How Does MDR Work?

We live in an exciting time where our organizations and businesses are powered by digital solutions and global connectivity, which makes our operations more productive, efficient, and lucrative. Still, these innovations also present new challenges and threats that can put your data and business at risk. More than ever before, companies need proper cybersecurity programs to fully protect their digital and data-based assets from nefarious agents and hackers. To prevent data breaches and other negative effects of poor security, one of the best places to start is with MDR services.

What is MDR?

MDR, or managed detection and response, is a cybersecurity service that uses threat intelligence and threat hunting to discover and respond to cyber threats. These tools are employed by IT and security specialists who monitor your endpoints, networks, and both cloud-based and hybrid environments. To actively safeguard your devices, data, and assets, MDR is a security solution that, when outsourced to the right certified professionals, takes care of your systems and device fleets 2x7x365.

By using a third party, organizations don’t need to build or expand their internal security operations or staff to take on these more sophisticated and time-consuming threats. MDR services can handle both the complexity and volume of modern vulnerabilities at scale, dedicating the time, money, and expertise it requires to constantly monitor and quickly respond to those threats. MDR security providers have certified engineers and researchers who monitor networks, analyze and troubleshoot incidents, and respond to threats. This ensures that your internal teams can focus on the day-to-day business objectives of your organization.

Ontinue’s ION (MDR) system, for example, is capable of mitigating threats and reducing risks that your company faces with 24×7 protection and a fully managed global security operation. Our experts tailor their efforts and specialties to serve your mission and understand your environment. Built for Microsoft environments and designed to consistently improve security maturity, your teams can maximize your current security investments and focus on running your business.

How Does MDR Work?

Some of the biggest challenges that organizations face today are highly intelligent and focused attacks from cybercriminals that can quickly and easily exploit any weaknesses in your security. It’s also difficult to manage your data at scale, especially in a cloud or hybrid environment. You need advanced software and technology to keep up with attackers and a workforce that can accurately detect and respond to threats.

Some of the primary tools and resources an MDR will use to protect your assets include alert monitoring, alert prioritization, investigation, threat hunting, and AI models. We can break down the 5 essential components of the MDR process that help secure all of your endpoints and security vulnerabilities.


Even though alert systems are critical to your security infrastructure, getting too many false alarms or irrelevant alerts can cause “alert fatigue,” which is why managed detection and response help determine what threats need to be addressed first. With massive volumes of alerts, MDRs use automated rules and human expertise to sort through false positives and serious threats.

Threat Hunting

Threat detection and response are key to your security, but so is anticipating the threats coming from a human mind. Our machines and AI technology are useful, but it still takes human expertise to find and understand attacks before they do extensive damage. Threat hunting is the proactive search for cyber threats that are otherwise undetected within your network by standard tools and technologies. These practices are done by understanding the habits and goals of attackers and leveraging data retrieved from security monitoring and analytics tools.


Investigations services bolster your security alerts so that organizations can fully understand a breach, incident, or event in order to respond appropriately. Investigating the scope of the attack helps organizations understand what happened, why and how the threat breached security, when it happened, who and what it affected, and the extent of the damage.

Guided Response

Once the threat is identified, prioritized, and investigated, the security team needs to take action. Experts will help you respond to and contain threats according to the most effective action plan. This level of advice may include basic activities to strengthen your security or step-by-step instructions to eliminate a threat.


Finally, an MDR ensures that organizations recover properly from an attack, helping restore your systems to their original and secure state. Incident recovery and remediation are meant to get your networks and endpoints running like normal and also prevent further compromise, especially by removing malware, ejecting intruders, cleaning the registry, etc.

MDR vs EDR vs MSSP vs Managed SIEM

In the cybersecurity landscape, understanding the distinctions between MDR (Managed Detection and Response), EDR (Endpoint Detection and Response), MSSP (Managed Security Service Providers), and Managed SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) is crucial. MDR provides comprehensive threat monitoring, detection, and response services, leveraging human expertise and advanced technology. In contrast, EDR focuses on the endpoint level, detecting and responding to threats but requiring more internal management. MSSPs offer a broader range of security services, typically focusing on monitoring and management rather than active threat hunting and response. Managed SIEM, meanwhile, aggregates and analyzes data from various security feeds, an essential part of threat detection but often lacking the proactive response element. Each solution has its strengths, and the ideal choice depends on an organization’s specific security needs, resources, and existing infrastructure.

Discover the Best MDR Solutions for Your Organization

Ontinue’s ION, awarded the 2022 Microsoft Security MSSP of the Year, stands out as an optimal MXDR service for Microsoft security users aiming to expedite Mean Time to Resolution (MTTR), diminish risks proactively, and streamline costs. The ION Platform, in synergy with specialized cyber defense professionals, cultivates an in-depth comprehension of your enterprise’s risk stance, prioritizing preventive, detective, and responsive strategies to curtail risks and neutralize threats effectively. The system’s AI-driven automation ensures swift, precise investigations and responses, while its unique Microsoft Teams interface offers direct, round-the-clock communication with our ION Cyber Defense Center, ensuring thorough incident resolution. Ontinue’s expertise lies in maximizing the efficiency of your Microsoft tools, enhancing the simplicity of your technology suite, and boosting Return on Investment (ROI).

Self-Guided Tour

See ION in Action

Discover the concrete benefits and distinctive capabilities of Ontinue’s ION for your data security needs.

Tour the ION Platform