The World Economic Forum in its Global Risks Report 2019 had ranked cyber risk, fifth in the risk outlook rankings. The prediction turned to be reasonably accurate with 2019 witnessing a splurge in attacks and breaches. Complex threat vectors can attack in various directions, and the risk to critical technology infrastructure is more than just fatal. In such a scenario, there is an imminent need for organizations to streamline security operations and address risk and compliance needs, quickly.

Organizations cannot rely on an Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) to detect and respond to sophisticated attacks in real-time. An MSSP can, at the most, manage outsourced security functions for organizations, helping them to save on operational costs, resources, and other security tools. They can provide basic security capabilities such as remote monitoring of security events and data assets, detecting intrusions, managing firewalls and VPN, blocking spams while leveraging rule-based detection, and signatures to protect customer business.

Though a MSSP can offer some level of cybersecurity monitoring and management, they lack a proactive, intelligence-based threat detection approach. They lack an integrated technology stack with detection and response capabilities across the endpoint, network, and application domains.

Due to the reactive nature and rule-based approach, they also have dearth in detecting deep targeted attacks and changing attack vectors. Dynamically changing threat landscapes have challenged the ability of an MSSP in continuous incident response management and root cause mitigation. This disability makes them incapable of controlling attacks that can spread fast. They also end up generating many false positives and are unable to provide comprehensive visibility into the network infrastructure.



The MDR Edge

Managed Detection and Response services (MDR), on the other hand, offer 24x7 automated threat detection and response capabilities by leveraging tools such as Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Security Analytics, Security Orchestration, and Response Automation, Breach Attack Simulation, Application Performance & Uncommon Process Monitoring for the proactive discovery of previously unseen threats.

Managed Detection and Response services (MDR) can help in the accurate detection of advanced attacks through behavior-based and anomaly detection by leveraging on ML techniques. Enterprises will also be able to unify their security operations, utilize best-in-class security experts experienced in threat research and analysis, security analytics platforms to assess security activity and data science-driven processes for effective security operations to protect their complex environments.

MDR addresses critical performance gaps of MSSP through detecting threats in real-time by inspecting and analyzing network and endpoint data/events/logs using advanced threat intelligence platforms. MDR services leverage decoys to impede attacks & detect intrusions or entice attackers to stay away from business assets and can automate incident response by triggering playbooks and prevent thefts without any time lag.

Key differences between MSSP and MDR services

Activity Scope




Heavily dependent on third party tools to provide rule-based threat detection leading to a lack of visibility across endpoint, data, and users

A unified view of the security environment and proactive threat detection along with the coordinated use of multiple security measures such as machine learning and behavioral analysis


Almost no context around security activities such as alerts and more false positives

Reduced false positives and contextualized recommendations on threats


Inability to maximize security cover across the ecosystem including users, apps, data and endpoints due to lack of visibility

Detect, validate and provide customized breach investigation reports along with remediations for the enterprise ecosystem


Poor incident response and remediation support

Customized remediations focussed around your business priorities


Rule-based and signature driven with intrusion prevention systems and firewalls to thwart attacks

Automated containment of threats through the dynamic configuration of firewalls & endpoints, Playbook based triggers on activities and roles


Compliance focussed with reports on vulnerabilities

Reports focussed exclusively on prevailing and potential threats


A MSSP can only provide device management and monitoring services, perimeter, and preventive technologies, along with a SIEM platform having capabilities such as monitoring system logs and events.

MDR services offer advanced capabilities such as User and Entity Behavioural Analytics (UEBA), Network Traffic Analysis, sophisticated data science techniques, attack path modeling along with Security Orchestration Automation & Response (SOAR) capabilities to take on modern threats.

Indispensable benefits of Managed Detection and Response Services    

  • Automate repetitive manual tasks such as data collection and enrichment, accelerating incident-response processes from hours to minutes or seconds.

  • Uncover hard to detect complicated events such as lateral movements, insider threats, and data exfiltration.

  • Reduced false positives through Machine Learning and Behavioral Analytics.

  • UEBA to recognize high-risk user and entity behavioral changes and bring them to analysis, ensuring reduced alert fatigue.

  • Security data lake to pull unlimited data from multiple applications, store them at less costs, and fasten query response time to milliseconds.

  • SOAR capabilities to integrate with different technologies, enrich data, and drive containment actions against threats to improve Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) and Mean Time to Respond (MTTR).

  • Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Data Science capabilities for faster and accurate detection of suspicious activities.

MDR Services – An Ideal Bet

The advantages and features of MDR services score over an MSSP. It’s time to change and adopt an MDR service provider having integrated capabilities of technology, intelligence, and experienced experts to proactively investigate, detect, and respond to threats 24x7.

MDR service providers are also critical due to their ability to ensure end-to-end enterprise security visibility, detailed incident notifications, in-depth remediation recommendations, and unified incident response.

A MSSP is incapable of meeting growing cybersecurity challenges, and the support they offer is insufficient to maintain a high level of security preparedness. MDR services can take total responsibility for enterprise security and can provide you with detection, response, and remediation abilities to meet the security needs of the future.


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