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| 5 minutes read

Why a Right-Sized MDR Solution May Be Better Than One-Size-Fits-All

When it comes to providing Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solutions for businesses, the idea of one size fits all is being replaced by the concept of right-sizing. A one-size-fits-all option is a preconfigured security monitoring system that offers coverage with little customization. This type of solution typically includes “out of the box” rules and settings that instantly provide visibility and alerting capabilities but have limited flexibility. While it may be suitable for small organizations or companies with basic security needs, middle market and larger companies often require customization to achieve optimal protection.

When initially evaluating MDR providers, it’s good to ask yourself a few “big picture” questions:

  • Do we require tailored solutions to meet unique security or compliance requirements?
  • Do we anticipate the need to scale up or scale down to accommodate changing requirements over time?
  • Do we require granular control over which security features are enabled and how they are configured?
  • Do we need greater visibility into system processes and activity to detect issues early and respond quickly?

If you answer “no” to the questions above, a preconfigured security monitoring system will likely meet your needs. However, if you answered “yes” to any or all of the above, you need to identify what types of customizations you require and then ask your potential MDR provider if they can meet your unique needs for customization.

Depending on your industry, you may need to customize certain aspects of your MDR solution to ensure that you meet all compliance and regulatory guidelines. For example, businesses operating in the healthcare sector may need to enable additional security measures that are specifically designed to protect patient data. Similarly, organizations subject to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) may need a more robust approach to monitoring network activity to detect malicious activity. Compliance with regulatory requirements adds an extra layer of complexity when selecting an MDR solution, so it is essential to choose a partner that can provide customizable options to ensure complete regulatory compliance.

Are you concerned about specific metrics or advanced compromised account detection?

If so, a tailored solution gives you control over what metrics are monitored and tracked providing enhanced visibility into system processes and activity, allowing for the real-time detection of sophisticated cyber attacks such as phishing attempts and account takeovers—allowing your team to respond quickly to potential cybersecurity threats or taking proactive steps to strengthen overall security posture.

MDR metrics can offer an efficient way to measure, demonstrate, and report on the effectiveness of your company’s cybersecurity posture. The customization of these metrics is often necessary to accurately reflect the security goals of your particular business. Commonly customized MDR metrics include the number of alerts generated, the severity of identified threats, response times for the Security Operations Center (SOC) analysts, false positive rates, suspicious connections identified, security incidents mitigated, etc. Additionally, more advanced customizations may be adopted depending on the company’s industry, size, regional requirements, and other factors.

When it comes to customizing MDR fraud detection tools, there are choices available depending on your security goals. One option is to customize an existing set of compromised account detection algorithms by increasing their sensitivity or accuracy levels. This can help your company detect more sophisticated threats that may have been overlooked by generic algorithms. Additionally, you can develop your own custom algorithms tailored specifically for your environment, including any unique regulations or compliance requirements you may have.

Another way your company can customize for advanced intrusion detection is through machine learning capabilities. Machine learning allows MDR solutions to continually learn from events taking place in a network or system, enabling them to identify new types of threats more quickly and accurately. For example, if your company has experienced a certain type of attack before, machine learning can be leveraged to create rules that identify similar attacks as soon as they occur so they can be addressed quickly and efficiently.

Finally, MDR solutions can also be customized with automation capabilities that enable them to automatically respond to certain types of security alerts with pre-defined actions or take other proactive measures such as blocking suspicious traffic or isolating networks from potential attacks. Automation also helps reduce human error.

Make sure you ask your potential MDR provider how they can integrate with your operations

If you already have security monitoring tools in place and are looking to up your game, it is crucial to find an MDR solution that can integrate with your existing investment. This ensures that the new solution can adapt to your company’s specific needs, improving visibility and providing additional protection against threats. By integrating your MDR tools, you can reduce the time spent on manual processes, allowing you to be more proactive in protecting your systems.

In addition, ask your potential MDR provider how they can integrate with your internal team and existing processes to provide real-time escalations and notifications of potential threats, as well as rapid response capabilities. This is essential because it helps ensure that any potential threats are identified and addressed quickly and effectively.

MDR providers typically integrate into an organization’s operations in a few ways, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Dedicated instant message channels: Maintaining an “always-on” instant messaging channel in Slack or Microsoft Teams can be an excellent way to stay connected
  • Incident response “rules of engagement” and defined escalation triggers: Make sure your MDR provider is appropriately empowered to take immediate action in response to a serious threat detected after hours. The ability to immediately quarantine an infected machine or ban a malicious process from executing can make the difference between a near-miss and a full-blown data breach.
  • Emergency communication planning: You should have an agreed upon method for communicating securely in the event that your network suffers a disruption. Updated call trees and escalation paths should be maintained at all times.
  • Incident response services: Incident response is the process of identification, containment, eradication, and recovery from a security incident. This can help your company quickly and effectively respond to threats.

Is a right-sized MDR solution worth it?

Investing in a customized MDR solution may seem expensive up-front, but it can save you money in the long run. With a tailored solution, you are buying exactly what you need, no more, no less.

If you are looking for more information on how to choose the right MDR provider to meet your company’s unique needs, download our MDR eBook, “Ten Essential Questions to Ask When Evaluating MDR Services.”

© Copyright 2023. The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and not necessarily the views of Ankura Consulting Group, LLC., its management, its subsidiaries, its affiliates, or its other professionals. Ankura is not a law firm and cannot provide legal advice.


article, cyber response, cybersecurity & data privacy, data privacy & cyber risk, content-team

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