With cyber skills gaps still challenging to plug, managed detection and response (MDR) is a top cybersecurity priority for CISOs (as revealed in our 2023 survey). This article looks closer at the importance of MDR in today’s threat environment and outlines why these services are becoming must-haves for companies looking to strengthen their cyber defenses.
Cyber threats continue to get more complex, which makes it difficult for understaffed and under-resourced in-house security teams to provide adequate protection. A case-in-point was the MOVEit supply chain breach in June 2023 that saw companies like the BBC having data stolen through a breach of Zellis, a payroll software provider.
But access to the BBC’s data didn’t even come from a vulnerability in Zellis—the initial flaw was in the MOVEit file transfer app. Threat actors continue to develop innovative and unexpected paths to achieving their nefarious objectives, and the type of continuous monitoring provided by MDR services can help spot these attacks before it’s too late. MDR services often use advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to detect and respond to known and unknown threats.
Aside from sophistication, the raw numbers highlight the difficulty of relying on in-house teams to fend off attacks. Cyberattacks increased by 20% in 2023. The democratization of generative language models like ChatGPT likely contributed to this growth by allowing less skilled hackers to write malicious scripts and believable phishing emails.
Cyber insurance and MDR align together in the sense that they are both about risk reduction. Insurance offsets your cyber risks to an insurance provider, which bears the burden of any financial losses and legal consequences arising from cyberattacks in exchange for premium payments. The 24/7 monitoring in MDR services enables rapid response to attacks and minimizes the risk of compromise.
The safety net provided by cyber insurance is handy for SMBs that lack sufficient in-house resources to cope with cyber threats. These businesses are attractive targets for cybercriminals. However, the insurance safety net is getting harder to access if SMBs don’t have an MDR provider to plug any shortfalls in their security measures. In the future, more insurance providers will likely demand MDR to obtain policies where companies can’t demonstrate sufficient in-house resources to cope with cyberattacks.
Different industries come with their own cyber challenges and nuances that MDR providers can assist with. Leveraging a deep understanding of specific industry technologies and cyber trends, security experts at MDR companies can tailor your defenses. For instance, an MDR service that has worked with financial institutions would be well-versed in the types of cyberattacks these organizations often face, such as SWIFT attacks or ATM malware.
There are also unique regulatory requirements to consider. For example, healthcare organizations must comply with HIPAA regulations, which require protecting patient data. An MDR service can provide specialized knowledge and processes to meet industry-specific regulatory needs.
Organizations ‘ digital footprints have vastly expanded with the proliferation of IoT devices, work-from-home arrangements, mobile platforms, and cloud services. Stopping attacks in the cloud, on the network and on your endpoints is more challenging than ever with such an expanded attack surface. Failing to spot one public-facing area of weakness, such as an open cloud storage bucket, can have catastrophic consequences.
MDR services provide 24/7 monitoring of all assets, which is crucial since cyber threats can hit your company anytime. This increasingly includes monitoring not only on-premise environments, but also remote workers’ devices, cloud platforms and IoT devices. MDR providers use advanced tools and technologies to detect any anomalous activity or potential threats by identifying patterns or anomalies that could signify an attack, even in the most diverse IT environments.
Efficient incident response is crucial in modern threat environments. By the time sensitive data has been accessed or admin accounts compromised, it’s usually too late to limit the damage from an attack. Mitigating damage is something that companies still struggle with, given IBM’s finding that it takes companies 277 days to identify and contain a data breach.
Upon identifying a threat, MDR services can respond immediately to contain and mitigate it. This is essential, as the speed of response can often determine the extent of the damage caused by a cyberattack. Depending on the particular MDR service, this damage limitation could involve isolating affected systems, validating incidents to reduce false positives, blocking malicious IP addresses or taking other actions to neutralize threats. Furthermore, in industries where uptime is business-critical, like e-commerce or manufacturing, efficient incident response limits disruption and associated financial losses.
Don’t overlook the importance of MDR in today’s threat environment. Only the largest enterprises typically have the in-house expertise to cope with cyberattacks.
Nuspire’s managed detection and response services can increase the speed at which you identify and contain cyber threats. We’ll boost cybersecurity efficiency with 24/7 monitoring, customized response runbooks, preconfigured alert frameworks, and more.