Why storytelling in MDR matters

Nicholas Koken
June 4, 2024

Managed detection and response, or MDR, serves a critical role in cybersecurity. For teams that are too small or budget-strapped to field their own full-time security operations center (SOC), MDR provides coverage and security expertise. Larger enterprises also leverage MDR to tackle their security at scale and open time for other projects. MDR serves as a source of validation for first-party SOC investigations as well.

Not all MDR solutions are created equally, however. The best MDR solutions incorporate storytelling into their investigations, building understanding and trust while maximizing effectiveness. Let’s explore why storytelling is important in MDR.

The role of storytelling in MDR

When you leverage MDR, you place your trust in a third party to bolster your organization’s detection and response capabilities. Some MDR offerings boil down findings to key performance indicators (KPIs), choosing what information to share regarding your investigations.

Although it feels more streamlined, this “black box” approach to SOC-as-a-Service withholds important information relevant to the security of your environment. While there are certainly gains in efficiency and ease of use, KPI-driven MDR services make it harder for you to:

  • Report on findings
  • Validate investigations
  • Search relevant data
  • Build reports and dashboards
  • Use metrics and data to power security decisions
  • Gain security expertise
  • Understand the full scope of security events
  • Collaborate between your MDR provider and your team

Ultimately, these “black box” reports result in more work from teams to confirm activities and perform comprehensive remediation.

The best MDR solutions provide a full analysis of every unique security event. Doing so builds an overall narrative that communicates not only the technical details of the event but also a root cause analysis (RCA) that establishes context into the observed activities.

From your perspective, the benefits of this approach outweigh the potential efficiency gains of other MDR services. Building a full narrative provides the “why” behind security events and other activities. Not only does this boost your security expertise, it enables you to act confidently and precisely in remediation actions. These results can then be translated into business impact, highlighting both the effectiveness of your security program and any areas for improvement.

A cornerstone of narrative-driven MDR services is transparency. Clear communications and insights into investigations validate findings and ultimately foster trust between you and your MDR provider. That way, you play an active part in your security posture instead of just filling an oversight role. This not only results in a better overall security posture but simplifies compliance efforts and cybersecurity insurance requirements as well. This proactive approach demonstrates to stakeholders your commitment to a robust security environment.

Incorporating transparency and storytelling with Todyl MXDR

Managed eXtended Detection and Response, or MXDR, spans your entire IT environment, going much further than solely endpoints or networks like other MDR solutions. This more holistic view is very similar to how your first-party SOC would operate but with none of the overhead of staffing a full-time SOC.

Using storytelling and transparency as a guiding principle, Todyl MXDR acts as a true extension of your security team. We monitor the entirety of your IT landscape and keep you informed every step of the way. MXDR ingests data from across your organization into a single pane of glass where you can see the same view they use to protect your business. Whenever MXDR investigates on your behalf, you can see all data referenced in the case directly from the Todyl Managed Cloud SIEM. You can communicate with MXDR in real time over the channel of your choice (Teams, Slack, email) as events unfold. This keeps you involved and informed throughout the entirety of the process.

Advanced threat actors obfuscate their activities to the point of tricking IT teams into believing it is nominal activity. Our team of security experts, many of whom have extensive experience on the offensive side, can not only spot these sophisticated threats but also remediate them in industry-leading times.

Learn more about MXDR

See how the transparency and storytelling of MXDR work in action; read this story of how MXDR adeptly stopped a pen tester in action.

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Additional reading

Threat breakdown: Remote access and credential dumping
5 key elements of effective MDR providers: Beyond just detection and response
Streamlining zero trust security with JumpCloud and Todyl

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