Tackling Cross-Domain Cyber Threats: Microsoft XDR & Critical Start MDR to the Rescue 

Let’s face it, in our ever-growing digital world, cybersecurity is a big deal. A multi-trillion-dollar big deal! Cybercriminals are getting craftier, using multi-stage attacks and cross-domain techniques that can make life difficult for cybersecurity operations. To add to that, Security Operations Center (SOC) teams are often in a spot where they are very much behind the 8-ball staff wise, skillset wise, tool wise, or worse, all the above. But don’t worry – we’re here to discuss how Microsoft’s Extended Detection and Response (XDR) and Critical Start’s Managed Detection and Response (MDR) can help keep your digital assets safe. You ready? Let’s go! 

Section 1: The Tough Stuff – Multi-Stage Attacks 

Multi-stage attacks are like a game of hide-and-seek that cybercriminals play with your security systems. We are often trained to look as far left as possible in the attack and assume it MUST be from an email, right!? Not always! Multi-stage attacks are tricky. Here’s why they’re so tricky, along with four common causes of these attacks: 

  • Hard to spot: These attacks often sneak under the radar, avoiding security alerts. 
  • Evasion masters: Cybercriminals use clever tactics like encryption and obfuscation to slip past security tools. 
  • Lateral moves: Once inside a network, attackers can hop from one vulnerability to another, making it hard to track their moves and limit damage. By the way, this happens in a matter of seconds. 
  • Limited visibility: Traditional security tools might not see the whole picture, making it tough to understand the full attack lifecycle, or there’s a siloed disconnect between tools and teams.  

Common Causes of Multi-Stage Attacks: 

  • Phishing and social engineering: Attackers often use deceptive tactics, like fake emails or websites, to trick users into revealing sensitive information or downloading malware.  
  • Exploiting known vulnerabilities: Cybercriminals take advantage of security flaws in software and hardware that haven’t been patched or updated, allowing them to infiltrate systems.  
  • Compromised credentials: Stolen or weak user credentials can provide attackers with easy access to networks and sensitive data.  
  • Advanced Persistent Threats (APTs): Highly skilled and well-funded adversaries often use multi-stage attacks to infiltrate and establish a foothold in target networks, often remaining undetected for extended periods. 

Section 2: Microsoft XDR – The Security Toolbelt for Cross-Domain Attacks 

Microsoft’s Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is like a superhero that swoops in to protect you from cross-domain attacks. Here’s how XDR saves the day: 

  • Integrated security: XDR brings together data from different security domains, like endpoints, identities, applications, network infrastructure, and more, giving you a complete view and protection of your digital kingdom. 
  • Quick on its feet: Microsoft XDR uses advanced analytics and machine learning to identify and respond to threats in real time. 
  • Connecting the dots: XDR analyzes data across domains to spot attack patterns that might otherwise go unnoticed. 
  • Speedy response: Microsoft XDR helps security teams act fast, reducing the damage caused by successful attacks. 

Section 3: Critical Start MDR – The Perfect Sidekick for Microsoft XDR 

Critical Start’s Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service is the ideal sidekick to enhance Microsoft XDR’s capabilities. Together, they make an unstoppable duo: 

  1. Expert squad: Critical Start’s MDR team is packed with cybersecurity pros, ensuring that Microsoft XDR is set up just right for maximum protection. 
  1. Zero- Trust Analytics Platform ® (ZTAP ®): Critical Start’s ZTAP refines Microsoft XDR’s alert system, reducing false alarms and prioritizing real threats. 
  1. Always on guard: Critical Start’s MDR service keeps a watchful eye on your security environment 24/7, ready to tackle threats as they emerge. 
  1. Proactive threat hunting: The MDR team at Critical Start actively hunts down threats, stopping potential attacks before they can cause harm. 
  1. Top-notch support: If a security breach happens, Critical Start’s MDR team is there to help you respond effectively and minimize damage. 


Dealing with multi-stage and cross-domain attacks can be a real headache, but Microsoft’s Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is here to help. Internally operationalizing tools can be tough, upskilling your team can be a nonstop uphill battle, and ensuring processing change at the pace of the threat landscape can be nearly impossible. But when you pair M365 Defender + XDR with Critical Start’s Managed Detection and Response (MDR) service, you’ve got a powerful combo to keep your digital assets safe. So go on, team up with Microsoft XDR and Critical Start MDR to outsmart those crafty cybercriminals! 

If you’d like to chat in person, come visit Critical Start’s Booth #860 in the South Hall at RSA on April 24th – 27th. Not only will you get to see the new Critical Start dashboards and hear about new product integrations from an expert team, but you’ll also have the chance to be part of the Critical Start mosaic wall and take home a custom sketch! Come on by, and let’s talk Microsoft and MDR. 

You may also be interested in…

Stay Connected on Today’s Cyber Threat Landscape

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
  • Hidden
Benchmark your cybersecurity against peers with our Free Quick Start Risk Assessments tool!
This is default text for notification bar