Understanding Managed Detection and Response

Managed Detection and Response is a managed security solution that provides organizations with an expansive suite of cyber security services, including threat monitoring and cybersecurity event analysis, to help ensure their environment is safe around the clock. MDR services can help improve security across an organization’s network and strengthen its infrastructure by leveraging the latest security technologies and experienced security professionals. Read on to learn more about what MDR services are and how they can help fortify cybersecurity across your organization.

What Is Managed Detection and Response?

Managed Detection and Response, or MDR, is a service that (typically) combines a customer’s existing security technology stack with the expert services and expert knowledge of the MDR providers’ people. This combination detects threats and malicious activity in an organization’s environment by enriching the detected events with continuously learned business context, threat intelligence, and human expertise of the MDR provider and promptly engages its incident response teams to help mitigate those threats. MDR providers often leverage advanced cyber security technology and human expertise to analyze and eliminate threats remotely. Many organizations prefer to use MDR services because security specialists can work remotely to identify and eliminate security risks around the clock.

The human element in MDR services is often experts such as security analysts and threat intelligence researchers. MDR experts leverage an organization’s security technologies to detect, understand, and neutralize threats to prevent them from compromising an organization’s sensitive information or causing downtime. Learn more about what organizations can prevent and address with the help of an MDR provider below.

What Challenges Can You Address With MDR?

MDR services help organizations cover gaps in their cyber security by leveraging their expertise and an array of tools in their security stack. Security analysts and professionals work with tools like endpoint detection and response (EDR) agents that enable them to monitor a company’s environment remotely, track down threats, and quickly execute guided incident response.

MDR providers help organizations eliminate the challenge of bringing an in-house IT cybersecurity department up to speed by providing them with a professional cybersecurity team that is ready to analyze and respond to threats as they happen. In addition to saving time and offering organizations peace of mind, MDR providers can help cut down on other costs.

For many organizations, it isn’t a plausible solution for them to have a fully staffed, highly skilled 24/7 Security Operations Centre (SOC) team working in-house. In many instances, MDR providers can help companies lower staffing costs by providing the capability to work around the clock to monitor cybersecurity and the management overhead that comes with managing a 24/7 team.

How Does MDR Work?

MDR providers utilize an organization’s cybersecurity software and supplement any gaps with their own solutions to enrich the analysis process and improve detection capability, meaning false positive events are reduced and real threats can be detected faster. After the threats have been disposed of, MDR security specialists work with an organization’s leadership to recommend and implement preventative measures or policy changes that help reduce the chance of the same attack happening again or to decrease the time to detect attempts of a similar event. MDR providers should also proactively make such recommendations to prevent the attack from happening in the future.

In short, the process identifies threats and swiftly takes care of them while learning everything there is to know about them to reduce the chance of a similar attack happening again.

Threat Detection

Threat detection is the first step in an effective Managed Detection and Response process. When it comes to identifying attackers, MDR security experts are always on the lookout for even the stealthiest of intruders. MDR providers add value by supplementing their cybersecurity expertise in monitoring and analyzing events as well as highly knowledgeable threat intelligence with the existing cybersecurity technology stack. By continuously understanding the customer’s business environment, the MDR provider can ensure that threat detection is tuned specifically to that customer context.

Cybersecurity specialists work alongside layers of advanced security software to help organizations identify weaknesses and resolve them before an attack happens. Before threat detection, MDR services focus on identifying and fortifying any customer’s security gaps before they become a problem in the future. If an actual threat is detected, MDR providers are already in the process of quarantining and eradicating them.

Analysis and Investigation

Many organizations may not have the time or resources to allocate to further analyzing and investigating threats as they come in. Managed Detection and Response providers help organizations understand and identify threats faster through triage, analysis, and investigation of detected security events and alerts. MDR services thoroughly analyze and investigate attacks to find the source of the incident and provide recommendations to help prevent a similar incident from happening again or to improve the time to detect.

Using the information collected from researching and investigating security attacks, MDR providers and organizations can better understand why security incidents happen and how to avoid them moving forward. With this information, MDR providers can work with organizations to create a response and remediation plan.

Containment and Eradication

Once threats have been identified and analyzed, MDR providers can respond to them in a swift and decisive manner by containing the situation and therefore minimizing its impact across the environment. MDR services are quick to respond to attacks, meaning an organization will be spared the long-term consequences that come from leaving threats and vulnerabilities unchecked. Some of the long-term consequences of cybersecurity attacks include leakage of sensitive information, damage to an organization’s reputation, and downtime across the environment.

After the threat is contained to prevent further damage, the MDR provider will either make recommendations to eradicate the threat or complete the actual eradication given the right policies in place. MDR experts will then design preventative measures to help more quickly mitigate similar scenarios from happening again. This process usually results in the creation of security alerts, SOPs, and other documentation to help the organization navigate similar threats in the future.

How Does MDR Compare to Other Endpoint Protection Services?

MDR services leverage a full suite of endpoint protection services to ensure that your organization’s environment is as secure as possible. In many cases, other endpoint protection services are merely a piece of the puzzle, while MDR security specialists help piece them all together to create strong defensive measures.

For example, EDR solutions can help protect an organization’s endpoints, but they are unable to fully protect an organization’s technology infrastructure. MDR providers may leverage an organization’s EDR software to help them protect against intruders, but that is only one piece of the puzzle.

Read on to learn more about the most popular endpoint protection solutions below and how they compare to MDR.


EDR stands for endpoint detection and response and acts as a tool to help monitor and protect endpoints from cybersecurity threats and attackers. For MDR providers, EDR solutions are another tool in their expansive kit.

MDR providers leverage EDR solutions within their suite of security tools to help organizations protect their environment. Endpoint detection and response solutions provide defense for an organization’s endpoints, while MDR providers use EDR solutions alongside other tools to provide cybersecurity event detection and protection across an organization’s entire IT infrastructure.


Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) provide fully Managed Security Service (MSS) offerings for organizations, including tools and technologies, so that they don’t have to and help take away the burden involved with managing such capabilities. MSSPs may also provide MDR services.

MSSPs, like [redacted], provide MDR services that can also research anomalies and identify false positives before they raise any alarms within an organization. Our MSS and MDR services feature detection and response capabilities that can swiftly respond to eliminate threats.

Managed security service providers that provide MDR capabilities can help an organization eliminate the need to hire, train, and retain its own security personnel.


Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) tools aggregate data from multiple sources like application activity and user logs to identify events and symptoms that point to the security of an organization’s IT environment being compromised.

Most SIEM tools feature machine learning to enable further analysis of an organization’s data sources. Many MDR providers use SIEM tools as a part of their security stack to gain insights to inform preventative measures and future security maneuvers. SIEM tools help security experts streamline the analysis and investigation component of the MDR process.

Why Should You Choose an MDR Service?

MDR services are ideal for organizations that need assistance monitoring and responding to cybersecurity threats and events. MDR security specialists stay up to date with the latest security trends and technologies to ensure they are always one step ahead of the latest threats to an organization’s cybersecurity.

MDR providers leverage experienced cybersecurity analysts and the organization’s technology to defend against cybersecurity threats. In some cases, MDR providers will supplement an organization’s security stack with their own components to ensure that security events are detected promptly. MDR experts work around the clock 24/7, so companies can save time and money on training for an entire in-house security team.

In the event of an attack, you can count on MDR providers to have access to the tools needed to respond to an active threat in an effective and timely manner. Security experts work with an organization’s leadership to deploy strong security measures in the future.

If you’re interested in learning more about what an MDR provider can do for your organization, schedule a call with [redacted] today.


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Portrait of Tim Chu

Tim Chu

  • Senior Director, Managed Security Services

Based in New Zealand and with over 20 years of IT experience, Tim is responsible for the strategy and operations of the Managed Security Services (MSS) business at [redacted]. The MSS business provides cybersecurity services, including SOC security event monitoring and incident response. Prior to joining [redacted], Tim held leadership roles at a variety of IT companies, including Datacom, Wex, and Mako Networks.

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