What is MDR? Managed Detection and Response explained

June 18, 2024 • Resource
Posted by
Arni Mar Hardarson
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Managed Detection and Response (MDR) is an outsourced cybersecurity service focused on threat detection and response within an organisation’s ICT environment.

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) explained:

What is MDR?

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) is an outsourced cybersecurity service focused on threat detection and response within an organisation’s ICT environment. Whilst security tools like Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) can identify and alert upon threats, effectively monitoring and responding to these alerts can be beyond the capabilities of an internal IT team. MDR services bridge this gap, offering a team of security professionals to detect and respond to threats facing your environment.

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) benefits

Gain outsider expertise

MDR teams are experts in detecting, managing and responding to threats – it’s what they do, 24/7. MDR services augment your internal IT and security teams, providing capabilities you may otherwise not be able to deliver internally. This allows you to have confidence that your environment is under the careful watch of dedicated security professionals, day or night.

Reduce time-to-detect threats

With MDR, you can significantly reduce the time it takes to detect threats in your environment. On average it takes an organisation 204 days to detect a breach, according to a study by IBM. Every minute a breach remains undetected is another where your organisation’s data, IP, staff and integrity are at risk, so minimising the time to detect a threat is critical.

Remediate faster

Detecting threats is only one part of the picture. You also need the expertise, speed and know how to contain and remediate a threat. MDR services offer Digital Forensics and Incident Response (DFIR) professionals ready to respond to a threat, day or night. Speed in containment and remediation of threats ensures that your business is secured and able to continue to operated unimpeded.

Leverage existing tech, including EDR

MDR services often leverage existing technologies in your ICT environment, such as SIEM, EDR or vulnerability scanning tools to reduce the technology costs, utilise existing resources and rapidly deploy responses to threats.

Business challenges for MDR adoption

Existing technologies

Businesses looking to implement MDR in their organisation must be willing to take a close look at their current threat detection and response tools within their environment, and reconfigure and adjust, where needed. As part of MDR deployment, the service team will be able to guide the business towards best practices for tooling configuration in monitoring, containment, and eradication, to deliver ROI from the technology.

Team integration

Your MDR service, internal security and ICT teams will need to deeply integrate and work together to keep your environment secure. Through providing these integration points and augmentation of internal capabilities, your ability to detect and respond to threats will immediately be uplifted. The MDR team is an extension of your own.

MDR Capabilities

1. Triage and analytics

It is rare for internal ICT teams to have the capabilities, time and ability to detect and triage security alarms. MDR services immediately offer you these expertise, giving you confidence that security alarms and events are being triaged, assessed and responded to by security professionals.

2. Proactive threat hunting

MDR teams delivering threat hunting assess security data from across your internal and external systems to identify potential threats that aren’t known, or readily detectable to threat detection tools. Thanks to deep knowledge and years of experience, a human threat hunter may find things tools and other capabilities miss.

3. Investigation and response

Once a threat is identified, the investigation and response phases begins. The MDR team works to quickly understand what has occurred, how it occurred, and the impact on systems and data. Once the scope and impact has been identified, the response phase can begin. These phase may involve a joint effort between the MDR team and internal teams.

4. Remediation and recovery

Remediation and recovery from a security incident must be thorough and complete, and may involve obligations such as compliance reporting, patching and system fixes, communications responses, or even deploying new tooling. The MDR team works in tandem with in-house ICT teams during this critical phase to ensure your environment is secured.


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