MDR Provider Checklist: A Useful Guideby@mariepettit22
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MDR Provider Checklist: A Useful Guide

by PJ BradleyMarch 9th, 2024
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Managed detection and response (MDR) solutions are useful tools for organizations that cannot or don’t want to keep an extensive in-house team staffed. There are many valid use cases for MDR solutions, making for a broad appeal to many organizations with different needs.
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Managed detection and response (MDR) solutions are useful tools for organizations that cannot or don’t want to keep an extensive in-house team staffed. Whether they lack the expertise and other resources or simply prefer the experience of the as-a-service model, many organizations can benefit from an MDR solution if it is the right one.

In order to implement MDR smoothly and ensure its efficacy, it is important to assess and research before investing in any solutions. The following steps will walk you through the key considerations and practices when searching for the right MDR solution provider for your organization.

Determining if MDR Is Right for You

Before considering what kind of MDR solution and which provider to choose, you must determine whether MDR is a good fit for your organization. There are many valid use cases for MDR solutions, making for a broad appeal to many organizations with different needs.

Some organizations are smaller or otherwise restricted in their ability to build a security team. Companies with small or nonexistent security and IT teams can take advantage of MDR to fill in the gaps without the need to attract and onboard many skilled employees.

MDR can also help organizations struggling with digital transformation processes and challenges. Moving storage and operations to the cloud can interfere with endpoint visibility, and MDR can help organizations restore that visibility.

Companies whose cybersecurity posture is currently less than ideal can also benefit from the security expertise MDR provides. With help from experts, they can build a security strategy that is proactive and robust.

However, if you have a mature cybersecurity program in place already or if your security environment is growing in complexity, you may need a more sophisticated solution than an MDR can provide.

Familiarizing Yourself With the Differences in MDR Types

If you have decided that MDR is the right move for your organization, the next step is to learn about the different forms that MDR can take. Providers are diverse in their approaches to MDR, and some may be a better fit than others for certain companies.

Some of the common variables in MDR approaches are:

·Detection Focus vs. Full Detection, Investigation, and Response Support: Some MDR providers are focused primarily on detecting potential security incidents, while others will include additional steps in the security process, such as incident response, threat hunting, and remediation assistance.

· Level of Configuration: Different providers will have different abilities regarding their services to meet each customer’s particular needs, making for a more or less fine-tuned security strategy.

· Reporting and Analytics: The reporting and analytics provided to customers might be more or less detailed, depending on the provider. “Basic metrics” will cover resolved incidents, but more detailed reporting might include things like detection coverage and average resolution times, enabling customers to gain visibility into their security posture.

· Proactive Threat Hunting: Some solutions will employ more proactive threat detection and incident response methods than others. All MDR solutions offer threat detection and incident response but differ in how they approach threats and threat hunting.

· Bring-Your-Own (Hybrid) vs. Fully Vendor-Supplied Stacks: There are a number of different technologies and tools that MDR can employ, and providers will vary in how they operate and integrate those tools. Some are solutions that integrate with products already in use, while others work independently.

· Cloud Solutions: Some MDR services are delivered through a cloud platform that can provide central management of the features, including log management and orchestration.

· Managed XDR: These are solutions that go beyond endpoint detection and response and cover other areas such as email, cloud services, and industrial control systems.

· Service Level Agreements: Providers may differ in their service level agreements (SLAs), offering different levels and kinds of support. An SLA should stipulate things like response times and the vendor’s commitment to customer support.

Vetting Providers

Choosing the right MDR provider requires looking into potential vendors beyond just the services they offer. It is also important to ensure that the vendor you choose is esteemed in the industry and well-reviewed by its current customers. This will give you realistic insight into the kind of service you can expect, which affects your ability to build a lasting relationship with the vendor.

In order to obtain visibility into the performance of the solutions you are considering, some independent research institutions like Gartner put together reports and resources on the state of the industry, the efficacy of different tools, and the dependability of the solutions.

Selecting the right provider for your organization and its needs doesn’t need to be a daunting task, but it is an important process that requires care and attention.

It is vital to find a vendor that meets the particular needs of your organization regarding tools offered, services provided, configurability, and other variables.


With any security solution, it is essential to understand your needs and research tools and vendors before investing in implementation. This is especially true of MDR solutions, which have many variables and can differ significantly from vendor to vendor.

The nature of MDR necessitates an in-depth examination of your organization’s needs and wants in a solution, the industry standards to expect, and the nuances of what each vendor has to offer.