MDR vs MSSP: 6 Major Differences

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The differences between the two managed network security systems, MDR and MSSP, are nearly not visible during an evaluation , but many businesses will be left to choose one of these solutions to handle cybersecurity tasks, even though they are felt as comparatively similar solutions. However, by getting to understand the two solutions and their importance, you will find out their differences and similarities. These findings may cause you to make up or change your mind about any of the services.

Normally, MSSPs are cheaper because fewer services are offered as compared to MDR solutions. But, the price tag should not be the reason for you to select a cybersecurity solution. You must be aware of MDR and MSSP solutions and examine the differences before deciding which suit your company’s needs.

What Is MDR?

What-Is-MDRManaged Detection and Response (MDR) is a security solution that uncovers active cyber threats and provides a quick response to investigate, eliminate, or deal with such threats. MDR uses the combination of both human expertise and technology to screen the event in the environment, discover proactive and active threats, and provide an immediate and appropriate response.

Generally, MDR security is important, since it lessens the time taken for business organizations to discover objectionable assets. According to a recent study by Pomenon, it was discovered that an MDR solution can discover a cybersecurity breach in a few hours, while many security companies take more than 200 days to discover a security threat.

What Is MSSP?

Managed Security Service Providers (MSSPs) screen cybersecurity networks and provide alert functionalities when an unwelcomed threat is detected. It is often acknowledged that MDR is a subset of the MSSP solution. Even though one of them is the ranking solution, they work differently and are brought equally in a working enterprise during security solution comparison. In reality, both solutions are important, depending on the choice and need of a company.

While MSSP is known to cover a broad security perspective of a company’s security situation, MDR does even more by using human expertise and technology. The combination makes it easy and more appropriate to detect threats and respond quickly to a weak security system. MSSP may fully include MDR work, but it cannot operate alone in dealing with security threats. MSSP concentrates on prevention, leaving the response parts to the clients. MSSP can secure other solution services to manage absent but important response principles.

What is the Difference between MDR vs. MSSP?

-MDR-vs.-MSSPThese two security solutions are important, but there are also a few things that make them stand out differently in their specific functions by solving relative security problems. These significant differences are what will cause your organization to go ahead or withdraw from deciding to solve certain security issues. MDR has screening abilities on network security and acts against threats. It also focuses on detection and response. MSSP deals more with managing security automatons. The following are more differences that are pointed out when comparing MSSP and MDR security:

1. Security Activity Record and Context Information

MDR: A stack of territorial technology is provided by the service provider and distributed for use at the client’s premises, as it is fully contained in the service price.
MSSP: It requires an activity-source-agnostic approach. This means that the information sent to a security service provider is ascertained by the customer involved.

2. Compliance and Prevention Operation

MDR: Compliance reports are uncommon
MSSP: Very likely to have accurate report measures.
MDR operates throughout the day and is prevention-focused. Many MDR solutions have 24/7 functionalities through a global Security Operations Center (SOC). This operation provides notifications to proactive threats and helps you to quickly detect and get rid of them
MSSP: May not give full attention to threat prevention. Rather, it usually has limited threat screening capabilities.

3. Remote Device Management

MDR: Management and detection response is carried out only for customized technology stacks. They do not include solution services like MSS that can approach remote device management, which is mostly Vendor-agnostic for security dictation and performance. Example; Intrusion Detection Systems, Firewalls, Web gateways, tools distributed with MDR-type services, or Intrusion Prevention Systems.
MSSP: this security solution fully includes firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, web gateways, and other antivirus devices or management tools that prevent cyber threats into your security system. MSPs security has a territory that allows it to focus on or manage threat prevention devices.

4. Incident Containment Strategy

MDR: Provided through the use of stack or client-owned technologies, APIs, and leveraging scripts to give full support in making programmatic change.
MSSP: In a completely managed and remote security control system provided for a customer. However, MDR- type services are included, for example; Managed Endpoint Detection and Response.

5. Forensic Tools and Interface to Service

MDR: It relies on more straightforward communication (email, voice) to expert analysts instead of interconnections through portals. MDR proposes more forensic tools that can expose problems that are hidden in the innermost areas of a networking system.
MSSP: Both email and portal operate as the main component interface, with substitute access to expert analysts provided through phone and chat functions. MSSP has a fundamental level of security evidence which is sufficient for both small and moderate-sized organizations.

6. Incident Response Support

MDR: It requires a remote lightweight incident response function, commonly contained in fundamental services. It also involves on-site event responses acted upon by the service retainer.
MSSP: It requires both on-site and remote services provided by an undetached retainer.


Despite the differences between these two security service solutions, the line between them seems nearly unnoticed. While MDR is technology and intelligence-driven by both human experts and data, the team is active and readily available 24/7 to provide top-notch security solutions in a Security Operations Center (SCOs). It focuses mainly on detections and response or managing both sides of the boom. MSPs security, on the other hand, is only reliable for managing automation to screen network systems, disregarding a cybersecurity response element. With MSSPs you can only receive a threat alert and not eliminate the problem.

At Vijilan, we consistently strive to offer best managed network security to our clients. Our focus is to be one step ahead in security services. You can get a free demo of our comprehensive security solutions. It will help you to understand and ensure that your organizations remain protected in all circumstances.


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