Many organizations’ security teams are struggling to keep up with their ever-expanding workloads. The combination of a growing threat landscape and increasingly complex network infrastructures means that these teams often lack the resources required to effectively monitor their environments, and detect and respond to potential threats.

Managed Detection and Response (MDR) and Extended detection and response (XDR) are two solutions designed to help security teams with these struggles, yet they approach them in very different ways.

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Managed Detection and Response (MDR) Definition

MDR (Managed Detection and Response) is a security as a service offering designed to offer an alternative to an in-house Security Operations Center (SOC). An MDR solution provides access to both the tools and security expertise that an organization needs to protect itself against cyber threats.

An MDR provider will offer round-the-clock network monitoring and incident investigation and response. MDR solutions are deployed within an organization’s environment, providing deeper visibility and more granular protection than other managed security service offerings, such as a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP).

With MDR, an organization gains access to leading security technologies, such as endpoint detection and response, and specialized expertise, such as threat hunting or cloud security. This enables an organization to rapidly deploy a mature SOC or amplify the effectiveness of an in-house security team.

Extended detection and response (XDR) Definition

XDR (Extended detection and response) is a next-generation cybersecurity solution that enables an organization to proactively protect itself against cyber threats. It accomplishes this by providing unified visibility across the multiple different vectors that a cyber threat actor could use to attack an organization’s network.

One of the most common challenges that SOCs face is an overwhelming volume of security data generated by an array of standalone point security products. XDR eliminates this issue by simplifying an organization’s security architecture down to a single dashboard. This unified visibility – along with the support for automation that XDR offers – enables lean security teams to maximize their efficiency and effectiveness.


Both MDR and XDR help security teams with their struggles around growing workloads and limited resources, however, they approach the problem differently.

MDR solves these challenges faced by security teams by supplementing an organization’s internal security team with external resources. An MDR service provider will offer an external SOC that performs most or all of the duties necessary to monitor and protect an organization’s IT assets. An MDR provider will likely use XDR solutions, but they will be operated by external SOC analysts rather than an in-house team. By partnering with an MDR provider,  an organization can take advantage of significant cost savings compared to maintaining an equivalent SOC in house and ensures on-demand access to specialized security talent.

XDR is the tool that solves the challenges by simplifying them and enabling  analysts to do their jobs. By unifying visibility across an organization’s security architecture and automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks, XDR frees up security staff to investigate and address potential threats to the business.

Both of these solutions have the potential to dramatically improve an organization’s ability to identify and respond to security threats. The right solution for an organization depends on the maturity of the security team that it already has in place and its unique security requirements and business needs.

Choosing the Right Solution for Your Business

Many businesses are faced with securing the organization with a lean security team in the face of growing network complexity and an evolving cyber threat landscape. Both MDR and XDR provide solutions to this, but an organization needs to determine which option is the best fit for its security requirements and business needs.

An organization lacking essential in-house security expertise may be better served by MDR. On the other hand, a company with a mature but overwhelmed SOC may benefit more from the force multiplication provided by XDR.

Check Point Security Operations Solutions

Check Point MDR/MPR provides 24x7x365 network monitoring and incident response supported by cutting-edge threat intelligence and analytics tools driven by artificial intelligence (AI). Check Point MDR/MPR also goes beyond incident detection and response to provide proactive threat hunting services across an organization’s entire network infrastructure by the industry’s top analysts. With Check Point MDR/MPR, any organization – regardless of security maturity – can achieve improved protection at a lower total cost of ownership (TCO).

For organizations wishing to operate an in-house SOC, Check Point offers Horizon XDR/XPR. Using multi-layered analytical techniques, Horizon XDR/XPR enables security teams to prevent, detect, investigate, and respond to even the stealthiest cyber threats across an organization’s entire IT infrastructure. Horizon XDR/XPR incorporates machine learning (ML), predefined and custom detection rulesets, and integrated visibility across on-prem and cloud environments for rapid incident detection. Horizon XDR/XPR also has access to the industry’s most powerful threat intelligence and offers automated remediation to enable an organization to quickly and correctly remediate threats to its infrastructure.

With Check Point Security Operations solutions, any organization can achieve security maturity with an in-house or managed SOC service. To learn more about Check Point’s offerings, you’re welcome to contact us.

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