Managed Detection and Response – What Is It and Why Your Business Needs It

In the ever-changing technology environment one thing remains the same – the cyber threat landscape continues to be dynamic and a primary area of risk for business owners. Cyber criminals do not discriminate who they target, and the increase of attacks is a constant threat to many small to-medium businesses, their vendors, and their partners.

Keeping up with cyber threats and attack methods can be overwhelming, even when you are a security expert. No matter the size or industry, your business and your systems need to be secure 24/7. But who has the time or can afford the people needed, especially considering todays employment market? Enter, MDR solutions.

What is MDR

MDR stands for Managed Detection and Response. This is a service providing real-time threat detection, threat hunting and an active response 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. It is designed to help businesses strengthen their current security monitoring capabilities to address gaps in threat detection. Not all MDR solutions are created equal, there are many nuances to the products themselves and no one single product can prevent a security incident, there is still a need for multiple products working together to achieve the greatest reduction in risk for a business. The technologies themselves, when setup properly, can only do so much on their own and the other important pieces need a highly trained person to take it the rest of the way.

So, when we talk about the word Managed, we are referring to the dedicated team of experts that are behind you 100% of the time. This team has extensive knowledge and experience in cybersecurity and ethical hacking so you can rest assured your systems are monitored by the right people. If a threat is detected by the tools, the technology and the team will respond immediately to work through the security incident.

Value to You and Your Business

MDR equips businesses with not only detection, but also a quick response to threats and attacks. On average, it takes approximately 146 days to detect a breach (BlackPoint Cyber). MDR technology is constantly evolving and learning to improve intrusion and enumeration detection.  With MDR there is an immediate response and the threat is isolated to prevent a lateral spread from occurring – which happens to be one of the most critical phases in the hacker timeline.

To truly understand the importance of a quick response you need to understand the hacker timeline. This is how the hacker moves before, during and after their attack and can be thought of in 5 phases. It consists of:

  1. Planning – the phase where the hacker researches and collects information on their target and plan the type of attack they will conduct.
  2. Intrusion – At this point the hacker gains unauthorized access into their targets systems. Common types of ways hackers get in is through spear phishing, insider threats, or exploiting vulnerabilities.
  3. Enumeration – This is where the hacker establishes a number of things in the targeted environment. They will make themselves hidden so it is hard to recognize they are watching the system and looking to steal credentials to get additional access to systems.
  4. Lateral Movement – At this time the hacker will steal data and distribute malware as they move from system to system.
  5. Completion of Objective – Once the malware has been successfully deployed the hacker will delete any backups and corrupt files, making it hard for the team to get the system working again.

The most critical time to detect an attack is during the Intrusion, Enumeration, and Lateral Movement phase.  If a hacker makes it to the lateral movement phase they will attempt to access or create other user accounts with security permissions and distribute malware or begin stealing data from critical systems. By initiating a response before this phase, the threat can be contained by the team before it spreads, and any remediation steps can be performed where the hacker was able to enter the system and the team can lock them out to avoid a catastrophe.

Why is it Important

The cost of a breach can be crippling when it comes to data loss, time, and the ransom payment. Not only is paying ransom a hard-hitting financial cost, if the stolen data is made public, the cost to your business’s reputation could be detrimental to the livelihood going forward. One cyber attack alone can put a small – to medium sized company out of business if there is significant damage to their systems and reputation.

More and more businesses are investing in MDR solutions to address a widening IT security skill gap, increasing complexities in the modern technology environment and to have coverage outside of regular business hours. Today, most cyber liability insurance policies are now asking if your company has this, if not, your risk score and premiums are most certainly higher as well.  With MDR you can rest assured knowing that your systems are being monitored closely by a team of experts working to protect your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and you’ll be paying a lower insurance premium because of it.  

Managed, Detection and Response solutions can help save your company from catastrophe when an cyber-attack occurs. If this is something you would like to explore further, contact us here or download our brochure below. 


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