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When to Go Beyond MDR

When to Go Beyond Traditional MDR

Are traditional managed detection and response services (MDRs) enough, or should you go further? How do you know whether MDR can or can’t meet your enterprise needs? To find out, let’s investigate the limitations of traditional MDR solutions.

The Shortcomings of Traditional MDRs

Managed detection and response (MDR) is the outsourcing of your security needs to a trusted third party, who then “deliver[s] 24/7 threat monitoring, detection, and lightweight response services,” according to Gartner. MDR security combines human expertise with advanced analytics and threat intelligence to provide an as-a-service option for threat management and incident response. This is one step above a managed security services provider (MSSP), which only provides alerts, not action, based on discovered threats. MDR solutions are more effective than MSSPs, but even they have their limits.

While effective in protecting at the endpoint, traditional MDRs often lack visibility into an organization’s broader tech stack and some of the more advanced threats we see plaguing today’s landscape. Consequently, they are not as equipped as other, newer services to defend against the recent onslaught of data breaches (which have soared by 68% in the United States compared to last year).

Your organization may need more than traditional MDR cybersecurity if:

  • One size doesn’t fit all. Traditional MDRs can have a “cookie cutter” approach and sometimes fail to take in the uniqueness of a particular organization’s challenges, advancements, and ecosystem.
  • It has outdated detection capabilities. Because threats are evolving so rapidly, some MDRs may not have the most advanced detection capabilities included in their “standard stack” of solutions.
  • It does not support your tool stack. Managing the rapidly changing array of new tools available may prove too much for some traditional approaches, and you may have a tool or two that outstrips the capabilities of a typical MDR. In that case, you’ll be staffing it yourself.
  • It does not provide full incident response. Some MDRs will leave the bulk of incident response up to you, so do your research thoroughly or consider switching to a more holistic, inclusive option, such as XDR.
  • It is not fully transparent to your security team. Many MDR providers work in a black box, so you don’t know what their team members are doing in your environment.

Download “When Your Organization Needs More Than MDR” >

The Emerging Threat Detection Landscape

Now that the traditional endpoint is no longer the primary point of compromise, a more complex threat landscape requires more complex threat solutions. In other words, “threats are not only coming faster…but they are targeting other points of entry, such as cloud computing, smart devices and non-traditional digital supply chain sources, such as HVAC, SCADA and ICS systems.”

The infamous SolarWinds debacle is a prime example of poisoning the supply chain by corrupting a trusted third-party update. It has since been called “one of the most sophisticated cyberattacks ever conducted,” and woke the world to the reality of being cyber-hunted by one of a “handful of countries [that] could mount the effort and resources necessary to conduct an operation of [such] scale, technical sophistication, and apparent objective.” Is your traditional MDR ready for that?

In today’s threat climate, more holistic approaches are necessary to fend off unconventional, sophisticated, and creative attacks. This is what is expected of threat detection solutions today:

  • Agility. Whether your solution be in-house or outsourced, today’s threats are rapidly evolving, and your ecosystem should be able to keep up.
  • Custom fit. Solutions must meet you where you are and help your organization mature—regardless of current level or sophistication of tool stack.
  • Transparency, consistency, and speed. From a good solution, you should expect peerless visibility into your tech stack, multiplied SecOps capabilities and up-to-the-minute intel to help you stay ahead of threats. Good MDR providers can also offer this.
  • Tool stack management. Today’s incident response must provide actionable metrics so you as a client can make the most informed decision on where to invest tool spend and how to bridge security gaps.
  • Close communication. Ideally, your provider should be a trusted partner that works with you to up-level your posture and help your team build critical skills.

Most traditional MDRs will not offer the benefits listed above, or at least not all of them. However, some solutions can.

Achieve Better MDR Outcomes with ReliaQuest

Our platform, GreyMatter, gives you all the outcomes you’re looking for from an MDR solutions provider, plus in-house expertise from a team with decades of cybersecurity experience. With ReliaQuest, you’ll get:

  • Holistic, streamlined view of security health
  • Identifying which tools are working and which aren’t, which leads to reduction of tool sprawl and better total cost of ownership (TCO)
  • Increased productivity for staff who can now focus on critical projects (not security monitoring and efficiency analysis)
  • High fidelity information, meaning your team can focus on investigating only the most relevant security events
  • Time efficiency, by weeding out low-confidence alerts and correlates data, so security teams can focus only on what’s important

The ReliaQuest Managed plan combines technology with peerless expertise, helping you mature your security posture over time.

Benefits of the ReliaQuest Managed Plan Include:

  • 24/7/365 continuous services
  • Automated response actions
  • Managed technology integration
  • Fast detection and investigation
  • Curated advisory services and threat intel
  • A trusted partner that is genuinely invested in growing your team and your business

Learn more about the Managed plan from ReliaQuest >

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