First published September 2020

The hype cycle around XDR (extended detection and response) is in full swing. But the problems it promises to solve and the outcomes security analysts are looking for are nothing new.

Where did XDR come from?
Open XDR
How ReliaQuest defines open XDR

Where did XDR come from?

It started with security information and event management (SIEM). We needed a better way to aggregate and search our security data to run effective investigations. It helped us to correlate to find the signal through the noise. But it also required expertise and care and feeding to parse and effectively pull data in from various sources. It required the expertise to build and tune detection content with continuous monitoring. So while it solved some problems, it created new ones. In some cases, very expensive ones.

Then we added security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) to help us better connect the dots and respond more quickly across a breadth of security tools. Again, the premise was (and is!) great: Speeding data collection, orchestrating across tools, automating the mundane… but in reality, many teams haven’t yet codified their standard operating procedures; lack the bandwidth or skillset to create, deploy, and maintain playbooks; or are not confident enough in their underlying detection content and tool health in order to feel confident in wide-reaching automated response.

So then we threw bodies at it—managed services, staff augmentation, managed detection and response. This helped us check compliance boxes, for sure. But did we get better visibility? Did we reduce risk? Or did we essentially just outsource our scapegoat in case of a breach?

OK, OK, it’s not all doom and gloom. The security ecosystem is always evolving—of course on the ransomware, malware, TTP side—but also in the innovation of security tools.

So, now we come to XDR. As Jon Oltsik, principal analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group has defined it:

XDR is an integrated suite of security products spanning hybrid IT architectures, designed to interoperate and coordinate on threat prevention, detection, and response. In other words, XDR unifies security control points, security telemetry, analytics, and operations into one enterprise system.

Is this the pixie dust that’s going to solve our problems?

Open XDR

Expanding on the vision for XDR, we believe there’s a place for open XDR, or Open XDR. Not all the things from one vendor, but a truly integrative platform that delivers that foundation security professionals need in order to effectively operate to automate the mundane and speed comprehensive investigations to get to decision points faster. An integrative platform that sets up security teams with the ability to truly take advantage of machine learning as capabilities in that area continue to evolve.

ReliaQuest GreyMatter delivers the Open XDR approach that enables organizations to gain security confidence through the centralized detection and remediation of advanced threats across their otherwise siloed IT architecture without concern of which deployed technologies will integrate. Whilst some XDR security solutions support limited integration of tooling from other vendors, GreyMatter is vendor agnostic and provides the same high-fidelity analysis and response capability irrespective of the vendor tooling being integrated.

Within GreyMatter, you can threat hunt across disparate toolsets such as SIEM, EDR, firewall, and more, concurrently and drill into the returned results via a centralized dashboard. GreyMatter unlocks the ability to execute a response across multiple vendor platforms, update firewall ACLs, disable a user in Active Directory, and kill a process on and endpoint—without ever leaving the GreyMatter interface.


ReliaQuest GreyMatter delivers XDR outcomes and more, but without changing your existing technology investments. We help you avoid vendor lock in via Open XDR, which consists of:

  • Integration of your best-of-breed products for unified detection, investigation and response
  • Cross-technology visibility in weeks, powered by a patented “Universal Translator”
  • Aggregation of relevant data on demand, without the need to build and maintain a costly and cumbersome data lake
  • Continuous optimization of your security technologies and processes
  • A guided reporting framework to drive security program measurement and continuously increase maturity
  • Automation across the security lifecycle, applying the development principles of continuous integration/ continuous deployment to the security realm

ReliaQuest GreyMatter was built from our experience driving outcomes for SOCs from across the Fortune 1000 for over 12 years. Security teams get access to a customer-validated library of content, playbooks and processes, and integration of data on demand to detect and respond faster. GreyMatter takes a proactive approach and gets your team one step ahead with automated threat hunting and attack simulations to identify risk in the environment and validate what you put in place is working. Security leaders will have the answers to two key questions:

  • Am I reducing risk to the business?
  • Am I investing in the right areas to mature my security platform?

If you want to gain more confidence in your security program, learn more about ReliaQuest GreyMatter.