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.
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.
Additional insights from Joe Panettieri.