SOC vs. MDR – How to Best Protect Your Organization?

Shigraf Aijaz
Published 08/25/2022
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Best endpoint detection methods for your organizationSOC, MDR, EXR, or EDR, acronyms of such nature have become a standard part of endpoint security jargon, specifically as security practitioners develop robust ways to enable cybersecurity.

The situation is somewhat dire as cyber-attacks continue to rise at an alarming rate. With 2022 nearly complete, 67% of organizations globally have experienced a cyber-attack. While the nature of these attacks varies from fileless malware, ransomware, or even email phishing, the havoc they wreak is inadmissible.

As organizations work to find the best security solution, the widespread availability of several tools makes matters somewhat complex. Specifically, with the use of MDR becoming apparent, many security practitioners wonder if it will thoroughly replace SOCs in an organization or will be used by them to enhance their functionality. Since the answer is contemplative, the best course of action is to properly understand both SOC and MDR and choose the best for your organization.


SOC vs. MDR- Introducing and exploring their capabilities

There is no denying the fact that the need for advanced security solutions continues to grow with each passing hour. Admittedly, organizations are careful to use various endpoint security approaches such as VPNs or proxies. While such tools are valuable additions, they do have their limits. But Virtual Private Networks significantly boost privacy and anonymity by hiding IP addresses and encrypting internet traffic. After all, if someone knows your IP, they can see your approximate location. With a VPN, it is possible to mask this identifier and prevent online entities from learning it.

Amidst this, MDR and SOC are the solutions to stay ahead of the growing vulnerabilities. However, the question is, which is a better option to use?



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Managed Detection and Response (MDR)

The acronym MDR is a managed cybersecurity service combining technology and human expertise to detect, monitor, and respond to threats effectively. These threats can be internal or external, like malware, ransomware, or any other malicious activity within the network. MDR services include a more extensive set of technologies and go beyond endpoint detection and response.

MDR considers the company’s structure and roles on its technology stack and involves a third-party team of forensic analysts to detect and respond to threats. This reduces the time to detect and analyze incidents from months to hours and makes it an effective cybersecurity solution. The most crucial components of MDR include threat intelligence, security monitoring, threat hunting, incident analysis, and incident response. The demand for MDR is rising as Gartner also predicts that by 2025, the MDR market will increase to $2.15 billion in revenue.

MDR services are not limited to detection and response capabilities. But they also offer proactive defense intelligence to deal with advanced threats and encourage the staff from reactive and repetitive incident response work to more strategic projects. Moreover, organizations can meet compliance challenges with MDR services that provide reporting and log retention on various regulations.


Security Operations Center (SOC)

SOC is a required component of the MDR solution and comprises a dedicated security team that monitors and analyzes the threats and mitigates them. These are experts, so they also provide guidance and recommendations on eliminating these threats and strengthening the security posture.

The SOC acts as the first responder and performs actions like isolating endpoints, deleting files, and terminating destructive processes. When monitoring tools issue alerts, SOC must observe them, discard false positives, and determine what actual dangerous threats are and what they can target. By doing so, the SOC team learns about the emerging threats, and they can handle the most urgent issues immediately. Besides this, other benefits of SOC includes:

  • Creating SOC for protecting consumer and customer data helps build trust and prevent data breaches.
  • A centralized SOC allows organizations to reduce the cybersecurity tools and platforms costs as they share them across the entire organization.
  • It centralizes all the organization’s security resources within a single team, increasing collaboration among the team members and making it easier to meet the cybersecurity needs of a company.

SOC offers a helping hand to organizations to respond to the intrusion. It can be an in-house or partially or fully outsourced SOC run by an experienced third party to stay on top of the company’s cybersecurity needs.


How Do MDR and SOC Relate?

Every business can benefit from MDR to overcome its security issues. MDR solutions do have enabled SOC that helps in the following ways:


Better Security Approach

MDR and SOC tools identify a problem, so; the team first verifies the threat’s validity. Then, if there’s a malicious cause, the users are informed about it, and later it is removed. Similarly, if an attack is detected, it is contained in a single system to stop its spread to other networks and reduce the damage it might cause.


No False Alarms

The MDR and SOC solutions examine every suspicious activity within the network. Each threat is first analyzed for its status, and only those alerts are sent to the security team that requires a quick response. The process of separating false alerts is a time-consuming and challenging task.


Quick Detection of Threats

As soon as a threat is detected, removing it is cheaper and more accessible. If organizations don’t use the detection and response tools, it takes an average of 280 days to identify a data breach. With MDR and SOC solutions, organizations improve the detection level and minimize the dwell time of data breaches.


Handles Advanced Attacks

A poorly trained IT team struggles the most in identifying the latest advanced threats. But the SOC and MDR providers have security specialists capable of detecting and tracking cyber-attacks. These solutions ensure that organizations monitor and respond to all possible network threats and maintain a robust security environment.


Which Is Better to Use?

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving, and the impacts of cyber threats, including malware and ransomware, are increasing too. As a result, organizations are increasingly turning towards using MDR services. It is the fastest-growing area of cybersecurity that reduces an organization’s threat detection and response time and helps them achieve its goals and targets. Without investing in the right tools and solutions, organizations won’t be able to bring out the maximum benefits for their businesses.

Since SOC is a component of MDR service, it’s better to invest in MDR and avail the benefits of MDR and SOC. Furthermore, if companies use only SOC, they may miss out on MDR’s advantages. Also, as SOC consists of security teams, no technology would be used to detect and analyze threats as it is purely based on the human factor. However, MDR uses technology and human expertise to identify a cyber threat.


Final Thoughts

With the increasing cyber risks, it’s high time for organizations to invest in detection and response solutions like MDR. It is a better option to use than the EDR and includes SOC’s functionality that further works to boost organizations’ security infrastructure.