Understand the Differences Between MSS, MDR, & SOC-as-a-Service

These days, cybersecurity has turned into one of the most important aspects of business processes. Most businesses have an online presence and they want to protect it at any cost. And when it comes to cybersecurity, we hear common buzzwords like MDR, MSS, SOC-as-a-Service, and whatnot. 

But what do these terms mean? What do they do for a business? Do businesses need all of them? How do you determine which one your business needs?

Well, that’s what we’re about to find out in this post.

What is MSS (Managed Security Services)?

Managed Security Services (MSS) is a service where businesses outsource their cybersecurity operations to specialized firms. These firms keep an eye on the company’s networks, systems, and data around the clock and monitor any signs of security breaches.

MSS has turned into a very important part of modern-day business operations. It’s simply because paying employees for an in-house security team doesn’t make sense for most business owners. Outsourcing not only helps reduce the overhead but also ensures top-tier security for the business’s internet presence. 

When a business employs MSS, businesses can focus on their core operations without worrying about cyber threats. The service providers like Exeo use sophisticated tools and expertise to detect potential security breaches early. The idea is to prevent them from escalating into major issues. 

It’s a proactive approach that serves two separate purposes. First, it saves companies from potential financial losses due to cyber incidents. At the same time, it helps maintain the company’s reputation by safeguarding customer data. 

What is MDR (Managed Detection and Response)?

Many business owners are easily confused between MSS and MDR. While both share some characteristics, they’re different services offered by third-party vendors. 

Unlike MSS, Managed Detection and Response (MDR) takes a hands-on approach to cybersecurity. It not only offers businesses a specialized team to monitor digital environments but also actively hunts for threats. This is the detection part. Then, the professionals also respond to threats, justifying the term MDR. 

Unlike the broader focus of MSS, MDR zeroes in on identifying and mitigating cyber threats in real time. This service is like having a dedicated detective and response team that not only spots the intruders but also chases them down before they can do harm. But you’re not the one paying individual salaries to the cybersecurity professionals. 

In recent years, MDR services have become crucial. As internet threats evolve quickly and can bypass traditional security measures, preventative measures like MDR are needed for better business security. 

With the right MDR in place, businesses gain access to cutting-edge technology and a team of experts skilled in dealing with complex cyber threats. This deadly combination leads to swift and effective responses to incidents. Needless to say, it minimizes damage and downtime for business operations. 

This service is best for businesses that prioritize agility and robust defense mechanisms over cost considerations. 

What is SOCaaS (SOC-as-a-Service)?

SOC-as-a-Service (SOCaaS) model is an outsourced solution where businesses get access to a Security Operations Center (SOC) through a subscription service model. The model provides continuous monitoring and analysis of a company’s digital security posture. 

With services managés SOC you get to tap into advanced security expertise and technologies that you otherwise can’t afford. It’s a no-brainer that setting up a SOC takes massive upfront investments. 

Instead, the service model focuses on detecting, analyzing, and responding to cybersecurity incidents using a team of security experts.

From what we can tell from experience, this model works best for small to medium-sized businesses that may not have the resources to maintain a full-time, dedicated SOC team. By leveraging SOC-as-a-Service, these companies can ensure their networks, systems, and data are monitored 24/7. 

Any signs of compromise and the team in charge will take care of it. This is one of the most efficient ways to enhance a company’s cybersecurity measures.

The Comparison

Well, now that you know what each of the services is and what they mean for businesses, we can move on to the actual comparison. Let’s take them one at a time. 


MDR and SOC-as-a-Service both offer crucial cybersecurity solutions. However, they’re designed to cater to different needs within a business. 

MDR, for starters, is intensely focused on detecting and responding to threats. As you’d expect from the name, it solely focuses on the oncoming threats to a business. It’s ideal for businesses looking for a targeted approach to handle and neutralize threats as soon as they occur. 

SOC-as-a-Service, on the other hand, offers a broader, more comprehensive monitoring and analysis framework. This makes this model more suitable for businesses that need continuous oversight of their cyber health. These businesses, in most cases, need the monitoring but can’t afford the resources for an in-house SOC. 

To wrap up, MDR zeroes in on immediate threat response while SOC-as-a-Service builds a continuous defense system to strengthen a business’s cybersecurity posture.

SOC as a Service vs MSSP

While SOC-as-a-Service provides businesses with a comprehensive, ongoing monitoring framework, Managed Security Services (MSS) offers a broader spectrum of security operations outsourcing. 

As you already know, MSS encompasses the management of a company’s entire security environment, including the implementation and management of security policies, network security, and incident response. 

The elaborate scope of MSS makes it a fit for organizations seeking a complete security solution that covers various aspects beyond monitoring. Yes, we’re talking about policy development and maintenance. 

In contrast, SOC-as-a-Service is more focused on surveillance and threat detection, making it a choice for businesses that already have some security measures in place but need enhanced, 24/7 security monitoring and expertise.

Wrapping Up

Now you know what MSS, MDR, and SOCaaS are in the cybersecurity space. To the average person, they may all mean the same thing. But when you zoom in and consider business requirements, they start to make sense separately. 

So, whether you own a small business or a medium enterprise, it’s time to step up your cybersecurity game. That’s where Exeo comes in with its Managed Security Services (MSS) that include both MDR and SOCaaS!


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