Everything You Need to Know about Managed Detection and Response (MDR)

Today’s organizations face a difficult situation: To remain competitive they need digital transformation, but that same transformation places them squarely in the crosshairs of increasingly innovative cybercriminals. More digital reliance means more digital risk, and the cost of that risk is rising – in 2022, the average losses associated with a data breach reached $4.35 million globally and $9.44 million in the United States (the highest it’s ever been).

Keeping up with evolving digital threats is a mandate that no business can deny. Unfortunately, it’s also more than a full-time job. Effective monitoring, identification, and elimination of possible network threats require tools and expertise capable of evolving on pace with the most sophisticated threat actors. What businesses need is an edge. This is where managed detection and response (MDR) comes in.

What Is Managed Detection and Response?

‘Managed detection and response’ is an advanced cybersecurity strategy designed to protect your organization from any cybersecurity threats it may face. It does this by providing you with an outsourced, third-party threat-hunting service along with access to essential security tools and resources. It then takes things further, making available a pool of security experts who take the responsibility of remotely monitoring and managing your entire network-security profile.

What Challenges Does Managed Detection and Response Solve?

Long gone are the days when only the largest and most prominent organizations had to worry about being targeted by cybercriminals. The ubiquity and ease of access of modern fire-and-forget hacking tools allow today’s threat actors to cast an extremely wide net, placing businesses of all sizes and in all industries in danger of experiencing a devastating data breach.

MDR empowers your business to face these threats head-on by addressing the following challenges:

In-House Security Skill Gaps

Not every organization has the resources, time, or expertise to hire and train capable IT security personnel. Even larger, more established companies may find it prohibitively expensive and effort-intensive to keep their in-house teams up to date on the most current security developments.

MDR bridges that gap, providing the expertise and knowledge a business needs to rapidly identify, assess, and mitigate threats. Backed by proven security specialists, the business gains the proficiency to respond quickly and efficiently to any suspicious network activity, identifying and eliminating threats before they can cause damage.

Threat Analysis and Correlation Issue

Threat identification isn’t a Where’s Waldo page where the answers always seem obvious once found. Some threats don’t reveal themselves until they’ve been heavily reviewed and evaluated as possible elements of a larger attack. And, once again, this takes time and expertise – possibly beyond the scope of many security teams.

Outsourcing managed detection and response allows organizations to more easily review, compare, and correlate threats so that those less obvious dangers are quickly identified for what they are.

Difficulty Integrating and Deploying EDR Solutions

Given the ever-growing number of mobile devices, IoT systems, desktop computers, virtual machines, and servers that connect to and exchange information with digital networks, monitoring these endpoints has never been more vital. Endpoint detection and response (EDR) exists to help businesses protect vulnerable entry points threat actors can use to gain unauthorized access. But EDR can be a complex solution, and many organizations lack the time or funds to ensure that EDR tools are being properly deployed.

Thankfully, EDR is included in most MDR services. By integrating EDR tools, MDR helps businesses shore up the various endpoints that might otherwise represent critical weaknesses in the company’s security posture.

Alert Fatigue

As an organization’s ability to identify and analyze suspicious network activity increases, so too increases the number of alerts that need to be reviewed and verified. Often, this can create scenarios where the sheer volume of alerts leads to fatigue among IT security teams – potentially resulting in missed alerts, reduced response effectiveness, and diminished mental well-being among staff. Left unchecked, alerts can easily out-pace limited numbers of in-house personnel.

Again, managed detection and response is the answer. MDR service providers scale their teams to meet the needs of their clients, addressing every alert with the same level of attention and detail regardless of how many alerts may occur.

How Does MDR Work?

Managed detection and response is built on remote monitoring capabilities. By integrating multiple security and analytics platforms, and operating through advanced EDR and network detection and response (NDR) tools, MDR service providers are able to function and coordinate with on-site teams to provide powerful network security services. Some of the core capabilities of Managed Detection and Response include:

  • Advanced Cybersecurity Strategy: MDR offers a refined approach to safeguarding digital assets.
  • Third-party Threat-hunting Service: MDR provides outsourced threat-hunting expertise.
  • Access to Essential Security Tools: Equips organizations with necessary cybersecurity resources.
  • Remote Network Monitoring: Experts continuously watch over your network’s security profile.
  • Incident Analysis and Threat Response: Efficiently analyzes and responds to potential threats, ensuring the business continues to grow without disruptions.
  • Endpoint Security Enhancement: Incorporates EDR tools to protect every point of network access.
  • Alert Management: Addresses every security alert with precision, avoiding alert fatigue among in-house teams.
  • Comprehensive Knowledge of Threat Landscape: MDR stays updated with the changing dynamics of cyber threats.
  • 24/7 Threat Detection: Ensures the network remains protected round the clock.
  • End-to-End Security Support: Offers all-encompassing protection, even for hybrid and cloud-based networks.
  • ROI and Cost-effectiveness: A sound investment, MDR offers notable returns while saving on in-house security costs.
  • Detailed Threat Context: Offers unmatched visibility into the network for better threat understanding.
  • Expert-driven: MDR services are backed by experienced professionals, ensuring top-tier cybersecurity.

What Are the Benefits of MDR?

What MDR services offer your business can be best summed up in two words: visibility and capability. Properly utilized, managed detection and response gives you access to security experts who know how to pull back the curtain on today’s most insidious network threats, and then proactively isolate and mitigate those dangers before they can hurt your organization or your customers. More specifically, MDR offers a range of advantages, including:

  • Personalized security solutions
    Trained experts provide security customization well beyond what you could expect to experience from traditional software solutions. Experienced and resourceful, MDR teams are able to intelligently assess every situation in relation to your organization’s goals, needs, and current circumstances.
  • 24/7 Threat Detection
    Persistent threats are just that – persistent; they don’t go to bed when your in-house security team signs off for the night. MDR providers recognize the need for constant detection and response, ensuring that the safety of your network never takes a holiday.
  • End-to-End Security Support
    A partial security solution is no solution at all. MDR offers complete network protection – including protection for cloud-based and hybrid networks – without the need for extensive in-house security expertise. Additionally, top MDR providers support and integrate with your organization’s existing technologies, so you won’t have to start from square one just to protect your networks.
  • ROI
    Any new tool, platform, or service carries with it certain risks in terms of recouping your investment. MDR significantly reduces that risk, protecting your business and providing a return on investment (ROI) that Forrester Consulting tagged at 174%, with total benefits sitting in the range of $4 million.
  • Detailed Threat Context
    Organic threat intelligence, AI-enhanced analytics, and real-time data collection come together in MDR to create unmatched network visibility. This gives MDR teams and their clients the context they need to understand threats, vulnerabilities, and the most effective strategies for eliminating each.
  • Security Expertise
    At the heart of each of these benefits is the security expertise that an effective MDR provider is built on. Simply put, having expert analysts and security engineers to help oversee your network defenses allows you to enjoy the benefits of a world-class IT security team, without the associated costs of assembling that team in-house.

Secure Your Organization with Ontinue ION

Keeping up with constant, evolving security threats isn’t something your business has to do alone. With managed detection and response, you gain the experience and insight of an established team of IT security experts – backed by tools from the forefront of cybersecurity innovation. 24/7 monitoring, proactive threat hunting, pre- and post-incident analysis and remediation, and direct access to highly trained security professionals – MDR brings it all to the table.

Unfortunately, not every MDR solution is equal; for top-quality managed detection and response for organizations using Microsoft security tools, choose Ontinue ION.

Combining AI-driven automation, dedicated security, and Microsoft expertise, and cloud-native accessibility, Ontinue ION provides industry-leading prevention, detection, and response, while optimizing the effectiveness of the Microsoft security suite you depend on.

Contact us to learn more about Ontinue ION, and put your network security in the hands of the experts. Because after all, the security of your networks is too important to handle alone.