10 Key Advantages of an MDR Solution

December 28, 2020

Security operations solutions are now essential to stopping today’s cyberthreats

Cyberthreats continually evolve and become more sophisticated, and bad actors grow more strategic and disciplined in their attack techniques. Defending against current threats requires an equally dynamic, adaptable approach, but too many organizations remain tied to outdated security methods.

Security tools alone aren’t enough to withstand today’s cyberattacks. That’s why IT teams need to implement cutting-edge detection and response solutions to stop advanced persistent threats that bypass preventive controls. That means either an in-house, fully equipped security operations center (SOC) staffed with security experts, or an outsourced managed detection and response (MDR) solution. 

Most companies find it more feasible to invest in the latter, so let’s take a closer look at 10 key advantages of an MDR solution.

1. A Dedicated Security Team

Every business has its own unique processes, goals, and security concerns. This is where one-size-fits-all software solutions don’t measure up to the personalized service your organization can get from an MDR solution with a dedicated security team. By investing in an outsourced security team, you can ensure that your cybersecurity is managed by trained experts who understand your specific network environment and organizational business risks.

Your MDR security team also serves as a single point of contact. When security issues do inevitably arise, you have assurance that the people involved have a real understanding of your organization’s unique business needs and operations, as opposed to other services that use randomly assigned service technicians to walk you through troubleshooting.

Essentially, your MDR security team functions as a trusted advisor and a valued extension of your internal IT team.

See a cybersecurity personnel in front of a his laptop and a series of monitors.

2. Continuous Security Monitoring

Keeping an eye on your network during the business day is just a start—because bad actors don’t keep regular office hours. Cybersecurity is a round-the-clock concern, and your approach to it needs to be as well. A 24x7 security solution including continuous monitoring for threats is essential for detecting and responding to malicious activity on the network. 

By monitoring your network at all hours, your MDR security team can quickly recognize abnormal activity, reliably identify threats, and take immediate measures to keep intruders out of your system, even at hours when the rest of your team is getting a good night’s sleep.

3. Customizable Security Rules

Your organization is unique. You have particular methods, goals, and risks that are specific to the way you do business. That’s why you need a cybersecurity solution that can adapt to your particular requirements. The top MDR solution providers use a customizable rules engine to define security policies for each customer. This engine allows the provider’s security engineers to apply your exact security and operational policies, and then update them to align with changing business needs, new and evolving threats, and any applicable rules and regulations. 

Using a set of customized security rules, your MDR team can selectively filter out noisy events that represent no real security risk, allowing them to stay focused on detecting both known and unknown threats. A customizable rules engine helps your provider improve their efficiency and accuracy, which in turn helps them identify and protect against a broader scope of threats in your organization’s particular environment.

4. Human-Augmented Machine Learning

No matter what industry you’re in, your business generates a lot of information. It’s humanly impossible to analyze the massive amounts of log data coming from even the most modest IT environments. The only way to efficiently and effectively analyze high volumes of log data is by using machine-learning algorithms. Even so, machines alone aren’t enough to guard your organization against ever-evolving cyberthreats.

Machine learning is a very useful tool for identifying known threats, but properly categorizing new threat data often requires human expertise. A next-generation MDR provider leverages the agility and adaptability of cybersecurity experts to filter out false positives and fine-tune algorithms as new threats are detected, making sure that your security system is an accurate reflection of your business’s policies and risk assessments.

Cloud cybersecurity icon in the center of the image, along with binary code on the screen.

5. Cloud Threat Monitoring

Cloud-based technology applications are now mainstream and essential for business productivity. So, modern IT environments demand an MDR solution with integrated cloud monitoring, to ensure there are no security blind spots.

A good cloud monitoring system will automatically monitor your internet-as-a-service (IaaS), software-as-a-service (SaaS), and security-as-a-service (SECaaS) solutions. Using APIs, your virtual sensors can provide near-real-time monitoring of cloud resources and user behavior to ensure they comply with your security policies and are free from threats.

6. Compliance Reporting

Good regulatory compliance typically results from good security practices. With online data privacy concerns at an all-time high, keeping your customers’ and employees’ personally identifiable information protected is crucial. 

Data thefts and security breaches can lead to heavy fines, class-action lawsuits, and reputational damage for organizations that don’t stay compliant. Your MDR provider should offer experience and guidance that enhances your automated systems, helping you to meet all regulatory obligations and demonstrate that your business is fully compliant.

7. Vulnerability Scanning

Regular vulnerability scans are a great help for identifying at-risk assets and improving your overall security posture. MDR providers can enhance those efforts further by analyzing your scan results and combining up-to-date threat intelligence. 

Trained MDR experts can apply a deep understanding of your organization’s critical assets to develop an accurate, prioritized list of your current vulnerabilities. That then allows your MDR team to provide risk-based advice and recommendations to mitigate risk and limit your exposure to both known and unknown threats.

8. Workflow Integration

A successful cybersecurity plan requires smooth, non-disruptive interaction with the rest of your system processes. Your MDR provider should offer onsite workflow integration tools that optimize your operational efficiencies and establish a seamless process for trouble ticketing. 

Reliable workflow integration ensures that alerts are prioritized, properly escalated, and put in front of the right people, so that issues can be remediated by your IT staff before they become a larger problem. 

9. Log Data Collection/Correlation

Your MDR solution should provide comprehensive, user-friendly log management as well. This
includes the automatic collection, aggregation, and retention of log data. MDR engineers can perform queries against this data set to extract useful information for customers like you. And easily accessible recordkeeping allows your IT admins to quickly retrieve essential data for future reference, reporting, and troubleshooting.

10. Scalable Data Architecture

Your business is not a static object. As your organization dynamically changes, it’s important to find an MDR provider that can scale along with your growing needs. Look for once with a security-optimized data architecture that can unify the ingestion, parsing, and analysis of log data, and which can also dynamically scale, compute, and store resources on demand. 

A scalable cybersecurity architecture forms a strong foundation on which to build the analytics that give security analysts deep visibility into advanced threats. Scalable data architecture also provides on-demand access to relevant data for incident investigation and is immediately operational with no setup time.

10 Key advantages of an MDR solution: a dedicated security team, continuous security monitoring, customizable security rules, human-augmented machine learning, cloud threat monitoring, compliance reporting, vulnerability scanning, workflow integration, log data collection, scalable data architecture

Ready to dig deeper into the ways MDR can enhance your operations and keep your organization safer? See how Arctic Wolf’s Concierge Security® team can tailor the Arctic Wolf® Managed Detection and Response solution to your specific needs.

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