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Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and Its Role In Cybersecurity

How well-staffed (and qualified) is your current organization’s cybersecurity team?

If you’re one of the rare businesses that are well-equipped in terms of information security, you may want to know how your competitors are cutting back on security costs.

MarketsandMarkets predicts that the global MDR market will grow from the current 2.6 billion to 5.6 billion by 2027.

In case you’re new to this concept, here’s a definition:

Managed detection and response (MDR) cybersecurity is a service that provides threat detection, continuous real-time monitoring, response, and step-by-step remediation.

The primary advantage of MDR is that it allows for more timely identification and mitigation of threats with no additional personnel.

Key Insights

These are the topics we will cover below:

  • What MDR is and how it works
    • Prioritization
    • Threat Hunting
    • Investigation
    • Guided Response
    • Remediation
  • Why businesses are outsourcing MDR services
    • Staffing/Resources
    • Alert Fatigue
  • The benefits your organization can expect from MDR services
    • Improve Security Posture
    • Continuous Managed Threat Hunting
    • Restore Endpoints
    • Redirect Staff

What Is Managed Detection and Response (MDR)?

An MDR service can replace an in-house team of information security analysts.

Many organizations lack the resources to operate their own security operations center. If your company finds itself in a similar position, then you should outsource those tasks instead. When you outsource parts of your security operations to an MDR provider, you gain 24/7 cloud-managed security for your enterprise.

MDR services can include whatever security operations you need help with. MDR vendors often bring together tactics like analytics, threat intelligence, and human knowledge for incident investigation and response at both endpoint and network levels.

Keep in mind that MDR is a service. Each cybersecurity services provider has their unique industry approach, so you should look for a vendor that works best for you.

How Does MDR Work?

An MDR provider operates as a full-fledged Security Operations Center (SOC). You can maintain a sophisticated security program, all without the prohibitive costs of running it in-house.

Your MDR service provider will dedicate those capabilities to their team of dedicated security engineers.

Those analysts can monitor security alerts and handle any threat remediation tasks on your behalf 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The difference between MDR and Extended Detection and Response (XDR), is that XDR is a unified approach to configuring your tools, while MDR is a managed service.

Prioritization

Your business may struggle to keep up with thousands of security alerts every day. If so, you could benefit from outsourcing your triage process.

An MDR provider can also handle Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) on your behalf. This means that they can track your alerts and determine which threats you should address first.

Most of the time, vendors will prioritize alerts by establishing automated rules to identify false positives and prioritize genuine threats. The human analysts will then inspect high-priority alerts manually, helping you distinguish between false positives and actual threats.

Threat Hunting

Threats can be missed by standard automated defenses.

For an automated system to be effective in the first place, you need to configure all of your tools correctly. This process can be time-consuming, as you need to set every tool for every endpoint, network, and cloud server within your system.

An MDR provider can proactively handle all of that configuration for you and search for risks that your previous security solutions might have missed.

Instead of passing you shelf-ware with thousands of false positives, professional threat hunters will detect and alert you to the most elusive and evasive threats.

Investigation

Your risk of cyber threats can differ vastly from any other company.

Your vulnerability profile depends on your business activities, industry, partnerships, customer relationships, and the exact tech stack you use. Considering that, an MDR provider can help you evaluate risks quicker by adding context to alerts.

During the investigation phase, analysts can search for signs of a breach in your organization. For example, odd network traffic and file activity are suspect. They will then conduct a forensic analysis to understand how that incident occurred and what data may have been compromised.

Guided Response

MDR services generate extensive reports. Analysts gather insights from these reports on how to improve your security posture and prevent future assaults. Next, the analysts will take you step-by-step through the entire process.

Guided response provide practical recommendations. You’ll know exactly what you need to do to contain and remediate any given threat.

An MDR vendor will advise you directly on whether you need to disconnect a system from a compromised network or remove the threat directly.

Remediation

Remediation means restoring your systems to pre-attack conditions by eliminating malware, cleaning the registry, and ejecting intruders.

MDR services also help you resolve additional concerns that may have arisen during the security event. These often include resetting passwords or restoring corrupted files.

Why Businesses Adopt MDR

According to CSO, hackers need 5 hours or less to break into your enterprise. In 2021, there were about 5.5 million unfilled cybersecurity positions.

Think of MDR cybersecurity as the next evolution of productized services. It integrates EDR tools and helps you get the most out of XDR.

Each accumulated toolset becomes an integral part of the detection, analysis, and response roles. However, without a managed service, the sheer volume of alerts presents a problem.

Not only does MDR solve your organization’s skills gap, but it also manages threats too advanced for your IT team.

Staffing / Resources

Maybe your organization, like many others, is struggling to keep the security team fully staffed.

Even the firms that have security solutions in their stack rarely have time to maintain them effectively.

Without the time and resources to fully deploy and optimize solutions, your investment in innovative tools can end up hurting you.

MDR in cyber security solves both problems for your organization. You no longer need to staff and manage an in-house team. Your tools and operations are handled by security professionals.

Alert Fatigue

Security technology comes with a flood of warnings.

How do you prioritize and respond to each warning? How do you delegate the appropriate in-house labor and experience?

You must be poised to remediate threats before you have a major breach.

MDR connects remotely to your organization’s network for 24/7 coverage. A team of specialists then quickly deploys appropriate solutions.

Benefits Of MDR

Rising security risks, campaigns, and budgets can make your cybersecurity measures feel cumbersome.

No matter the size of your business, you’ll benefit from improved security, intelligence, and compliance without additional cost, staff, and technology.

MDR brings security capabilities to your company that would otherwise require in-house SOC analysts.

Improve Security Posture

MDR strengthens your organization’s security posture by providing continuous, real-time monitoring of your hosts, networks, endpoints, and other IT resources.

The vendor will also handle responding to threats rapidly and remotely. These services include threat management and system and network restoration.

Continuous Managed Threat Hunting

Threats to your organization can come from anywhere, including open-source intelligence, government agencies, and even trusted high-authority sites.

Continuous threat hunting means rooting out signs of an attack missed by automated security.

Combined with threat intelligence, this information identifies prospective bad actors targeting your organization.

Effective threat hunting shortens the time it takes between an assault and its identification. The earlier your company responds, the less harm cyber criminals can cause.

Restore Endpoints

According to a wildly popular study by Verizon, 86% of all breaches are financially motivated, and 70% are committed by third parties.

Attacks against web apps accessed from endpoints accounted for 43% of breaches, more than double the figures from the previous year.

Stolen financial information, health records, and identities are valuable and can be disastrous for your organization.

With MDR cybersecurity you can restore, secure, and monitor formerly exploited endpoints.

Redirect Staff

MDR services relieve your enterprise from having to establish and maintain in-house security operations.

As requirements for increased security grow, a well-chosen service provider scales its own personnel and training programs.

Your Trusted Partner in Cyber Prevention & Defense

MDR not only offers a practical and cost-effective solution for your organization, but it also opens up opportunities for your organization to scale competitively.

If you’re interested in learning how Pareto Cyber can help you with outsourced cybersecurity services, schedule a call with us today.