Is CrowdStrike an EDR or XDR?

Endoint detection and response (EDR) and extended detection and response (XDR) are two key cybersecurity capabilities that help organizations detect and respond to threats across endpoints and networks. EDR focuses on monitoring and protecting endpoints like laptops, servers, and mobile devices, while XDR expands detection and response across endpoints, networks, cloud environments, and other attack vectors. This article explores whether CrowdStrike, a leading cybersecurity vendor, fits best into the EDR or XDR category. We will look at CrowdStrike’s core capabilities and how they map to key features of EDR and XDR solutions.

Definition of EDR

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is a cybersecurity technology focused on detecting, investigating, and responding to advanced threats and attacks on endpoints and networks. EDR solutions provide continuous monitoring and data collection of endpoint activity across an organization’s devices and networks [1]. The key capabilities of EDR include:

  • Real-time monitoring and data collection from endpoints
  • Advanced behavioral analysis to detect malicious activity
  • Centralized visibility into threats across all endpoints
  • Automated investigation and root cause analysis
  • Rapid response actions like quarantining files or isolating infected devices

EDR is critical for protecting against sophisticated malware and cyberattacks like ransomware or data breaches that traditional antivirus solutions may miss. It provides 24/7 threat hunting, detection, and response powered by machine learning and behavioral analytics. EDR augments antivirus to greatly strengthen an organization’s endpoint security posture.


Definition of XDR

XDR (extended detection and response) is a cybersecurity platform that expands upon the capabilities of endpoint detection and response (EDR). According to Gartner, XDR is a “unified security incident detection and response platform that automatically collects and correlates data across multiple security layers (like Office 365, network, endpoints) to detect and respond to attacks.”

The key capabilities of XDR include:

  • Collecting security telemetry data across an organization’s entire infrastructure, including endpoints, network, cloud, email, and more.
  • Applying analytics and machine learning to normalize and correlate the data to detect threats.
  • Providing visibility into threats across the kill chain.
  • Enabling automated or guided response and remediation actions.

XDR provides broader protection than EDR in a few key ways. First, it analyzes a wider breadth of data beyond just endpoints to detect threats that may be missed by EDR alone. Second, it connects insights across the infrastructure to identify threats that span multiple areas like email and network. Finally, it can automate responses across security controls, not just isolated to endpoints.

CrowdStrike’s Core Capabilities

CrowdStrike Falcon is an endpoint protection platform that provides comprehensive security capabilities through a single lightweight agent. Some of CrowdStrike’s core capabilities include:

Falcon Prevent – Next-generation antivirus that stops malware and exploits using machine learning and behavioral analysis.

Falcon X Threat Intelligence – Real-time threat intelligence that identifies IOCs and delivers alerts on new and emerging threats.

Falcon Insight – Extended detection and response (XDR) that analyzes trillions of security events across domains for fast threat detection.

Falcon Complete – Managed threat hunting, detection, and response powered by CrowdStrike experts.

By consolidating multiple point solutions into one lightweight agent, CrowdStrike aims to provide comprehensive endpoint protection and simplified security operations.

CrowdStrike Provides Robust Endpoint Protection

CrowdStrike offers a cloud-native Endpoint Protection Platform (EPP) called Falcon that provides comprehensive endpoint security with prevention, detection, and response capabilities (Source). The Falcon platform uses AI-driven behavioral analysis to stop malware and exploits before they can execute and cause damage.

For prevention, Falcon uses multilayered next-gen AV, firewall, and host-based intrusion prevention to block malicious files, scripts, and connections (Source). It has cloud-based intelligence on the latest threats to identify and block emerging attacks. For detection, Falcon continuously monitors endpoints and uses indicator of attack behavioral analytics to identify malicious activity.

Finally, for response Falcon has built-in remediation capabilities to contain threats by isolating endpoints and stopping lateral movement. It can also remove malware infections and return endpoints back to a known good state after an incident. Together these capabilities provide comprehensive protection before, during, and after an attack.

CrowdStrike’s Expanded Detection and Response

CrowdStrike offers capabilities beyond just endpoint protection with their Falcon platform, providing expanded threat detection and response across an organization’s endpoints, cloud workloads, identity, and data. CrowdStrike leverages AI-powered threat intelligence and IT hygiene capabilities for comprehensive visibility and protection.

Specifically, CrowdStrike Falcon uses indicators of attack (IOAs) based on real-world observations to identify emerging threats and stop attacks. This is powered by their Threat Graph, which analyzes trillions of events per week across their global customer base to identify new attacker behaviors and deliver actionable intelligence. The Threat Graph provides contextual alerts with recommended actions to stop threats.

In addition, CrowdStrike offers cloud security posture management (CSPM), cloud workload protection, identity protection, and data loss prevention capabilities to secure an organization’s entire infrastructure. This expanded visibility beyond the endpoint allows CrowdStrike to detect threats that span multiple areas of an enterprise.

Overall, CrowdStrike delivers threat intelligence, visibility, and detection that goes beyond just securing endpoints. Its Falcon platform provides comprehensive security capabilities across cloud, identity, network, endpoints, and data.[1]


Is CrowdStrike an EDR?

According to What Is EDR a DLP? | Know Both Solutions to Find out, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) solutions focus on detecting and investigating suspicious activity and incidents on endpoints. EDR tools monitor endpoint data and event logs to identify threats.

CrowdStrike offers robust endpoint protection capabilities through its Falcon platform. Falcon uses intelligent behavioral analytics and machine learning to prevent, detect, and respond to threats across endpoints. It provides continuous monitoring, recording endpoint data, analyzing events, and identifying threats in real-time.

Based on CrowdStrike’s strong focus on securing endpoints and providing detection and response capabilities directly on endpoints, it fits the definition of an EDR solution. CrowdStrike Falcon enables organizations to detect, investigate, and mitigate cyber threats and incidents on endpoints, which are core functions of EDR tools.

Is CrowdStrike an XDR?

Based on CrowdStrike’s capabilities, it does fit the definition of an XDR platform. CrowdStrike Falcon Insight XDR offers expanded threat detection and response by connecting and correlating data across multiple security products and IT infrastructure.

CrowdStrike Falcon Insight XDR integrates with third-party security tools to unify siloed data sources across endpoints, workloads, identities, networks, and cloud environments. This provides comprehensive visibility and detection of threats across the entire attack surface. According to CrowdStrike, Falcon Insight XDR enables faster threat hunting, investigation, and response by breaking down data silos.

By leveraging CrowdStrike’s cloud-native platform, Falcon Insight XDR is able to process trillions of events per week and petabytes of data. This allows for real-time detection of sophisticated and stealthy threats across multiple attack vectors and stages of the attack lifecycle. The platform’s analytics and machine learning capabilities further enhance threat detection to uncover suspicious behaviors and patterns.

With its expanded data collection, correlation, and analytics powered by the cloud, CrowdStrike Falcon Insight XDR provides the comprehensive threat visibility, proactive hunting, and automated response that are key characteristics of XDR platforms.

Hybrid or Standalone?

When examining CrowdStrike’s capabilities, it becomes clear that they offer features of both EDR and XDR solutions. CrowdStrike markets themselves as an XDR provider, with their Falcon platform integrating EDR, cloud workload protection, and managed threat hunting.

However, many analysts still view CrowdStrike as primarily an EDR solution with expanded detection capabilities. Their strength lies in endpoint protection, which is the foundation of EDR. While they offer cloud and threat hunting features, their endpoint protection makes up the core of their offering.

Ultimately, CrowdStrike could be considered a hybrid EDR/XDR solution. They provide robust EDR capabilities focused on the endpoint, as well as expanding to include cloud and threat hunting via their XDR platform. However, endpoints remain their primary focus. CrowdStrike strikes a balance between standalone EDR and a full XDR platform.

According to Clearnetwork, “CrowdStrike Falcon should be considered an EDR platform first, with additive XDR capabilities.” Their current capabilities cover a wide spectrum between EDR and XDR, while still maintaining a focus on comprehensive endpoint detection and response.


Based on the analysis, CrowdStrike is best categorized as a hybrid EDR and XDR solution. While it originated as a leading EDR provider focused on endpoint protection, CrowdStrike has since expanded into XDR capabilities like cloud workload security, identity protection, and log management. However, CrowdStrike still offers robust endpoint security as the core of its platform. Ultimately, CrowdStrike provides the endpoint detection and response features typical of an EDR, combined with the extended detection and response across additional vectors seen in XDR. This allows customers to consolidate tools and gain expanded visibility and protection through a single platform. Rather than being limited to one category, CrowdStrike delivers the best of both EDR and XDR.