What is MXDR?

MXDR, or Managed Extended Detection and Response, is a security solution that uses both outsourced human expertise and advanced cyber technology. Combining elements of previous generations of security tools, MXDR is built using the best of MDR and XDR, providing your systems with the ultimate protection against cyber attacks. Human support, threat hunting, and security intelligence are just some of the capabilities of MXDR, all managed by a team of experts outside your organization.

Because MXDR blends MDR and XDR, it is often considered the most advanced type of threat detection and response in today’s market. The threat landscape is more sophisticated than ever before, and security teams without tools like MXDR struggle to keep up with the sheer volume and complexity of modern cyber threats. Instead of relying on an in-house and expensive infrastructure, MXDR streamlines threat monitoring and gives internal teams the time and bandwidth to focus on internal issues. Let’s get into the different facets of MXDR and how this next-gen platform is transforming security solutions as we know them.


What is MXDR compared to other solutions, such as MDR and EDR? While there are overlaps and similarities between these different security technologies, there are also distinct differences, and some of those differences are what puts MXDR ahead of the rest.

EDR, or endpoint detection and response, allows you to continuously monitor all endpoints/end-user devices for cyber threats. Endpoints include items like laptops, computer desktops, smartphones, tablets, IoT devices, services, etc. Instead of only querying known events via the database, EDR specifically records any activities or events occurring on all endpoints and all workloads using active monitoring technology. This means security specialists have total visibility over devices, servers, and other assets that may be targeted by otherwise unknown threats.

Managed detection and response (MDR) leverages technology like EDR, but offers a more robust and active security solution by employing analysts to take on the time-consuming tasks of 24/7 monitoring and mitigation. As one of the foundational parts of security management services, MDR is a service provided by a third party that uses technology, threat intelligence, network traffic analysis, and more to provide security at every point of your operations.

XDR, or extended detection and response, recognizes that EDR security is useful, but not all-inclusive when it comes to threat detection. Endpoints need protection, but so do networks, the use of the cloud, and even employees themselves. XDR uses advanced detection and response technology for cloud platforms and services along with endpoints, essentially offering more coverage.

Think of it like this: managed XDR, or MXDR, takes the best technology and visibility capabilities across different platforms (like EDR and XDR) and pairs that with third-party security management (like an MDR), providing the most thorough and useful security service for modern organizations. Instead of internal teams implementing XDR principles, a managed service takes the reins, using cutting-edge programs and technologies while correlating real-time threats, automating responses, and quickly remediating issues on all endpoints.

What Are the Benefits of MXDR?

Running a business or an organization is a huge responsibility and can pull your attention in all kinds of directions—and this is still true for an IT and security team. Even though most IT specialists have experience with threat detection and monitoring, in-house IT teams aren’t typically available 24/7/265, plus they have a lot more tasks than only monitoring for potential threats. That’s why hiring a third party that can manage your security needs using XDR is a powerful combination that can ultimately protect your assets better than other solutions available. The biggest advantages include:

  • Save time and resources. Hiring a managed XDR service means you get all the benefits of XDR without having to dedicate the manpower, bandwidth, and company resources to run and monitor those advanced services. This takes the pressure off of your internal team and also helps when you can’t afford to hire a full security team.
  • Expertise. Especially if you have a fairly new IT team or someone without years of experience, MXDRs make up for inexperienced employees or a lack of expertise. Especially as digital assets and technology advance, so will the threats your organization faces. An MXDR ensures that you have the best professionals at work safeguarding your data and company. They keep up with the latest and fortify your defenses with the most updated software.
  • Proactive threat detection. With tools like threat hunting and security intelligence, experts don’t have to wait until threats attack—they can discover signs and triggers of malicious activity in your environment and stop them from occurring before they do any damage. Especially when you have too much data to monitor, MXDR leverages automation, too, so that nothing falls through the cracks and all threats are visible

How Does MXDR Work?

Because MXDR is a more holistic approach to threat detection and monitoring, it stands out from other potential managed services. XDR systems collect and correlate threats across different platforms under one SOC, or security operations center. A SOC is a centralized team of experts that continuously monitors an organization’s security by preventing, detecting, analyzing, and responding to cybersecurity incidents. With MXDR, the SOC is a third party that monitors your security systems at all times and offers expert threat identification and hunting. The main elements of MXDR are explained below.

  1. 24/7 monitoring, detection, and response
    All endpoints, including those in the cloud and on your server, need constant monitoring, which is totally automated with MXDR. When trouble does arise, this kind of system uses alert triage and prioritization to sift through the system and find flags based on set rules. These incidents can then be evaluated and analyzed by the incident response team, who can determine the severity and the necessary course of action.
  2. Vulnerability management
    What about the blind spots your security system might have? MXDR doesn’t just fight and anticipate potential attacks; it also inspects vulnerabilities in your digital environment using threat intelligence software. This gives the experts even more visibility and helps them identify the most dangerous threats posed against your organization.
  3. Cyber forensics
    Cyber forensics is a service where experts use technology to reconstruct events that have compromised your organization’s system and then analyze the event to identify the cause and find the perpetrator. This helps with immediate remediation and also prevents the incident from happening again.
  4. Threat intelligence
    Threat intelligence is the information gathered from cyber-attacks to provide greater insights about the threats your organization is facing. Experts process and analyze these attacks to better understand the motives and behaviors of threat actors in an effort to prevent or mitigate future attacks effectively.

Ontinue ION MXDR

Ultimately, MXDR is one of the most advanced and holistic security solutions out there, especially because it uses not only innovative XDR practices but also leverages the expertise of professionals at work around the clock.

Still, not every MXDR offers the same quality of services. If you need an MXDR solution for Microsoft, Ontinue ION is the best service for your organization. With AI-driven automation, always-on protection, and a cloud-native platform all optimized for Microsoft, you can make the best of your Microsoft Security investments and enjoy the peace of mind that comes with the highest level of nonstop protection.

Request a demo to learn more about what Ontinue ION can do for your organization’s security!