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  • Writer's pictureSirviS

Managed Services vs. MDR vs. XDR: What’s the Difference?

The persistent IT talent shortage has been exacerbated by the “brain drain” of retiring Baby Boomers and the “Great Resignation” in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to estimates by the CompTIA IT trade group, more than 700,000 tech jobs remain unfilled in the U.S.

These converging trends are leading more organizations to reduce their reliance on the institutional knowledge of employees. In a recent PwC survey, 46 percent of CIOs said they plan to use managed services and other outsourcing models to help close the IT skills gap.

Managed services provide an effective means of offloading many day-to-day IT operational tasks. Qualified managed services providers (MSPs) have remote monitoring and management tools that allow them to perform proactive maintenance, respond to issues and alerts, and troubleshoot a wide range of problems.

Many MSPs also offer security services, but capabilities vary greatly. It’s important to understand the distinctions between traditional managed security services, managed detection and response (MDR) and extended detection and response (XDR) before signing on the dotted line.

Key Distinctions

Managed security service providers (MSSPs) tend to focus on tasks such as monitoring firewalls and other perimeter defenses and handling patches and software updates. While they provide an efficient means of offloading basic security functions, they often lack the specializations needed to identify and remediate complex security threats. They also tend to use an array of security point solutions that look for known threats and are not integrated across the environment.

MDR services go further, using behavioral analysis tools to monitor endpoints for potential threats. These endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools are more capable of identifying unknown malware, zero-day attacks and insider threats. The MDR provider generally has a broader skill set, with engineers who can analyze security events and alerts, respond quickly to incidents and prioritize remediation efforts.

XDR is a holistic approach that integrates EDR with other security tools throughout the enterprise. The result is a single-pane-of-glass view of security data from servers, network devices, endpoints, cloud instances and many other sources. It also incorporates a SIEM platform to correlate and analyze this data for improved threat detection and incident response.

How SirviS Can Help

XDR isn’t necessarily a managed service. However, even the most advanced tools require human analysts to interpret the data, investigate threats and perform threat hunting. Managed XDR delivers these capabilities through a qualified provider’s Security Operations Center (SOC).

The SirviS team has the tools and expertise to deliver managed XDR. Our SOC is equipped with XDR tools that leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning for faster, more accurate, and highly scalable analysis. These tools give our team greater visibility across the attack surface and deep insight into today’s threat vectors. This enables us to detect, investigate and respond to threats more effectively.

We leverage remote monitoring and management and automation to provide cost-efficient managed services from the desktop to the data center. If onsite response is needed, our field services organization can quickly deploy the right engineers and technicians to meet those requirements.

The ongoing shortage of skilled IT personnel is driving the increased use of managed security services. By understanding the distinctions between managed services, managed detection and response, and extended detection and response, organizations can choose the right solution to address today’s cyber threats.


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