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Learn what managed detection and response (MDR) is, what it isn’t, how it protects your business from cyberattacks,
and key MDR topics.
With the cyberattack surface growing with each passing day, even the strongest cybersecurity defenses will fail. As a result, today’s CISOs are increasingly adopting an “assume breached” mentality to protect their company’s sensitive data and systems, and strengthen their security posture. Unfortunately, many IT and security teams don’t have the resources for building, staffing, or maintaining an in-house 24/7 Security Operations Center (SOC). This has driven the need for engaging a trusted partner to deliver these capabilities.
Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services allow you to build a more responsive security operation by combining advanced security monitoring capabilities proactively with ongoing 24/7 threat detection, investigation, and response so you can eliminate cyber threats before they disrupt your business.
However, not all Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services are created equal. An effective MDR provider will go beyond alerting to provide multi-signal visibility, threat containment, and complete response to cyberattacks on your behalf. Other MDR providers, however, may crush your cybersecurity team with alerts, provide limited threat visibility, and leave your team to contain the threats on their own.
What Challenges Can be Solved by Managed Detection and Response?
With hybrid work and cloud adoption expanding the attack surface, cybercriminals becoming increasingly sophisticated, and cybersecurity resources being difficult to find and retain, it has become challenging for cybersecurity leaders to protect businesses when a security incident occurs.
To respond to known and unknown advanced threats fast and mitigate cyber risk, you need complete visibility and coverage of your attack surface through multi-signal Managed Detection and Response.
Here are Some of the Most Common Challenges that Managed Detection and Response Solves:
Reducing manual work overload using automation: While ingesting more signals provides better coverage of your threat surface, this means that an influx of data needs to be analyzed and contextualized. Human expertise is an advantage, however when done manually, this can lead to cyber threats being unidentified in your environment for longer periods of time.
Managed Detection and Response allows your security team to leverage automated detection and response capabilities to block cyber threats. An MDR provider’s Threat Hunting team will engineer automated detections based on attacker signatures, indicators of compromise (IOCs) and malicious IPs.
Reduce false positives and alert fatigue: Given the sharp rise of malware, zero-day vulnerabilities, and the evolution of techniques, tactics and procedures (TTPs) used to deploy advanced threats against your organization, it shouldn’t be surprising that IT teams are challenged with an overload of security events and alerts. Although many organizations can engage a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) to help them solve this problem, an MSSP often drowns the security team with false positives and alerts.
A highly effective Managed Detection and Response provider will use an Extended Detection and Response (XDR) platform that integrates artificial intelligence and machine learning models to enable high-fidelity detection, faster and more accurate investigations, and automated responses.
Strained resources amidst a cybersecurity skills shortage: Despite the fact that SOC capabilities are the key to building a mature cybersecurity program, only 54% of organizations have access to their own SOC. That number drops to 44% if we consider organizations with less than 10,000 employees.
As a result, these organizations choose to outsource their SOC capabilities so that they can gain access to a team of security experts and professionals and reduce risks without having to turn their focus away from their core business competencies.
If you’d like to know how much it can cost your organization to build, staff, and manage your own SOC, try our SOC Pricing Calculator.
What are the Benefits of Managed Detection and Response?
There are a multitude of benefits that your organization can expect from leveraging Managed Detection and Response services:
Rapid, robust response capabilities: Perhaps the most critical benefit of Managed Detection and Response is the ability to disrupt, isolate, and stop the most advanced threats so that your business is never disrupted. More importantly, if you’ve chosen the right Managed Detection and Response provider for your team, you’ll be able to trust your MDR provider to respond to cyber threats on your behalf — before your team even knows there was a threat in the first place.
Full threat visibility and investigation: Your team will be able to see the complete picture of your entire attack surface with multi-signal cyber threat intelligence that enables deeper data correlation and threat investigation capabilities.
24/7 proactive threat hunting and disruption: You don’t have to spend your cybersecurity budgets on staffing a team of 24/7 SOC Security Analysts or threat hunters. Instead, you can engage an MDR provider with a team of highly skilled security experts who will rapidly investigate, contain and close down threats when an automated response isn’t possible.
Rely on an XDR platform: Your team will be able to stay ahead of new and emerging threats with high fidelity threat detection and automated real-time cyber threat disruption powered by unique intelligence from across the MDR provider’s global customer base.
Original threat intelligence: Partnering with the right Managed Detection and Response provider means that you’ll also gain access to world class threat researchers who hunt the most advanced undetected threats. These researchers will develop, and deliver, original research, curate new cyber threat intelligence, and build advanced detection models to ensure your organization stays ahead of cyberattackers.
What is the Difference Between Managed Detection and Response Services and SIEM?
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) first appeared in a 2005 Gartner Research report and initially, the promise of the technology was to aggregate security signals (primarily logs) and make them explorable via a single pane of glass.
Unfortunately, there are many challenges to relying on a SIEM platform: they’re hard to install and configure, it’s difficult to see quantitative or qualitative results, security teams will experience alert fatigue and may miss alerts triggered by real threats in a sea of false positives, and there is no insight on how to improve their threat response.
Managed Detection and Response provides solutions to these challenges by:
Providing visibility across an organization’s entire threat surface
Removing the complexity and expense of deploying and managing cybersecurity solutions
Providing organizations with skills and knowledge of cybersecurity professionals, without needing to recruit, train and retain those security professionals
Using advanced analytics to deliver insights on threats based on data ingested from multiple signal sources
Delivering the combination of people, processes and technology needed to detect and respond to threats effectively and at scale
Fact From Fiction: How to Weed Out Managed Detection and Response Pretenders
Although many cybersecurity providers may claim to offer highly effective MDR solutions, it is not always clear if they go beyond traditional alert-based services with limited signal visibility or if they fully respond to advanced threats discovered in your environment.
In order to discern a real MDR from fake MDR, consider the five core capabilities that a Managed Detection and Response solution must have to ensure robust protection for your organization. Ask yourself:
Threat intelligence: How will the provider help my organization keep up with the evolving threat landscape?
Complete visibility: How will the provider enable my team to account for potential blind spots across the full cyberattack surface (i.e., within on-premises, cloud, or hybrid environments)?
Automation: How many advanced threats will my team be able to automatically block?
Human-led threat detection, response, and remediation: How fast will my organization’s security and response team be able to investigate, respond, and remediate identified cyber threats before they disrupt my business?
Risk reduction over time: How is my provider leveraging data and lessons learned from ongoing Managed Detection and Response operations to reduce my business and cyber risk over time?
How Should You Choose a Managed Detection and Response Provider?
There are several factors that are critical to keep in mind as you choose a Managed Detection and Response provider:
Consider the Mean Time to Contain
The best strategy for mitigating risks and protecting your organization from the potential devastation that such attacks can cause is to cultivate rapid threat response capabilities. Given that the most aggressive ransomware attacks can take less than 45 minutes to deploy, speed is of the essence when it comes to threat containment.
So, first and foremost, look for an MDR security provider willing to commit to a Mean Time to Contain malicious activity. In addition, you should understand the length of time it takes to limit a threat to a single host within your environment and ensure the provider can follow through with the commitment.
Size of customer base matters
Because a Managed Detection and Response provider’s customers serve as the source for the data set used to train the XDR platform’s ML models, it’s important to choose a well-established company. After all, the more clients the provider has, the richer their data set. The richer the data set, the more accurate the detections, the quicker the investigations and the faster the containment will be.
Look for a Managed Detection and Response Provider that Customers Trust
One of the primary benefits of leveraging MDR services is that the provider can take containment and remediation actions on your behalf. However, you’ll have to give them permission to do this, which may mean ceding control over business-critical systems and processes. A provider that’s well-versed in performing incident response and remediation activities on behalf of multiple other clients in your industry will have the contextual awareness and experience to earn your trust.
In addition, a Managed Detection and Response provider who does a great deal of end-to-end containment and remediation will be able to incorporate information on those activities into its XDR machine learning training data. This means that its models will be able to operate on the basis of information that’s much richer and more extensive — encompassing the whole of the incident lifecycle — than those belonging to companies that primarily perform monitoring only.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Integrations with Best of Breed Technology Providers
It’s obvious, but still bears mentioning. You’ll save money if you don’t need to rip and replace everything in your existing security technology stack. Even more importantly, however, operating across multiple vendors’ tools and solutions can enable complete cyberattack surface visibility and actually improve detection accuracy. This further increases the diversity of that all-important model training data set, making it that much more representative of real-world conditions.
With that said, deep integration with a few key security tools is more important than broad integration with every tool. It’s more important to obtain full endpoint detection and response (EDR) telemetry and response integration than to integrate with every security toolset in existence.
Questions to Ask When Evaluating an Managed Detection and Response Provider
According to Gartner, there are 200+ organizations that deliver Managed Detection and Response services globally. This has led to confusion and risk for buyers who may not know how to qualify, or disqualify, MDR vendors. As you begin to evaluate different MDR providers, it’s critical to ensure that you’re getting the right protection for your business.
In our Managed Detection and Response guide, 20 Questions to Ask When Evaluating an MDR Provider, we provide a list of the top 20 questions, along with the expected outcomes, that can help you choose the right MDR provider for your organization. Here are just a few questions to consider:
Can you measure the efficacy of MDR and optimize against my business changes?
Are you continuously tuning and maintaining contextual awareness?
What signals can you pull from the environment (e.g., log, endpoint, network, etc.)?
How are you developing detections that exceed commodity threat intelligence?
To what degree do you support the Incident Response lifecycle?
Download the MDR provider guide here for the full list of 20 questions.
Stop Threats Before They Disrupt Your Business Operations With eSentire’s Multi-Signal Managed Detection and Response solution
With 24/7 threat detection and response and a 15-minute mean time to contain, your organization can rest easy knowing that our Managed Detection and Response service helps you build a world-class security operation..
We provide complete visibility and coverage of your cyberattack surface which we deliver through our multi-signal approach to managed detection and response. Our machine-learning Atlas XDR platform ingests network, cloud, log, endpoint, and insider threat signals to automatically detect, respond, and disrupt cyber threats.
An attack on you is an attack on us.
Our MDR service combines cutting-edge XDR technology, multi-signal threat intelligence and 24/7 Elite Threat Hunters to help you build a world-class security operation today. Our threat protection is unparalleled in the industry - we see and stop attacks other providers and technologies miss, delivering the most complete response and protection.
Check out these MDR resources for insights on what attributes to look for when choosing a Managed Detection and Response provider.