Companies today can process data and derive business insights faster by leveraging advanced technologies such as 5G, IoT, data analytics, machine learning, and cloud. However, as technology grows, so does the threat of cybercrime.
Fortunately, there are now better security technologies, such as endpoint security software, and services to help organizations prevent cyber attacks. Managed detection and response (MDR) is such a service, which moves away from the traditional, reactive model and takes on a more proactive approach at mitigating cyber threats.
MDR service providers employ teams of security engineers and analysts that use the latest technologies to constantly monitor and proactively search for threats to a business’s networks and host devices.
This buyers guide explains in detail what MDR services exactly are, their common offerings, and key considerations.
Let’s get started!
Here’s what we’ll cover:
What is managed detection and response (MDR)?
MDR is a security service delivery model that combines threat detection with proactive investigations to preempt cyber attacks. MDR service providers continuously monitor an organization’s networks and host devices to detect suspicious patterns in user behavior and application threats, in real-time.
MDR service providers have security engineers and analysts who respond to potential threats and analyze the vulnerabilities in organizational systems to preempt future cyberattacks.
Common offerings of MDR services
MDR service providers help businesses detect and respond to threats faster. Let’s look at these more closely.
|Monitoring and detection
||A team of security experts uses proprietary security technology stacks, consisting of SIEM and EDR solutions, to detect threats across a client’s network and endpoint devices.
||The provider takes reactive actions, such as blocking an IP address from accessing the network or killing a process on an endpoint server or device, to contain security incidents.
||The provider collects security data, such as logs from network firewall and intrusion detection systems, and performs deep analysis to proactively identify threats.
||Clients can access reports confirming threats and read security recommendations via a self-service portal. The portal may also include a ticketing workflow for raising service requests.
What type of client are you?
The type of MDR service provider your organization needs depends on the maturity of your security operations.
- Low IT security maturity: These clients don't have an in-house team of IT security experts nor have they made significant investments in security solutions. They can set up threat detection and response capabilities by outsourcing to an MDR services provider, especially one that also offers security products.
- Moderate IT security maturity: These clients have made sporadic investments in threat detection technologies and may also have a small team managing an in-house SOC. Their MDR requirements emphasize scaling existing IT security capabilities. They should ensure their existing security technologies integrate seamlessly with the MDR services provider's technology stack.
- Substantial IT security maturity: These clients have a fully-functional in-house SOC with significant investments in security technologies and may even be using an MSSP. Their MDR requirements are focused on bridging the gaps in their current capabilities. They might want to look for specialist MDR services providers that cater to specific business use cases.
Examine your business needs: Conduct a meeting of key stakeholders to understand what parts of your IT environment (on-premises assets, SaaS tools, certain workflows) need monitoring and what are the most critical threats your organization faces. Defining and documenting the reasons on why you need MDR services will help craft relevant questions while exploring options on the market.
Understand service level agreements (SLAs): SLAs perform two functions. The first is to confirm the legal formalities, such as determining that the ownership of security data remains with you and not the vendor. Second, SLAs ensure that you hold the vendor liable for quality, such as providing timely support services. Ensuring that you have well-defined SLAs ensures that you have set the right expectations from the MDR service provider.