Strict European regulations to know when selecting XDR solutions or services


In today's cybersecurity climate, and for the overstretched security teams dealing with it, Extended Detection and Response (XDR) and Managed XDR have emerged as a critical consolidation opportunity for organizations seeking comprehensive threat detection and response capabilities and fewer security tools to manage.

However, for European companies, navigating the legal landscape surrounding the procurement of cloud-based XDR solutions and services is essential to ensure compliance with regional cybersecurity and data protection regulations. Before purchasing an XDR solution or a managed XDR service, there are several key considerations from a European legislative standpoint that organizations must address.

The NIS2 cyber security framework

NIS2 expands on its predecessor and imposes stricter security requirements on companies, including risk management, cybersecurity standards, registration, evidence provision, and incident reporting. These measures aim to enhance cybersecurity and cooperation during safety incidents. Companies must implement basic cyber hygiene, register with authorities, report incidents promptly, and demonstrate compliance to avoid sanctions. Collaboration and information sharing during incidents are emphasized, ensuring swift and comprehensive responses.

Data Protection Regulations

Europe boasts some of the world's strictest data protection regulations, notably the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Any XDR solution or managed XDR service must comply with GDPR requirements to safeguard the privacy and rights of individuals' personal data, regardless of the company’s location. Organizations must ensure the solution adheres to data minimization, purpose limitation, and lawful processing while considering data residency and cross-border data transfers.

Data Sovereignty and Residency

Data sovereignty refers to the legal jurisdiction in which data is subject to the laws and regulations of that country. Many European countries have specific requirements regarding data residency and the prohibition or restriction of transferring certain data outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Additionally, there may be other strict requirements for areas such as critical infrastructure or finance, which may vary from region to region. Before purchasing an XDR solution or service, it should be clarified where data will be stored and processed and ensure that it complies with applicable data sovereignty laws.

Cross-Border Data Transfers

Transferring personal data outside the EEA is subject to stringent requirements under GDPR, necessitating appropriate safeguards to protect data privacy and security. When evaluating XDR solutions or managed XDR services, consider how data transfers will be handled, whether through mechanisms such as Standard Contractual Clauses (SCCs), Binding Corporate Rules (BCRs), or adherence to approved data transfer mechanisms such as the EU-US Data Privacy Framework (if applicable).

Data Processing Agreements (DPAs)

GDPR mandates that organizations enter into written agreements with data processors outlining the terms and conditions of data processing activities. If the vendor acts as a data processor, ensure that the vendor is willing to sign a Data Processing Agreement (DPA) that defines responsibilities, safeguards, and compliance measures regarding the processing of personal data before finalizing the purchase of an XDR solution or service.

Security and Incident Response Obligations

GDPR imposes stringent security requirements on organizations handling personal data, including the implementation of appropriate technical and organizational measures to ensure confidentiality, integrity, and availability of data. Evaluate the XDR solution's security features or managed XDR service capabilities and incident response capabilities to ascertain its ability to meet GDPR's security obligations and facilitate timely notification of data breaches, as required by law.

Regulatory Compliance and Certification

Some XDR vendors may offer certifications or attestations demonstrating compliance with relevant data protection regulations and industry standards. Look for internationally recognized certifications such as ISO 27001 (Information Security Management System) or SOC 2 (Service Organization Control) that attest to the vendor's security and regulatory compliance commitment.

Vendor Transparency and Accountability

Transparency and accountability are key considerations when selecting an XDR vendor in Europe. Ensure the vendor provides transparent information about their data processing practices, security measures, and compliance efforts. Additionally, factors such as vendor reputation, financial stability, and willingness to engage in ongoing dialogue regarding regulatory compliance and evolving legal requirements should be considered.


Purchasing an XDR solution or Managed XDR service in Europe requires careful consideration of the legal landscape surrounding cybersecurity, data protection, and privacy regulations. It’s important to ask about the vendor's experience working with European clients and their familiarity with regional regulations, especially because there are fewer European-based alternatives than US-based vendors who predominantly offer XDR solutions and services.

Organizations can mitigate legal risks by prioritizing compliance with NIS2, GDPR, data sovereignty requirements, cross-border data transfers, DPAs, security obligations, certifications, and vendor transparency and ensure that their XDR deployment aligns with regulatory expectations. Remember, compliance is not just a legal obligation—it's a cornerstone of cybersecurity, trust, and accountability in today's data-driven economy.

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