Important to Understand the Difference Between MSSP and MDR – If You Are Looking For External Partner

As we have explained in our previous blogs, cyberattacks have increased many folds. Organizations have now slowly started understanding the need for cybersecurity experts.

But is it easy to acquire and retain in-house expertise with required skill sets to fulfil the security needs of an organization? The cybersecurity solutions are complicated, and building your own 24/7 cybersecurity team takes time, money and people. Still, a single breach can severely affect the value of your organization and cost a huge amount of money in fines. You can still manage to find the applicants with good skills and capability for your organization’s security needs, but it can be really expensive for you. So, you can decide to outsource cybersecurity expertise.

When it comes to outsourcing the services to extended experts, you will broadly get two options in the world of managed security.

  • Managed security services providers (MSSP)
  • Managed detection and response (MDR) Services

Before making the decision for your organization, understand the difference between MSSP and MDR services.

Managed security services providers (MSSP)

Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP) is a service provider that offers outsourced managed cybersecurity services to the customers. The role of the MSSP goes very broad & varies from engagement to engagement. It may include understanding the customer infra, identifying the security issues and security gaps, implementing the right controls to mitigate the risks, providing infra monitoring & threat detection, technology management etc.

By using various tools and services, they do offer continuous security monitoring, vulnerability management, providing threat intelligence, intrusion & threat detection etc. They are capable of detecting the potential issues and take actions when they sense any unusual activity that can be a potential threat for the company. These proactive monitoring / activities decrease the cyber risks for an organization.

Managed detection and response (MDR) Service

Second one is, MDR (Managed Detection and Response) Services. This is a specialized managed security service, which performs more focused threat detection & remediation. MDR is more concerned about the in-depth investigation in the organization’s network to figure out the potential threats. Using their advanced technology stack they can uncover those advanced security risks which do bypass your traditional security controls.

They don’t get into other offerings like technology management, compliance audits, but are highly effective to detect or prevent any security compromise or breach. So, if any organization believes that they can be the potential victim of the cyber-attacks, or they have apprehension of getting breach / compromised already, then they must engage with a good MDR service provider.


If you are still not able to make out the real difference between these two, then let us see some specific differentiating factors among them:

MSSP does monitor network security events and alerts the clients when anomalies are identified. However, often they don’t eliminate false positives, nor do they actively remediate identified threats. Security investigation is still the organization’s responsibility. This is generally done by the client’s IT / Security team, who dig deep & confirm if the alert was a confirmed threat or false positive. While MSSP offers a variety of other services including technology management, their threat detection relies largely on Tier 1 & 2 SOC analysts. They are best suited for those who need the basics of their detective controls handled by a third party.

MDR on the other hand offers advanced / sophisticated threat detection & quick remediation. They focus on churning false positives & identify real security threats using advanced analytics. They leverage experts such as Security engineers, Threat hunters, Forensic analysts & incident responders for their service. While industry average time to detect a breach is 198 days, because of this expertise, MDR service providers are able to reduce the detection & response time to hours or minutes. They are a good fit for those who need effective detection and response without having mature SOC in-house.

A Choice To Make

What type of managed security service should you go for? We recommend asking this question to yourself and perform a self-assessment on where you want to be in terms of Cybersecurity posture for your organization. Are you looking for the resources and skills to achieve basic cybersecurity compliance or in-depth threat detection & investigation?

As a general guidance, if your organization doesn’t have in-house staff to draft & implement the right cybersecurity strategy, then you should definitely opt for MSSP. By choosing a right MSSP, you can achieve round-the-clock monitoring and the right cybersecurity strategy to improve your overall security infrastructure.

On the other hand, if you have a level of cybersecurity maturity & a team adequately monitoring the organization’s infrastructure for the incidents and cyber threats, but you are looking for upgradation in capabilities for detecting & protecting against potential advanced attacks, then you should go for MDR services. This type of service will assist you in detecting the potential threats in your infrastructure much early and will offer your organization a secure environment.

If you are looking for a good MDR service provider, we (Cybersec Knights) can be your choice. You can trust our backend team full of experts driving our MDR practise & top cybersecurity consultants in Delhi NCR to secure your organization infrastructure. We (Cybersec Knights) are always available for the organizations wanting to upgrade their cybersecurity posture. Feel free to contact our experts any time as per your preference.