What’s the Difference Between MDR vs. EDR?

MDR and EDR serve similar purposes. The biggest difference between them is that EDR is deployed using a software tool and MDR is deployed by a human team. MDR also covers your entire network, while EDR focuses on specific endpoints.

The best option varies depending on your organization’s needs. Both will enhance your security posture and many MDR services include EDR. However, there are a few differentiators that may lead some organizations to choose EDR without MDR services.

This article will take a closer look at EDR and MDR. We’ll discuss both options and why you may choose each. This information will serve as a place to start if you’re considering either for your business.


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What is MDR?

Managed detection and response (MDR) is an outsourced IT service focused on detecting and remediating potential threats on your network. Human experts keep a close eye on your systems to identify and react to suspicious activity.

Although MDR is primarily a human-led service, most MDR providers leverage security tools. These tools help the team expand the breadth of their monitoring without compromising speed. Typically, a tool pinpoints unusual activity and human experts verify the validity of the threat.

The MDR process follows 5 steps:

  1. A human or tool notices suspicious activity
  2. A human analyzes the activity to determine whether or not it’s a threat
  3. If the threat is verified, action is taken to contain it and prevent spread
  4. Once contained, the threat is eliminated
  5. After the threat is gone, the team works on restoring affected data and systems

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MDR is a great alternative to an in-house security team if you can’t afford the overhead. However, companies that have in-house experts can also benefit. Most MDR providers are happy to extend your in-house capacity without replacing your trusted team.

Some vendors exclusively sell MDR services. There are also many MSSPs (managed security service providers) who offer MDR among other cybersecurity services. This is an increasingly common route among American businesses, roughly 70% outsource to an MSSP.


What is EDR?

Endpoint detection and response (EDR) is an automated tool that scans and pinpoints possible threats on a specific endpoint.

EDR solutions are limited to the endpoints they were deployed on. It is possible to deploy multiple EDR systems if you have a vast, complex endpoint network. Although, you should research potential drawbacks before you go this route.

EDRs are an excellent companion to threat hunting. However, as algorithms, they pose the risk of false positives. For this reason, it’s important to have a human who can confirm or deny an EDR tool’s detections.

You may opt for EDR over a full MDR solution if you only need to monitor a few specific endpoints. It may also be a good option for companies that have a competent in-house expert to work alongside the EDR. However, you will likely still need to contact a partner who can help you implement your EDR solution.


What Exactly is an Endpoint?

An endpoint is any device that connects to your business network. Most cybersecurity professionals use the term daily, but it’s not usually heard in everyday conversations. Your endpoint network may include:

  • All work computers at your office
  • Any mobile device that connects to your company’s Wi-Fi
  • Work-from-home devices that access your company’s files
  • Servers
  • Cloud databases
  • IoT (internet-of-things) devices like smartwatches, appliances, or even medical devices that connect to the internet

If you opt for an EDR solution, you may choose to monitor some or all of your endpoints. Frequency of use, trustworthiness, and sensitivity of data stored all may affect which endpoints you choose to monitor.



For a quick overview, the following table lists some of the main functions and benefits of each.




  • Employs advanced threat intelligence, machine learning, and behavioral analytics for threat detection and analysis
  • Quickly contains and remediates security incidents
  • Identifies and prioritizes vulnerabilities
  • Determines the root cause of security incidents and identifies additional vulnerabilities
  • Regular monitoring across the network
  • Integrates security solutions for enhanced visibility and coordination
  • Fast incident response
  • Reduced threat impact
  • Improved visibility and control
  • Reduces risk of data breaches and other cyber threats
  • Early detection and prevention
  • Expert cybersecurity consulting
  • More cost-effective than building and maintaining an in-house security team
  • Customizable to meet specific organizational needs
  • Compliance reporting that helps organizations meet regulatory requirements
  • Real-time threat detection and response
  • Endpoint protection against both known and unknown threats
  • Automated incident response and remediation
  • Customizable policies
  • Centralized management and reporting
  • Monitoring and analysis of endpoint activities
  • Improved visibility and control over endpoints
  • Reduced risk of data breaches and other cyber threats
  • Early detection
  • Better coordination and collaboration among security teams
  • Optimized security operations with automated processes
  • Protection against emerging threats such as zero-day attacks


Get EDR & MDR Services From the Same Trusted Partner

Whether you need full network monitoring from a tactical team or just some insight into a few devices, the right managed service provider can help.

Outsource Solutions Group offers both MDR and EDR services. Our cybersecurity experts can provide full network support or show you how to make the most of an EDR solution. While we’re there, we can also set up anti-spam protocols, firewalls, and other security standards throughout your network.

Protect your precious business data. Contact OSG to fortify your cyber defense.

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