Part Three: Blending The Bittman Project and the Kitchen Matrix for Microsoft XDR

August 23, 2022 | 3 min read

Mona Ghadiri

Senior Director of Product Management

Mona calcite

In the first blog in this series, BlueVoyant’s Director of Product Management Mona Ghadiri, taking a lead from Mark Bittman’s Kitchen Matrix, advocated the need for different XDR recipes — not more. In part two, she applied similar Bittman principles to connected security tools and cyber solutions. Now, in the final part, Mona will take a lead from Bittman principles and apply them to defending enterprises with XDR.

In 2021, Mark Bittman launched the Bittman Project for home chefs. The concept was simple: let’s cook together and let's keep the ingredients in our pantry that we need so that we, as The Bittman Project website states, “only need to make one weekly shopping trip for vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, milk, cheese, and other perishables to make pretty much anything.”

That is my speed. One shopping trip a week, and transitioning to security information and event management (SIEM), one weekly content update for my SIEM, add/remove perishable threat intel. I can still go out and grab something, or add new detections for zero days if I don’t have detections, but that out of cycle detection or shopping trip should be the exception and not the rule.

In the August 4 Bittman Project blog, titled What is Food, Bittman parallels not cooking alone and making sustainable food choices. The same thoughts should go together for cybersecurity, too.

He discusses just how interwoven food choices are to bigger problems, like climate change and sustainability, writing, “We did not accurately know which aspects of food promoted health and which promoted disease and now we actually do.”

You could say the same for cybersecurity. We did not accurately know what aspects of cybersecurity promoted health and which promoted (computer-based) diseases. Now we actually do. It starts simply with not letting anyone plug random USB devices they might find into their corporate devices.

At BlueVoyant, managed security services mean you don’t cook alone. Cooking together builds trust and gives you ways to learn new dishes and techniques; and (still) doesn’t mean you have to make anything from scratch. In other words, cooking from your pantry and keeping friends around in the kitchen remains important.

I liked this quote, albeit paraphrased, also for another reason. Managed services also promote health and sustainable cyber choices. Incident response is partially muscle memory, but it has to start in a manageable way. The kitchen needs the same forethought. Monitoring your health is a choice. Managed Detection & Response (MDR) makes getting the data you need for reporting easier to digest (pun intended).

When we cook together, we have a shared purpose. Creating dinner, or security content, builds bridges between teams that are responsible for shopping for food and those answering what’s for dinner.

So what is food? Bittman says, “That answer is simple: Food is to nourish people, fairly and equitably, while respecting the people who provide it and the land and other resources from which it comes.”

So what is XDR? That answer is simple, too. The following may seem like a mouthful, but it makes sense. XDR is a way to defend organizations — looking both internally and externally at response actions — starting with manageable expectations across emerging threat response actions and SOC response behaviors, while respecting and designing infrastructures for all the people who provide security outcomes and resources from which they come.

Embracing a new XDR Kitchen Matrix is deciding where to start. Stocking our pantries (and SIEM) is a plan for a fast dinner. Doing it together is a path to XDR and co-managed services.

XDR . . . now that’s what is for dinner.

Passionate about cybersecurity, tools, and solutions, Mona Ghadiri serves as the director of product management at BlueVoyant.