Ensuring a Seamless MDR Integration: Tips for Your Security Infrastructure

Ensuring a Seamless MDR Integration: Tips for Your Security Infrastructure

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Hwei Oh
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Companies that use managed services to close key skills gaps experience a 2.4x better “performance premium” than companies that use no managed services, according to a PwC survey of 2,000 companies. This premium includes both revenue growth and profit margin.

A significant skills gap, that affects two-thirds of all companies, is the perennial cybersecurity labor shortage. According to the most recent ISC2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study, the world needs 4 million cybersecurity professionals to close this gap, even though the global cybersecurity workforce grew by nearly 9% last year.

Making matters worse, 75% of cybersecurity professionals consider the current landscape to be the worst in five years, and 48% don’t believe their organizations have the tools and people necessary to adequately respond to incidents in the next three years.

To fill in these cybersecurity holes, many organizations are now turning to managed detection and response (MDR)—a proactive, managed security service that includes 24/7 monitoring.

However, once you’ve chosen the right MDR provider, it’s important to understand the potential challenges of implementing its services comprehensively and smoothly inside your organization. 

Traditional challenges in integrating MDR services

Although each business is unique, some of the common challenges in implementing MDR might include:

  • Software incompatibility.
  • Uninformed stakeholders, and/or complications with stakeholders.
  • Compliance and regulatory issues.
  • Poor communication and a lack of understanding from the MDR and the customer on what’s needed.
  • Failure to define what a successful integration and implementation looks like.

Let’s look at a few strategies that effectively deal with these challenges.

Strategies for seamless MDR integration and implementation

To overcome the challenges above, consider the following best practices. Depending on your expertise, you may have to work closely with your MDR provider to support you.

1. Develop a detailed plan

Leaders often run into challenges because they lack a plan. But it’s important to look ahead, to stay proactive, and to have strategies ready in case there are unforeseen complications or issues.

This requires identifying the systems and tools with which the MDR provider will interact. It also includes determining all the devices, assets, databases, and endpoints within the scope of the MDR provider. EDR software is typically installed on a device or network for monitoring purposes, but specifics will always vary by company and you may need to install additional agents.

You’ll also have to determine who the key stakeholders are for an optimal implementation. Legal might need to be involved to ensure that all new tools are compliant. Additionally, you’ll likely have to involve project managers, head of software development, and other stakeholders to establish timeline and communication strategies. This should be aligned with your findings during the evaluation phase – which enables you to understand where the work of the MDR stops and where your team needs to step in.

2. Set a clear timeline

Work out phases for implementation, coordinate with stakeholders, and confirm them with your MDR provider. By defining the phases and schedule of the rollout and then liaising with relevant stakeholders, you’ll implement your MDR solution easily rather than disrupting business operations and having to delay important steps.

Set milestones and assign deadlines to help track progress and ensure the implementation runs on schedule. Also, put some contingencies in place to allow for flexibility and to handle any unexpected issues.

3. Define success metrics

The goals you define might depend on your organization’s attack surface, risk level, and external factors that might be driving your cybersecurity goals (such as compliance or readying your organization for an acquisition). If you’re in a high-risk sector, such as the financial sector, you may want to improve the time it takes to patch critical vulnerabilities. Other implementation metrics may include:

  • Visibility and detection improvements
  • Improved prevention coverage across your environment
  • Specific deadlines for implementation
  • Establishing 24/7 monitoring
  • Improving response times to any alert or potential security incident

Review these goals periodically, then tweak and adjust so that the MDR’s service more closely matches your aim.

4. Communicate with the MDR provider

The only constant is change. Maintaining open and frequent communication with your MDR provider is crucial to ensure the MDR can adapt to any shifts during the implementation process and throughout the partnership.

This is especially important if there are significant changes to your environment, digital footprint, or number of employees. By communicating about these things regularly, you empower the MDR provider to give you the best possible service because they’re informed. You should also expect this on the other side — an effective MDR provider will maintain regular communication, check in on what you need, and adapt to new vulnerabilities and threats.

5. Test to anticipate unexpected issues

Finally, understand that you can’t predict everything. Unexpected downtime can occur, throwing off your best-laid plans. These unforeseen issues happen, which is why it’s important to test things out as part of the implementation process so you can be prepared. Work with your MDR provider, keep an open dialogue, and don’t get discouraged if something goes wrong.

Both parties are here for the same reason — a good MDR provider should be able to help test and react in case something off occurs.

Effective integration will result in a better MDR partnership

Once you’ve found the right MDR partner, the best way to go about implementation is to recognize the challenges, plan for effective integration, and then work collaboratively. Signing up for an MDR service should be considered an investment so think about this partnership as one with long-term benefits.

Data breaches are costly — in 2023, the average cost of a data breach was nearly $4.5 million. By investing in MDR, taking the time to ensure it’s correctly implemented, and building a solid relationship with your provider, you’re making strides toward avoiding a financially crippling breach in the long term.

SolCyber believes in partnerships and working with customers in a spirit of teamwork to implement effective MDR solutions that make the grade. To learn more about working with SolCyber, contact us today.

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Hwei Oh
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The world doesn’t need another traditional MSSP 
or MDR or XDR.

What it requires is practicality and reason.

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