GigaOm Key Criteria for Evaluating Extended Detection and Response (XDR) Solutionsv3.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. XDR Sector Brief
  3. Decision Criteria Analysis
  4. Analyst’s Outlook
  5. About Chris Ray

1. Executive Summary

Enterprise cybersecurity is composed of multiple security solutions from various vendors combined with a security information and event management (SIEM) and/or security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) product that allows security analysts to correlate events across the network in an effort to detect and respond to cyberattacks.

Traditionally, most SIEM/SOAR solutions came with out-of-the-box threat detection capabilities; however, their effectiveness relied heavily on a human in the loop to fine-tune these systems for their environment. Because of this, any such solution was limited by the expertise of the security staff and required extensive maintenance to keep up with the ever-changing threat landscape. This limitation resulted in less-than-intelligent detection and a crippling oversupply of alerts. Ultimately, when a solution is dependent on human knowledge, real threats are drowned out by the noise and remain undetected, and this problem can be exacerbated if there are multiple detection and response solutions working independently.

In contrast, XDR distributes detection and response across the IT architecture to provide ubiquitous coverage from endpoint to cloud by delivering unified visibility, control, and protection. XDR collects telemetry and leverages artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), or other statistical analysis methods to correlate event logs, enabling evaluation against intrusion response frameworks. Additionally, XDR systems integrate threat intelligence to enhance and improve threat detection capabilities. While not quite a “silver bullet” for security, XDR is as close to “security in a bag” as you can get at this time.

XDR aims to mitigate the security skills gap by reducing the need for experienced security analysts and instead using AI, ML, and statistical methods to provide threat intelligence-driven analysis. It identifies connections among seemingly unrelated network activities to uncover sophisticated attacks. Additionally, automated remediation responses reduce the mean time to respond (MTTR) to a potential incident.

Business Imperative
Organizations today face immense pressure to enable secure digital transformation, even as evolving cyberthreats erode confidence and darken outlook. Siloed security tools fail to provide comprehensive breach prevention, forcing CISOs to grapple with reduced visibility, manual alert triaging, and delayed incident response. XDR promises to alleviate these issues by unifying historically disjointed control points with AI-driven automation to expose advanced attacks across hybrid networks quickly and effectively.

Though initial deployment of XDR demands deep planning and phased execution, the long-term efficiency gains, risk reduction, and security uplift have become essential ingredients in building and maintaining continuous operations and trust in the digital economy. Leadership must provide proper support and resources for such a sweeping initiative.

Sector Adoption Score
To help executives and decision-makers assess the potential impact and value of an XDR solution deployment to the business, this GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a structured assessment of the sector across five factors: benefit, maturity, urgency, impact, and effort. By scoring each factor based on how strongly it compels or deters adoption of an XDR solution, we provide an overall Sector Adoption Score (Figure 1) of 3.8 out of 5, with 5 indicating the strongest possible recommendation to adopt. This indicates that an XDR solution is a credible candidate for deployment and worthy of thoughtful consideration.

The factors contributing to the Sector Adoption Score for XDR are explained in more detail in the Sector Brief section that follows.

Key Criteria for Evaluating XDR Solutions

Sector Adoption Score







Figure 1. Sector Adoption Score for XDR

This is the third year that GigaOm has reported on the XDR space in the context of our Key Criteria and Radar reports. This report builds on our previous analysis and considers how the market has evolved over the last year.

This GigaOm Key Criteria report highlights the capabilities (table stakes, key features, and emerging features) and nonfunctional requirements (business criteria) for selecting an effective XDR solution. The companion GigaOm Radar report identifies vendors and products that excel in those decision criteria. Together, these reports provide an overview of the market, identify leading XDR offerings, and help decision-makers evaluate these solutions so they can make a more informed investment decision.


The GigaOm Key Criteria report provides a detailed decision framework for IT and executive leadership assessing enterprise technologies. Each report defines relevant functional and nonfunctional aspects of solutions in a sector. The Key Criteria report informs the GigaOm Radar report, which provides a forward-looking assessment of vendor solutions in the sector.

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