XDR vs SOAR: What’s the difference?

XDR and SOAR solutions offer organizations security capabilities and enhanced protection but the terms are not interchangeable. Learn more about the similarities and differences between these cybersecurity technologies and how they can help secure your IT environment.

Extended detection and response (XDR)

Extended detection and response (XDR) is a cybersecurity solution that collects and analyzes data from multiple sources to provide detection, analytics, and response across endpoints, networks, servers, cloud workloads, and more. 

XDR benefits

XDR provides several security benefits such as:

  • Protection from attacks — Integrated antivirus and threat intelligence can block malware and fileless attacks. Analytics and custom rules can detect threat actors and other attacks. 
  • Quick and custom notifications — XDR automatically reacts to varying threats. With custom alerts, organizations can receive alerts and notifications when a specific event arises. 
  • Collection and analysis from multiple sources — XDR can monitor, collect, and analyze data from various data points across your network. The data trends can help spot suspicious activity within your organization’s network. With XDR’s artificial intelligence (AI), your security system becomes more effective and secure over time.

Security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR)

Security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) is a stack of compatible software programs that enables an organization to collect data about security threats and respond to security events without human assistance. The purpose of a SOAR platform is to improve the efficiency of physical and digital security operations.

SOAR use cases

SOAR offers several cybersecurity benefits to prevent potential threat actors and unauthorized users from infiltrating a network. Below are examples of common SOAR use cases:

  • Managing phishing attacks — Phishing emails are one of the most common strategies used by cyber attackers to gain information. It would be time-consuming for Security Operations Center (SOC) teams to dedicate their time to investigating every phishing email that comes through an employee’s inbox. SOAR tools can help combat phishing attacks by relying on automated systems to filter suspicious emails rather than human intuition. 
  • Threat hunting — SOAR solutions collect and ingest information from indicators of compromise (IOC), which aid in the act of threat hunting, detection, and remediation.
  • Incident response — SOAR platforms can automate security incident response actions to future threats to improve security operations. 
What are the differences between SOAR and XDR?

Though XDR and SOAR are software and technologies that focus on collection and response to threat actors, both cybersecurity solutions have key differences. 

SOAR is complex, costly, and requires a highly mature SOC to implement and maintain partner integrations and playbooks. XDR solutions consolidate multiple products into a unified security solution that provides actionability from the XDR platform to connected security tools. 

SOAR platforms usually focus on incident response actions, while XDR solutions tend to lack this ability and instead automate single actions in response to data.

Enhanced protection with Armis

Organizations should opt for solutions that integrate with SOAR solutions and XDR vendors to deliver complete asset visibility, threat intelligence, and fully managed security protection
The Armis platform expands visibility by offering automated threat detection to passively monitor managed and unmanaged devices to detect malicious behavior. Armis integrates with SOAR and XDR tools, providing organizations with complete visibility to track behavior and threats to help companies strengthen their security posture.