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Blog | Jan 02, 2020

The Seven Categories of MDR - #7 – MD-Big-R (Full Telemetry)

Emerging from the traditional managed security service provider (MSSP) model, Managed Detection and Response (MDR) is an answer to the fact that threat actors have increased their ability to circumvent traditional detection measures. As early as 2011, MDR emerged (uncategorized at the time) with a single guiding principal: Acknowledge that a breach will happen. When it does, minimize threat actor dwell time to reduce risk.

However, as the MDR market has evolved, four criteria remain constant as key to minimizing threat actor dwell time in the event of a breach: visibility, fidelity, detection capabilities and response. When these criteria are measured against in-house resources, risk tolerance and available budget, they can be used to choose the appropriate MDR vendor based on your organizational requirements.

To help organizations make an informed cybersecurity solutions choice, eSentire has authored, The Definitive Guide to Managed Detection and Response (MDR) (and this blog series) which examines seven categories of MDR providers, measured across four criteria, which include:

  • Visibility: Signal sources such as endpoints, IPS/IDS, logs, cloud, vulnerabilities, etc.
  • Fidelity: The depth of information provided by each of the signal sources
  • Detection capabilities: Ability for the provider to detect known and unknown attacker methodologies using commoditized and advanced methodologies
  • Response: Delineation of provider and client responsibilities from investigation, alert, containment and recovery

MDR Category #7 – MD-Big-R (Full Telemetry)
MDR-FT is a viable option for organizations that have substantial security budgets and are looking for complete threat and IR Lifecycle coverage across any environment.

MD-big-R (Full Telemetry), or MDR-FT, represents the MDR indus- try’s most complete offerings.

Full visibility across on-premises and cloud environments, coupled with integrated machine learning and behavioral analysis, feeds threat hunters with vital information and facilitates near real-time threat detection and containment. Additionally, SLAs strictly outline potential threat actor dwell time, limiting client-side requirements for IR Lifecycle coverage.

Accordingly, the cost to remove those requirements for in-house capabilities across people, process and technology is typically hefty.

Importantly, organizations looking to outsource to MDR-FT providers must have complete trust in the provider’s capability to deliver on SLAs, or else the organization could be put at risk without adequate internal resources to address gaps. MDR-FT is a viable option for organizations that have substantial security budgets and are looking for complete threat and IR Lifecycle coverage among on-premises and cloud workloads.


  • Endpoint: process visibility, East/West (internal lateral)
  • Network: things in motion, ingress/egress
  • Log: breadth across network signals and technologies
  • Vulnerability
  • Cloud (beyond logs)


  • High level of expertise across multiple telemetry • Highly proven MDR vendor
  • Use of best-in-class technologies
  • Complete visibility across attack surface
  • Ability to correlate multiple signals
  • Integrated advanced threat detection capabilities
  • Integrated machine learning and behavioral processes • Deep-level fidelity
  • Limited false positives
  • Full IR Lifecycle support
  • Integrated managed remote threat containment
  • Deep-level portal visibility
  • Supports multiple regulatory measures


  • Higher service cost relative to SOCaaS, EDr and MDr-MT models

Questions and considerations:

  • Do we have adequate budget for the provider’s services and in-house requirements without sacrificing our overall security posture in other critical areas?
  • Does the provider have integrated automated response for known threats available via APIs?
  • Does the provider have adequate detection capabilities to enable detection of known and unknown threats?
  • What are the provider’s SLAs for response? Do they meet our requirements?
  • Does the provider have adequate visualizations and reporting to support our internal teams and meet regulatory requirements?

While this blog provides a snapshot of one category of MDR, the intricacies and interdependencies are the varying types is complex. To learn more about the strengths and weaknesses for each of the seven MDR categories and how you can make an informed decision about what MDR solution best suits your organization, download The Definitive Guide to Managed Detection and Response (MDR) here:

Akash Malhotra

Akash Malhotra

Technical Developer/Writer

With diverse knowledge of computer security, threat intelligence and front-end web development, Akash has worked with developing and documenting API libraries with, our open source threat intelligence aggregator.