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

Jun 15, 2020

Read part 1: Worried about cyber threats? Here are 3 ways MDR can help prevent data breaches

Cybersecurity is often summed up as: It’s no longer a question of “if.” It’s a question of “when.” This may seem like an overused cliche, but it is truer today than ever before.

Yet what many companies struggle with is the fact that no cybersecurity solution on earth is 100% fool-proof. It’s impossible to guarantee the prevention of an attack or breach.

What this means is that when something does get through, you want your data breach response capabilities to be as equally robust as your detection and prevention capabilities. By catching cyberattacks in the act, you can help limit the damage done and prevent your business from becoming tonight’s top story. After all, your reputation is critical to your future growth and success. Your customers want to know their data is safe in your hands.

So, when it comes to responding to an incident, your main focus should be on containing, eradicating and recovering from the threat. And that’s where managed detection and response (MDR) comes in. In part 1 of this series, we covered the three ways MDR’s detection capabilities can help prevent a data breach. Now we’re going to cover how MDR uses skilled analysts, automation and artificial intelligence (AI) to respond to threats and help you get back to business quickly.

1. Incident analysis

The combination of forensic automation and skilled analysts is the key to investigating threats to your organization. MDR uses automation to identify an attack chain, the threat actors and the potential impact to your organization. Then it delivers detailed incident mitigation steps.

By identifying potential indicators of compromise (e.g., login attempts from foreign countries, data extracted to DropBox accounts, email forwarding rules changed to send messages outside the organization), you are able to investigate the event and take action proactively if the activity was deemed malicious.

2. Auto containment

One of the best features of MDR is its auto containment abilities. As soon as the AI detects a threat (such as ransomware), it can automatically isolate and contain the infected device to stop it from spreading. Your internal security team doesn’t have to worry about constant vigilance on their part and are able to focus on other priorities, knowing MDR is the first line of defense.

3. Incident response

A critical part of a quality MDR solution is its incident response capabilities. They should be rapid, coordinated and effective. Incident responders should be able to not only investigate an attack but also contain the impact and restore your systems (including your data) to a protected state.

Without MDR, the average time a company takes to detect a data breach is over 200 days. But immediate action is key, and MDR’s detection and analysis capabilities cut this time down to hours or even minutes.

Don’t forget about compliance

An added benefit of MDR is the ability to simplify your compliance. A high-quality MDR solution lets you generate customizable reports to show compliance with regulatory requirements like FFIEC, CCMC, PCI, HIPAA and NYDFS. It also provides the security event monitoring, event log monitoring and retention, and automated audit trails necessary to meet regulations.

We mentioned in part 1 that MDR through a third party is much more cost-effective than building the capabilities in house. Compliance is another value-add to going the third-party route.

The overarching value of MDR

When you have a third-party organization overseeing your MDR, you gain a 24/7 team of specialists and technology that work together to monitor your organization and its security, stay informed of cyber issues and events around the world, and respond in rapid fashion when there is an incident.

Without MDR, a significant amount of your organization’s time and resources are needed to investigate threats or incidents and determine what actions to take. As we mentioned above, it already takes over 200 days just to detect a breach. If your investigation into that breach takes days and even weeks, what impact does this delayed response have on your organization? The reality is, it further puts your reputation and financial security at risk.

MDR isn’t just the next thing in cybersecurity. It’s an essential solution in a world where the number of cyberattacks continues to rise. Organizations must start looking at active, next-level cybersecurity that provides true 24/7 protection.

Wipfli’s MDR solution is scalable, affordable and state-of-the-art. Click here to learn more, or watch the MDR video below:


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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