Sophos, a cybersecurity-as-a-service company, has introduced a Managed Detection and Response (MDR) tool for Microsoft Defender to protect users against data breaches, ransomware and other active cyberattacks.

MDR is a fully-managed offering that provides robust threat response capabilities for organisations using Microsoft Security. The MDR according to Sophos adds a critical layer of 24-hour protection across the Microsoft Security suite of endpoint, SIEM, identity, cloud, and other solutions.

Raja Patel, senior vice president of products and managed services at Sophos speaking on the product said attackers are extremely persistent, and organisations need a human layer of security to conduct threat hunts, identify attacker’s behaviours attempting to evade security tools, and respond to stop attacks with speed and precision.

“Baseline security technology alone is not enough to defeat determined attackers who will find a way in, as evidenced by the cases our incident response team manages.

“Rather than forcing them to rip and replace existing technologies, we support organisations with what they need, how and where they need it regardless of what security solutions they already use. For channel partners delivering Microsoft Security offerings, there’s a tremendous opportunity to ensure customers are fully protected and maximising value from their existing deployments,” Patel said.

The cybersecurity company explained that the new MDR for Microsoft Defender integrates telemetry from a broad range of Microsoft Security tools. Unlike other MDR offerings that limit support to Microsoft Defender for Endpoint or Microsoft Sentinel and provide minimal threat response capabilities, Sophos MDR fortifies the broader Microsoft Security suite, including Microsoft Defender for Endpoint, Microsoft Defender for Identity, Microsoft Defender for Cloud, Microsoft Defender for Cloud Apps, Identity Protection (Azure Active Directory), Office 365 Security and Compliance Center, Microsoft Sentinel, Office 365 Management Activity.

Telemetry is the automatic measurement and wireless transmission of data from remote sources.

Also, telemetry from these sources according to Sophos is automatically consolidated, correlated and prioritised with insights from the Sophos Adaptive Cybersecurity Ecosystem and the Sophos X-Ops threat intelligence unit of more than 500 security analysts, threat hunters, responders, data scientists, and other specialists across Sophos worldwide.

This enables the Sophos MDR operations team to identify and stop more threats than Microsoft Security tools or any security technology on their own.

“Sixty-five per cent of organisations have had a significant ransomware event in the last 12 months despite significant investments in cybersecurity tools, according to IDC research. It is often not a tool but a people problem. Most IT and security teams are generally overworked, understaffed and under-resourced. They cannot triage and address the daily deluge of alerts and issues to get the desired protections promised from their current tool investments,” Frank Dickson, group vice president for IDC’s Security and Trust research practice said.

He said Sophos assists organisations leveraging the Microsoft security stack to realize the outcomes from their existing cybersecurity investments.

The Sophos MDR for Microsoft Defender is available now to all Sophos MDR Essentials customers using security technologies included in Microsoft 365 E3 and E5 licenses.

Kierin Newsham, chief technologist-cyber security at Softcat said while advancements in technologies like Extended Detection and Response, and generative AI are driving efficiencies in security operations, the human element remains a critical component to stopping advanced threats.

“We are pleased with how Sophos MDR is helping our customers overcome the increasing talent shortage and widening skills gap to deliver the best cybersecurity outcomes possible, independent of the customer’s size, structure or previous technology investments.”

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