Why NDR is the latest 3-letter word in cybersecurity

Network Detection and Response can improve your security posture and operational efficiency

Network Detection and Response (NDR) is one of the latest acronyms to join the alphabet soup of information security and risk management tools. As we close out Cybersecurity Awareness Month, it’s a great time to cover what NDR is and why it should matter to you.

What is network detection and response?

At the simplest level, NDR plays a vital role in securing your digital infrastructure, defending network traffic and your organization’s information assets.

NDR cybersecurity solutions provide continuous visibility across all users, devices and technologies connected to the network, from the data center to the cloud, to generate a baseline of normal network behavior. When deviations to this baseline are detected, NDR threat hunting tools alert security teams to the potential presence of threats advanced and persistent attacks within their environment with surgical precision. 

According to Gartner®, “Network Detection and Response NDR is deployed to detect suspicious network activities on enterprise networks, using a combination of machine learning (ML), advanced analytics and rule-based detection. NDR solutions must be able to provide anomaly/threat detection, by continuously analyzing raw traffic and/or flow records to build models that reflect normal network behavior. When the NDR tools detect suspicious traffic patterns, they raise alerts. Response is another important function of NDR solutions, providing threat hunting and incident response tools. NDR can be deployed as hardware and virtual appliances, and as a SaaS offering. Especially organizations with high security needs (like government and finance) tend to use NDR.”[1]

Why do you need an NDR solution?

Anti-virus and anti-malware programs are embedded on just about every endpoint; sandboxing tools examine incoming programs for malicious intent; intrusion detection or prevention systems watch over data packets; firewalls and next- generation firewalls segregate all parts of a network from the outside world, and security information and event management solutions (SIEMs) monitor every blip that hits their radar.

However, the tools and processes that most cybersecurity teams employ to proactively detect and respond to security alerts are inadequate against advanced threats by adversaries, who can move laterally to maintain persistence in the network and home in on valuable information assets.

This problem is expanding for several reasons. First, networks are extending into the cloud and increasing in both size and complexity, with more data traversing the distributed network. Every time a new application, client, server, cloud or device is added to a network, the number of potential vulnerabilities grows, creating the perfect environment for malicious actors to hide in.

Second, and one of the more serious challenges, is the dearth of talent. A global shortfall of information security analysts, with estimated open cybersecurity positions of between 1.8 million and 3.5 million expected over the next five years, means there are simply not enough trained professionals to go around.

By necessity, most organizations are always in a state of incidence response reactive mode, rather than proactive threat hunting, which has created the perfect storm for bad actors to take advantage of blind spots in the network.

What are the benefits of NDR ?

NDR solutions can solve this problem with proactive threat hunting to uncover hidden threats that other cybersecurity tools would miss. 

The best network detection and response solutions also do a whole lot more for cybersecurity leaders, SOC teams and other personnel tasked with overseeing security by providing:

  • Real-time continuous visibility across the entire network: Get a 360-degree view of everything that’s happening on your network, with high-fidelity metadata and SmartPCAP, a highly efficient approach to packet capture that links logs, extracted files and security insights with the packets you need, giving you only what’s necessary for investigations.
  • Full-spectrum threat detection: Use signature inspection, anomaly detection and ML-based malware conviction to optimize threat detection while reducing noise. Take advantage of automated analysis and prioritized workflows to clear queues faster than ever. Extract and store high-fidelity metadata, including an indexed threat hunting repository, for threat hunting.
  • Unknown threat detection: Conduct retrospective network traffic analyses and historical data testing to find threats that infiltrated an environment before known indicators were available. Thoroughly investigate detected threats with forensic precision and hunt down unknown threats that didn’t generate an alert, ensuring that there aren’t any gaps in protection, leveraging an indexed enriched data repository.
  • Seamless response and integrations: Correlate alerts in real-time, enrich existing workflows and automate responses to prevent threats. Coordinate and tune easily with existing security tools for rapid response.
  • Elevated operational efficiency for the SOC and security analysts: Scale your team’s capabilities to respond to serious attacks and shut down an attack in real time. Immediately deploy network detection and response with a single, software-based sensors appliance and self-configuring system that requires minimal NDR solution training, regardless of skill level. A single intuitive interface taps into the same interface that cybersecurity teams use every day.

Eliminate network security blind spots with OpenText NDR

The OpenText™ Network Detection and Response (NDR) platform (formerly Bricata) fuses real-time visibility, advanced detection, analysis, forensics, incident response and threat hunting into a single platform.

OpenText Network Detection and Response is one of the only security tools to incorporate a 360-degree approach to threat detection by combining signature inspection, stateful anomaly detection, behavior and machine-learning-powered malware conviction to quickly defend against both known and hidden threats, deliver  full context for direct answers and empower organizations to take immediate action.

Deployed as a physical, virtual or cloud appliance, OpenText NDR scales the capabilities of even the most stretched security teams with rapid deployment, minimal training and a user-friendly interface.

Explore OpenText Threat Detection and Response solutions, including OpenText Network Detection and Response, Managed Extended Detection and Response (MxDR), EnCase™ Endpoint Security and EnCase™ Endpoint Investigator.

[1] From Gartner report Market Definitions and Methodology: Information Security and Risk Management Products and Services Published 1 September 2022 – ID G00770605. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

Rachel Teisch

Rachel Teisch is Senior Director of Product Marketing at OpenText Discovery. She brings nearly two decades of experience in eDiscovery, and is responsible for product marketing for the OpenText Discovery suite of products. She most recently served as Vice President, Marketing, at Catalyst Repository Systems, which was acquired by OpenText in January 2019 and is now part of the OpenText Discovery portfolio.

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