Last updated at Thu, 16 May 2024 17:47:31 GMT

Organizations looking to address the skills gap and bring greater efficiency as their business grows and their attack surface sprawls are turning to MDR providers at an accelerated pace. We’ve seen predictions from top analyst firms signaling the rapid rate of adoption of an MDR provider by 2025.

This isn’t just a shift to more organizations using MDR providers — teams are asking their MDRs to do more. More scope, more response, and more coaching along the way.

But with added complexity, identifying the right MDR provider can be harder than ever. In this blog, we’ll explore the top service trends of the most effective MDR providers in the space, and what you should look for to bring increased value to your SOC.

Trend 1: Approach service like a partnership

No one knows your environment, your employees, and your business practices like you do. MDR providers who promote a hands-off service delivery are leaving a lot of critical components on the table.

An effective MDR provider should work as an extension of your team, with a unique understanding of your specific environment and who feel accountable for your security outcomes.

One size fits all isn’t an approach that’s scalable over time. A security team that will help you grow, will customize your service, and help guide you to your organization's specific goals is an essential choice.

Trend 2: Don’t stop when a breach is “too large” to be covered

The goal of any good MDR is to keep organizations safe from a breach. But breaches are so frequent and ominous, they’re now referred to as inevitable. So what happens when the worst happens, and there’s an active breach in your environment?

Many MDR providers in the space will say it’s time to call in an IR Consulting firm (or pay for theirs) to take over the investigation and breach response. Anyone else hearing the unwelcome chime of a 90s cash register?

The “R” in MDR is important. How will a provider actually respond if there is an active breach? Will they ask for more money to continue their investigation as breach response? Will they pawn you off to someone else? Or will they continue to investigate, providing deep forensic analysis to eradicate the attacker and mitigate data loss or stop ransomware as part of your existing service? We know what we’d choose.

Trend 3: Build on next-gen technology that allows users full access

Many MDR providers are built on top of technology. Some monitor the technology you bring to them, while others use a 3rd party tooling set that isn’t accessible to the end user.

When it comes to your organization's security posture, accessing the technology isn’t just a nice to have. Having transparency into your MDRs operations, and the ability to truly use the tech — building reports, searching logs, customization, and the ability to perform investigations — is an incredibly valuable feature.

Partners who use this model not only bring visibility and access to their customers, they allow their customers to grow their program with their service. Sure, you should be catching attacker behavior in your environment, but the partners who can help build resilience over time, and give access to the technology that they can take over should they want to build their program in-house, becomes another long-term asset.

Trend 4: Bring visibility into the internal and external attack surface

Knowing where your organization is vulnerable is imperative to keeping it secure. The more proactive you can be, the less you’ll have to respond to, shrinking your attack surface and keeping your team ready to react to the most critical attacker signals.

Including exposure management, by way of vulnerability risk management (VRM) or similar tool sets, provides your team the ability to harden defenses and identify the attacker signals early to prevent a breach before it can execute.

MDR that’s able to strengthen your security posture by staying ahead of emerging threats is going to be the most effective at helping to build your security resilience through its service delivery.

Trend 5: Deliver more ROI through consolidation of security tools

MDR providers who deliver expertise in a multitude of security areas will always be a value driver. All provide D&R capabilities and some provide D&R technology. Others include these components alongside technology and capabilities that traditionally lie outside of the D&R space.

It’s important to evaluate MDRs on the primary use cases they’re able to address within your specific environment. Do you need the ability to automate across security tools and functions? It’d be great if they could include a SOAR solution. Do you want to understand your vulnerability and risk posture across your environment and better arm your D&R program? Having a VRM program as a component of their MDR service becomes a differentiator. Do you want to have the ability to perform forensic hunts and investigations from within the platform? Including a DFIR toolset would tick the box.

When a provider can deliver across your organization's needs with a connected solution layered with high caliber expertise, the value extends beyond the traditional scope of an MDR solution.