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What Questions Should I Ask MDR Service Providers?

BY eSentire

June 10, 2024 | 4 MINS READ

Managed Detection and Response

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The MDR market is rapidly evolving with 600+ MDR service providers globally, selecting the right MDR vendor requires careful consideration and asking the right questions. Whether new to the MDR evaluation process or seeking to enhance your existing MDR capabilities, this article will provide valuable insights and essential questions to ask when evaluating an MDR service provider. We aim to equip you with the knowledge and understanding necessary to evaluate MDR providers effectively.

How to Tackle the MDR Service Provider Evaluation Process

The MDR vendor evaluation process can be complex and multifaceted. It involves assessing various aspects of an MDR service provider's capabilities. As part of the evaluation process, it is important to talk to an MDR provider’s sales organization and review marketing material. We also recommend proactively requesting customer testimonials and making in-person visits for Security Operations Center tours & to meet with threat intelligence teams. Participating in demos depicting real-world scenarios, actively seek the opinions of your fellow industry peers from services like G2 & Gartner Peer Insights, and reviewing third-party Analysts reports can also help you select the right MDR service provider for your business.

An image outlining 6 imperative steps for evaluating MDR service providers which include having conversations with sales, examine analyst reports, reviewing customer testimonials, attending in-person SOC tours, participating in real-world demos and reviewing peer-to-peer reviews.

By following these imperative steps, organizations can effectively evaluate and select an MDR service provider that meets their current security objectives and aligns with their long-term security strategy and compliance requirements.

The Importance of Asking the Right MDR Questions of MDR Service Providers

Asking the right questions in sales conversations when you’re evaluating MDR service providers is crucial to ensuring that the MDR provider can meet your organization's unique security requirements. It will allow you to gain a better understanding of an MDR provider's capabilities, service offerings, and ability to address your specific security challenges.

You should seek to identity whether an MDR vendor is addressing five measurable components of your protection by asking questions that answer and provide more in depth understanding of how they support the following concerns:

eSentire's comprehensive guide, "20+ Questions To Ask When You’re Evaluating an MDR Service Provider," provides a wealth of information and essential questions to consider when evaluating MDR service providers. This guide is designed to assist organizations in understanding what MDR is, the challenges MDR service providers should address, and the top questions to help you qualify potential MDR service providers. Download the Questions to Ask When You’re Evaluating an MDR service provider here.

Comparing MDR Service Providers

With so many MDR vendors in the market, it's essential to recognize that not all MDR providers are equal. Each offers unique services, capabilities, and expertise with varying levels of protection and support.

While most MDR service providers claim to deliver complete protection, the unfortunate reality is that many of these providers offer inferior security services with limited signal visibility, missed alerts that leave you to contain threats on your own, and limited ability to integrate with and support your existing technology stack. We recommend using the answers you compile throughout your evaluation process to compare MDR providers side-by-side to ensure you choose an MDR service provider who offers features and support that prioritize your security investments and prevents business disruption.

Third-Party MDR Vendor Considerations to Help Pick from a Sea of MDR Providers

Leveraging MDR Industry Analyst Insights

Industry analysts play a pivotal role in validating claims from MDR service providers. Their independent assessments, market research, and comparative analyses provide organizations with valuable perspectives on the performance and reputation of various MDR providers. By leveraging industry analyst insights, organizations can gain a broader understanding of the MDR landscape, including key differentiators, industry trends, and the reputations of individual providers.

Check out these MDR service providers Market Guides and Analyst Reports:

Please contact us if you have any further questions or require assistance in your MDR service provider evaluation process


eSentire, Inc., the Authority in Managed Detection and Response (MDR), protects the critical data and applications of 2000+ organizations in 80+ countries, across 35 industries from known and unknown cyber threats by providing Exposure Management, Managed Detection and Response and Incident Response services designed to build an organization’s cyber resilience & prevent business disruption. Founded in 2001, eSentire protects the world’s most targeted organizations with 65% of its global base recognized as critical infrastructure, vital to economic health and stability. By combining open XDR platform technology, 24/7 threat hunting, and proven security operations leadership, eSentire's award-winning MDR services and team of experts help organizations anticipate, withstand and recover from cyberattacks. For more information, visit: www.esentire.com and follow @eSentire.

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