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Managed Detection and Response (MDR)

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MDR Services: Choosing the Best Option for You

What Are Managed Detection and Response (MDR) Services?

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) refers to a collection of security technologies installed on an organization’s host, network and endpoints, which are managed by a third-party provider. The provider offers technology that clients can install on their on-prem infrastructure, as well as software offering additional automated services.

MDR services enhance security by seeking out threats and reacting to them once they are detected. Customers can also take advantage of the provider’s security experts, who can provide additional security expertise, and can support and train in-house IT and security staff. This makes MDR suitable for organizations that do not have a dedicated in-house threat detection team.

In this article:

What Problems Does MDR Solve?

MDR services are a key part of strengthening an organization’s information security strategy. They deal with threat detection, ongoing analysis and monitoring of IT assets, and incident response.

MDR services handle these tasks to mitigate the issues typically faced by IT departments, including: 

  • High volume of alerts—MDRs can deal with large volumes of cybersecurity alerts that must be assessed individually. These alerts can overwhelm small security teams, causing them to abandon other tasks
  • Threat analysis—alerts often don’t reveal themselves as threats from the onset and must be thoroughly analyzed to establish their status. MDR services offer access to security experts and advanced analytics tools to assist with this, deciphering events and offering recommendations for betterment  
  • Shortage of skills—according to a Frost and Sullivan report, by 2022 the security workforce gap will reach 1.8 million. In-house security teams are stretched thin and facing fatigue and burnout. MDR services can assist by offering access to a team with expertise, which typically works 24/7, monitoring a network and remaining available for consultation. 
  • Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)—an organization might lack the time, skills or funds to train employees for EDR tools. MDR services have EDR tools to detect, analyze and respond to threats, eliminating the need for an in-house endpoint security team. Learn more in our guide to EDR vs MDR.

Like many other technology services that outsource processes, MDR requires that organizations give up some control for greater flexibility and convenience. MDR services do have some drawbacks in comparison to conventional managed security products depending on the client’s needs. However, they are tailored to current and emerging issues experienced by today’s IT companies, making them useful for many organizations. 

Related content: learn more in our guide to MDR security

What are the 4 Types of MDR Services?

When choosing an MDR service, organizations need to decide whether they want to use their own MDR stack, or use the product stack offered by the provider. There four main approaches to MDR services include: 

  1. Bring-your-own-stack (BYOS)—this model is suitable for organizations that understand their requirements (and regulatory obligations), and who have their own stack. The MDR vendor must be able to work solely on the proprietary stack. This approach is common for organizations that want to keep the products they’ve already deployed, or that have to use specific tools for oversight or regulatory purposes.
  2. Vendor-built—this is a widely used model whereby a vendor layers in its MDR provisions over its own tools. This methodology generally achieves the greatest rewards for integration between products employed as they are all from one vendor. However, this might also cause tight lock-in if your organization wishes to change service providers or products. 
  3. Vendor-supplied—the MDR supplier makes use of software from trusted and known vendors that it then manages and implements on your behalf. This is suitable for organizations that are looking to change out their stack, or don’t have an established set of tools
  4. Hybrid—this combines both in-house and external software. Organizations often choose a vendor that supports an appropriate balance of proprietary and supplied/built MDR software. 

Related content: learn more about vendor-built and vendor-supplied MDRs in our guide to MDR solutions 

Evaluating MDR Services

An effective MDR service provider should offer these features as a packaged delivery model: 

  • An emphasis on high-fidelity threat detection aimed at attacks that may bypass preventative security measures. 
  • Remote incident response containment and investigation activities beyond notification and alerting. Threats travel too quickly for many organizations today. According to the environment targeted and type of threat, this might affect availability (as in a destructive ransomware attack), physical safety, or data confidentiality (as in a breach of customer information).
  • Selective use of a turnkey model and technologies to help the MDR provider’s team deliver and implement services speedily. Specific technologies are often needed to support certain activities and outcomes.
  • A shared delivery platform for every customer. The platform utilizes custom and IT analytics. In certain instances, the platform might use machine learning-based behavioral analytics.
  • The provider is responsible for ascertaining what threats are identified and how. Organizations might not have many opportunities to customize threat detection use cases in relation to their environment. For instance, the MDR providers might look for a specific TTP that shows a threat is active in an organization’s environment. If the organization requires certain rules specific to their environment, this kind of customization might not be supported.

The following are unique features offered by some MDR providers:

  • Vulnerability management abilities which can be utilized to deal with compliance mandates. This feature can proactively minimize exposure to cyber attacks, and provide response guidance and incident enrichment.
  • Security Orchestration and Automation (SOA) capabilities, letting organizations determine their response activities and workflows, in addition to using SOA to improve operations internally.
  • Enabling identification and mitigation of threats early in the cyber kill chain. For example using Domain Name System (DNS) monitoring and email monitoring. 

Cynet MDR Services

Effective breach protection must include a combination of prevention and detection technologies along with deep cybersecurity oversight and expertise. The CyOps team ensures Cynet technology is optimized by continuously monitoring your environment and proactively contacting you when further attention is required. CyOps ensures that all appropriate and necessary detection, investigation and response actions are conducted accurately and thoroughly

Whether your organization already has deep cybersecurity expertise and just lacks the time or staff, or whether your organization just doesn’t have the expertise necessary to ensure you’re always protected – CyOps is there to help 24/7. You don’t have to do it alone. CyOps is ready to extend your resources and expertise in the ongoing fight against cybercrime.

And, you receive all of the benefits of CyOps Managed Detection and Response services as part of the Cynet platform – at no additional cost.

Learn more about Cynet MDR services