Technical Expertise

January 15, 2021   •   8 minute read

Managed Detection & Response, Simplified

Studies suggest hackers attack every 39 seconds. Without 24/7 monitoring, your business could fall victim to an attack and suffer costly consequences before even detecting the intrusion.

Managed detection and response (MDR) encompasses an integrated package of services designed to help businesses protect their data against security threats and breaches. These outsourced services offer some of the most advanced options on the market, providing round-the-clock vigilance through constant monitoring of security telemetry enhanced with threat intelligence, analytics, and human expertise.  

While MDR services are among the most robust cybersecurity solutions, they are not the only. Many confuse MDR with a managed security services provider (MSSP), but the former is far more thorough than the latter. An additional term, extended detection and response (XDR), has also come into vogue. This approach applies to MDR providers who extend their capabilities to correlate and track threats via multiple datapoints such as endpoints, networks, and clouds. 

The following explainer breaks down what sets an MDR and MSSP apart, and outlines what to look for in an MDR service.  


When seeking outside cybersecurity help, organizations often choose between MDR and MSSP services. Some similarities exist between the two, but they vary in several key areas, including expertise, technology, and personal touch. 

These two service offerings have very different focuses. MDR services focus on monitoring security data to identify attacks and threats while MSSP services focus on implementation, configuration, and maintenance of infrastructure, including security components such as firewalls and antivirus software, but do not focus much on real-time active security monitoring.  

Services Typically Offered




Managing Firewalls


Patch Management


24/7 Monitoring & Response


Team of Experts for Assistance

Deception Technology


Managed Threat Hunting


Intelligence-Based Detection, Triage & Investigation of Threats


Access to Existing Threat Intelligence & Analysis


Benefits of Managed Detection & Response (MDR)

  • Security-Focused Monitoring
    MDR services provide round-the-clock monitoring of events so potential intrusions don’t go unnoticed. Comprehensive MDR services monitor your network, cloud, and endpoints continuously for known and unknown threats. When detected, MDR services analyze, validate, contain, and even remediate these threats.
  • Access to Deep Security Expertise
    Since few candidates have a broad knowledge of cybersecurity, competing for top prospects is difficult for many organizations. MDR services give you access to expert analysts without the need to recruit and hire them, saving time, effort, and money. 
  • Proactive Threat Hunting
    While some cybersecurity services merely respond to detected threats, MDR services actively hunt for them. Analysts search for things that cybersecurity tools might otherwise miss, to find advanced threats before they wreak havoc on your system.   
  • High-Level Investigation
    Anomalies may occur on your system for any number of reasons. MDRs investigate these to determine whether they are the result of true threats, and if so, what actions are necessary to resolve them. 
  • Improved Cybersecurity Metrics
    MDRs can help your organization improve some of its most important metrics, including cost per incident, frequency, and response time. 

What to Look for in a Provider

  • Technology
    The best MDR services support a comprehensive technology stack with advanced tools to prevent, detect, and respond to threats. Understanding the provider’s technological resources can give a clearer idea of their caliber and capabilities.
  • Visibility
    Transparency is crucial to cybersecurity. Before you can contain a threat, you must be able to find it. Quality MDRs offer full visibility into your network, endpoints, and clouds to detect a wide range of potential threats.
  • Scale
    When assessing an MDR, it is important to understand how their operations scale to stay vigilant across their clients and shifts. Do they have a reliable Security Orchestration, Automation and Response (SOAR) platform organizing their data and activity so they can respond to threats quickly? 
  • Budget & Risk Alignment
    Just as organizations have varying degrees of cybersecurity risk, MDRs offer different levels of protection. While the most thorough services provide the highest degree of defense, they also carry the heftiest price tags. All organizations face risks, but some may not be significant enough to justify an MDR service. Many providers have multiple service levels to accommodate unique business needs and risks.
  • Containment Capabilities
    While MSSPs typically only detect threats, most full-serviced MDRs also have containment capabilities. Selecting a service that not only finds potential signs of attack but also takes steps to resolve the issue can cut short a threat actor’s access to your system, thereby minimizing the damage.
  • Flexibility
    A one-size-fits-all solution isn’t right for every business, so flexibility is often critical. The best MDR providers can adapt their services to meet your company’s needs, including taking different directions depending on the areas most important to your business, and processing threats at multiple priority levels.
  • Compatibility
    The best MDR for your business should be compatible with your existing technology. Changing your systems can be costly and time-consuming, so selecting an MDR that’s already capable of working with your infrastructure is essential.
  • Services
    MDRs typically offer a wider suite of services than MSSPs, but there is still a great deal of variety between providers. To decide which is best for your company, you should consider if they offer all the cybersecurity services your business demands. Some key offerings to look for include investigation, mitigation, containment, threat hunting, reporting and feedback loops, deception technology, and a U.S.-based security operations center (SOC).

    While virtually all MDRs offer continuous security monitoring, they may vary in their quality. Top-notch services are critical for rapid threat detection and containment, so you may also want to weigh the comprehensiveness of the MDR provider’s monitoring program. 

What Is XDR?

XDR is one of the latest buzzwords in the cybersecurity industry. This holistic method of detection and response looks across security layers for greater speed and efficiency.

  • Takes a proactive approach to detection and response. Similar to MDR, XDR is a growing term that applies to MDR companies that can integrate data across multiple verticals such as endpoints, networks, and clouds. 
  • Identifies stealthy and sophisticated attacks. Thanks to the breadth of their data, by correlating activity in different silos, XDRs can detect behaviors out of the norm to identify advanced attacks that may otherwise slip through the cracks.
  • Finds signs of attacks across your system. By monitoring data across multiple security layers, XDRs can typically detect the first signs of an attack to resolve incidents before they become breaches. 

Cybersafe Solutions Provides XDR Services

Cybersafe Solutions utilizes cutting-edge technology and expert analysts to oversee all angles of your cybersecurity environment. Industry terminology is constantly changing, so some may still perceive us as an MDR. However, our cross-layered detection and response solutions carefully analyze your network, cloud, and endpoints to find potential attacks in their earliest stages, qualifying Cybersafe Solutions as an XDR.  

Choose Cybersafe Solutions

Continuous Security Monitoring by Cybersafe Solutions makes it easy for your organization to stay on top of the latest threats. SOL XDR, our most comprehensive service option, monitors your network, cloud, and endpoints in real-time to detect and respond to potential threats around the clock. In addition to all our endpoint and network features, SOL XDR includes deception technology, health check reports, and a policy compliance review for thorough protection against cyberattacks.