What is managed detection and response (MDR)?

What is MDR?

What does MDR stand for?

Managed detection and response (MDR) is an advancing form of cyber security that businesses rely on to protect vital data 24/7.

Essentially, MDR utilizes the best part of cutting-edge technology and relies on human intervention to minimize and eliminate threats against your assets and data. It is a continuously growing form of protection against attacks and digital threats.

Outsourced MDR helps reduce your business’s initial investment into up-to-date cyber security plans. Businesses need bullet-proof cyber security solutions in Chicago to thwart security threats and protect their valuable data.

How does MDR work?

Managed detection and response combines detection technology with human response to provide high-tier protection for critical business data. The program assists in monitoring and detecting potential threats on endpoint devices while highly-trained humans handle event triage and response.

By outsourcing managed detection and response services, you’ll remove the need for a high-cost in-house security team. You’ll have a flexible and experienced IT company at your side to address current and future threats without paying more out of pocket for continual threat training.

What can managed detection and response services handle?

Expert MDR services have five essential capabilities that help businesses defend against digital threats. These capabilities include prioritizing system alerts, hunting threats, investigating events, guiding responses, and remediating or recovering the system.

Let’s take an in-depth look at what these five security capabilities mean for businesses and how these integrated skills protect critical data and assets.

Prioritizing alerts

Even if your business already has an endpoint detection and response system in place, the sheer number of alerts may overwhelm your security team. An MDR system will combine automated rules and processes with human inspections of the alerts to prioritize genuine threats.

Hunting threats

While automated security technologies are advancing, they can’t catch everything. The human attackers that spur data leaks and profit losses are learning new tricks to get past automated defenses. Due to the rate of advancement, continual threat protection demands cutting-edge knowledge.

A managed detection and response system provides a trained human threat hunter with expertise in adversarial tactics. These professionals are able to monitor and catch threats that could otherwise slip past your firewalls.

Investigating events

The outsourced security personnel will investigate the event data to understand better the threats triggering the system. The investigation will result in additional information that includes what happened, how it happened, who was affected, and exactly what the attack did.

This information allows the team to proactively respond and prepare for future attacks that may be similar in tactic and scope.

Guiding responses

MDR systems help advise organizations on fundamental activities that will best address the threat. These activities may include but aren’t limited to:

  • System isolation
  • Threat elimination
  • Attack recovery steps

Your business will have access to expert guidance throughout the duration of the entire event.

Remediating and recovering the system

Detection and response services allow businesses to recover threatened systems quickly and effectively. Professional management of detection and response will provide recovery through the following:

  • Eliminating malware
  • Ejecting unwanted access
  • Removing persistent programs
  • Cleaning the registry

The above steps are just a sample of what an MDR service can offer to vulnerable businesses.

How is MDR different?

Cyber security is an essential addition to your business plan, but which strategy should you use, and what are the differences between MDR and other forms of cyber security? Learn the critical differences below to make a more informed decision about your security plan.

MSSP or managed security services provider

The managed security services provider might sound a lot like a managed detection and response system, but MSSPs tend to lack a proactive approach during active digital threat events. You would receive a warning with a validated alert but no expertise in addressing the attack.

Unlike MSSP services that solely focus on managing other elements of digital security, MDR teams focus on both discovering and responding to detected threats.

EDR or endpoint detection and response

You might already be familiar with EDR systems. These systems are part of the toolset that managed providers use to protect businesses. The EDR automatically processes information from your network and detects anomalies that indicate threats.

However, without the benefit of professional management, the sheer number of incoming alerts can overwhelm underprepared or understaffed in-house digital security teams. By outsourcing the human control of the system, you can avoid costly misunderstandings that lead to downtime.

SIEM or security information and event management

SIEMs are similar to EDRs in processing data. Still, according to customer reports, it’s difficult to understand, let alone implement, the information these systems present to the in-house security teams. Beyond that, various SIEMs carry vastly different capabilities unique to each provider.

Working with SIEM systems will require extensive and continual training and significant investment, whereas an MDR service is a cost-effective solution that streamlines the security threat elimination process.

What is the most common type of defense within detection and response technologies? Out of the above systems, the managed detection and response service is the most affordable and most useful in handling attacks in real time.

Benefits of implementing MDR

What is MDR going to do for your company? How does it benefit your bottom line? There are multiple advantages and benefits to choosing to bring in a managed threat detection and response security provider, which include, but aren’t limited to, the following:

  • Improved security posture and resilience
  • Optimized security configurations
  • Increased identification of hidden threats
  • Managed restoration and recovery
  • Reduced response time to threats

These beneficial services provide the advanced protection that today’s businesses require to stand up against digital threats.

Why businesses need MDR services

What is MDR aiming to solve for businesses like yours? MDR security helps negate two significant problems that companies face when attempting to implement updated security. You might be familiar with these problems already, but in case you aren’t, they include the following:

  • Staffing challenges
  • Alert fatigue

What do those problems mean for your company’s security? Will these issues allow your security to be too lax? Let’s take a more in-depth look at these challenges and how they negatively affect your in-house protection strategies.

Staffing challenges

Staffing difficulties are common for companies in any industry, but when it comes to security and IT staffing, you really can’t take the chance of hiring the wrong people. Even if you have a great EDR system in place, you will need a skilled human element to fully protect your business.

However, suitable IT security staff aren’t just waiting around the corner for you to hire on the spot. The hiring and training process can take years to completely fill your security staff's needs. Still, you can’t ignore a lack of staff while waiting for the best candidates to show interest in your in-house team.

The concern of employee time costs and staffing availability is especially valid for IT security teams that must be available 24 hours a day to respond immediately to attacks. This kind of availability is only attainable with a large staff of IT experts.

Instead of taking risks in your approach to security, you can bring in an outsourced specialist team that is highly effective in cost and performance. Even if you are currently building your security team, it’s best to ensure the complete protection of your data until you reach that goal.

Alert fatigue

Understaffed in-house security teams may experience an overwhelming number of alerts due to the increasing number of endpoints within their company. Endpoints can include remote workers, hybrid networks, connected supply chains, and the internet of things.

Each point can trigger hundreds of unfiltered, unprioritized alerts from automated systems. Without the additional information and capabilities that an MDR service provides, these security alerts won’t be easy to address promptly or accurately. Do you have an in-house staff that can sort these events easily and quickly?

In some cases, the alerts the EDR sends out will include false positives or benign events that won’t actually harm your system. While these alerts will often take valuable time away from newly-trained in-house staff, outsourced staff have the experience to recognize these more quickly.

How to choose the ideal MDR service

When searching for high-quality MDR security, you will need to know what to look for in a security service provider. Ask the security organization you are considering hiring the following questions to help you identify the best team for your needs.

What security skills and expertise does your team specifically possess?

You want to have a full spectrum of IT service experts to ensure that your business is in good hands. These skills include network knowledge, IT engineering backgrounds, and many other aspects that are vital for maximized protection against attacks.

Take the time to ensure that your provider is capable of delivering the services you need to effectively protect your most valuable data.

How do you keep your security team updated on threats?

Your security provider should ensure that their team stays aware of the newest methods attackers are implementing. Some providers are more proactive than others in offering continuing education and training for their staff.

Hackers create new forms and variations of malware, spyware, ransomware, and other viral programs daily. Due to the ever-evolving nature of cybercrime, these teams must have the most up-to-date information to be able to prevent these attacks from damaging your business.

Do you offer 24/7 managed detection and response service?

Your security service should provide 24/7 monitoring and response to protect your assets while you sleep. Sneaky data thieves and hackers aren’t going to only schedule their attacks during business hours, and your business can’t afford to go without protection for any amount of time.

How will your team communicate with my team?

You will want to establish a solid, secure platform that allows communication between the security provider and your company. Even if you don’t plan to build an in-house security staff, your company will need to review security reports and updates that the service provides.

How will you handle critical threat events?

You should also ask them how their security team will handle critical events that occur and what those events mean for your business. Will the team handle everything, or will they work in tandem with someone inside your company to eliminate the threat and recover the system?

It is essential to understand the exact steps that your provider will take in order to remediate and recover valuable data in the event of an attack.

Learn more about MDR services in Chicago

We hope you use this information to make the most informed decision possible while seeking the ideal MDR for your company. Every business needs to have a robust and intelligent security system in place to cope with the continually advancing threats of the digital age.

What is MDR going to do for your vital business assets? Find out more about this valuable service with AJ Technology Company. AJTC in Chicago, IL, is ready to provide managed detection and response services to protect your vital assets and information against attackers.

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