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What Is Managed Detection and Response (MDR)?

What Is Managed Detection and Response (MDR)?

It is no exaggeration to say that every company needs cybersecurity services. Whether it’s a dedicated in-house team or a third-party service, no one can afford to leave themselves vulnerable. Cybercrime has become a worldwide plague and that plague shows no signs of stopping. For today’s topic, we are going to cover one of the most helpful measures that a company can employ and that is managed detection and response services.

What Are Managed Detection And Response Services?

Often called MDR for short, these are services provided by third-party companies in the cybersecurity field. The idea is to create a total safety net against cyberattacks, handling both detection of threats and the coordination of response efforts. In essence, the name says everything. MDR should not be confused with MSSP (managed security service provider) services. While these are similar processes, MDR focuses a lot more on prevention and takes a more proactive approach.

Why Companies Employ MDR Services

In the case of a huge, multi-billion dollar company, they will be less likely to employ these services. They can afford to keep dedicated cybersecurity professionals on staff at all times, even if they aren’t necessarily needed at all times. Chances are, your business isn’t that fortunate. The vast majority of small to medium-sized businesses are very limited in this department due to their smaller operating budgets.

For companies that need to outsource their cybersecurity or computer IT services, an MDR plan might be just the thing. These plans focus on prevention above all, and that is the best route for many companies to go. We don’t have to tell you that a data breach can be ridiculously expensive in terms of money and reputation. Thus, many companies choose MDR services for their thorough and constant monitoring. The earlier a threat can be detected, the less damage it will do.

Some companies will also choose MDR services because they simply cannot find the right people to fill these kinds of jobs. The demand for cybersecurity professionals has skyrocketed in recent years, and the supply of new techs has not kept up with that trend. Thus, there are a lot of unfilled jobs in the cybersecurity industry. According to this article, there will be about 3.5 million unfilled jobs in 2021. The article says that the number was roughly 1 million in 2014, so that gives you a good idea of how bad the situation is becoming. With a shortage of good talent, it can make a lot more sense to outsource cybersecurity to a company that already has the right people.

MDR Offers A Lot Of Expert Attention

While some cybersecurity functions can be automated, there is no substitute for a competent hand at the wheel. One of the main advantages of MDR is the fact that it offers a lot more expert attention. For instance, MDR companies often have to check out alerts and threats on a manual basis. Automated tools give a lot of false positives, so each one really does need to be checked out by a qualified individual.

One of the key weaknesses in many cybersecurity services is over-automation. Again, tools like that can only look for known suspicious patterns and that is a big limitation. A certified professional, on the other hand, can quickly tell the difference between a real threat and a false alarm.

Some companies will try to sell you AI-based cybersecurity services, insisting that it’s just as good. This, however, is not the case. First of all, AI technology has not grown to that point as of yet. There is no way to tell when it will reach that level of advancement, either. Further, there are just too many ways in which hackers can trick an AI or use another AI to defeat its countermeasures.

The Importance Of Good Network Monitoring

The “detection” aspect of MDR will mostly come in the form of solid network monitoring. If not, then you really aren’t getting your money’s worth. Have you ever wondered how the internet processes such a huge amount of data on a constant basis? It works by breaking up the data into smaller, more manageable files known as “packets.” Thus, all online activities and interactions can be traced by using these files. However, there is a catch: You have to be able to understand and interpret the data that you find.

Anyone can install a network monitoring program and some of them are even free. However, only the trained eye of an expert can make full use of these tools. In order to fool an automated network monitor, the attacker simply needs to create something that falls outside of its established parameters. That might sound hard, but it really isn’t difficult for someone with a good working knowledge of computer science.

The Hybrid Approach

If you are trying to choose between an outsourced service and an in-house team, you might not have to make that choice at all. It is possible to employ a hybrid approach, using a small in-house team combined with MDR services. Since they won’t have to worry about constant monitoring, your in-house team will have more time to deal with everyday technical problems and fix things as needed. Thus, if you can work it into your budget, this can actually be the most effective method. If you do it this way, make sure to eliminate any redundancies so that you aren’t paying for the same service twice. Even if your company can afford to do that, it just isn’t very cost-effective or very smart.


If you are looking for IT support companies in NJ, PCH Technologies is always ready to do the job. We offer MDR services and many other IT-related services, and thus we are able to handle just about any tech problem. If you need the expert-focused and hands-on approach that only comes from a managed detection and response plan or anything else, you can give us a call at (856) 754-7500.