The on-loan Aston Villa goalkeeper made a vital save as Boro climbed to ninth place in the Championship with a victory over Charlton
With Republic of Ireland assistant manager Roy Keane monitoring his performance, the 37-year-old made a number of important saves, including a dramatic stop late in the game to deny Dale Stephens from bagging an equaliser.
Speaking after the game, Boro boss Karanka acknowledged the importance of the former Newcastle and Manchester City shot-stopper and believes that he is "improving with age."
"I don't want to say it was 100 per cent because everyone worked hard but he's very important for us," Karanka told the club's official website when asked if Given was responsible for the victory.
"Shay is, first of all, a very good person and a very good professional and I think he's improving with age."
He added: "Someone told me Roy Keane was here watching him and I'm very happy for Shay. I've only been working with him for two months but I always want to have a keeper like him."
Elsewhere, former Republic of Ireland youth international Patrick Bamford bagged the only goal of the game as Derby County defeated Brighton and Hove Albion.
Rams boss Steve McClaren praised Bamford, who is on loan from Chelsea, highlighting the striker's "composure" but also paid tribute to Conor Sammon and Jeff Hendrick, whose introduction contributed to the victory.
"Patrick showed great composure. There was no panic. We know he's got that quality and it needed a calm head in that situation," McClaren told the BBC.
"It's great when you have players who can change a game. It's not about 11 players, it's the squad, and we had 14 players who contributed to that win. In the modern game, it's absolutely vital because the game was going nowhere and we knew that at half-time.
"Jeff Hendrick came on, started in midfield and then went to right-back, which allowed Conor Sammon to come on so we could go to 4-2-4 and try and win the game, and Patrick produced that moment of quality to win it.
"It's a squad game. You need players who can come on and help change a game, and the squad won that game today, not the team."