What Is MDR (Managed Detection and Response)?

Cybersecurity | March 10, 2023

At least until 2030, experts predict that the managed detection and response market will grow by about 18% every year. In 2021, there was enough demand for MDR services to generate about $4.9 billion in revenue. However, at projected rates of growth, the market will more than quintuple in size by 2030!

Although that is an incredible growth in popularity, other people are still wondering, “What is MDR?” What could be so great about these services that is leading so many businesses to hire them?

Managed detection and response services can provide a long list of benefits. As you learn more about them, it will become clearer why so many companies are deciding that MDR services are a worthwhile investment. So what is MDR, and how can it strengthen your security?

Read on to learn all about the most vital things to understand about managed detection and response services!

What Is Managed Detection and Response?

MDR services help detect cyber threats and then respond to them. The word “managed” in MDR indicates that your MDR services can manage this process without requiring your involvement.

Of course, company leaders are welcome to follow the play-by-play updates as MDR services handle potential cyber threats. On the other hand, it may be more profitable for them to leave cybersecurity to their MDR services.

The first few times your MDR services manage a problem, you might feel stressed and want to monitor the situation while they resolve it. However, after several successful defenses, potential security issues may become less and less of a concern.

In many cases, company leaders find that hiring MDR services helps them stop worrying about cybersecurity and focus on helping their companies grow.

How Does Security as a Service Work?

But how do MDR services provide such powerful protections against cyber threats? They start by monitoring your devices and servers. This allows them to establish a baseline for normal company operations.

Then, they track any anomalies that arise in your system. When many companies detect anomalies with their tech system, they have trouble figuring out if they are flukes or attacks. This can lead to a few different problems.

If a company thinks they are dealing with a cyber threat when they are not, it can waste a lot of time trying to figure out what is going on. Company leaders might even discover further data points that convince them that they are dealing with a true threat.

All of this can stress out company leaders and employees and diminish productivity in the workplace. On the other hand, the consequences can be even worse if company leaders dismiss a true threat because they believe it is a false alarm.

When you are dealing with a cyber threat, the speed of your reaction can often make all of the difference between repelling the threat versus giving criminals the chance to establish back doors into your company network.

One of the biggest benefits of managed detection and response services is that they can help with this diagnostic problem. MDR services can classify anomalies as true threats or false alarms with an amazing degree of accuracy.

If an anomaly turns out to be nothing, your MDR services can help ease your concerns. If an anomaly turns out to be an attack, then they can prepare a powerful response to protect your company.

Prioritizing Threats

Before that, your MDR services can analyze your anomalies and rank them in order of concern. Many companies that manage their own cybersecurity do not take this essential step. Without proper prioritization of cyber threats, there is a very real chance that a company will be so busy putting out one fire that they neglect a much more dangerous one.

Criminals often use a shotgun approach to try to distract their targets while they focus on the one tactic that has the best chance of infiltrating a company. Once your MDR services have identified the most important threats, they will often employ automatic defenses.

In many cases, these automatic defenses will be enough to resolve a security concern. You may not even find out about potential threats until they have already been resolved. In other situations, your MDR services will need to follow up with a customized defense plan to protect you from a cyber threat.

The Increasing Prevalence of Cyber Threats

Some people wonder if all of this is really necessary. After all, many companies have never been the target of any serious cyber threat. If your company has never suffered a significant loss due to cybercrime, it might seem like you do not need extra protection to stay safe.

There is some truth to this analysis, but it is rapidly becoming out of date. In the past, many companies never experienced cyber threats because cybercrime was not that common. However, it is now clear that cybercrime is becoming more common.

On top of that, the most common types of cybercrime are changing. Cybercriminals are now focusing on extracting money from victims more than anything else. That means that businesses are at the top of their list of potential targets.

However, cybercriminals are getting bolder and targeting more targets. Even hospitals and government institutions have suffered as a result of ransomware and other cyber attacks. Individuals are also more vulnerable because cybercriminals can so easily target huge numbers of victims at the same time.

In the past, it was easy to avoid being targeted as long as you were not an especially attractive target for criminals. However, this strategy may not work much longer. But why are cyber attacks on the rise?

The Cause of Growing Cybercrime

One big reason is that technology is progressing and making it easier to engage in cyber threats.

Most people are used to thinking of cybercriminals as people with amazing technical expertise. Although that was true in the past, the world of cybercrime is evolving fast.

New advances in technology are making it so that almost anyone can engage in cyber threats even if they do not know much about computers. Not only that, but some of the most recent advances in technology have clear applications for future cybercrime.

Although we have not yet seen much use of AI tools for cyber threats, some experts consider that it is only a matter of time until we do.


One of the most common kinds of cybercrime is ransomware. Criminals spread ransomware all over the internet and target specific companies and victims that they hope will be vulnerable to it.

Ransomware programs work their way into your servers and devices. Then, they locate your essential data.

They first make a copy of that data and send it somewhere else. Then, they delete all of your essential files from your servers.

At that point, they often deliver a message demanding a ransom. With that done, they will often focus on strengthening their foothold in your system.

If companies refuse to pay these ransoms, then they may never see their essential files again. When a company falls prey to ransomware, it may be incapable of operating without its files. These days, our businesses are more dependent than ever on the data we store on our servers.

Of course, every time a business agrees to pay a ransom, it only makes it more likely that more criminals will dabble in ransomware. All of this helps show why it is now more important than ever before for businesses to invest in powerful cybersecurity. That is where managed detection and response services can come in handy.

MDR Deters Attacks

As online criminal activity becomes more common, it is important to have multiple lines of defense to help protect your company. If your company is targeted by criminals, then your MDR services will help you repel attacks. However, one of the fantastic things about having extra protection is that you do not always need to use it.

As we have discussed, cybercriminals are now focusing on extracting money from targets. That gives them the incentive to target the most vulnerable victims they can find. If your company invests in MDR protections, criminals may decide it is not worth even targeting it.

In fact, criminals may even use new technology to help them avoid wasting time on protected targets. AI tools make it easy to run analyses on long lists of potential victims.

It may soon be common practice for cybercriminals to ask AI tools to identify the best targets for their attacks. If that happens, AI tools will probably leave companies with MDR protections off the list of easy victims.

Enjoy the Safety of Quality Cybersecurity Services

On the other hand, if you are targeted, anyway, your MDR services can help you bounce back even stronger. They can repel attacks and then analyze how far cybercriminals were able to penetrate into your system.

That can help them identify your security weak points and strengthen them. In the long run, that can help your defenses become stronger over time.

Once your MDR services finish protecting you, they will prepare reports for each attempted cyber attack. Your company can analyze and learn from these reports so that it can improve its security practices. This can also help your company stay familiar with the latest techniques that cybercriminals are using.

Find the Right MDR Services for You

Considering how fast the MDR market is exploding, there are a lot of different services for companies to choose between. If you have never hired MDR services before, it can be difficult to know how to find the right one to protect your company.

On the other hand, the process of choosing MDR services can be easier if you know someone who has worked with MDR services in the past. Consider reaching out to your business contacts and asking for any advice they can offer about finding MDR services.

As you speak with people about which MDR service might be the right choice for your company, share with them exactly what you are looking for. The better they understand what your company needs, the easier it will be for them to customize their recommendations to fit your unique preferences.

You may still end up with many serious candidates for your MDR services. If you need to narrow your options, one fast way to do so is by looking at ratings and reviews online.

For example, you might decide to remove from consideration any MDR company that has overall ratings below a certain standard. Then, you can read through the reviews for your remaining MDR candidates.

You might imagine that you should simply pick whichever company has the highest rating. However, the reviews can help you understand why each company has the rating it does. Even if you think you know which company you will choose, reading through the written reviews might change your mind.

Understand What Is MDR and the Benefits It Can Provide

If you have ever wondered, “What is MDR?”, we hope that this article has been helpful. The more that you understand the benefits of these services, the easier it is to understand why the market for them is growing at such an incredible rate. As cyber attacks become more common, the value of managed detection and response services gets even greater.

To learn more about how you can find the best MDR services for your situation, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!