Benefits of Managed Detection and Response (MDR)

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In honor of cybersecurity awareness month, here is another nice piece on MDR from ATC provider, CATO. Check out “What is MDR” here.

In a nutshell, MDR provides ongoing threat detection and response for network security threats using machine learning to investigate, alert, and contain security threats at scale. The “managed” in MDR refers to the fact that these automated solutions are complemented by human operators who validate alerts and support proactive activities such as threat hunting and vulnerability management.

According to Gartner, half of companies will partner with an MDR provider by 2025. This rapid adoption is driven by several factors, including the expanding cybersecurity skills gap and the emergence of technologies like secure access service edge (SASE) and zero trust network access (ZTNA) that enable MDR providers to more effectively and scalably offer their services.

Managed Detection and Response Benefits

MDR providers act as a full-service outsourced SOC for their customers, and partnering with an MDR provider carries a number of benefits:

  • 24/7 Monitoring: MDR providers offer round-the-clock monitoring and protection for client networks. Since cyberattacks can happen at any time, this constant protection is essential for rapid response to threats.
  • Proactive Approach: MDR offers proactive security, such as threat hunting and vulnerability assessments. By identifying and closing security holes before they are exploited by an attacker, MDR helps to reduce cyber risk and the likelihood of a successful cybersecurity incident.
  • Better Intelligence: MDR providers have both broad and deep visibility into client networks. This enables them to develop and use threat intelligence based on both wide industry trends and enterprise-specific threats during incident detection and response.
  • Experienced Analysts: MDR helps to close the cybersecurity skills gap by providing customers with access to skilled cybersecurity professionals. This both helps to meet headcount and ensures that customers have access to specialized skill sets when they need them.
  • Vulnerability Management: Vulnerability management can be complex and time-consuming, and many companies rapidly fall behind. MDR providers can help to identify vulnerable systems, perform virtual patching, and support the installation of required updates.
  • Improved Compliance: MDR providers often have expertise in regulatory compliance, and their solutions are designed to meet the requirements of applicable laws and regulations. Additionally, the deep visibility of an MDR provider can simplify and streamline compliance reporting and audits.

Managed Detection and Response Tools

When offered as part of a SASE solution, MDR delivers the following key benefits:

  • Zero-Footprint Data Collection: With MDR and zero-day threat prevention services built into the SASE Cloud, additional security solutions are unnecessary.
  • Automated Threat Hunting: When MDR monitors for suspicious network flows using ML/AI, this allows rapid, scalable detection of potential cyber threats, decreasing the time that an intrusion goes undetected (“dwell time”).
  • Human Verification: All automatically-generated security alerts are reviewed and validated by the SASE vendor’s SOC team. This eliminates false positives and ensures that true threats receive the attention that they deserve.
  • Network Level Threat Containment: The SASE vendor’s control over the underlying network infrastructure enables it to quarantine infected computers. This prevents threats from spreading while remediation is occurring.
  • Guided Remediation: MDR built into SASE provides contextual data and remediation recommendations for identified threats to the SASE’s vendor security team.

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