Prioritize The Right Partner – MSSP vs. MXDR vs. MDR

Healthcare providers are tasked with the critical mission of improving patient healthcare outcomes. In order to serve patients, however, the providers must have a rigorous and well-architected IT infrastructure to remain secure, compliant, and operating with maximum performance. In Pulling Back The Veil: What is Managed Detection and Response in Healthcare – we considered many of the hidden expenses associated with building an entirely in-house IT operation – and why many healthcare providers ought to opt for supplementing their existing IT staff and infrastructure with a trusted partner. 

But what types of managed services are available to healthcare providers, and why not all managed service providers represent an equally valuable investment? Generally speaking, managed service offerings can be classified into three different buckets. 


Jack Of All Trades – Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP)

The first is an MSSP, or Managed Security Service Provider. MSSP denotes a broad array of companies and the services they provide to clients. In many instances, MSSPs may observe cyber threats and forward the threats to your in-house team. They generally do not remediate threats and are not proactively addressing potential cybersecurity incidents. They typically specialize in day-to-day IT operations and are not the most ideal line of defense against dynamic cybersecurity threats. Although MSSPs can service certain industries, they typically are industry agnostic and are leveraged to support an existing in-house IT team. 

If your organization has never worked with a third-party IT firm to provide security services, enlisting the help of an MSSP is a good start. Ultimately though, it should not be an organization’s ideal state – not when specific knowledge and expertise is needed to protect the highly valuable patient PHI that healthcare providers collect. 


Elevated Services – Managed Extended Detection and Response (MXDR)

The next type of managed services provider is an MXDR, which stands for Managed Extended Detection and Response. Many companies enlist the services of an MXDR, in addition to their existing MSSP services, to enhance endpoint security. MXDRs secure end-user server and cloud environments against malware and ransomware, among other possible threats. MXDRs offer security containment for endpoints, and notifications for potential cyber incidents in cloud infrastructure.   

In many instances, MXDR services are robust enough to deliver stand-alone security and compliance for smaller organizations that do not want to fully build out in-house IT solutions. MXDR providers will often triage cybersecurity attacks, investigate when an incident occurs, and they can step in to provide remediation if needed. 


The Gold Standard – Managed Detection and Response (MDR)

The top-tier in Managed Defense for cybersecurity for HCOs is Managed Detection and Response, or MDR. MDRs represent the most powerful force multiplier for your existing cybersecurity infrastructure; they provide a turnkey solution that proactively detects cyber threats, evaluates and validates genuine actionable threats, and then initiates rapid remediation and threat containment to ensure your organization’s security.  

Supported by multiple teams with around the clock availability, MDRs are available at all hours of the day and form a true partnership with your organization. MDRs often times represent a game-changing investment that can offer threat intelligence aggregated from their entire client base, human-led threat hunting from professionals with meaningful red-team cybersecurity experience that can think like the bad guys, behavior analytics, and constantly evolving automation. Plus, many MDRs offer superior logging and reporting so you can evaluate threat vectors and understand the work they are doing to protect your organization.   


Pick The Right Partner

An MSSP or MXDR partnership can be a starting point for an HCO that is beginning a Managed Defense partnership, but there is room to grow from here. For the best results, partner with an MDR to ensure you are creating a force multiplier for your organization’s cybersecurity. If you’d like to learn more about the top attributes that every MDR should bring to the table, check out our insights-filled content on Partner With the Best, Ignore the Rest: Top MDR Attributes.

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