero-trust approach to never trust and always verify. As much as you can see and know about your network, as good as you can secure it.

Reduce Complexity

Network complexity is a significant issue while monitoring network traffic or achieving clear visibility; filtering the related traffic and extracting meaningful data sometimes becomes cumbersome. While zero trust provides a clearer picture of who can access what, you can use XDR to simplify the other security operations for easy-to-understand visibility and network monitoring for security purposes.

Strengthened endpoint control

As XDR ensures clearer visibility into endpoint activities, security experts will receive sufficient information to develop an effective zero-trust strategy. This can be implemented on endpoint devices for better access management. Furthermore, security experts can use the insights from XDR and compare them with the applied zero-trust strategy to create appropriate detection rules and reduce the number of false positives. These detection rules may include login out of office hours or data exfiltration, etc.

Reduce Work

XDR visibility can give organizations the confidence to implement a better zero-trust framework. With a combination of XDR and Zero Trust, security teams will have to deal with fewer false positives, and many security weaknesses and gaps will be detected by XDR accurately. Ultimately, eliminating the substantial number of vulnerabilities and reducing the work of security personnel.

Compliance Support 

Organizations can use XDR and Zero Trust to achieve industry-specific regulatory compliance. As this solution provides excellent visibility into security incidents and applies strict rules for access management, this can lead to accomplishing compliance like HIPPA, GDPR, CCPA, etc.

Cost Effective

Using XDR and Zero trust together can slash the cost of cyber security to a significant level. This integrated approach can reduce the need for multiple security solutions, which can be hard to maintain, make the system more complex, may require more resources, and be expensive.

Moreover, the zero trust approach is highly effective in defending against apt attacks. Organization like ESET provides the opportunity to implement a zero-trust approach along with its security solutions to better protect against apt attacks by integrating multiple security solutions, tools, and approaches.



Combining the strengths of the Zero Trust philosophy and the Extended Detection and Response technology is a big win for cybersecurity. Organizations adopting Zero Trust and XDR security solutions will fortify network protection, reduce attack surfaces, and lower their vulnerabilities. With the adoption of digitalization and the surge in sophisticated cyber-attacks, one (XDR or Zero Trust) without the other will leave space for security gaps. Therefore, it's a clever decision to opt for a complete package of visibility and extended protection by combining both for any application, resource, user, workload, and compliance objectives.