What is MDR?

By Ryan Benson

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

As the old adage goes, “the best defense is a good offense.” As it is in everything from war to baseball, so too it is in cybersecurity. Reacting to threats as they happen can only be one part of a successful cybersecurity game play. If your goal is to keep your team ahead of whatever curveball comes next, you need more. You need Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services. So what is MDR?

Unlike Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) services that focus on security technology management, MDR cybersecurity services proactively search out, validate and alert organizations of current or incoming threats. Typically involving a technology solution and an outsourced security analyst team, these services detect, alert and contain threats so that your business can focus on its day-to-day operations. 

Why is MDR important?

MDR adds an extra layer of protection beyond preventive forms of cybersecurity. As increasingly outdated signature-based technologies fail to adapt to updates and changes, increasingly creative threat actors are succeeding in finding new holes to exploit. That means that having preventive forms of cybersecurity — such as firewalls and endpoint protection — are not enough to stop hackers from accessing your most valuable digital assets.


Both MDR and MSSP services have important jobs in safeguarding your digital assets, but the two are different in the protection they offer. Usually, MSSP services don’t investigate and validate threats; they send notifications to your organization’s IT department about potential threats for them to look into. This can be problematic when IT departments are swamped with other tasks and don’t have time to dig into every threat and take action if needed. For threats that require immediate action, even the slightest delay could leave your systems vulnerable to attacks. 

MDR services, in contrast, actively investigate, validate, triage and respond to threats based on severity level to proactively press the “pause” button on an attack. This quick action allows organizations to put in place mitigations and additional preventive layers. 

How does MDR work?

MDR serves as a security “scout,” detecting ongoing and upcoming threats and alerting you before breaches occur. Using the partner and proprietary technologies of a SecOps platform like Deepwatch, analysts can leverage threat intelligence and security analytics in combination with security orchestration and automation (SOAR) capabilities that allow them to correlate, analyze and detect incidents across an organization’s security infrastructure. Utilizing behavioral analytics, incident reports, machine learning and more, alerts are fired and automated actions are implemented quickly, efficiently and effectively.

Read more: Deepwatch Cloud SecOPs Platform

What challenges can MDR overcome? 

One of the biggest challenges that organizations face is not having the right tools or infrastructure to proactively hunt for cyber threats. Instead, companies use preventive point solutions that build in layers of defense to their networks. This is problematic because there is often a significant lag time between a threat arriving and it being addressed — giving threat actors plenty of time to access and steal critical data. 

MDR solves this challenge by proactively hunting for threats, rather than just reacting to them. Once threats are spotted, they are responded to rapidly (hence the “response” part of MDR), limiting the long-term damages they had the potential to cause. 

Another challenge that MDR overcomes is cost — both in terms of time and money. For an organization to be robustly secure on its own, it would need a large, highly-skilled in-house team dedicated to threat monitoring and remediating 24/7/365.  However, most organizations don’t have the finances needed to hire such a team, nor do their existing IT teams have the resources or bandwidth to be trained on how to proactively seek out and respond to threats. 

MDR, which combines cutting-edge security software with a dedicated outsourced team of experts, is a smart investment for organizations because it’s generally less expensive than hiring or training the same talent in-house

When you sign up for MDR services at Deepwatch,  we provide your organization’s senior leaders, IT and security personnel with the sophisticated software and expert resources they need to perform around-the-clock monitoring of your most critical assets, including event monitoring of logs, automated mapping of use case data, automated response and human contextual analysis, incident alerting and response, incident case management and threat hunting.  

Actively fight threats with Deepwatch

Your business is only as strong as your security posture. At Deepwatch, our goal is to provide you with the people, process and technologies  that match your unique cybersecurity needs and requirements. In today’s world, it’s not enough to put your trust in just preventive forms of cybersecurity; you need to be proactive about eliminating threats, too. MDR services can help you lead this charge. Put together a winning offense with Deepwatch and get in touch with us today.


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