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MDR resonating as an option with both channel and customers

One area tipped for growth by analysts and vendors is managed detection and response – the challenge for partners is to keep on top of training and vendor relationships

The managed detection and response (MDR) market is a technology segment that is being embraced by customers and partners alike – and one that is expected to drive further growth this year.

One company operating in the field, Trustwave, has recently added a couple of MDR options to its portfolio aimed at SME customers that want to increase data protection. These products are being taken to market through the channel.

“We’re taking these two offerings, putting them in through the channel, and we are engaging channel partners around the world,” said Tom Powledge, senior vice-president of product management at Trustwave.

That engagement effort includes courting fresh partners and enhancing the firm’s channel partner programme to increase rewards and support for those already working with the vendor.

Partners are finding a receptive audience to the MDR message, with more customers understanding the need for the technology.

“The managed security services category around the world has rapidly moved to managed detection and response. Companies have realised that they need a service provider that can not only detect threats in their environment from the tools they have in place, but can also respond effectively and very quickly to contain those threats,” said Powledge.

The battle against ransomware is where most users recognise the need for quick detection and rapid response to reduce the impact on the business.

“Mid-market enterprises...are looking to service providers to provide this kind of capability,” added Powledge. “Gartner says [demand for MDR is] growing at over 50% per year, so it’s one of the fastest growing categories of security services out there. Clients are definitely understanding the need for this.”

From a channel perspective, the MDR market has become a crowded one, underlining the popularity of the segment and the increasing number of partners getting involved with detection and response.

“What we’re seeing around the world is more of the channel selling managed detection and response services,” he added. “The channel partners on board with selling managed detection and response services need to make sure they’re trained effectively.”

There is also a need to keep an eye on vendor relationships, with a degree of variety in MDR offerings available in the market.

“It’s a hot category, and it’s growing so fast, there’s a number of players out there that will say they do MDR when really they’re just traditional or legacy managed security service providers that don’t have the appropriate response capabilities. One of the things that is a differentiator if you are doing true MDR is if the service provider has their own platform,” he said.

Powledge said the potential for confusion meant vendor relationships were key, adding that maintaining training was also essential because customers expected their partners to be on top of their game.


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