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GigaOm Key Criteria for Evaluating Network Detection and Response (NDR) Solutionsv2.0

An Evaluation Guide for Technology Decision-Makers

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. NDR Sector Brief
  3. Decision Criteria Analysis
  4. Analyst’s Outlook
  5. About Ivan McPhee

1. Executive Summary

Today’s IT infrastructure is becoming increasingly complex as it encompasses hybrid cloud and on-premises environments, IoT devices, and third-party providers. As a result, organizations are faced with the almost impossible task of protecting complex environments against all attack vectors. With traditional security solutions—such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), intrusion prevention systems (IPS), and security information and event management (SIEM) systems—unable to provide complete protection, new technologies are needed to detect anomalous behaviors and provide investigative capabilities in the event of a network breach.

Network detection and response (NDR) is an advanced cybersecurity approach that focuses on detecting and responding to malicious actors and suspicious behavior within a network environment. Monitoring and analyzing network traffic in real time to identify and mitigate malicious activity, NDR leverages machine learning (ML) and behavioral analysis to rate threats faster, accelerating triage and response times. By combining network traffic analysis (NTA), behavior monitoring, and threat intelligence, NDR solutions provide real-time visibility into network activities and identify potential security breaches in increasingly complex environments, automatically responding to mitigate cyberattacks.

As a complement to other detection tools, NDR is a modern security solution for mitigating the risk of advanced cyberattacks, such as advanced persistent threats (APTs), data exfiltration, lateral movement, malware activity, and ransomware. Traditional security solutions—such as firewalls and antivirus software—are insufficient to address sophisticated attacks that evade perimeter defenses. NDR fills this gap by actively monitoring network traffic and analyzing patterns and anomalies that may indicate malicious activity, enabling organizations to detect and respond to threats promptly and reducing the dwell time of attackers inside the network to mitigate potential damage.

Vendors continuously evolve their NDR solutions to keep pace with the rapidly changing threat landscape. New techniques include metadata-based analysis and unsupervised ML algorithms to provide holistic visibility, detect unknown threats, improve accuracy, and reduce false positives. These solutions can analyze large volumes of network data in real time, identifying patterns indicative of advanced threats such as zero-day exploits, lateral movement, and data exfiltration. In addition, many NDR solutions incorporate threat intelligence feeds and integrate with other security tools to enhance their capabilities.

Business Imperative
Deploying an NDR solution is essential for enhancing an organization’s cybersecurity posture by providing comprehensive visibility into network traffic and detecting threats that other security measures may miss. Industry-leading NDR solutions offer advanced analytical capabilities, such as ML and behavioral analytics, to identify and respond to anomalous activities, thereby reducing the risk of data breaches and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Moreover, integrating NDR with existing security infrastructure can streamline SecOps workflows, improve the efficiency of incident response, and deliver a better return on investment by reducing the complexity of security technology stacks, which is potentially enabled by replacing legacy tools.

Sector Adoption Score
To help executives and decision-makers assess the potential impact and value of deploying an NDR solution 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 the adoption of an NDR solution, we arrive at an overall Sector Adoption Score (Figure 1) of 4.8 out of 5, with 5 indicating the strongest possible recommendation to adopt. This indicates that an NDR solution is a strong candidate for deployment and worthy of thoughtful consideration.

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

Key Criteria for Evaluating NDR Solutions

Sector Adoption Score







Figure 1. Sector Adoption Score for NDR

This is the second year that GigaOm has reported on the NDR 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 NDR 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 NDR 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.