MSSP, EDR, MDR or XDR: What’s The Difference + 5 Strategies for Choosing The Best Solution

The alphabet soup of cybersecurity can be confusing. With so many cybersecurity acronyms, it can be a challenge to understand what a technology does and whether it’s a good fit for your needs.  Distinguishing between MSSP, EDR, MDR, and XDR is one of the most confusing, even for the most seasoned security leader.

In this post, we will help you better understand each of the solutions and provide a criteria  for deciding which service is best for your company..

In this article, you will discover:

  • What are the main differences between MSSP, EDR, MDR, and XDR solutions
  • The benefits and gaps of each of these solutions
  • 5 recommendations for choosing the right monitoring and response solution for your company

Managed Security Services Providers (MSSP)

Managed Security Services Providers is a service that acts mainly in the prevention, monitoring, and detection of threats. MSSP uses systems to monitor all the company's structure and alert whenever there is any potential risk.

 

Here are some tools that MSSPs usually include:

  • 24/7 monitoring and management service
  • Assessment of security systems
  • Response to events
  • Exposure Assessments

These systems relieve internal teams and assume responsibility for continuous monitoring.

A survey by the consultancy IDC pointed out the top five reasons an organization turns to a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP):

  1. Need to protect against advanced security threats
  2. Need for 24/7 support
  3. Improve performance and availability
  4. Access to new emerging security technologies
  5. Need to maintain compliance regulations

However, while MSSP services are very good at detecting security alerts on a network, they often don’t include threat response. Therefore, it is important to understand the supplier's offer well before closing the deal. There are different offers on the market, with different capabilities and competencies, which can even be customized to your company's needs.

 

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) is a specific solution for managing risks related to endpoints. With the rise of remote work, the number of endpoints has exploded, as have their complexity and specifications. 

This has exponentially increased the number of cybersecurity threats. In fact, 51% of IT professionals consider their organizations ineffective at surfing threats because their endpoint security solutions are not effective at detecting advanced attacks.  

In this way, traditional security platforms are often unable to meet the demand of some companies.

The main functions of EDR include:

  • Continuously collect and analyze endpoint activity that can bring threats to the enterprise

  • Find patterns in endpoint behavior and monitor if there is a change

  • Offer complete and comprehensive information on all endpoint branches in a single dashboard

  • Notify the responsible team whenever there is a risk 

  • When programmed to do so, respond automatically to isolate a detected threat

You can learn more about Endpoint Security in this blog.

However, the use of EDR is very specific and its use alone does not provide complete coverage for companies with complex network structures.

 

Managed Detection and Response (MDR)

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) platforms monitor a company's cybersecurity across its various network layers through a combination of technologies.

The main benefit of MDR systems is in the assessment of incidents and in the remote and fast response to contain the threat and reduce the risks for the company. The main difference between MSSP and MDR systems is that in addition to detecting, they can also respond to threats or instruct your cybersecurity team on the best way to react to the attack.

Different MDR systems usually respond to attacks using different approaches as well as technology. Some more advanced solutions have the potential to remediate attacks and still act in the gaps that allowed the attack, preventing future threats using the same vulnerability.

According to IDC, the core technologies and tools used in MDR services include advanced detection and analytics techniques such as:

  • Machine learning

  • Behavior analytics

  • Big data analytics

  • NetFlow analysis

  • Threat intelligence

  • Ongoing threat hunting to identify known and unknown threats

  • Automated scripts and playbooks

 

All these matters because it impacts the quality of notifications the security team will receive. Another IDC survey points out that three-quarters of security analysts suffer from the Fear of missing incidents (FOMI). This is due to the high number of notifications and false positives. As a result, research shows 28% of alerts are ignored.

 

Extended Detection and Response (XDR)

Extended Detection and Response (XDR) is the most holistic approach of all solutions. Its purpose is to collect, correlate and analyze data in different security layers, for example, endpoints, emails, servers, and networks. This solution natively integrates multiple security products into a cohesive security operations system that unifies all licensed components.

Although the performance of XDR systems is broad, its analyzes are centralized and generally offer information in a single dashboard, which facilitates the user experience.

To make all the necessary correlations, XDR platforms make use of artificial intelligence, automation, and machine learning. As a result, they offer multiple alerts and warnings with context so that the security team can act intelligently on threats.

Based on data from the company itself and also from external systems, XDR analyzes alerts and provides the team with complete information and solutions to combat threats. Yet it is not primarily focused on responding to cyberattacks.

 

5 Recommendations For Choosing The Right Solution For Your Company

Faced with so many options, how do you choose the right solution for your company?
Here are 5 key considerations that must be taken into account:

 

1. Cybersecurity Budget


Company budget is fundamental to understanding how much can be invested in cybersecurity. It is important to remember that the most effective solutions are not necessarily the most expensive. There are great value end-to-end solutions like SilverSky and Haven.

 

2. Your Current Tools And Technology Stack


When procuring a new solution, it is important to consider the tools and technologies your company already has. The company needs to have complete clarity of what its current systems are and are not capable of doing, in order to identify the gaps it needs to fill. The new solution must be compatible, and able to integrate and work together with the systems that the company already uses.

 

3. Request A Demo


Before purchasing a new solution, give your end users a demo so they can experience the platform firsthand. Most vendors provide this and it must be done so that your team is sure that the solution will be simple to use and implement.

 

4. Read Testimonials From Other Companies


Even if you don't have a direct indication of the quality of a cybersecurity platform, a great way to do this is to check what customers say about its usability. Read testimonials, evaluate case studies, and, if you can talk to companies that already use the platform. Consider companies that face similar challenges to yours and use that as a basis for making your decision.

 

5. Consider Future Plans For Your Business


Purchasing a tool often means signing a long-term commitment with a supplier. The choice of a provider must also take into account the company's growth plans. SaaS cybersecurity solutions allow you to increase your requirements as you grow.

 

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Conclusion

There are several options for managed detection and response cybersecurity solutions. Before purchasing the service, the company needs to understand the differences between each of them and what their needs are to protect the company.

This article has highlighted the main features and differences between MSSP, MDR, EDR, and XDR solutions. Each one has its advantages and is suitable for a company at a different stage of cybersecurity evolution.

If you’re unsure which is the ideal solution to defend your business in the complex threats that exist today, seek specialized help. CyVent experts are on hand to assist in the diagnosis, strategy, and implementation of a cybersecurity solution for your business.

 

If you want more information, book a discovery call at  https://www.cyvent.com/assess-company-cyber-threats/-0

 

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