In the modern world, so much business is done online. Across almost every industry, it’s vital for companies to have digital infrastructure and networks of connected devices to store data, generate leads, carry out day to day operations, launch marketing campaigns, and more.
With companies relying so heavily on these digital systems for so many different processes, it’s never been more important for those so companies to be aware of cybersecurity risks and take sensible, proactive steps to defend against those risks.
One of the cybersecurity services you may have heard of is managed detection and response, or MDR, and this guide will answer some of the many common questions that arise when discussing this topic.
What exactly is MDR?
Managed detection and response is a service designed for businesses and organizations who want to stay safe against cybersecurity threats but don’t necessarily have the resources, time, or manpower to handle this themselves.
Different companies offer their own MDR services, offering to carry out threat detection for their clients, monitoring networks, looking out for any signs of threats, making use of security event management and advanced analytics to predict dangers before they occur and respond to them in a timely fashion.
In essence, MDR is a managed cybersecurity service that keeps companies safe from malware and malicious activity in their networks.
Isn’t MDR the same as MSSP?
Not quite. MSSP (managed security service providers) focus mainly on monitoring network security controls and can send out alerts to companies if they detect anomalies or threats, but they don’t go much further than that in terms of actually investigating those anomalies and responding to them.
They basically just let your own IT department know about potential threats and then let your own workers handle them. An MDR is more of a ‘hands-on’ service in which threats will be more directly identified and targeted by the service itself.
Do I need MDR if I already have a firewall?
Firewalls are very important barriers and form a key part of any strong cybersecurity strategy, but on their own, they’re not the best form of defense. In recent years in particular, we’ve seen many examples that show how firewalls just aren’t tough enough anymore to defend modern-day businesses from today’s digital threats.
They’re also quite a common source of recurring alerts, messages, and notifications that can become tiresome to deal with and may even lead to cases of ‘alert fatigue’ where IT workers fail to notice a genuine threat because they’re so used to being bombarded with relatively minor and trivial notifications from the firewall.
Many high-profile hacks of companies like Marriot show how easily hackers can get around firewalls, so you need more of an active and focused form of defense, which is what MDR aims to offer.
What makes MDR so useful?
The ideal cybersecurity strategy needs three key components: threat intelligence to be able to identify and understand the myriad of digital threats that face us in the modern age, technology including hardware and software to combat those threats and make sure they don’t cause serious damage to companies, and highly trained security analysts who can physically monitor your networks and track incidents in order to respond to them the right way.
What makes MDR so special and effective is the fact that it combines all three of those aspects into one key service; you get highly trained security personnel tracking your network, making use of the latest and greatest technology to deal with threats and using their own expertise and intelligence to handle them.
How do I choose an MDR provider?
So how do you actually go about selecting a managed detection and response provider, especially when there are so many different companies out there? Well, it’s firstly important to know that all of those companies aren’t equal. Some offer much better value, efficiency, and results than others, so you need to take your time and choose a provider you can trust.
Make sure to pay close attention to the exact services each MDR provider can offer and what levels of technology they’re working with too, along with prices, customer support, and an understanding of data privacy.
If you can find an MDR provider that offers round-the-clock monitoring, advanced analytics, smart responses, customized plans, transparent pricing, and respect for your business and brand, you’ll have made a great start.
Many busy business owners simply don’t have the time to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of cybersecurity terms and phrases, but hopefully this FAQ for MDR has helped you understand much more about what it’s all about.
Founder Dinis Guarda
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