Top 5 Benefits of a Managed Detection and Response Service in 2024

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In today’s harsh cybersecurity environment, organizations of all sizes are faced with protecting their digital assets against increasingly advanced cyber threats. As cyber attackers refine their tactics, exploiting vulnerabilities and evading traditional security measures, the demand for a proactive, strong, and adaptable security strategy has never been more critical.

Managed detection and response (MDR) is a solution that combines human expertise with innovative technology to provide a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity.

Managed detection and response services equip organizations with a suite of security capabilities, from continuous monitoring and threat detection to rapid incident response and remediation.

Do you use MDR in your cybersecurity practice? Consider the major benefits to decide whether it deserves your attention.

Key Takeaways

  • Managed detection and response combines human expertise with innovative technology to provide a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity.
  • MDR solutions use advanced analytics, machine learning, and AI to help organizations quickly identify and mitigate threats.
  • An MDR service is different from typical cybersecurity solutions as it usually provides advanced technologies as well as human expertise.
  • Proactive threat hunting is essential for detecting and responding to threats before they can cause significant damage to an organization.

What Is Managed Detection and Response, and How Does It Work?

Managed detection and response solutions use advanced analytics, machine learning, and artificial intelligence to help organizations quickly identify and mitigate threats, reducing the risk of costly data breaches and harm to their reputations.

Alex Berger, head of product marketing at Ontinue, a provider of AI-powered managed extended detection and response services, told Techopedia:

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“Many organizations lack the resources required to navigate security challenges 24/7, so they increasingly choose to outsource their cybersecurity monitoring, detection, and response functions, whether in whole or in part.”

A managed detection and response service delivers 24/7 threat detection and response via security operations centers that are managed by the managed detection and response providers, he says.

However, an MDR service is different from typical cybersecurity solutions as it usually provides advanced technologies as well as human expertise.

Xiaoyan (Sherry) Sun, associate professor, department of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, said:

“It usually involves continuous monitoring and threat detection toward the organization’s networks, systems, and digital assets using advanced cybersecurity tools and responding rapidly to contain and mitigate threats when incidents happen.

“Human experts are often available to offer recommendations for enhancing the organization’s security and provide guided responses in the face of incidents.”

Managed detection and response providers often offer proactive threat-hunting capabilities, enabling security teams to monitor for potential vulnerabilities and address them before a successful attack can take place.

Mark Sangster, chief of strategy at Adlumin, a security operations platform and MDR provider, said:

“Achieving these types of cybersecurity capabilities at all – let alone around the clock – is very difficult and sometimes impossible for organizations that don’t have large in-house security or IT teams. In many cases, these small teams are unable to fully monitor and protect an organization from the always evolving threat landscape, and that’s why MDR is a perfect solution for them.”

Why MDR Is Important for Organizations

With cyberattacks becoming more frequent and sophisticated, enhancing cybersecurity for organizations’ networks is becoming even more crucial, said Sun.

“Achieving cyber situational awareness is essential to understand what is going on with the network, detecting potential intrusions, and responding appropriately,” she said.

However, this can be challenging for organizations, especially the small to midsize ones, as they often have resource constraints and limited budgets.

They might not be able to deploy advanced security solutions and hire enough experts with needed security skills.

“In addition, even with security tools deployed in the network, the huge amount of information generated can be overwhelming for security admins to understand what is really going on,” Sun said.

Analyzing the massive number of alerts and responding appropriately and swiftly often require expertise and knowledge that is beyond what the organization already possesses, according to Sun. Therefore, outsourcing the security management to MDR providers can be very helpful.

Amit Jain, the global head of cybersecurity for HCLTech, an information technology consulting company, agrees that it’s challenging for organizations to ensure they’re protected against the latest cyber threats.

While many organizations rely on reactive measures to deal with cyber threats, the expert believes that proactive threat hunting is essential for detecting and responding to threats before they can cause major damage.

Jain said:

“An effective MDR solution enables enterprises to make informed decisions, optimize security operations, meet regulatory and privacy requirements, and scale their quantitative cyber risk management programs.”

For organizations that don’t want to build their own in-house 24/7 security operations centers, MDR security platforms provide a viable alternative to keeping their companies safe, Berger added.

“With MDR, organizations can now have an enterprise-grade SOC that is always-on defending their company’s data, reputation, and people,” he said.

In-house security teams no longer have to work nights and weekends, and they get more time back in their workday to focus on more strategic security initiatives, such as hardening their security posture or training employees, Berger said.

Five Managed Detection and Response Benefits

Some of the crucial benefits of managed detection and response include:

24/7 Continuous Monitoring & Threat Detection

MDR services continuously monitor companies’ IT environments for potential threats using advanced tools and algorithms.

By using automation and artificial intelligence, MDR solutions can quickly identify and prioritize potential threats, enabling companies to quickly respond and remediate these threats.

Providing the Critical Skills Organizations Lack

These skills include threat detection, incident response, containment, and remediation capabilities. Jain said:

“MDR services leverage innovative technologies, such as advanced detection capabilities, an automation layer, and then there are several components like endpoint detection and response, advanced vulnerability management, identity detection and response, and cloud detection and response.

“All of these, put together, make an advanced MDR service.”

Flexibility & Scalability

MDR solutions offer rules and security policies customized to the specific needs and requirements of each company.

These customizations ensure that the MDR service aligns with the organization’s unique IT environment, regulatory compliance obligations, and risk management strategies.

“Organizations can get customized and personalized services from MDR without the need to deploy full-fledged security teams within the business,” said Sun.

Small to midsize organizations can also get the level of protection they need even if they do not have the budget to build their own teams, she added. And as their security demands grow, they can change their MDR solutions correspondingly.

Human Expertise

Access to human expertise is another great benefit of MDR, according to Sun.

“Only using security tools is often not sufficient because achieving cyber situation awareness from a huge amount of data is challenging,” she said. “The MDR service providers usually have experts with various security skills.”

These experts can also see a much bigger picture of the cybersecurity arena, such as the most recent cyber threats, because they have access to information from more than one organization, according to Sun.

“These experts not only offer guidance about the best security practices and architecture deployment, but they also provide direct guidance as it relates to incident response, such as if a compromised server should be removed or how to recover from attacks,” she said.

This access improves companies’ cybersecurity postures because they can apply experts’ recommendations based on security analysis of collected logs, alerts, and added threat intelligence for better contextualization, said Jain.

Holistic Security Coverage

Proper detection needs to take a holistic view of the environment, i.e., endpoint, network, identity, and cloud, and look at all the components of an attack, said Brandon Dobrec, head of product management at Blackpoint Cyber, a provider of MDR technology.

“Detection and response also need to focus on adversarial tradecraft,” he said. “Gone is the day of easily catching bad guys using malware and known bad elements. Instead, threat actors hide themselves in the environment using live off-the-land techniques and leveraging common tools for malicious purposes.”

The Bottom Line

In the face of escalating cyber threats, MDR services offer a comprehensive solution to help organizations bolster their cybersecurity defenses.

By leveraging advanced technology and human expertise, MDR providers enable organizations to effectively detect, respond to, and recover from cyberattacks.

FAQs

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Linda Rosencrance
Technology journalist
Linda Rosencrance
Technology journalist

Linda Rosencrance is a freelance writer and editor based in the Boston area, with expertise ranging from AI and machine learning to cybersecurity and DevOps. She has been covering IT topics since 1999 as an investigative reporter working for several newspapers in the Boston metro area. Before joining Techopedia in 2022, her articles have appeared in TechTarget, MSDynamicsworld.com, TechBeacon, IoT World Today, Computerworld, CIO magazine, and many other publications. She also writes white papers, case studies, ebooks, and blog posts for many corporate clients, interviewing key players, including CIOs, CISOs, and other C-suite execs.