Cortex XDR by Palo Alto Networks Review

Very powerful tool; provides behavior-based detection tailored to your environment


What is our primary use case?

As with any advanced malware protection tool, it's really about the results and getting the security you need. We are end users and I'm a cybersecurity incident response analyst.

What is most valuable?

I like that the product has behavior-based detection which offers many benefits over signature-based detection. When it comes to zero day attacks and targeted attacks, signature detection is not able to detect problems. Behavior-based detection is able to detect attacks tailored specifically for your environment, or malware that doesn't yet have a known malicious signature. It's the nature of how the data is processed that makes the tool really powerful. 

What needs improvement?

The downside to the solution is that there are a large number of false positives. There are a whole lot of different things for business automated actions, and it's hard to sort through all that. Without some assistance and suppression of false positives from Palo Alto or some event triaging that you might have enabled on your SIEM, you'll continue to get the high number of false positives. It's related more to the lack of capability to easily identify and suppress false positives before they're presented to you. There needs to be a function for suppressing false positives for types of machines and not necessarily for the actual groups.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used this solution for close to six months while we were evaluating it. 

How are customer service and technical support?

Since Palo Alto was giving us the proof of concept, we had direct access to them.

How was the initial setup?

It takes quite a few people to set it up. I would say the biggest difference between Palo Alto XDR and something like Cisco AMP outside of the actual detection is going to be the ease of implementation. Cisco AMP only requires one person to go through all the groups and configure policies. With XDR you define groups based on types of machines and commonalities in the machines. It's not like you just send a connector to machines and they're part of that group in that policy. It means there is a whole lot more to configure on XDR.

What other advice do I have?

The same things apply to anyone looking to implement any form of anti-malware agent. You really want to take the time to make sure your environment is organized and configured the way that you want it to be, because once you start getting empty policies and machines in run groups, you run into a pretty big mess. Another thing would be documentation. If you're adding suppressions or custom detections or your AOCs, keep a document which logs all the changes, because people come and go, and handing down an anti-malware tool to somebody that doesn't know how or why it was configured a certain way, could make things difficult.

It would be a tremendous amount of work for us to implement Networks in a company our size. We have a whole bunch of projects going on right now that are pretty important and since we already have that advanced malware protection tool and AMP, which we think is good, we don't necessarily think Networks is as powerful at detection. On other projects, if we were going to go ahead and turn around and move forward with Palo Alto, it would mean taking a step backwards and reimplementing an anti-malware agent that we already have. That said, my impression is that it's a really good tool and you can get a lot out of it. 

I rate this solution a nine out of 10. 

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Private Cloud
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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