Evaluating MDR Solutions

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Managed detection and response (MDR) has rapidly come from non-existence to being one of the most important enterprise cybersecurity solutions. Gartner estimates half of all organizations will utilize an MDR solution by 2025. Clearly, there’s value being extracted from these services if they continue growing in adoption and relevance. Executives and stakeholders need to gain a basic understanding of how MDR works in order to effectively evaluate if investing in it makes sense. 


At its core, MDR is all about the “managed” aspect. Instead of having all cyber and network security happening internally, MDR utilizes a third-party vendor for a service-based security operations center (SOC) and the associated capabilities. While some business leaders might shirk at the idea of outsourcing something as important as security, there are actually some pretty compelling reasons to do this. Before learning how decision-makers can go about evaluating MDR solutions, let’s look at some key features and benefits of these services. 


Evaluating MDR Solutions

Prior to evaluating any MDR solutions, it’s essential to know what you’re actually looking for in these services. Of course, not every MDR offering is going to be exactly the same. Some will excel in certain areas, while others will have different advantages. At the same time, there are certain features and benefits that are generally universal to MDR solutions. Here are a couple of those features:


  • A dedicated security team – When you opt for MDR solutions, you’re assigning some of your primary cyber and network security functions of to an outside vendor. The way an MDR provider organizes its own teams to defend your systems is quite important. A random engineer who doesn’t know anything about your organization’s security situation is much less ideal during an active threat than someone who has specifically been working on your project for a prolonged period. 
  • Leverage a variety of security tools – Whether it’s endpoint detection and response (EDR), network detection and response (NDR), or other tools, an MDR solution needs to have comprehensive protection backed by cutting-edge technology. People are mistaken to think that only the “good guys” are using advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning to build more responsive and focused security systems. Shadowy players know about the power of these inventions as well. It’s known that more sophisticated hackers now utilize artificial intelligence in their efforts. A good MDR will be able to keep several steps ahead of the enemy on this front. 


In addition to understanding the main features and benefits to look for in an MDR solution, stakeholders need to be able to evaluate different offerings. This can be difficult if you don’t know the key metrics and considerations that make a truly remarkable MDR service. A next-gen MDR solution will highlight some of these:


  • Built on a DevOps operating principle – While this might seem like an abstract idea, it has tangible results when it comes to MDR solutions. You can’t rely on a system that’s built on fixed principles, especially when its job is to protect something that’s in a constant state of flux. MDR solutions that utilize a DevOps model are more adaptable and built specifically to the purposes required by that individual organization. 
  • Ability to respond fast – Rapid response capabilities are pretty much the ultimate test of an MDR service. If an MDR solution can’t recognize and mitigate threats quickly, they can end up growing into something more severe. Data breaches can cost enterprises millions of dollars and lead to lasting reputational damage. Your MDR needs to give you confidence in the fact it can spot and detonate attacks before they spread across your network. 


Networks and the data on them are some of the most valuable assets at many businesses today. The right MDR solution can help keep these things out of harm’s way. Knowing how to evaluate an MDR solution can make all the difference.  


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