Managed Detection & Response (MDR) For Dummies
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What is MDR?

Managed detection and response (MDR) is more a security service than it is a security tool. The words “detection and response” sound like the most important part of the acronym, and those are the meat and potatoes of any good security infrastructure, but what sets MDR apart is how the solution is managed.

MDR service providers offer businesses access to in-house security experts who monitor, alert, investigate, create response plans, and more. MDR providers’ detection and response tools are integrated into an existing IT infrastructure so the security pros can detect and respond to security threats.

MDR solutions are for small to midsize organizations that can’t support a full staff of security operations employees and larger organizations that wish to supplement their existing security solutions. MDR is a strong option for many organizations, but it’s important to remember that not all MDRs are created equal. At their core, MDR solutions offer integrated security tools monitored and managed by the provider’s security professionals, but there can be key differences among solutions.

For instance, it’s wise to select a vendor that uses the latest technologies, partners with you, and provides consulting and technical support, such as digital forensics and incident response (DFIR) services.

A risk-based approach to cybersecurity

A risk-based approach to cybersecurity is a key differentiator in the MDR market. Companies that use risk-based cybersecurity stop three times more attacks, find more than 50 percent of incidents within one day, and see impactful breaches reduced from 76 to 28 percent, according to an Accenture cybersecurity report.

To make these security options more accessible to small and midsize companies, a true risk-based, consultative approach to cybersecurity is recommended. A partnership between the client and the MDR vendor allows smaller organizations to protect themselves from the onslaught of cyberattacks, vulnerabilities, and risks without hiring an internal security team. A risk-based approach enables clients to tap into end-to-end solutions with a team of skilled, innovative professionals enabled by technology, automation, and advanced analytics to meet individual client organization needs.

Humans are the key

Just as humans are the driving force behind today’s security threats, they’re also behind the best security solutions for combating them. This humans-first approach to MDR integrates human intervention and problem-solving into almost every step of the threat response life cycle.

A truly successful MDR service must combine the intelligence and creativity of human minds with powerful security technology. An example of this philosophy in action is the thousands of alerts that security information and event management (SIEM) systems can produce. Security experts must sift through them so alert fatigue and false negatives don’t impact security operations. Accessibility to analysts for questions and updates is important because two-way conversations and real relationships build a strong cybersecurity program.

Consultative approach

A consultative approach to security provides access to experienced security practitioners. Look for an MDR that is with you throughout your journey to partner with you and design a program that focuses on your specific cybersecurity and compliance needs today, with the built-in capability to evolve your program as the cybersecurity landscape changes and as your needs and priorities change.

Access to security professionals provided by MDR services helps overcome security challenges. A select few MDR service providers offer risk assessments and penetration testing and have teams of people who know how to navigate compliance and regulation issues.

Look for an MDR partner whose business is built on the risk-based consultative approach for clients, enabling them to provide end-to-end solutions with a team of skilled, innovative professionals enabled by technology, automation, and advanced analytics to meet individual client organization needs.

Getting started

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