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Qualys launches context-aware XDR solution

Qualys has unveiled Qualys Context XDR, the industry’s first context-aware XDR. Powered by the highly scalable Qualys Cloud Platform, the solution combines rich asset inventory and vulnerability context, network and endpoint telemetry from Qualys sensors, along with high-quality threat intelligence and third-party log data to identify threats quickly and reduce alert fatigue.

user iconReporter
Wed, 09 Feb 2022
Qualys launches context-aware XDR solution
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Protecting environments against an overwhelming and constantly evolving threat landscape is frustrating when detecting and responding to cyber security threats using siloed products that provide a narrow view of the attack.

Current SIEM and XDR solutions passively and reactively collect disparate, unrelated logs creating an avalanche of notifications that place the burden of correlation and prioritisation on the analyst. Incident response and threat hunting teams need an accurate, comprehensive picture of their attack surface to maintain an effective security, risk, and compliance program.

According to Dave Gruber, principal analyst for Enterprise Strategy Group, attack surface complexity and diversity requires security teams to implement risk assessment strategies that help focus their limited resources on the critical assets most vulnerable to attack.


"Leveraging a single agent, the Qualys platform combines security risk posture data with native endpoint telemetry and threat intelligence to align threat investigation and response activities with the most critical assets" Gruber said.

Cyber security operators need risk awareness to prioritise the alerts, incidents and threats bombarding the teams, John Ayers, vice-president of advanced detection at Optiv explained.

"Far too often, SIEM and XDR solutions deliver the data and expect us to make sense of it.

"True telemetry is so much more than just data. Integrating, correlating and transforming the data to provide meaningful context and actionable insights is the ultimate goal.

"Combining next-gen technology, such as Qualys, with our people and processes helps us proactively keep our clients resilient in the face of ever-evolving threats," Ayers said.

Qualys Context XDR aims to provide the security context that operations teams need to eliminate false positives and noise by triangulating risk posture, asset criticality and threat intelligence.

Together, this provides visibility, contextual priority and meaningful insights about the assets that allow teams to quickly make the most impactful decisions for enhanced protection. For example, a vulnerability that is being actively exploited by malware on an executive's computer or a highly sensitive server introduces a higher level of risk to the business than a system in a test environment and requires an immediate response.

The Qualys Cloud Platform, which processes more than 10 trillion data points, seamlessly collects IT, security and compliance telemetry using its multiple native sensors along with third-party logs to provide a broader view across organisations' global networks.

Qualys Context XDR leverages this intelligence and the platform’s cloud agent response capabilities – like patching, fixing misconfigurations, killing processes and network connections and quarantining hosts – to comprehensively remediate the threats identified and increase the productivity of time-starved security analysts.

Qualys Context XDR uses more than just logs to provide clarity through context, by bringing together:

  • Risk posture - The solution leverages comprehensive vulnerability, threat and exploit insights to natively correlate OS and third-party apps, including misconfiguration/end-of-life (EOL) awareness for continuous vulnerability mapping.
  • Asset criticality - Leveraging the Qualys Cloud Platform, active asset discovery is coupled with dynamic, policy-driven criticality assignments to deliver the security and business context needed to prioritise high-value assets in real time.
  • Threat intelligence - A deep understanding of exploits, attacker techniques mapped against the MITRE ATT$CK framework, and vulnerabilities used for defense penetration delivers preventative and reactive response capabilities to stop active attacks, remediate root-cause and patch to prevent future attacks.
  • Third-party data - Using Qualys' cloud-based agent and on premises sensors, Context XDR gathers up-to-the-second log and telemetry data from enterprises’ third-party solutions and triangulates it with asset risk posture, criticality and threat intelligence to detect threats and create high-fidelity alerts.

Cyber security is getting increasingly complex with software supply chain attacks such as Kaseya, ransomware attacks like Colonial Pipeline and widespread severe vulnerabilities like Apache Log4j providing threat actors with multiple pathways into organisations IT infrastructure, according to Sumedh Thakar, president and CEO of Qualys.

"Qualys Context XDR is built to simplify this complexity by detecting threats, prioritising alerts with comprehensive context and responding swiftly with multiple response actions," Thakar concluded.

[Related: CrowdStrike extends general Falcon XDR availability]

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