Managed Extended Detection and Response (Managed XDR or MXDR) solutions allow your organization to benefit from extended detection and response (XDR) security coverage, even if you don’t have the technical resource in – house to manage and maintain an XDR solution yourself. Highly effective at identifying and blocking threats at multiple network layers, XDR solutions are at the forefront of unified cybersecurity tools, but they can be complex to configure precisely.
While XDR is the gold standard for security coverage, its complexity and advanced configurations require a good level of resource and time to be dedicated to installing and managing the solution. This level of technical ability is not viable for all organizations. For organizations that are unable to meet these resource requirements – where there isn’t sufficient skill, budget, or time in house – managed security service providers can make all the difference. They allow smaller companies to outsource the management of their security tools, augmenting their in-house resource so they can still benefit from high levels of security.
It is essential that organizations of all sizes are adequately protected using advanced security measures, as company size does not preclude you from being a target for a cyberattack. Attackers know that small and medium sized organizations will have valuable assets but are less likely to be protected adequately, due to limited budget and resource. This can make them easy targets in comparison to larger companies that have a more robust security infrastructure.
In this article, we’ll explore the top MXDR solutions that are currently available. We’ll highlight the key features and use cases for each solution, before suggesting what type of organization would be best suited to their use.
It is worth noting that MXDR is an emerging area of technology, with MDR providers expanding their coverage to include more than just endpoint security, and XDR providers offering their platforms as a managed service. Equally, there is an uptick in the number of dedicated MXDR providers on the market. Over the next few years, we expect this space to grow as the need for comprehensive, advanced security increases.
What Is The Difference Between EDR, MDR, XDR, and MXDR?
In order to understand and appreciate the difference between EDR, MDR, XDR, and MXDR, it is worth taking a moment to focus on each technology individually.
Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is a technology that installs a lightweight agent onto your endpoints to monitor for threats such as malware and viruses and enact remediation. This type of technology is proactive, with active threat hunting capabilities.
Managed Detection and Response (MDR) works in the same way as EDR, except that this technology is managed by a third party. Through outsourcing your security management and configuration, organizations lacking the relevant technical or financial resource can still implement and benefit from robust cybersecurity tools.
Extended Detection and Response (XDR) takes the principles developed in EDR and expands them. XDR monitors and protects your wider technology estate – not only does it secure endpoints, but it also protects web and cloud servers, networks, users, email clients, and accounts. This is a much more comprehensive and complex solution that is highly effective at securing your infrastructure.
Managed Extended Detection and Response (MXDR) enables organizations to implement all the advanced technologies from XDR across their infrastructure, whilst having it managed by a third party. The benefits and reasons for using a managed service are the same as with MDR, but MXDR is a much more advanced technology that can respond to more potent and complex threats.
What Are The Main Features Of An MXDR Solution?
XDR solutions are constantly evolving to bring advanced security capabilities to more organizations. As such, the feature set of an MXDR solution is ever evolving, and different solutions will have different offerings. On top of that, MXDR is a relatively new term in the cyber space and has yet to be standardized as offering a specific feature set, so it’s important that you consider and prioritize your organization’s needs before you start comparing solutions.
However, there are some features that you should look out for that any MXDR solution should offer:
- 24×7 support and security monitoring
- AI- and ML-backed analysis
- Continuous threat detection and hunting
- Forensic incident analysis
- Alerting and triaging
- Compliance and regulatory standards
- Auditing and report generation
- Advanced orchestration
- Pre-set and custom response playbooks
- Context and telemetry analysis
What Type Of Organization Should Use MXDR?
To describe the ideal use case for MXDR, it is worth breaking it down into its main features: a managed service and XDR security.
A managed service is perfect for an organization that is looking to implement a sophisticated and advanced level of security, but doesn’t have the skills, resource, or staff to implement this effectively in-house. By outsourcing your cybersecurity, you can ensure that your organization has a robust line of defense against attackers. This is a cost-effective option (you do not need to employ dedicated in-house staff) that is also highly secure.
XDR stands for extended detection and response. This type of cybersecurity infrastructure monitors all aspects of your network, from users, emails, and servers to endpoints, emails, and cloud infrastructure. This gives a much more comprehensive insight into network activity, ensuring that attacks are detected at the earliest indicator. XDR solutions are then able to enact remediation and eliminate threats automatically.
So, in summary, an MXDR solution is designed for an organization that is looking to protect their network with robust and effective cybersecurity tools but doesn’t have the resource to implement this in-house.
As well as managing the deployment and integration of your MXDR solution, some MXDR providers include managed threat hunting or investigation in their offering. This is important to look out for if your company has limited SOC resource of its own.