Meeting the Security Challenges of the Future using Managed Detection and Response
The modern hybrid network is increasingly complex and difficult to manage. Technology is evolving faster than your employees can upskill. And some skills are in such short supply that sourcing suitably qualified candidates is incredibly difficult – and expensive.
With so many potential attack surfaces, maintaining security perimeters and systems integrity is incredibly difficult. This is where Managed Detection and Response can assist.
What is “Managed Detection and Response”?
Also known as MDR, Managed Detection and Response is designed to help reduce the administrative overheads of network security without compromising the level of protection applied. At the most basic level, MDR is an outsourced security service that takes cares of everything for you; proactive monitoring for potential security issues, maintenance to fix any identified issues and response in the event of a successful system breach.
Importantly, a proper MDR service is completely hands-off. Your partner is responsible for providing the people, skills and expertise, allowing your in-house team to focus on strategic projects that grow the business.
An MDR service is also capable of coping with the modern hybrid cloud infrastructure model adopted by so many organizations. In order to be fully comprehensive, MDR uses a number of techniques and tools.
The most basic of all defense techniques, signatures are known “markers” that identify a specific security attack. The signatures used by your antivirus endpoint protection is one such example of this technique being used; apps are compared against a list of known behaviors (the signatures) and any matching activities are terminated and blocked automatically.
Signatures are also employed by stateful firewalls and other protective measures.
Advanced proactive monitoring
Signatures are useful, but they can only be used in a reactive context – these systems can only work with a known list of security risks. There will always be a lag between a new security exploit being developed, and a fix being developed, and it is during this window that your systems are most at risk.
Advanced proactive monitoring brings more intelligence to the task of seeking security issues. Agents installed at key points on the network monitor and analyze application and traffic activity to create a baseline of normal behaviors. Any future activity that deviates from this norm is blocked – or flagged for further investigation. The system uses machine learning to learn – and act – proactively in the interests of network security.
Forensic investigation tools
Dealing with the aftermath of a security incident is more than simply patching systems and recovering data from backup. There is a very real risk that a crime has been committed and evidence will need to be collected and preserved.
An MDR provider has access to the forensic tools required to collect this evidence. You will need proof of the damage caused – and your efforts to mitigate it for:
- Any criminal investigation undertaken by the police.
- Your GDPR report to the Information Commissioner’s Office (if personal data was involved).
- Your insurance claim for damage caused to corporate assets.
Computer forensics is a specialist niche, and very few organizations have the relevant skills in house.
Human knowledge and experience
Modern security is moving towards a higher degree of automation and autonomy – but there will always be a need for human security experts. An MDR provider lends you the combined experience of their security experts to help address problems in the present, and to design future-proof strategic solutions.
Why does Managed Detection and Response matter?
Where many businesses have outsourced responsibilities for IT support, security has become a grey area. Responsibilities are shared between third party providers and the in-house security team, creating a gap that could be exploited by cyberattackers.
Placing a single entity – your Managed Detection and Response provider – in charge of all security matters, you can close the gap. Security, and your response to issues, is centralized and contained, making it far easier to ensure issues are identified and solved as quickly as possible. You are looking to implement a standardized, templated, repeatable framework that defines how your business responds to an IT security risk or event.
IT security is a strategic necessity – but it can become a major drain on resources if you lack the relevant skills in house. Partnering with an MDR provider like Navisite releases your in-house engineers to focus on other projects that will help grow the business. Meanwhile, your partner delivers a fully-scalable security service that can adjust to the rapidly changing corporate landscape, protecting cloud and on-site services in a hybrid environment.
Managed Detection and Response and the future
As organizations try to integrate security more closely with other operations – see the move from DevOps to DevSecOps for instance – MDR will become more common. As well needing an approach capable of keeping pace with the rapid changes brought about by Dev(Sec)Ops, the sheer number of nodes and systems in use will become impossible to secure manually; automation will become a core aspect of detection and remediation.
As mentioned above, systems will become better at protecting themselves autonomously, but in-depth expertise will still be vital. From configuration, to maintenance to troubleshooting, human input will be need to keep things running smoothly.
And although ‘response’ will always be an integral aspect of MDR, the lion’s share of attention and resources will be devoted to D – detection. Prevention is always better than cure – particularly in terms of IT security.
By investing in detection and response, businesses are proactively shielding themselves against the most extreme potential costs. Damages, lost productivity, fines, increased insurance premiums – all quickly increase the total bill for a cybersecurity incident. The cost of MDR can be quickly recouped by improving network and data integrity – and response in the event that something does go wrong.
To learn more about Managed Detection and Response services, what they offer your business, and how Navisite can help, please get in touch. For more information on cloud security in general, click here or call (888) 298-8222.