Blog April 27, 2022

MDR vs MSSP: What is the difference?

Cybersecurity is a broad industry, and there is no silver bullet in ensuring the security of corporate networks. However, we proudly offer world-leading cybersecurity monitoring services. At Obrela Security Industries, our mission is to keep your business in business. And we achieve it by protecting and preventing malicious attacks from cybercriminals. When we onboard new clients, we are often asked to explain the difference between MDR and MSSP. Both options offer managed cybersecurity processes. However, there are some key differences between MDR and MSSP.

What is MDR?

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) helps clients orchestrate and automate their security operations to improve performance and readiness levels in a cyber threat. To sum it up in three words, MDR provides Visibility into potential threats, Readiness to detect and address malicious activity on your corporate networks and Resilience to maintain business continuity in the face of uncertainty. Essentially, MDR is a way of outsourcing cybersecurity management to a team with the resources and knowledge to secure digital environments. This takes the burden off internal IT teams. The IT teams are often understaffed and do not have the budget to ensure security across the complex IT infrastructure.

MDR manifests in several different ways, and a good MDR service provider will not give you an off the shelf product, instead of tailoring the approach to your business requirements. MDR covers IT, OT (Operational Technology), user monitoring, cloud security, endpoint threat detection, and brand risk protection. A comprehensive MDR programme would significantly reduce the meantime to detect and response to cyberattacks by providing real-time threat reports and advice for remediation. What sets MDR apart from MSSPs is that the former takes a more granular and forensic approach to cybersecurity. Obrela integrates and monitors a versatile IT and OT environment to gain complete visibility, analyze, predict and prevent cyber security threats in real-time. This allows MDR service providers to protect business-critical data and crown jewels from advanced and strategic threat actors.

What is MSSP?

According to Gartner, Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs), similarly to MDR providers, are a form of outsourced monitoring and management of security devices and systems. However, unlike MDR providers, MSSPs generally cover broader cybersecurity issues.  These include implementing firewalls, conducting penetration tests, managing patching and responding to cybersecurity emergencies. MSSPs provide a more general approach to cybersecurity management. This may consist of day-to-day monitoring designed to reduce the number of operational security personnel an enterprise needs to maintain an acceptable security posture. This takes place through software or services that businesses may not have access to with internal security teams.

What are the main differences between MDR and MSSP?

The gap between MDR and MSSP is constantly growing as the two different options find their niche. However, one of the most significant distinctions is that MDR providers rely on proprietary technology to implement cybersecurity for their clients. At Obrela, this means implementing our Swordfish platform, industry-leading software that removes complexity from the technology stack, providing instant visibility and situational awareness across all security risk areas. Swordfish allows your business to build cybersecurity processes from the ground up by integrating people, processes, and technologies into one comprehensive platform. This helps to control the diverse facets of cybersecurity through one platform. Also, it helps to gain major advantages such as removing overhead for in-house security teams and cyber assessments in real-time.

Furthermore, MDR vendors, such as Obrela, work closely with your business with frequent forms of direct communication. Whereas MSSP vendors often rely on platform portals or email to communicate issues. While both can support compliance-related issues, Obrela can help brand reputation intelligence, providing greater control over how your image is portrayed and perceived.

In essence, MDR manages risk, not just threats. This way, you can have up to date information to help protect your vital digital assets on a day-to-day basis. If you decide what managed security solution is right for you, thoroughly assess the cybersecurity vendors. Different vendors may have unique specialities that do not match your long-term business goals. When entering into a partnership with an MSSP or MDR provider, assessing the service level agreement (SLA) is essential. Also, ensure that you and your security provider align on priorities and processes.

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