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 areas, even for the most seasoned security leader.

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

In this article, you will discover:

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

Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP)

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

Here are some tools and services 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 a MDR system is in the assessment of incidents and in the remote and fast response to contain the threat and reduce the risks for the company. 

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 of these techniques are important because they impact the quality of the notifications the security team will receive. 


Looking for the best Managed Detection and Response (MDR) solution for your company? In this article, we’ve curated the five best MDR solutions along with their key features, pros, and cons.


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, their analytics are centralized and generally offer information in a single dashboard, which improves 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. 


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 Your Future Business Plans 

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.





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. 

If you’re unsure which is the ideal solution to protect your business against 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