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How to select an MDR service that’s right for your company

How to select an MDR service that’s right for your company

How to select an MDR service that’s right for your company

With the cybersecurity landscape changing at such a rapid rate as well as the threat of cyber-attacks and increasing reality, it stands to reason that more companies are investing in managed detection and response (MDR) services.

In fact, it’s estimated that 50% of organizations will be using MDR by 2025

This huge shift towards a new form of cybersecurity solution shows that enterprises are becoming informed about the difficulties of in-house threat detection and remediation. It’s predicted that a third of companies will attempt and fail to deal with cybersecurity threats on their own. For forward-thinking companies, MDR’s ability to constantly monitor the network, find threats before they cause harm, detect vulnerabilities in the infrastructure, save long-term costs, and provide in-depth user insights makes it the only choice worth considering.

But with so many MDR providers out there, how do you know which one is right for your company? Here are some of the essential questions to consider when choosing an MDR service provider for your organization.

What type of MDR model fits your company?

The first thing to do is analyze why you need this service and consider what kind of MDR service model your company needs.

The central element of an MDR service is the security operations center (SOC). A SOC is a command center facility with a dedicated team of security experts focused on anticipating, preventing, and responding to cyber incidents. MDR services typically come in the following models:

  • MDR with SOC internal – implementing your own in-house security team
  • MDR with SOCaaS – assistance from a third-party team of highly skilled experts to monitor, detect, and respond to threats
  • MDR with hybrid SOCaaS – a blend of the above, with an in-house team assisted by third-party experts

There are MDR options to suit all kinds of different companies across a range of sectors, from startups and SMBs to multinational enterprises. An MDR provider should be:

Compatible with your needs

Consider your long-term business goals. The threat landscape is constantly evolving, and new technologies that are changing the way we do business are emerging every day. Whatever your long-term plans, whether it’s transitioning into the cloud or embracing new processes, it’s important that your prospective MDR provider aligns with your vision and is capable of providing robust and flexible protection, today and in the future.

Compatible with your business

Are your prospective MDR providers experienced in providing high-level detection and response services within your sector? Some providers are multi-sector specialists, while others provide a niche service. It’s important that an MDR team knows their way around your industry and has knowledge specific to your business needs.

Size matters too. An MDR provider who has only worked with huge multinational enterprises won’t necessarily be able to translate their expertise to meet the specific needs of a small business or startup. Likewise, those who have only worked with small, close-knit teams might not have the tools to scale up their MDR operations for large companies.  

Reasons for choosing an MDR provider

Here are the most common reasons a modern organization would look to adopt the services of an MDR provider:

Limited IT resources

Most organizations have minimal in-house threat detection and response capabilities, with few security-specific experts. They lack the tools, technologies, and time needed to manage a system that spans multiple endpoints. 

These limited resources have the potential to accumulate enormous costs in the long run, as companies reel from the effects of a data breach or similar security incident – both in terms of direct economic consequences and reputational damage. 

Investing in an MDR service means benefiting from a team who knows the threat landscape inside out, with an in-depth knowledge of up-to-the-minute technologies and the best tools at their disposal.

Cybersecurity threats

The world of cyber threats is constantly evolving and affects every industry. Hackers are continually developing new and ever-more sophisticated methods to attack and disrupt organizations and to steal their data. Without the necessary tools or expertise to deal with emerging cybersecurity threats, companies find themselves more vulnerable than ever before. 

An MDR service helps companies adapt their systems and processes to be able to deal with emerging threats. Through partnerships with international threat intelligence-sharing forums, they can stay ahead of the evolving threat landscape and maintain a safe, robust cybersecurity infrastructure.

Lack of visibility

In this digital era, data is key. Organizations that can collect, analyze, and use data effectively to provide visibility and valuable insights are the ones that succeed. Failure to use security data to identify potential threats before they materialize and to pinpoint potential vulnerabilities in the architecture can have a profound effect.

MDR services provide a broad visibility into the threat landscape, as well as enterprise-specific patterns and user behavior. They provide actionable intelligence that can help shape a company’s long-term strategy. 

Lack of incident response capability 

Data breaches cost more than ever before, rising 13% between 2020 and 2022 alone. What’s more, it takes an average of 9 months to identify and contain a data breach without MDR. The inability to deal with incidents when they happen can have a critical effect on a company’s long-term health.

Having an MDR service that can assist in the containment and remediation of an incident will significantly reduce the impact and make incident management more effective. Using a blend of automated services and techniques, MDR can rapidly detect and neutralize while implementing the correct infrastructure and protocols to effectively deal with any cybersecurity incident.

Regulatory compliance

Every organization has a specific set of compliance regulations that it needs to adhere to. Failure to comply with these regulations can have huge negative consequences, such as fines, sanctions and reputational damage. 

Many companies don’t have the time, money or expertise to fully invest in understanding and navigating increasingly complex regulatory compliance. On the other hand, a good MDR service that knows the relevant industry provider can provide solutions that align with an organization’s specific compliance requirements. 

What factors should you take into account when contracting an MDR service?

Before investing in the services of an MDR provider, it’s important to consider a few key aspects of the service to ensure you get the best cybersecurity protection for your organization.

Here are the most important things to consider when choosing an MDR service:

Team experience in cybersecurity

How much cybersecurity experience does the MDR team have? Does their experience encompass a narrow focus? Or is it well-balanced, spanning a range of topics and disciplines across various sectors? 

Don’t hesitate to probe into a prospective MDR vendor’s makeup to discern who they are and how much experience they will bring to the table. 

SOC 24x7x365 service

Some vendors offer a ‘part-time’ service, with certain time periods when they’re not available. However, nowadays most of the best MDR providers are ‘always on’, with a round-the-clock, 24x7x365 service that constantly monitors your networks and is ready and willing to respond to incidents and field any questions at any time of day or night.

Rapid response to security threats or alerts

Security analysts estimate that a typical security team will take around 24 hours to respond to a threat once it has been detected, and a further 1-4 weeks to remedy the effects of the threat. During this time, a malicious actor can further exploit vulnerabilities in your system, so a fast, effective response is crucial. 

Ask your potential MDR provider to supply their expected response time. 

Endpoint visibility from anywhere 

If controlling your endpoints is your top priority, look for a vendor specializing in endpoints. Make sure they have the technology and expertise to provide optimal protection for all relevant endpoints – including laptops, mobile devices, and servers. 

Most MDR vendors cover Windows on laptops and iOS/Android for mobile devices. You may need robust protection for Mac, Unix, or something similar, so be sure to confirm that the MDR provider has coverage that is specific to your needs.

Threat hunting 

Hunting for cyber threats is critical to MDR services. It requires high expertise and relevant, contextualized threat intelligence to be carried out correctly. Threat hunting must incorporate a panoramic view of potential bad actors and their associated tactics, techniques, and procedures and be carried out with a clear understanding of the business and IT environment being defended.

Monitoring and follow-up 

An MDR vendor is tasked with improving your cybersecurity status by constantly monitoring the health of your infrastructure and the effectiveness of the solutions in place, ready to adapt and improve whenever necessary. Also, an effective MDR solution will need to follow up, analyze, and assess in the event of any incidents that take place or in the wake of any concerns your organization may have.


An effective MDR solution should be able to tailor its cybersecurity approach to align with all relevant compliance regulations, both broad ones such as GDPR and regulations specific to your industry.

Good reputation

Finally, an MDR provider stands and falls on the strength of its reputation. There are now hundreds of MDR providers and it can be hard to separate the pretenders from the real deal.

Look to resources such as Gartner’s 2021 Market Guide for Managed Detection and Response Services to find respected, experienced MDR providers who provide credible cybersecurity services. 

How Ackcent’s MDR service can help

At Ackcent, our MDR offering uses a blend of automated tools, technologies, and processes together with industry expertise to provide a highly effective cybersecurity solution. Our team has over 20 years of experience in the field, with a deep knowledge of cutting-edge threat detection and prevention tools and techniques, as well as emerging cybersecurity trends. 

Our SOC works 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year to keep our clients safe. We take pride in our ability to collaborate and communicate, acting as an extension of our clients’ teams. Through these partnerships, we build strong, enduring relationships, empowering our clients to become successful.

Contact Ackent today to know more about Ackcent’s MDR services!