MDR Deployment Guide

This page outlines the deployment tasks for Managed Detection and Response (MDR).

Prepare for Deployment

To ensure you get the most out of your first 90 days with InsightIDR, it’s important to understand your deployment tasks and create a plan for deployment.

Supported Browsers

Rapid7 supports InsightIDR in Google Chrome (latest stable release) and Mozilla Firefox (latest stable release).

Set up a service account

Before provisioning resources and deploying InsightIDR, you must set up a Service Account to collect log data for InsightIDR. You can either designate an existing user account, or create a Service Account.

Review the Service Account requirements and set up an account.

Review system requirements

Each component of InsightIDR requires specific resources. Navigate to each component's designated page for a full list of each components' requirements.

ComponentRequired Resources
Collector- 4 CPU cores with 2GHz+ on each core
- 8 GB RAM required/ 16 GB recommended
- 60 GB+ available disk space
- Configured with a Fully Qualified Domain Name (FQDN) such as
Insight AgentRequired ports for Collector communication through TCP (Click here to review the full list in detail):

- 5508
- 6608
- 8037 (TCP and UDP)

Service AccountIf you have a Microsoft Windows domain or Microsoft DHCP/DNS, you can either designate an existing user account as a service account, or create a new account account as your service account, that meets all of the following requirements:

- Active Directory Permissions
- LDAP Permissions
- Microsoft DNS Permissions
- Microsoft DHCP Account Permissions

See Setting Up a Service Account for more information.
Event SourceDesignate a Setting Up a Service Account with correct permissions

See Event Source requirements for more individual event source requirements.
Honeypot- 1 CPU
- 10 GB hard disk space
Insight OrchestratorAt least 1 Orchestrator is required for Active Response
Insight Network SensorNetworks Sensors are optional, but recommended. Although the network sensor software itself runs in the form of a container, all physical or virtual network sensor hosts must run one of the following supported Linux operating systems. The version number shown for each one indicates the minimum supported version:

- Ubuntu Server 20.04 and later
- RHEL 7.2 and later
- CentOS 8 and later
- Fedora 30 and later
- SUSE 15.0 and later
- Debian 8.11 and later

See Network Sensor Host Requirements for more information.
Provision resources in your environment

We recommend provisioning specific resources as soon as possible to ensure a quick and easy deployment experience. And complete an inventory of the environment to identify all devices in-scope for deployment.

These core components require provisioning hardware (not limited to 1 and in many cases will be multiple):

Log in to the Insight Platform

Already have an Insight Platform account?

If you already have a platform account from a trial or existing subscription to another Rapid7 solution, you’re all set! Use your existing email address to log in to

The Rapid7 Insight Platform is your base within the ecosystem of Rapid7 cloud products and services. It provides a centralized location for administrative functions and makes navigating the Insight product suite simple and easy.

To log in to the platform, you need a Rapid7 Insight Platform account.

To create an account:

  1. Check your corporate email inbox for an email from the Rapid7 Insight Platform team.
  2. Visit
  3. Select Haven’t activated your account?.
  4. Enter your corporate email address to receive an activation email with next steps. If you do not receive an activation email, reach out to your Customer Adoption Manager (CAM) or Customer Success Manager (CSM).
  5. Refer to the activation email and follow the instructions to create and activate your Insight Platform account
Configure daily data archiving

InsightIDR stores your log data for a retention period of 13 months. If you need to retain data for longer than that period, such as for security investigation or compliance purposes, we recommend that you set up daily archiving. Archiving allows you to retain a copy of your log data using the storage capabilities of Amazon S3.

To set up data archiving, see Data Archiving.

Daily Archiving versus Historical Data Archiving

If you do not configure daily archiving, you can download a backup of your data up to 2 times a year using InsightIDR's Historical Data Archiving feature. This process can take several days to complete.

Required Deployment Tasks

The following tasks are required for MDR deployment.

1. Set up Collectors

Insight Collectors collect log information from event sources and endpoint data from Insight Agents and send it to Rapid7's cloud platform for processing. InsightIDR Collectors are required for the collection of log data into InsightIDR. In addition, the Collectors can be used as a proxy for Insight Agent data.

For this step, you need to first determine how many collectors are needed and where to place them. Next, configure and activate all collectors needed for InsightIDR deployment.

MDR Requirements

You must add at least one Collector to collect log and endpoint data. The collector must meet the minimum specifications. Please note that Rapid7 recommends that you use a dedicated server for your Collector when possible. You should also install an Insight Agent to the Collector, as the Insight Agent is not installed as part of the Collector software package.

  1. Determine how many collectors are needed and where to place them. You will need at least one Insight Collector but may have more depending on your organization and infrastructure.
  2. Configure the collector. Collectors may be configured in local or cloud infrastructure and on Windows or Linux operating systems.

If you need additional guidance on Collector placement or sizing, please contact your Rapid7 Product Consultant, Project Manager, or Customer Advisor before proceeding.

2. Install Insight Agents

The Rapid7 Insight Agent is downloadable software that is installed onto supported assets. As explained in detail here, the Insight Agent runs a set of forensic jobs that allow it to monitor activity on the host and send this information back to InsightIDR through either a Rapid7 Collector or directly to the Rapid7 cloud. The Rapid7 Insight Agent is used to monitor activity on the endpoints where it is installed. You can view a subset of the detections that an agent is required for in the Rapid7 Detections Library.

MDR Requirement

Rapid7 MDR recommends full deployment of Insight Agents to all in-scope assets, including all workstations, laptops, and servers. Your team may elect to move your environment into monitoring before this threshold is reached; however, for a partial deployment of the Insight Agent to the environment your organization understands, agrees, and accepts the limitations and risk of service degradation. Specifically, the following aspects of the MDR service are unavailable to assets without the Insight Agent installed:

Detection AspectLimitation
Attacker Behavior AnalyticsA significant portion of MDR’s threat detection power lies in the ability to detect specific events (file system changes, network connections, process start/stop) on each of the assets. This data can only be provided by the Insight Agent.
Manual Human Threat HuntingThe MDR monthly threat hunts rely on the endpoint agent to collect the data in scope for threat hunts. Assets without the Insight Agent will be excluded from threat hunts. Threat hunting requires deployment of the Insight Agent to at least 80% of the in-scope environment.
Threat Intelligence MatchingAll executable processes run on any asset with the Insight Agent are matched against known threat intelligence. Assets without the Insight Agent will not have running processes matched against threat intelligence.
Alert validation and Remote IR investigationsMDR’s incident investigations rely on the Insight Agent to collect data for analysis. Assets without the Insight Agent will be out of scope for both the typical validation process conducted by the SOC team for an alert as well as any Remote IR investigation.
Local authentications and group membership changesThe Insight Agent is required to identify authentications using local accounts, such as a local administrator account, and is required to identify local group membership changes (for example, a user added to local administrators group). Assets without the Insight Agent will be excluded from local authentication and UBA, where UBA is the act of tracking per-user and per-system actions to build statistical models of user activity and identify anomalies.
Attacker ingress detectionThe most common methods of compromise are via Phishing (malicious emails) and malicious web sites, both of which require end-user interaction to succeed. As the majority of internet browsing and email activity occurs on end-user workstations, Rapid7 is unable to identify initial method of compromise and lateral movement from those systems to servers and other critical assets without the Insight Agent.

In addition, while Rapid7 highly recommends configuring endpoint data collection by installing the Rapid7 Insight Agent on all endpoints in the organization, in order to receive the initial Security Posture Assessment, MDR customers must install Insight Agents on at least 80% of their assets, including workstations, laptops, and servers. MDR customers should not use the Endpoint Scanning feature but must instead install the Insight Agent onto their assets.

Additional Information

You are responsible for downloading and installing the Insight Agent onto all of your endpoints -- including all workstations, laptops, and servers -- using your preferred packaging and installation software. You should whitelist the Insight Agent in any technology that will interfere with its ability to operate including malware/endpoint detection software, antivirus software, SSL encryption/decryption tools, SSL inspection products, etc. The Insight Agent must be able to communicate directly with a Collector or to the Rapid7 platform.

You can use the Agent Management page in InsightIDR to view installed agents that are communicating with the Rapid7 platform. If there is an issue with deploying the agent, Rapid7 can provide assistance with downloading the Insight Agent and with installation and functionality issues.

An optional feature of the Insight Agent is its ability to collect local log files. You can read more about this feature here. While these extra logs are not required by Rapid7 or the SOC, they are sometimes useful during an investigation. If you wish to collect these logs, you can enable this feature at any time by configuring the logging.json file as described in the documentation.

4. Configure Settings Page in InsightIDR

The Settings page contains both required and optional configuration settings. Review these settings to verify that they are configured for the organization being monitored.

Configure Inactivity Alerts

Inactivity Alerts are used to notify you that an event source is no longer sending logs to Log Search. If you wish to be notified that an event source is down, then you should configure Inactivity Alerts.

To configure Inactivity Alerts:

  1. Select Log Search
  2. Select Add Alert from along the top of the page.
  3. Select Inactivity Detection Alert.
  4. Proceed through the wizard, filling out required fields and selecting the logs or Log Sets for which you wish to create the Inactivity Alert.

The most common way to create the alerts to create a separate alert for each log type so that you can be more granular with the “trigger settings”, or how long the source can be silent before generating an alert.

Credential Settings

The Credential Settings page lists all credentials added to the InsightIDR deployment for either log collection or endpoint scanning. If the password for these credentials needs to be deleted, modified, or changed, edit the credentials from this page.

Asset Settings (Optional)

Asset Settings has a configuration option that can be used with the Nexpose/InsightVM event source. This setting allows criticality tags to be used in Nexpose/InsightVM to automatically mark those assets in InsightIDR as Restricted Assets.

Configure Public IP Ranges

If public IP address ranges are used internally instead of private IP address ranges, enter those ranges on the Public IP Ranges page.

Note: This is not common.

Configure Static IP Ranges

The Static IP Ranges page is used to enter any IP address ranges of monitored assets that have their IP addresses statically assigned, such as workstations, laptops, and servers. In addition, this page has a special use to assist with IP address to hostname attribution. If InsightIDR is unable to determine the hostname associated with an IP address using other methods and the IP address range for the IP has been added as a Static IP Range, the Insight Collectors will do a reverse DNS lookup of the IP address to try to determine its hostname.

The Unknown IP Addresses page can be used to determine what ranges are in the organization that have IP addresses for which InsightIDR was not able to get a hostname. If these ranges are handed out by DHCP or VPN servers, add the corresponding event sources and ensure they are operational. Otherwise, these IP address ranges may need to be added as Static IP Ranges.

Note that if the IP address ranges listed are not of interest to InsightIDR because they are not used for endpoints or other assets monitored by InsightIDR, you can add these ranges to the Unmanaged IP Ranges page and they will be removed from the Unknown IP Addresses page.

Configure Network Zones and Network Policies (Optional)

On the Network Policies page, configure who should or should not be accessing any defined Network Zones. InsightIDR sends alerts if it identifies authentication activity to the zone outside of what is configured in the policy.

Configure Tagged Domains

If InsightIDR detects browsing activity to domains that are 'near misses' to your Tagged Domains, such as accessing '' instead of '', it sends an alert as this could be an indicator of a phishing attack. You should enter in all owned and managed web domains.

Configure S3 Archiving (Optional)

InsightIDR can be used to keep a copy of the log data in an owned and controlled Amazon S3 bucket. To configure this option feature, configure the AWS S3 bucket, then configure InsightIDR to place a copy of the log data into this bucket. When this option is configured, InsightIDR begins copying log data starting the day it is set up. It does not copy historical logs to the AWS S3 bucket. Therefore, you should configure this setting during your initial InsightIDR setup if you wish to have a copy of all of your log data in your own S3 bucket.

The following are additional deployment tasks for MDR.

1. Configure Additional Event Sources

In addition to the recommended event sources, InsightIDR supports the collection of logs, events, alerts, and related data from many other types of devices. Although these event sources are not required for the MDR service and are not used by the Rapid7 SOC for investigations, you may wish to use InsightIDR to collect these logs. While optional, these event sources allow the collected logs to be viewed in Log Search, Dashboards, and can be used as part of Custom Alerts. In addition, you can use the InsightIDR Custom Parsing Tool to parse these logs.

The Rapid7 SOC does not perform hunts or investigations on event sources other than those listed in the Recommended Event Sources. The Rapid7 SOC also does not monitor Custom Alerts; if you need the SOC to monitor activity based on Custom Alerts, please discuss this request with your Customer Advisor. Also, please note that Rapid7 does assist with the setup and configuration of these additional event sources. However, custom integrations are provided as part of a separate paid service and are not part of the standard MDR deployment.

2. Configure Additional Settings

InsightIDR has other configuration settings in addition to those configured on the Settings page. Review this list of optional settings and configure those that apply.

Platform Home Configuration Settings

Instructions for changing the Rapid7 Platform settings can be found here.

Platform Admins can configure settings on the Platform Home. While logged into InsightIDR, click the drop-down arrow next to the InsightIDR logo on the top bar of InsightIDR and select My Account to get to the Platform Home.

Access the Settings page to change the Company Profile, configure Multi-Factor Authentication Or Single Sign On, or change the password policy for Platform accounts. The User Management page can be used to change who can access InsightIDR or other Rapid7 Insight products. These users can also open Rapid7 technical support cases. When reviewing the list of users configured for InsightIDR, you may notice one or more accounts that start with svc_idr; do not delete these accounts as they are used by your Rapid7 Account Team.


Threats are used to monitor access to known or suspected indicators of compromise, such as known or suspected maliciously used IP addresses, URLs, domains, or hashes. These can be viewed in InsightIDR on the Settings - Alert Settings - Community Threats page. Rapid7 recommends that you not configure any threats without first discussing this feature with your MDR Customer Advisor.

Service Accounts

InsightIDR uses information pulled back by the LDAP event source to determine if an account is a Service Account. If InsightIDR identifies an account with Password Set to Never Expire and that the First Name and Last Name fields are blank or contain information that does not appear to be common first or last names, the account is marked by InsightIDR as a Service Account. This marking is only in the InsightIDR product and is used by the behavior analytics alerts. Some behaviors should not be observed on Service Accounts, such as authentication using VPN, which will generate alerts in InsightIDR.

Windows domain accounts marked as Service Accounts can be viewed on the Users & Accounts page. Select Non-Expiring Users, then use either the filters on the left or the columns on the right to view accounts InsightIDR marked as Service Accounts.

InsightIDR can incorrectly mark some regular users as Service Accounts or miss marking service accounts. After adding in the LDAP event source for a Windows Domain, review the Service Accounts listed on the Non-Expiring Users page to fix any accounts that did not get properly marked.

3. Configure Deception Traps

InsightIDR currently has four types of deception traps that can be configured to gain additional visibility into user behavior. Each deception trap monitors for a different kind of suspicious user activity that can be difficult to analyze and detect otherwise.

  • Honeypots are used to detect internal scanning. Consider setting up a Rapid7 honeypot on each major segment or location of the network. *Recommended for MDR
  • Honey Users are useful to detect improper user account snooping and authentication. Consider adding at least one honey user, keeping in mind that more may be needed. *Recommended for MDR
  • Honey Credentials are used to detect pass-the-hash attacks on Windows assets. To enable this feature, open a Rapid7 support case and ask to have the feature enabled.
  • Honey Files are used to catch ransomware or improper insider file snooping. This trap has more overhead than the others, so read the configuration details for it before proceeding.

4. Configure Orchestration and Automation

Automated workflows can be leveraged in InsightIDR using Rapid7's InsightConnect product. Some workflows are provided to InsightIDR users in the product and more can be added by purchasing the InsightConnect product. You can read more about automation with Rapid7 products.

To use most of the automated workflows, you must first configure a separate server called an Orchestrator. Follow the instructions in the documentation to configure and activate the Orchestrator. Next, depending on the needed workflow, configure connections to be used for automation. Test out the workflows by opening an investigation and selecting Take Action. If you are an MDR Elite customer and plan to use Active Response, please see the Active Response Deployment Guide.

5. Set Up File Monitoring

If monitoring file or folder access is required, consider configuring one of two options available in InsightIDR: File Integrity Monitoring or File Access Activity Monitoring.

File Integrity Monitoring uses native Windows auditing, which is enabled by configuring the Audit File System policy to monitor for file modifications. Use either Local Security Policy or Group Policy to enable the Audit File System policy, then specify which files or folders to monitor. The Rapid7 Insight Agent then collects these access events from the local Security log. File Integrity Monitoring is useful to meet regulatory compliance standards. It is intended to be configured for files that are not expected to change to ensure that no improper changes are made to them.

File Access Activity Monitoring uses native Windows auditing, which is enabled by configuring the Audit Detailed File Share policy. When this policy is enabled on a Windows system, access to all files and folders from a network share are tracked with the creation of events that go into the local security log. This is a system-wide change rather than one enabled on individual files and folders. Also, all file activity is tracked by the operating system. These events are collected by the Rapid7 Insight Agent from the security log. Enabling this level of auditing can cause the creation of a larger volume of events in the security log, which can impact the performance of the host. Enabling File Access Activity Monitoring is required for the Rapid7 Honey Files feature. It is also useful for systems that require all file sharing access to be monitored.

Neither of these file monitoring log sets are monitored by the Rapid7 SOC and none of the logs are used for pre-configured alerts. If you wish to monitor these events yourself, you can create Custom Alerts or Dashboards to do so.

6. Configure Dashboards and Custom Alerts in InsightIDR

A final common task is to configure desired Dashboards in InsightIDR. These are not used by the Rapid7 SOC, but can provide you a way to see your log data or to create reports. Your MDR Customer Advisor or Product Consultant can also suggest additional dashboards to you if desired.

In addition, you can also configure basic detection rules in IDR. Basic detection rules can be added at any time and allow you to create additional alerts for yourself or your team outside of the alerts monitored by the Rapid7 SOC.