Continuous Exposure Management for MDR Providers

Sam Reed

Most Managed Detection and Response (MDR) providers are currently facing two formidable threats, both of which jeopardize their existing business model.

The MDR model of network and host response relies on appropriate visibility and skilled analysts. However, between the whales, or the 1%, in the space and Microsoft's well-known land grab strategy, it's becoming more challenging for the 99% to differentiate their services and avoid competing on price alone.

Providers like eSentire and Arctic Wolf get all the attention with their war chest-like marketing budgets. On top of that, their purchasing power gives them favorable partner rates from endpoint detection products, like CrowdStrike and SentinelOne, making it difficult to compete on price.

All the while, Microsoft Defender claims a large chunk of the MDR market share and makes a pure MDR upsell more challenging.

These headwinds are increasing pressure and decreasing margins for many providers.

In the words of one of our MDR partners, "It's beginning to feel like a race to the bottom."

So, how can the remaining 99% of MDR providers opt out of this "race to the bottom" and differentiate themselves in a saturated market?

360° Security with Shield Continuous Exposure Management

A growing number of providers are finding their life raft through continuous exposure management (CEM).

"By 2026, organizations prioritizing their security investments based on a continuous exposure management program will be three times less likely to suffer from a breach." -Gartner

CEM is a comprehensive solution that integrates Attack Surface Management (ASM), Vulnerability Management (VM), Identity and Access Management (IAM), Cybersecurity Asset Management (CSAM), and Configuration Management into the traditional Security Operations Center (SOC) process. This provides 360° coverage between preventative and reactive security.

The new approach is a strategic program that cycles through scoping, discovery, prioritization, validation, and mobilization—ensuring a consistent, actionable security posture that's always a step ahead.

By tying preventative information into a SIEM and creating a continuous insight feedback loop between preventative and reactive security, MDR providers can work more efficiently on alerts and help clients minimize risk with fewer resources.

In short, CEM enables teams with real cybersecurity expertise to stand out from the commodity resellers.

Benefits of a CEM-Centric Approach

Regarding the above Gartner quote, "three times less likely to suffer from a breach" is a bold prediction.

However, CEM is a revolutionary approach that will positively impact the cybersecurity providers who adopt it. Here are some reasons "three times less likely" feels realistic.

Proactive Benefits

  • Early Detection: CEM identifies and fixes vulnerabilities early, reducing the chance of attacks.
  • Risk Prioritization: It focuses efforts on the most critical threats, optimizing resource use. 
  • Improved Security Posture: Continuous monitoring adjusts defenses against emerging threats, enhancing overall security.

Reactive Benefits

  • Quick Incident Response: CEM's constant surveillance enables faster detection and mitigation of breaches.
  • Insightful Incident Analysis: After an attack, CEM helps understand the breach to prevent future occurrences.
  • Continuous Defense Improvement: Leveraging incident insights, CEM evolves defenses, staying ahead of attackers.

Continuous exposure management will make siloed and tool-centric approaches a thing of the past.

Why it Matters for MDR Providers

In a market clamoring for differentiation, a CEM approach offers a compelling value proposition:

  • Enhanced Service Offerings: By leveraging CEM, you can provide a more integrated, efficient, and effective approach to security, moving beyond traditional, siloed, reactive measures.
  • Innovation and Differentiation: Stand out from the competition with a holistic security solution that addresses your clients' current needs and anticipates future threats.
  • Upsell and Expansion Opportunities: Continuous development of new features and capabilities ensures you can offer additional value to your clients, keeping them engaged and loyal.

As is often the case in a rapidly evolving industry, fortune will favor the bold. In this case, we believe that will be those who are the early adopters of continuous exposure management.

Gartner isn't alone in this perspective.

See CEM in Action Today

We invite you to see the potential CEM offers MDR providers for yourself.

Contact us today for a demonstration, and let's discuss how we can help elevate your service offerings and secure your position as a leader in the cybersecurity space.

Together, we can redefine what it means to be secure.

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