XDR, MDR, and EDR are cybersecurity solutions providing businesses with advanced threat detection, response capabilities, and analytics. Explore the differences in their overall designs and features.

What is XDR?

XDR is short for “extended detection and response.” This approach involves gathering and analyzing data from multiple sources to prevent and respond to cyberattacks. It also involves organizing this information into a streamlined format that can be delivered to security teams in a consolidated console.

What is MDR?

MDR is short for “managed detection and response.” This approach allows a business to outsource its EDR product management. An MDR approach can detect malicious activity through real-time threat hunting. It can also actively mitigate these threats and alert the security operations center (SOC).

What is EDR?

EDR is short for “extended detection and response.” This approach protects a company’s computers, servers, and other network-connected endpoint systems from malicious activity.

EDR involves gathering and correlating data from across the infrastructure to enhance threat visibility and reduce risk. It also involves streamlining this data and delivering it to SOCs in a simple, consolidated format.

Key Differences

You can see that these three methodologies have similar roles and purposes. So, how exactly do they differ?

Focus Area

While each solution aims to enhance cybersecurity for organizations, XDR, MDR, and EDR are tailored to different areas:

  • XDR: XDR provides a consolidated view of various attack vectors and tools. It has a broad focus on networks, endpoints, and the cloud.
  • MDR: MDR delivers ongoing cybersecurity threat detection and response. It focuses on threat hunting and protection across all resources.
    EDR: EDR primarily focuses on endpoint security. It regularly monitors end-user devices to identify and respond to malware, ransomware, and other cybersecurity threats.


XDR and EDR are software tools that human operators must deploy, configure, and manage. Human or technological evaluators must also review their software-generated alerts.

On the flip side, MDR is more of a service than a tool. It falls under the umbrella of security-as-a-service (SECaaS), where a company outsources some of its cybersecurity operations to a third party. An MDR approach may integrate XDR or EDR solutions as part of its threat detection and response capabilities.


Organizations deploy EDR solutions directly on a system within a protected network. An XDR approach typically means deploying agents internally — however, analytics may be cloud-hosted by a third-party software-as-a-service (SaaS) provider. In contrast with both, a third-party MDR provider operates outside of the protected network.

Learn More About Agio’s Cybersecurity Services Today

With the rise of remote work and continuing changes to the cybersecurity threat landscape, comprehensive security control is more critical than ever.

From incident detection and response to ongoing system monitoring, we handle it all at Agio. Beefing up your security controls with our affordable service packages can help your organization spot and respond to malicious behavior from every direction, whether internal or external. Contact us today to learn more!

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