Managed Detection and Response (MDR) is now a must-have for a robust security program to combat today’s sophisticated cyber threats. Partnering with a reliable MDR vendor with expertise and resources is crucial to give you peace of mind.

Understanding the Value of MDR Partnerships

MDR is now a commodity and integral to constructing a modern cybersecurity strategy. With the talent shortage, most organizations have no desire to hire full-time security analysts, especially ones likely to turnover. Many companies lack the budget or expertise to build their security operations center (SOC). Therefore, this makes Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services an attractive option for these companies.

Contracting with an MDR vendor is more than just a service agreement with a security provider. This partnership is highly valuable and acts as an extension of your existing team. With it, you can quickly identify and manage cyber risk without significant staffing or IT resources investments.
MDR services take control of your SOC so you can focus your attention on other areas of the business. They take responsibility for deploying and maintaining your endpoint detection and response (EDR) controls.

These controls ensure efficient incident response times, as outlined in the agreed-upon service level agreement (SLA). Furthermore, they provide key metrics that allow you to evaluate security activity and performance within your organization effectively. From minor network anomalies to potential threats, MDR teams also manage security alerts and respond if an attack occurs.

Richard Weiss, AccentCare, CISO,‚Äč and Mike Cena, A+E Networks, Head of Cybersecurity do a great job outlining the value of MDR partnerships in the video below:

(Watch the full Panel Discussion Series on our YouTube)

Key Aspects MDR Services Offer to Teams

The core function of an MDR service is network monitoring and overseeing the security analytics systems. It continuously monitors your network for any suspicious activity and keeps an eye on your security analytics systems, such as your SIEM platform. However, MDR services’ specific features and functionalities vary depending on your unique needs and the technology stack you currently use. You can customize the MDR service to fit your specific requirements and integrate it seamlessly with your existing security infrastructure.

Some companies, for instance, already own and deploy their own EDR solution but need an MDR vendor to manage the controls. Alternatively, you may not have any security analysis capabilities. In this case, you would need a partner to implement and maintain a SIEM system from start to finish. There are also specialty use cases for MDR, including when a company needs ad-hoc, one-time forensic analysis after a data breach.

Regardless, service packages are highly customizable for clients to fill their resource gaps. A scarce talent pool of security analysts and tight budgets make assembling an in-house, 24×7 MDR team tricky.

Investing in an outside MDR vendor is far more cost-friendly and gives you a more scalable solution. MDR teams can handle multiple alerts or cyber attacks simultaneously because they’re staffed accordingly with the proper technical resources.

Check out the video below to see different ways you can integrate MDR into your security infrastructure per our panel insights:

(Watch the full Panel Discussion Series on our YouTube)

Evaluating MDR Vendors: Balancing People and Technology

When evaluating security solutions, many often prioritize the service features. MDR is not just a service; it’s a partnership and an extension of your team. Remember, you do business with people, not companies. This combined force of personnel and technical capabilities creates a powerful team to tackle your security needs. The relationship with your provider is just as vital as the cost of the services.

A quality, reliable security team effectively communicating and delivering fast response times is invaluable in an MDR vendor for security and maximizing customer experience. Differentiate providers by asking the key questions:

  • Do I have the phone numbers of the leaders of my service provider, such as VPs or directors, to contact them should issues arise?
  • Are we having weekly meetings to discuss my MDR, risks, and performance metrics?
  • Am I regularly receiving the security reports I need?
  • Are they taking the time to help us best understand our security gaps and grow our business relationship?

Also, remember that you want to pick the right provider the first time. Continuously onboarding and offboarding with various MDR partners is an expensive and tedious process. In addition to finding the right people, evaluate the contract details to ensure your MDR service is cost-scalable to meet your growing needs.

Licensing models can vary significantly between providers. Some providers charge based on events per second, while others charge based on log sources or the number of endpoints. Not understanding these details upfront can damage your MDR vendor relationship.

Get the full summary in the video below from Richard Weiss for how to best evaluate potential MDR providers:

(Watch the full Panel Discussion Series on our YouTube)

Building the MDR Vendor Partnership

MDR providers should act as an extension of your team to help you best understand and mitigate your cyber risks. Whether you need someone to manage your entire analytics system or come in for a one-time forensic service, you can tailor MDR services to your specific security needs.

While MDR vendors ultimately offer similar technical capabilities, finding a provider who balances those capabilities with strong human interaction throughout the service engagement is a massive differentiator. This human touch sets the truly exceptional MDR vendors apart.

Download our Managed Detection and Response Buyer’s Guide to sort through the noise and get insights on finding an MDR vendor that serves your priorities while aligning with today’s security analysis best practices.