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What Is Managed Detection and Response?

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Many of today’s IT teams share a common challenge: finding an effective way to rapidly detect and act on cyber threats.

As cyberattacks become more frequent and complex, businesses are piling on more layers of protection and building their defenses around prevention-based technologies, such as antivirus and firewalls. But these technologies only form a protective outer wall—and hackers have figured out a way around it. 

What do you do if a threat has silently infiltrated your environment? How can you find and eliminate a bad actor before it’s too late? 

That’s where managed detection and response can help.

What Is MDR?

Managed detection and response (MDR) is a combination of technology and human expertise that tightly focuses on detecting, analyzing and responding to the threats that have snuck past preventive tools.

The key difference between MDR and other detection and response solutions is that MDR is not technology, it’s a managed service. MDR services are managed or co-managed by an outside partner to provide value to organizations that either have limited resources or lack the expertise to keep eyes on all of their potential attack surfaces. This partnership brings many benefits, including:

  • Removing the burden of day-to-day security management from your staff and budget
  • Eliminating false positives and reducing detection and response times
  • Access to specialized skill sets like threat hunting, analysis and incident response

How Managed Detection and Response Fills Critical Security Gaps

When hackers sneak in, you need the ability to catch and remove them before they can strike. That’s why managed detection and response plays such a key role in cybersecurity today. 

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Managed Detection and Response: The Missing Layer in Your Cybersecurity Stack

MDR operates under the assumption that attackers have already slithered their way in and focuses all of its effort on identifying those threats and quickly responding to minimize damage. After all, the sooner you can flag malicious behavior, the sooner you can take action and start rolling out a recovery plan to return to normal.

Although detection and response are critical layers of security, the sad reality is that many organizations are under-investing in them today. That’s because digging into the wheres and whats of cyber threats requires a great amount of skill—skill that your average business doesn’t necessarily have on staff. 

Managed detection and response is designed to solve that skills gap problem by allowing you to tap into the expertise of a trained cyber team without the burden of building it on your own. Hence the “managed” piece. 😉

The Value of Humans + MDR

No software is 100 percent bulletproof. Sure, software can be coded to pinpoint something that looks suspicious, but it operates mostly on pre-existing rules. If an attack doesn’t trigger one of those rules, no one would know an attack is happening—and that’s where the human touch comes in handy. 

Trained security experts who complement MDR software can tighten the rope around hackers and expel them before they can do extensive damage. These experts also bring a specialized level of knowledge, context and manual analysis that automated tools just can’t match.

Instead of just passively waiting for alerts, MDR services can use their trained team to hunt threats down and determine the best way to remediate them. This functionality can end up saving you precious time and money—making MDR a worthwhile security investment.


Is MDR a missing layer in your security stack? Download our eBook to learn about the benefits of managed detection and response and how it can help you address critical gaps.


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