What is Managed Detection and Response (MDR), and How Does MDR Compare to Managed SIEM and SOCaaS?

Mid-market organizations are increasingly being targeted by threat actors, and in turn require more advanced security operations. In recognizing their need to mature their ability to predict, prevent, detect, and respond to threats, the mid-market must also come to terms with their budget and staffing limitations.

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) is a single managed solution for cybersecurity that delivers services tied to 24/7 threat monitoring, detection, and response. MDR is designed to minimize the burden of software adoption for customers by providing and managing security analytics and aligned technology (for endpoint protection and/or threat response). Because it’s service-based, MDR must be driven by a SOC (security operations center) that includes tech stack expertise, and extends value by aggregating, analyzing, and acting upon security (log) data.

Gartner has recently championed Managed Detection and Response as a fit for mid-market organizations.

Demand for MDR services has been particularly strong in the midmarket. MDR provides an affordable turnkey service that fills gaps in security expertise and 24/7 operations for incident detection, response and threat containment.

James Browning and Toby Bussa, in Gartner’s ‘Midsize Organizations Should Embrace MDR’ report.

The technology behind an MDR service can include an array of options, and this is important to understand when evaluating MDR providers. The technology stack behind the service determines the scope of attacks they have access to detect. Cybersecurity is about “defense-in-depth” – having multiple layers of protection to counter the multiple attack vectors possible. Various technologies are used to provide more complete visibility and thus more complete detection and response capabilities.

Some of the technologies behind an MDR service include:

2021 Buyer’s Guide: Managed Detection and Response

In Netsurion’s Managed Detection and Response Buyer’s Guide we highlight the evolving cybersecurity challenges that are leading to the adoption of MDR. Unfortunately, the MDR market is plagued by a loose definition, by both analysts and vendors, of what is and what isn’t considered “managed”, “detection”, or “response”.

Download the Buyer’s Guide to learn the pros and cons of Managed Detection and Response, and to address common questions around MDR:

  • How does MDR differ from an MSSP?
  • What services and support are offered with MDR?
  • Do MDR offerings extend their capabilities into EDR, XDR, and SOAR?

Download the Guide

MDR vs Managed SIEM vs SOC as a Services (SOCaaS) Comparision

To highlight how MDR contrasts with other managed services, we have provided an overview of managed security services.

Managed Detection and Response Managed SIEM SOC as a Service (SOCaaS)
Service May be a SOC, may not be 24/7, primarily focused on threat response. Focused on installation, tuning, and updates for SIEM software.

In some instances, this may extend into threat monitoring and detection.
24/7 SOC actively monitoring and alerting.
Software Delivered and managed by the provider. SIEM software may be on-premises (with remote monitoring) or provided through cloud SIEM. May be incumbent upon customer to provide.
Threat Lifecycle Focus May focus only attack detection and response, some include prediction and prevention. Focused on reactive monitoring of technology that is providing information to the SIEM. Identify suspicious behavior and activity, assists with incident response.

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