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Managed detection and response GLOSSARY

What is the MDR Gartner Magic Quadrant and Market Guide?

The Managed Detection and Response (MDR) market is growing rapidly, with some reports projecting growth of up to 9.5 billion by 2028. In this saturated market, choosing the right provider to secure your organization can be challenging. Analyst research and reports, like the Gartner Market Guide for Managed Detection and Response Services and the MDR Gartner Magic Quadrant, play a crucial role in helping you evaluate security vendors.

These reports provide a comprehensive evaluation of the MDR market, key trends, and emerging technologies, allowing you to assess security vendors and choose the one which best aligns with your organization’s needs.

What is Gartner?

Gartner is a well-known research and consulting firm that provides analyses and advice on innovative technologies. Gartner helps organizations make informed decisions about technology-related matters by publishing research, offering consulting services, developing proprietary tools, and organizing conferences. Through this research and insights, Gartner helps organizations across various industries understand the latest trends in technology, develop technology strategies, identify and deploy the right technologies for their organizations and evaluate technology providers.

Among various areas of expertise, Gartner is known for publishing high-quality research and guides about cybersecurity technology. Gartner’s cybersecurity research aims to help CISOs effectively manage cyber risk in the evolving cyber threat landscape. In doing so, Gartner equips security leaders with the latest insights, expert advice, and practical tools to achieve their mission-critical priorities.

The Market Guide for Managed Detection and Response Services by Gartner

Gartner defines MDR as a service that provides customers with remotely delivered security operations center (SOC) functions, allowing them to rapidly detect, analyze, investigate and actively respond to threats.

The Market Guide for Managed Detection and Response Services is one of the most popular assets among Gartner’s extensive portfolio of cybersecurity research. This report provides a comprehensive overview of the Managed Detection and Response market landscape. It highlights key trends, challenges, and opportunities in the MDR space and guides organizations seeking MDR solutions.

The latest edition of Gartner Market Guide for Managed Detection and Response Services discusses the continued growth of the MDR industry and highlights the importance of human-led threat detection and response, context-driven insights, and increased demand for providers to actively disrupt and contain threats on customers’ behalf.

“The renewed focus on the human element continues to grow among this year’s top cybersecurity trends. Security and risk management leaders must rethink their balance of investments across technology, structural and human-centric elements as they design and implement their cybersecurity programs.”
- Richard Addiscott, Gartner Senior Director Analyst

According to the Gartner MDR Market Guide, a Managed Detection and Response provider should have the following core capabilities:

Core capabilities of a Managed Detection and Response provider based on the 2023 Gartner MDR Market Guide. Core capabilities include 24/7 remote detection and response; real-time threat detection, investigation and active response; human-led expertise in threat monitoring, detection and hunting, threat intelligence and incident response; configuration of predefined processes, detection content, and workflow procedures; rapid remote investigation, containment and response; triage, investigation, and management of all discovered threats without limitations on volumes or time required for investigation.

Gartner's Influence on Managed Detection and Response Services Reviews and Ratings

Gartner is considered one of the most reputable technology research and analysis sources. It publishes research on over 500 software categories, including Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services.

In its research on the MDR category, Gartner estimates that over 600 providers claim to offer MDR services. However, security leaders regularly face challenges distinguishing between real MDR and fake MDR services which overpromise and underdeliver on security outcomes.

Notably, the 2024 Gartner MDR Market Guide also highlights the increase in misnamed technology-centric offerings and vendor-delivered service wrappers (VDSW), that fail to deliver human-driven managed detection and response (MDR) services. As a result, Gartner concludes that the MDR market is becoming inundated with MDR pretenders, leading to confusion and risk for unsuspecting buyers.

A graph from the 2023 Gartner MDR Market Guide showing the scope of core MDR services and adjacent services which help detect, investigate, and contain cyber threats.

In this highly saturated market, organizations often turn to Gartner for insights and guidance when evaluating different MDR providers. Gartner's reports, reviews, and ratings hold weight in the industry due to the company's extensive research, well-established methodologies, and expert opinions.

The Gartner MDR Magic Quadrant

The Gartner Magic Quadrant is a research methodology that provides a graphical competitive positioning of various technology providers based on their ability to execute and completeness of vision. Providers are positioned in one of four quadrants: Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries, and Niche Players.

The placement reflects Gartner's assessment of a provider's strengths, weaknesses, and overall market position:

A sample MDR Gartner Magic Quadrant graph containing a description of each Magic Quadrant.

The Gartner MDR Magic Quadrant is further supplemented by the Gartner Critical Capabilities report. This methodology provides deeper insight into providers’ product and service offerings by extending the Gartner Magic Quadrant analysis. Together, these two methodologies provide a holistic view of the vendors in a market and the positioning of providers’ product and service offerings.

Despite the popularity of Gartner Magic Quadrant as a methodology to compare vendors, at this moment, Gartner does not publish an MDR Magic Quadrant. However, Gartner does publish an Endpoint Protection Platform Magic Quadrant that evaluates Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) providers and the overall EDR market.

For MDR-specific reports, security leaders looking for Gartner MDR Magic Quadrant should refer to the 2024 Gartner MDR Market Guide instead.

MDR Gartner FAQ

Q. How often is the MDR Gartner Magic Quadrant updated?

The frequency of updates for categories which have a dedicated Gartner Magic Quadrant can vary, but it's generally annual. We recommend checking Gartner's official website for the most up-to-date information.

Q. How often is the Market Guide for Managed Detection and Response Services updated?

Similar to the Magic Quadrant, the Market Guide is typically updated on an annual basis.

Q. How can you access the MDR Gartner Magic Quadrant and Market Guide?

Gartner's reports are often available for purchase or access through subscriptions on Gartner's official website. Organizations can become Gartner clients to gain access to their research and reports. Keep in mind that Gartner's reports are typically paid resources.

Q. How does Gartner select security providers to include in their Magic Quadrant?

Gartner employs a rigorous and systematic process to select service providers for inclusion in the MDR Magic Quadrant. While the exact details of their methodology might evolve, here's a general overview of the process they typically follow:

  • Initial Research and Identification: Gartner's analysts conduct preliminary research to identify top service providers in a given category. This involves gathering information from various sources, such as vendor inquiries, publicly available data, market surveys, and customer feedback.
  • Inclusion Criteria: Gartner defines specific criteria that vendors must meet to be considered for inclusion in the Magic Quadrant. These criteria include revenue, geographic coverage, the range of services offered, customer base, and more. 
  • Vendor Survey and Self-Assessment: Gartner may invite vendors to participate in a survey or provide a self-assessment of their capabilities, strategies, and performance. This information helps Gartner analysts gather insights directly from the vendors themselves.
  • Data Collection and Evaluation: Gartner's analysts collect detailed data on the shortlisted vendors, covering various aspects of their offerings, capabilities, financial performance, customer references, partnerships, and more. This data serves as the basis for evaluation.
  • Customer References and Feedback: Gartner may contact a representative sample of each vendor's customers to gather feedback on their experiences with the services. This helps validate the vendor's claims and provides insights into their real-world performance.
  • Analysis and Scoring: Gartner's analysts analyze the collected data, assessing each vendor against predetermined criteria. These criteria often include factors related to the vendor's ability to execute (e.g., product capabilities, customer support) and completeness of vision (e.g., innovation, market understanding).
  • Magic Quadrant Positioning: Based on the analysis, vendors are positioned on the Magic Quadrant chart. The positioning reflects Gartner's assessment of each vendor's strengths, weaknesses, and overall market position. Vendors are placed in one of the four quadrants: Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries, or Niche Players. 
  • Inclusion in the Report: Vendors that meet Gartner's evaluation criteria and provide the necessary information are included in the final Magic Quadrant report. The report provides detailed insights into each vendor's capabilities and offerings. 

It's important to note that Gartner's selection process aims to be objective and based on comprehensive data collection and analysis. However, vendor positioning in the Magic Quadrant is not an endorsement or recommendation but rather an assessment of their relative market position and potential.

The specific process details might vary from year to year. Still, Gartner's commitment to thorough research and analysis ensures that their reports provide valuable insights for organizations evaluating MDR service providers.

Q. Does Gartner provide additional information in their Managed Detection and Response Services Reviews and Ratings data?

In addition to the Magic Quadrant and Market Guide reports, Gartner also collects peer reviews and ratings on the Gartner Peer Insights. These independent reviews from real technology users help provide additional context for decision-makers looking to make an investment in a particular solution.

1. Gartner, Market Guide for Managed Detection and Response Services, 24 June 2024, By Pete Shoard, Andrew Davies, Mitchell Schneider, Angel Berrios, Craig Lawson
2. Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, express or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.
3. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally, and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.

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