Cybersecurity Glossary


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What Is MTTD?

Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) is the average time it takes a team to discover a security threat or incident. 

What Is MTTR?

Mean Time to Respond (MTTR) measures the average time it takes to control and remediate a threat.  

How Do You Measure MTTD and MTTR?

MTTD and MTTR depend on a number of factors, including the size and complexity of your network, the size and expertise of your IT staff, your industry, and more. Another thing to keep in mind is that different companies measure things in different ways. 

There are no industry-standard approaches to measuring between these two performance indicators, so granular comparisons between organizations can be problematic apples-vs-oranges affairs. 

How Do You Improve Your MTTD and MTTR Time?

Measuring and improving MTTD and MTTR is easier said than done. The fact is that many businesses work with IT teams that are stretched thin and often lack cybersecurity expertise. Meanwhile, they face ever-more sophisticated attacks stemming from well-funded criminal networks or malicious nation-state actors. 

With that said, there are a number of things every organization can do to drive down its time to detect and respond. 

How Can You Lower MTTD?

Start With a Plan

Create an incident response plan in advance of potential attacks to identify and define stakeholder responsibilities so the entire team knows what to do when an attack occurs. This plan can define your processes and services used to detect these threats. 

As you get a few incidents under your belt, review your plan to look for areas for improvement that can reduce MTTD and MTTR. 

Conduct Regular Cybersecurity Training

Employees may facilitate a compromise by clicking malicious emails or links that install ransomware, viruses, and other malware. In addition, non-technical company leaders may not grasp the risk of cyber attacks, which keeps them from providing the sufficient budget and resources IT needs to be effective. 

Regular security awareness training prepares your employees to recognize and neutralize social engineering attacks and human error — helping to end cyber risk at your organization. 

The more educated the entire company becomes about cybersecurity, the more prepared it will be to both prevent and respond to attacks. To be effective, education should be an ongoing process rather than a “one and done” annual box to check. 

Implementing Security Operations

Security operations can seamlessly extend the capabilities of your IT team by providing 24×7, real-time monitoring of your on-premise and cloud resources. This will help you see if, when, and where an attack occurs, vastly reducing your MTTD. Meanwhile, Arctic Wolf’s Concierge Security® Team can help reduce MTTR by providing expert advice to help navigate incident response. 

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Arctic Wolf

Arctic Wolf provides your team with 24x7 coverage, security operations expertise, and strategically tailored security recommendations to continuously improve your overall posture.
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Additional Resources For

Cybersecurity Beginners