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Worried about cyber threats? Here are 3 ways MDR can help prevent data breaches

Jun 13, 2020

Read part 2: Containing and recovering from cyberattacks: How MDR can prevent you from becoming tonight’s top story

As technology continues to saturate our daily lives — both personally and professionally — businesses around the world are seeing a rise in cyberattacks. And just as technology is getting more sophisticated, so are the attackers.

Having the capability to detect cyberthreats and respond to them before they turn into breaches can be the difference between business life and death — a shocking 60% of small businesses fold within six months of experiencing a data breach.

Fortunately, cybersecurity has pivoted to meet the needs of today’s businesses with a solution called managed detection and response (MDR).

What is MDR?

MDR is a next-generation cybersecurity solution that uses technology and human expertise to provide threat detection and analytics, global threat intelligence, incident mitigation and collaborative breach response — all on a 24/7 basis.

At its core, MDR is a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation, with human intelligence as a backup. This allows businesses to detect threats in real-time, validate their seriousness and respond before a data breach can even happen.

There are two sides to MDR: detection and response. Today, we’re going to dive into the detection side of things. Here are three ways MDR helps prevent a data breach:

1. Threat anticipation

After attackers experience initial success with a cyberattack, they typically repeat that attack against other targets across different industries and geographies.

To anticipate potential threats, MDR gathers data and intelligence on threats and attacks worldwide. This helps your organization understand whether you could be a potential target. MDR also helps you know how to take action to protect your business before such an attack can be attempted.

2. Threat hunting

MDR doesn’t just gather intelligence on attacks that may threaten your business. It also uses data science models and machine-learning algorithms to detect suspicious activities in your environment. In other words, it proactively hunts for hidden threats.

At the other end of the technology are humans who analyze the data found in order to identify threats that may have gone undetected by your business’s other security controls.

Altogether, threat hunting gives you comprehensive coverage by encompassing four scenarios of security analytics:

  • Managed endpoint threat analytics
  • Managed user behavior analytics
  • Managed network threat analytics
  • Managed application threat analytics

3. Security monitoring

What about detecting threats in real time? MDR has you covered there, too. First it collects and analyzes your logs and security events. Then, using automated rules, it detects known attacks and takes action in real time.

A good MDR solution will provide your business with 24/7 alerts, log management and compliance-ready reporting. It will also monitor both hybrid and cloud infrastructure, enabling you to protect your cloud-based platforms such as Microsoft Office 365 and Amazon Web Services.

Next-gen cybersecurity for small business

Your traditional IT services and internal IT support team still have an important role to play at your organization, but when it comes to security, the rising number of attacks show that they may no longer be enough on their own to protect your business — whether you’re small or large.

Yet for many organizations, it’s not feasible to build the next-generation capabilities MDR delivers. It’s a huge hassle to have to worry about the complexity and cost of building MDR in house, especially considering it’s not easy to find and hire security experts these days.

That’s why it’s a better option to use a third-party that specializes in MDR. They can augment your existing security with all the features above — plus the response features that we’ll dive into in part 2  — and improve your response time, mitigate your risks and ultimately give you the maximum return on your investment.

Next-gen cybersecurity doesn’t mean sky-high costs. It’s not out of reach of your organization. Click here to learn more about managed detection and response, including the opportunity to view a free demo of what it looks like in action. And don’t forget to read part 2 of this series on how MDR’s response capabilities help contain, eradicate and recover from incidents.


Jeff Olejnik
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Robert D. Cedergren, CPA, CGMA, CITP, CISM, CISA, CGEIT
Partner In Charge, Risk Advisory Services
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