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What is Cloud Detection and Response?

Cloud detection and response (CDR) definition

Cloud detection and response (CDR) refers to the practice of detecting, analyzing, and responding to possible cloud security incidents. Similarly, it also refers to a type of cyber security tool that can be utilized by an organization to achieve those same goals.

CDR vs incident response in the cloud

Cloud detection and response employs features and techniques that are commonly associated with more traditional solutions, such as endpoint detection and response (EDR), network detection and response (NDR), and extended detection and response (XDR) – they key difference is that CDR has an emphasis on the cloud.  

As with other security detection and response tools, CDRs can help organizations identify and mitigate threats in their cloud environments. Furthermore, this augmented level of detection and visibility can allow for proactive monitoring and efficient triaging of possible security breaches.

What are the objectives of cloud detection and response?

CDR solutions have various key objectives that play a significant role in addressing security threats within cloud environments. These key objectives also make up the components of what most CDR solutions should offer.

Real-time threat detection

This helps organizations understand when, where, how and why an incident may have unfolded – this feature is essential.

Automatic response capabilities

This allow for quick and efficient triaging of and response to incidents.

Reporting and analysis functionality

This may assist in the monitoring of cloud environments and infrastructure and could provide key insight into possible areas of improvement.  

Integrations with existing tools

Systems and environments allow organizations to holistically manage their cloud security tools and services.

Some CDR solutions may also offer incident simulation, which, in turn, provides a deeper level of vulnerability management and understanding.

Use cases for CDR

Cloud detection and response (CDR) solutions are suited to tackle various types of internal or external threats. Notably, CDR tools are poised to confront:

Insider Threats

CDR can identify anomalous behavior by internal users and employees who may misuse their access privileges or engage in malicious activities.

Vulnerability Exploitation

CDR can detect attempts to exploit vulnerabilities in cloud infrastructure components and applications and provide alerts to promptly remediate vulnerabilities.

Suspicious API Activity

CDR can monitor API connections for unusual or suspicious behavior. Since many cloud services, tools and environments rely on API connectivity, this insight could be crucial.

There are also various other types of incidents and threats that can be detected by CDR tools. To learn more about cloud threats visit the Darktrace blog.

What indicators does a CDR solutions monitor to detect incidents?

Each cloud detection and response tool is different, and each may utilize data to detect security incidents in its own unique way. Darktrace/Cloud, for example, uses Self-Learning AI to provide complete cyber resilience for multi-cloud environments. It learns the normal ‘patterns of life’ for users, devices, and instances from scratch to detect and respond to unknown and unpredictable cyber-attacks.

Darktrace/Cloud accomplishes all of this without relying on training data or preconceived ideas of ‘bad.'

What are the challenges and benefits of implementing a CDR solution?

Organizations face these challenges with cloud environments and infrastructures:


Cloud infrastructure is highly dynamic, allowing architectural changes to happen at the push of a button. This makes it challenging to maintain real-time awareness.


Cloud environments can be complex for several reasons; an organization may have dynamic assets, architectures, and services within the cloud.

Benefits of CDR

Cloud detection and response (CDR) solutions assist organizations in tackling these challenges. They are a vital component of a cloud security stack, given that their purpose is to identify and respond to a wide range of security threats and incidents, and to safeguard data, applications, and resources. These benefits enhance the overall security posture and help protect sensitive data, applications, and resources in cloud environments.

Challenges organizations face when implementing CDR in cloud environments

Organizations may face various challenged when implementing a cloud detection and response (CDR) solution in a cloud environment. Some of the most notable ones include:

Alert fatigue

CDR solutions generate alerts for various security events, and organizations can quickly become   overwhelmed by the volume of alerts. Distinguishing between real threats and false positives is a significant challenge.


Misconfigurations of CDR solutions or cloud resources can lead to false positives or, more critically, allow genuine threats to go undetected.

Visibility gaps

Some areas of cloud environments may lack visibility, such as encrypted traffic or certain third-party services. In turn, that may make it difficult for a CDR solution to monitor and detect threats.

Skill and knowledge gaps

Utilizing CDR solutions may require a higher-level of skilled personnel. For examples, these users may have to configure, monitor, and respond effectively to security incidents. Organizations implementing CDR solutions  might need to invest in training and skill development for their security teams.

What are the best practices when selecting and deploying a CDR solution?

Cloud detection and response (CDR) solutions significantly enhance an organization's overall cloud security posture by providing advanced threat detection, real-time incident response, and improved visibility into cloud environments. Organizations face their own unique challenges and individual requirements and necessities. With that in mind, organizations should follow the best practices listed below when selecting and deploying a CDR solution:

  • Understand the cloud environment.
  • Select a CDR that can provide scalability and integrations with existing security tools.
  • Develop an incident response plan.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of the CDR solutions to ensure proper performance.
  • Test and tune the CDR tool regularly to minimize false positives and enhance threat detections.

Cloud Security Solutions

Darktrace/Cloud provides dynamic visibility into your cloud environments for cloud-native threat detection and response. Darktrace's Cyber AI understands your cloud environment, continuously learning ‘normal’ across your network, architectural and management layers.