17 May 2023

MDR as an alternative for your in-house SOC team

The ideal situation would be to have a dedicated security operations center (SOC) to handle all cybersecurity tasks and safeguard the business data and infrastructure. However, the cost of building one from the ground up might be staggering, especially for smaller businesses.

There’s a way in which businesses that can’t afford a full in-house SOC team can boost their security levels tenfold though. Namely by relying on a SOCaaS platform such as MDR.

What are SOCaaS and MDR though, and how can it let businesses tap into the knowledge and skills of cybersecurity experts when they are so hard to find nowadays? You’ll find out in this article.

What is SOC?

We should start by explaining what a Security Operation Center or SOC even is.

To put it simply, SOC is a team of cybersecurity professionals whose primary job is to protect the organization from cyberattacks and security incidents. Traditionally, SOC teams mainly worked in-house. Since cloud services have become widely available, many SOC teams can now work remotely though.

What didn’t change is that SOC teams usually work 24/7 (in shifts), so they could monitor, detect and respond to any alerts as soon as possible.

Some of the tasks the SOC team typically handles are:

    • Monitoring the network, servers, endpoint devices, databases, and other parts of business infrastructure for incidents

    • Detecting, estimating importance, and responding to suspicious activity within the business infrastructure

    • Gathering and analyzing the data coming from systems and tools within the company (Firewalls, SIEMs, endpoints devices, etc.)

    • Maintaining events log

    • Investigating incidents and mitigating damage.

    • Examining the infrastructure for potential vulnerabilities and patching those, etc.

Why is building an in-house SOC team so tricky?

A SOC team can tremendously strengthen business security by making the systems and infrastructure more resilient to attacks. By spotting  vulnerabilities or signs of incoming attacks faster, the SOC team can prevent or minimize the damage caused by the incidents and lower the incidents’ costs.

Having your own in-house cybersecurity team comes at a steep price. According to Indeed, the average salary for a security analyst in the United States is $92k a year. A SOC manager meanwhile earns on average $67k per year. That already makes hiring even one expert costly for companies – not to mention creating a fully staffed SOC that can work 24/7.

Factor in the costs of equipment, software licenses, training, and the costs of running a SOC team in-house can range from thousands to millions of dollars a year.

Why should businesses think about using SOCaaS platforms? 

Because of how high the costs of keeping such a team on staff are, there are still plenty of companies without a security operations center. And even those that started building their own team have trouble finding the right people to fill the team.

In the “2020 State of the SOC Report,” 40% of organizations said they are struggling with finding and hiring staff for their in-house SOC team.  

An alternative to having a full in-house team might be using a SOC-as-a-service platform, such as MDR (Managed Detection and Response).

What is SOCaaS?

SOC-as-a-service (SOCaaS) is a managed SOC offered by a third-party vendor on a subscription basis. That way, businesses don’t need to search for and hire cybersecurity professionals or manage their in-house SOC infrastructure. Instead, they can work together with the provider’s main SOC team.

A SOCaaS vendor can also offer all of the security services that an in-house team would typically perform:

    • 24/7 Infrastructure monitoring

    • Data gathering and analysis

    • Threat intelligence

    • Log management

    • Incident detection, investigation, and response

    • Compliance management

The expert team can also provide organizations with advice on how to make their infrastructure more secure by assessing their current cybersecurity practices and mapping out places that need improvement.

What is an MDR?

One of the platforms businesses often look at when they consider getting a SOCaaS tool is Managed Detection and Response or MDR.

MDR is a service combining real-time threat monitoring and detection, data analysis tools, and the experience of a team of cybersecurity professionals. With it being one of the more comprehensive solutions on the market, many organizations are now turning to it for cybersecurity protection.

For example, according to Gartner, by 2025, 50% of organizations will be using MDR services for threat monitoring, detection, and response functions that offer threat containment and mitigation capabilities.

What can an MDR system do?

    • Threat detection: MDR providers have numerous tools and techniques inside their platforms to help them detect threats faster. To name a few, those systems typically include network monitoring, endpoint detection and response (EDR), and security information and event management (SIEM).

    • Threat prioritization: Thanks to technologies such as Threat Intelligence and Security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) can help the SOC team better and faster prioritize the alerts and focus on the most critical issues first.

    • Threat hunting: MDR expert team proactively looks for any signs of an attack that might not have yet been detected by automated security solutions. That increases the chances that an attack will be spotted and prevented before it actually happens.

    • Compliance monitoring and support: MDR providers can help organizations comply with security regulations, such as NIS2, HIPAA, or PCI DSS.

But by partnering with the MDR provider team, an organization can also rely on the providers’ SOC team knowledge whenever they need it. For example, the MDR team can help them with:

    • Examining and enhancing internal security configurations

    • Running vulnerability analyses and penetration tests,

    • Performing security audits

    • Training the in-house IT team, etc.

Those features of an MDR platform make it a valuable tool for organizations of all sizes – especially those that can’t or don’t want to build their own security operations center team.

What are the main benefits of SOCaaS?  

Working with a SOCaaS provider is almost like you would have your own cybersecurity team. They will keep an eye on your business network and equipment 24/7, analyze the data coming from the security tools, and in case of an incident, work together with you to minimize the damage.

Using SOCaaS over an in-house team has a few extra benefits, though.

Lower costs

The costs of building a security team from scratch can go even into millions – just think about the employee costs, equipment, licenses, hardware, and software that you would need. SOCaaS platforms can lower those costs to just a monthly or annual subscription fee.

Fewer security incidents

A SOCaaS solution protecting your company can also decrease the risk of a security incident. Thanks to various automated tools included in the SOCaaS platform, the SOC team can faster spot a system vulnerability or a security flaw and patch it before it leads to a more severe security compromise.

Plus, the outsourced team can also help the business to fortify the endpoints’ or regularly monitor and patch their systems’ vulnerabilities, further boosting the security levels.

Flexibility and Scalability

SOCaaS platforms also win with in-house teams when it comes to scalability. The solution can be easily tailored to your company’s main requirements, and you can scale it up or down as needed. For example, MDR services typically have a long list of additional functionalities that can be added to their platform – like data leak protection or API monitoring.

Free up your IT staff time

Monitoring network safety and analyzing alerts coming from dozens of security tools nowadays takes so much time, your main IT team might not have time for their other responsibilities. Not to mention, IT professionals regularly cite separating fake positives and low-importance alerts from serious threats as one of the most frustrating tasks they have to do.

With a SOCaaS provider working with your team, your IT specialists can focus on their other responsibilities rather than spend time solely on security tasks.

Various sophisticated features

New cyberattack methods are invented virtually every day – and so are the methods in which companies can shield themselves from those. Still, ensuring you have all the latest security tools can be quite tricky when you have a limited budget and can’t exactly afford to implement those yourself. With a SOCaaS service though, you can take advantage of various cutting-edge features all packed into one system.

Our CyberDefender MDR, for example, has a Threat Deception feature included. This functionality tricks cybercriminals into attacking imitations of databases or other critical assets and then sending an alert to the SOC team whenever the deception feature has been triggered. That way, the SOC team has more time to stop the attack and protect the actual assets.

What can CyberDefender MDR do for your business?

Want to strengthen your business security but building your own SOC is out of reach? Then an MDR solution such as our CyberDefender might be the perfect solution for you.

We combined numerous tools from leading vendors with the knowledge and experience of our own Security Operations Center to create a comprehensive security solution for monitoring IT infrastructure 24/7.

No matter how many computers and servers you have or how complex your multi-branch infrastructure is, we are sure that our service can handle it. And if your IT team needs a bit of help while investigating incidents or updating internal security, our experts will be happy to lend a hand.

Sounds a bit too good to be true? Then, how about you reach out to our sales team to see for yourself? We know exactly how to reduce your vulnerability to cybercrime – and we’ll be happy to share our expertise with you.


Having a firewall and antivirus platform is nowhere near enough to protect a business nowadays. Not when there are 560,000 new malware detected every day. Building a full-fledged in-house security team is not an easy (or cheap) task, though.

By using a SOCaaS service, you can take advantage of all that modern cybersecurity has to offer but without the heavy price tag. Just imagine – you could have SOC professionals protecting your company from threats just with a single subscription. Amazing, isn’t it?


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