What is Managed Detection and Response (MDR)?

Explore Malwarebytes Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) for Business



MDR meaning

MDR or managed detection and response is a service that provides proactive, purpose-built threat hunting, monitoring, and response capabilities powered by a team of advanced cybersecurity technicians combined with the analysis of robust correlated data.

MDR services take the guesswork out of your most complex cybersecurity threats by delivering 24/7 threat detection, rapid alerts, prevention, and remediation. MDR is a service built on a powerful EDR platform that is managed by a team of advanced analysts and threat researchers. It is an affordable, tailored solution to your business's high-level cybersecurity needs that offers best of breed human expertise and threat intelligence.

What challenges can MDR address?

Resource and internal security staffing limitations

The ratio of IT staff to the total number of employees varies depending on organization size and annual revenue. While medium and large organizations may be able to afford full-time security teams dedicated to threat hunting, response, and remediation, individual experience varies with obscure skill level and acumen. For small businesses, hiring a team of such caliber is outside the realm of possibility. MDR security presents the unique opportunity for large and small businesses alike to leverage budget-friendly, high-skilled cyberthreat expertise.

High alert volume

Glaring issues that IT personnel face include an overwhelming volume of alerts and notifications set off by traditional security tools. Seemingly pinging with equal levels of urgency, the magnitude of false positive activity can leave internal security professionals overburdened. Attempting to follow-up on every alert inadvertently distracts your in-house team from monitoring legitimate malicious activity and other important projects. Managed detection and response services alleviate your team's time expenditure towards investigating alerts by accurately identifying threats and prioritizing them based on severity.

Lack of sophisticated threat identification

In an evolving threat landscape, MDR addresses the underlying challenges in sophisticated threat detection. Frequently, legitimate alerts go unnoticed. While in-house security teams focus threats on an individual basis, they fail to correlate small indicators that contribute to a large-scale attack. Advanced MDR personnel leverage their EDR platform with industry-leading tools giving them the ability to contextualize and examine indicators of compromise (IOC) as well as strategically prevent future cyberattacks on your organization.

Benefits of Managed Detection and Response

Driven by a team of on-premise analysts adept at identifying and classifying incidents, MDR encompasses the advantages of both human expertise and today’s EDR platform threat technologies. MDR services not only aim to block threats but dig deeper into forensics behind endpoint and network attacks. It is often described as a cost-effective SOC-as-a-service equivalent that offers the experience of high-skilled cybersecurity specialists at an affordable price. These specialists work around the clock to monitor alerts, interpret security events, develop the right course of action, and proactively hunt threats in your network.

Designed to save your organization valuable time, managed detection and response experts are ready to find and triage modern-day malware, including ransomware, spyware, and computer viruses. Most notably, MDR fills your organization’s cybersecurity skill gap by delivering the bandwidth necessary to achieve better security posture. In turn, it fosters your existing internal security staff’s strategic initiatives by taking the complex problems off their hands.

MDR vs SIEM

Security information and event management (SIEM), share many similarities to MDR. SIEM collects data from your network’s events using multiple security tools, including firewall management, endpoint security, and network monitoring. SIEM relies heavily on aggregate data and the analysis of log event information to detect threat anomalies. Because of its reliance on data, SIEM generates complex results that make it difficult for users to understand. Conversely, MDR incorporates human expertise that presents an intuitive solution with results that are easy to read.

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MDR FAQs

The benefits of managed detection and response (MDR) include 24x7x365 threat monitoring, easy-to-deploy rapid setup, highly skilled MDR analysts, proactive threat hunting, enriched contextual alerts, and precise remediation to save your organization time and prevent damaging expenses incurred from a security breach. MDR services were designed to accelerate your business' cybersecurity posture and expedite the threat response process to support improved cyber resilience.

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is a cybersecurity tool used to detect threats and protect endpoints against malware, ransomware, and other cyberattacks. Managed detection and response (MDR) is a service which focuses on leveraging both analysts' expertise and technologies, such as a SIEM platform, to fuel threat analysis, detection, and response at scale.

There are three key areas businesses should address when choosing an MDR service provider. Companies should think about these areas in relation to their scope of operations, budget, and security maturity.

  1. Response capabilities
  2. Threat hunting technology
  3. Around the clock 24/7 operations potential

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