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September 17, 2021

The multi-cloud market has been experiencing phenomenal growth in recent years. According to IDC, 90% of enterprises may rely on a mix of multiple public clouds, on-premises, dedicated private clouds, and legacy platforms to meet their infrastructure needs by 2022. The global pandemic has further accelerated this trend as multi-cloud gives enterprises the flexibility and scalability to go on a consumption-based model and easily adapt to dynamic business demands.

Spanning across multiple cloud service providers, applications, and systems, a multi-cloud ecosystem is more complex to secure due to a lack of visibility across hosts, services, and incompatible configuration information. The threat landscape of a multi-cloud environment is highly dynamic hence, traditional managed detection and response (MDR) services cannot provide end-to-end security.

Let’s look at five reasons why leveraging traditional MDR compromises your organization’s security posture.

  • Lack of visibility: Traditional MDR solutions have limitations in monitoring logs from multi-cloud set ups and cannot provide full visibility of the hosted resources and services due to lack of APIs and logging accessibility.
  • Complexity: Traditional security information and event management (SIEM) has multiple components like collection, storage, analytics that require heavy server configuration, timely patching and updating. This distracts your security team’s focus from detecting threat in real time.
  • Talent scarcity: Cybersecurity expertise is fast evolving due to the dynamic nature of threat landscape. Hiring a skilled workforce that can keep abreast with the latest cyber threat information and configure MDR solutions to detect advanced threats is becoming an immense challenge.
  • Lack of cloud compatibility: Traditional MDR solutions need different components, servers and third-party solutions to enable new features to proactively monitor user behavior leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML). These solutions also lack connectors to ingest cloud and SaaS-based services events.
  • Decentralized response: Traditional MDR is more focused on detection and has limited response capability. Incident response and remediation are time-consuming processes and need validation at different levels for security operations center (SOC) experts. Traditional MDR solutions lack automation and orchestration to accelerate incident response.

To improve cyber resilience, next-gen MDR solutions must be capable of monitoring multiple data sources to detect incidents ahead of time and prevent a potential attack.

The building blocks of next-gen MDR

  • Coverage: The next-gen MDR solution must have end-to-end visibility of data and log sources from public and private cloud, on-premise servers without much parsing efforts. This enhanced coverage must integrate all security products and critical data sources from on-premises or public cloud and should provide easy event integration with infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS) applications, IoT and OT environment.
  • Compliance: Enterprises need to comply with regulatory requirements in terms of data retention (online and offline data availability), data residency and data access. MDR cloud-native solutions should have a presence in customer geography, and it should support data compliance for retention and access.
  • Composition: MDR solutions should be fast and easy to deploy, besides being feature-rich and intuitive. It should be able to integrate out-of-box content for threat detection, threat hunting and data visualization.
  • Capability: MDR solutions must have the capability to process the data in real time and alert any compromise or possible breach or attack. Apart from signature-based detection, it should be able to identify deviations through behavioral monitoring leveraging AI and ML. Orchestration and automation help MDR teams to resolve security issues much faster and save time to focus on risks and threats.

In the digital world, the threat landscape for any organization is continuously growing. Adopting these four core tenets will help organizations build a robust MDR solution that can leverage AI, analytics, ML to improve threat detection, threat hunting, and 24X7 monitoring. These technologies make it feasible to adopt behavior-based detection and elevate your organizational security posture from reactive to proactive.

Dev Narayan Choudhary is a cyber security solution architect at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). He is a subject matter expert on MDR security solutions, with more than 10 years of experience in cyber security. He specializes in security operation center, SIEM, endpoint protection, cloud security, and vulnerability management programs.

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