In plain terms, MXDR is a type of managed cyber security service, delivered by specialist cyber security companies to protect other businesses from cyber threats. It stands for Managed Extended Detection and Response (MXDR). You’ll also see this commonly referred to as ‘Managed XDR’. It’s the same thing.
If an organisation doesn’t have the time or the skills to setup, manage and monitor their security systems themselves, they need someone who can do it for them. Someone to alert them when there is a suspected threat, and to investigate and take action on their behalf.
That’s what an MXDR service does. It gives you a team of experts who monitor your network, identities, and endpoints using advanced tools and techniques to detect and respond to any suspicious activity or cyber-attacks on your business. As attacks can happen at any time, MXDR should provide a 24x7x365 service.
What does ‘extended’ mean in MXDR?
Older security technologies and services such as Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR) and Managed Detection & Response (MDR) often only covered an organisation’s devices and servers.
The ‘X’ in MXDR stands for ‘eXtended’. This is because MXDR includes more data sources than previous generations of security solutions and extends this protection over a wider area of your IT estate.
MXDR also covers:
- Cloud apps
MXDR also provides more capabilities to security analysts than they had with older solutions. For example: continuous threat hunting, threat intelligence, vulnerability management, prioritisation, and guided response.
You can find out more about these older solutions such as EDR and MDR and their differences to MXDR here.
What’s the difference between XDR and MXDR ?
The difference between these acronyms relates to whether you’re discussing a technology or a service.
An MXDR service uses XDR technologies to deliver the service. It’s the ‘managed’ service element which adds an ‘m’ to the ‘XDR’ acronym to become ‘MXDR’.
To give an example, Microsoft Defender 365 is an XDR solution. It’s a cloud-based software platform that provides the capabilities to detect, investigate, and respond to attacks.
So, when a team of security experts use Microsoft Defender 365 as part of the managed service they are delivering to their clients, they are using an XDR platform to deliver their MXDR service.
In summary, an MXDR service is a managed security service, where the security provider leverages both digital technology, and human-led expertise, to detect, hunt, investigate and respond to cyber threats across a customer’s wider IT environment.
Key things to note include:
- MXDR stands for Managed Extended Detection and Response (MXDR)
- MXDR is a fully managed cybersecurity service that provides end-to-end protection from cyber threats
- MXDR leverages both digital technologies and human-led expertise to collect, correlate, analyse, and respond to security data across the extended enterprise
- MXDR offers additional capabilities such as continuous threat hunting, threat intelligence, vulnerability management, prioritisation, and guided response
- MXDR simplifies security operations by integrating multiple tools and vendors into a single solution