Threat Detection and Response (TDR)

What is Threat Detection and Response?

Threat Detection and Response (TDR) is a cybersecurity market segment for products and services that can detect, investigate, and neutralize security threats before they can cause significant harm. 

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TDR products and services are used to: 

  • Monitoring network traffic, system logs, and other data sources to identify potentially malicious activity. 
  • Investigating the nature and severity of a threat by analyzing the threat’s behavior, origin, and potential impact on the network.
  • Initiating a response that limits the attack surface and the attacker’s ability to be successful.

Artificial intelligence (AI) and automation are helping TDR components to handle the volume, velocity, and variety of today’s cyber threats. AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data faster and more accurately than human operators – and AI-enabled TDR components can learn from past incidents to improve future detection. 

Threat Detection and Response Components

TDR software can help an organization proactively manage its security posture and reduce the risk of data breaches and other cyber attacks. 

Popular software components for TDR include:

Endpoint Detection and Response: EDR components focus on detecting, investigating, and responding to threats at the endpoint level.

Network Detection and Response: NDR components monitor and respond to anomalies in network traffic by issuing an alert, blocking malicious traffic, and/or isolating affected network segments to prevent lateral movement

Security Information and Event Management: SIEM components aggregate, correlate, and analyze security-related data from multiple sources.

Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response: SOAR components enhance security event management by automating workflows for security processes and orchestrating (coordinating) different security tools and systems.

Threat Intelligence: TI components provide up-to-date information about the latest cyber threats and known vulnerabilities. Some TI platforms can analyze this information in the context in order to assess the relevance, severity, and potential impact of different threats in specific information and communication technology (ICT) environments or industries.

Extended Detection and Response: XDR components use advanced analytics and threat intelligence to detect, investigate, and respond to threats across endpoints, networks, and cloud services.

Cloud Security: Cloud security components are specifically designed to address security challenges in public cloud environments. Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB) is an example of a cloud TDR component.

Managed Detection and Response: MDR components are outsourced to third-party security service providers. The provider is responsible for supplying and maintaining TDR tools and responding to suspicious network activities.

User and Entity Behavior Analytics: UEBA components use analytics to understand normal user behavior and detect anomalies that are indicative of a threat. This capability is particularly important for identifying sophisticated attacks and insider threats that might not be detected by traditional security measures.

Deception Technology: This type of TDR component uses decoys and sets traps with fake credentials or other tempting bait. Decoys and traps not only waste the attacker’s time and resources, but they also provide security teams with valuable information and time to respond to the intrusion.

Intrusion Detection Systems / Intrusion Prevention Systems: Intrusion detection and prevention components monitor system logs, look for malicious activities or policy violations, and take action. IDS components focus on detecting potential threats and notifying appropriate personnel. IPS components automatically take preventive measures to prevent an attack from succeeding.

Vulnerability Management: This type of TDR component focuses on managing risk by focusing on identifying, classifying, prioritizing, and remediating vulnerabilities in systems and software.

Firewall Management: This type of TDR component focuses on monitoring and managing firewall configurations and policies to protect against external threats and ensure network security. 

Anti-Virus: Anti-virus TDR components are effective at detecting and neutralizing malware threats that are identified through known signatures. Enterprise anti-virus components are often capable of providing heuristic filters that support behavior-based detection and cloud-based threat intelligence.

Mobile Security Solutions: These TDR components are designed to protect mobile devices and applications from known threats. Most enterprise versions can enforce security policies to ensure compliance with corporate security policies.

Data Loss Prevention: DLP components monitor and control the movement of sensitive data across an organization’s network. They can be configured with rules that dictate how different types of data should be handled and protected, and they enforce these rules in real time.

Email Security: This type of TDR component is designed to protect email communications from threats like phishing, malware, and spam.

Compliance Management: Compliance TDR components monitor an organization’s IT environment for compliance violations and generate reports that can be used for internal audits or sent to regulatory authorities as evidence of adherence to compliance standards.

Types of Threat Detection and Response Products and Services

Threat Detection and Response products and services are available as stand-alone software suites, integrated cloud systems, and hybrid TDR services. This versatility allows an organization to choose vendors whose offerings best fit the organization’s specific security needs, existing IT infrastructure, budget constraints, and human resources.

Type Description
Stand-Alone TDR Stand-alone TDR products and services are good for organizations that want to (or need to) manage threat detection and response on-premises. In this scenario, the organization’s security team may be responsible for purchasing and orchestrating multiple TDR components and managing them throughout their lifecycle.
Integrated TDR Integrated TDR solutions combine multiple security products and services into a single, cohesive platform that can be managed through one dashboard. Integrated TDR systems can be stand-alone, cloud-based, or hybrid. Some cloud-based TDR solutions are offered as managed services. In this scenario, the TDR provider not only supplies security products and/or services, they also manages their operation and the infrastructure that supports them.
Hybrid TDR Hybrid threat and detection response solutions have both cloud and on-premises components. The cloud components can provide scalability, flexibility, and access to advanced security analytics and threat intelligence. Meanwhile, the on-premises components can provide more direct control over data and security infrastructure for sensitive or highly regulated data.

How To Choose the Right TDR

When selecting a threat detection and response solution, it’s important for organizations to have a plan that considers in-house expertise and availability, as well as current security gaps and budget constraints. (Compliance may also be a consideration in some industries.)

Every effective TDR initiative begins with a security audit that maps the organization’s current technology to business goals. This step is important because it helps stakeholders understand what infrastructure and assets should be prioritized and receive the highest level of layered security protection.

Once the audit has been completed, the next step is to decide what TDR components are absolutely necessary and begin researching vendors. This involves reading reviews and case studies, seeking recommendations from industry peers, and deciding what components – if any – should be managed in-house.

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Margaret Rouse

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.