MDR, Content, MSSP, Channel partner programs, XDR

Palo Alto Networks Launches Managed Detection and Response (MDR) Security Service

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Palo Alto Networks is the latest cybersecurity technology company to launch a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) security service. The new MDR offering, from Palo Alto's Unit 42 organization, further blurs the lines between MSSPs, cyber technology companies and pure-play MDR businesses.

The new MDR service is available directly from Palo Alto Networks to end-customers, but the cybersecurity company also emphasized continued partner opportunities. In addition to the Unit 42 MDR option, "customers can use their own team to manage XDR or choose an XMDR Partner," the company noted.

Existing Palo Alto Networks XMDR partners include such Top 250 MSSPs as Critical Start, Orange Cyberdefense, PwC and Trustwave, among many others, according to the Palo Alto Networks website.

Wendi Whitmore, senior vice president of Palo Alto Networks Unit 42, described the motivation behind the new MDR offering:

"As cyberattacks continue to rise, many organizations are being asked to handle advanced threats with limited resources and without the right expertise. This will not lead to good results. Palo Alto Networks Unit 42 brings a unique combination of innovative cybersecurity technologies and a world-class threat intelligence team, which allows us to provide customers with rapid detection and response to critical cyberthreats.”

A Closer Look at Unit 42 MDR

Unit 42 MDR is built on Palo Alto Networks’ Cortex XDR (extended detection and response) capability to prioritize alerts. Key capabilities of the new service, according to the company, include:

  • Continuous Monitoring & Response. Security experts monitor alerts, events, and indicators 24x7x365. The Unit 42 MDR team uses a mix of proprietary processes, infrastructure and enrichment to accelerate detection, response and threat hunting to quickly stop malicious activity.
  • Proactive Threat Hunting. Threat hunters search environments for complex attacks using deep knowledge of XDR data sources and intelligence, helping organizations stay ahead of emerging attack campaigns, malware and vulnerabilities.
  • Security Posture Optimization. Experts provide periodic health checks of an organization’s posture and detailed recommendations on policy changes to address risks before they become issues.

Palo Alto Networks cited its 2022 Unit 42 Incident Response Report, which found that when a breach occurs, 44% of the cases involved a business that did not have or did not fully deploy an endpoint detection and response or XDR security solution.

Palo Alto Networks Adds MSSP Partners

Meanwhile, Palo Alto Networks continues to engage more MSSP, MSP and IT consulting partners. One recent example: HCL Technologies, which has a Top 250 MSSP business unit, partnered with Palo Alto Networks to boost its managed security services, including cloud, incident response and XDR capabilities. Also, Red Canary, a Top 250 MSSP and Top 40 MDR provider, joined the Palo Alto Networks Cortex MSSP partner program to help deliver multiple layers of security across its cybersecurity solutions.

In May 2022, Deloitte, a Top 250 MSSP, and Palo Alto Networks announced their partnership to provide threat detection, 5G security and other managed security solutions to global organizations.

Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.

Jim Masters

Jim Masters is Managing Editor of MSSP Alert, and holds a B.A. degree in Journalism from Northern Illinois University. His career has spanned governmental and investigative reporting for daily newspapers in the Northwest Indiana Region and 16 years in a global internal communications role for a Fortune 500 professional services company. Additionally, he is co-owner of the Lake County Corn Dogs minor league baseball franchise, located in Crown Point, Indiana. In his spare time, he enjoys writing and recording his own music, oil painting, biking, volleyball, golf and cheering on the Corn Dogs.