Cyber security has become one of the biggest threats modern businesses face today. The number of data breaches in the U.S. hit an all-time high last year with 1,093 incidents reported, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center. This marked a 40 percent increase over breaches experienced in 2015. The rising quantity of attacks isn’t expected to slow anytime soon, and the growing sophistication of hackers’ techniques creates substantial problems for businesses.
Many organizations are tackling the issue head-on by increasing their security spending and implementing capable tools. Gartner predicted that worldwide security spending will exceed $113 billion by 2020, with threat detection and response (TDR) capabilities assuming the top priority. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most critical aspects you should know about threat detection and response:
1. Essential Assets Must Be Integrated
It’s good practice to ensure that mission-critical programs work well together to provide employees with the tools they need to effectively and efficiently complete tasks. However, this doesn’t always happen. Every solution has vendor-specific dashboards, logs and consoles that might not play well with other systems. This creates critical communication blind spots between essential assets, leaving the opportunity for attackers to strike. Microsoft noted that piecemeal approaches to essential infrastructure hampers security, and some threats can go undetected in these types of environments for 100 days.
If this sounds like your setup, it will be important to rethink your security ecosystem. Ensure that you’re developing your infrastructure around solutions that integrate and operate well together to provide a holistic view across your environment. This will provide the kind of visibility necessary to detect and respond to threats with greater speed and accuracy.
Responding to a breach is just as important as detecting one.
2. Response Is Just as Important As Detection
In some cases, organizations focus so much on the prevention and detection side of the equation that they forget to create policies and procedures around responding to an actual security incident. According to research by the Ponemon Institute, only 25 percent of respondents had a cyber security incident response plan implemented across the enterprise. This means that a majority of businesses are still unprotected and aren’t prepared for a breach.
Leaders cannot assume that they won’t be targeted or that their security measures will be perfect. PCWorld contributor Simon Eid suggested using analytics and automation to help track, contain and mitigate threats. A layered security approach will help provide more timely responses and enable more flexible approaches to eliminating the issue.
3. Alert Vectors Must Be Adjusted
With such a big threat surface, TDR alerts will appear to the point of alert fatigue. When IT teams receive so many different notifications, it’s hard to know which ones are real, meaning that each alert must be investigated. The best thing to do in this situation is to regularly update your attack vectors and alert filtering mechanisms. This way, the security team can eliminate false positives, validate threats, analyze the situation and respond accordingly, Digital Guardian stated. Adjusting your filters, protections and alert settings in your threat detection and response solution will take pressure off IT staff and reduce alert fatigue.
“Threat detection and response solutions should scan the network and provide context around each issue.”
4. Scan For Vulnerabilities
Organizations have an amalgamation of devices and applications across their infrastructure. Threat detection and response solutions should have the ability to scan the network for vulnerabilities and provide context around each issue, enabling you to prioritize more effectively, CSO Online contributor Javvad Malik stated. Vulnerability scans will help leaders make appropriate risk-based decisions and categorize problems according to which ones require immediate attention and which can be overlooked. This type of contextual information will improve response efforts and close underlying security holes. It will be important to ensure that all endpoints and assets are included within these scans to address the entire threat surface.
5. Identify Behavior Patterns
Security teams and associated tools must be able to log activities and leverage behavior analytics to identify patterns. By understanding the trends in activities, it will be easier for IT teams to create rules and enforce best practices, CSO Online contributor Kacy Zurkus wrote. Threat detection and response can establish thresholds of all users, no matter how many employees the company has. With threat detection and response solutions, it can be trained to watch each axis and understand the context of certain behaviors. By having the right data and metrics set up, organizations can improve their alerts and gain better context around the detected pattern. Perhaps a particular employee has been downloading an unusual amount of large files. This type of detail is critical for getting down to the problem and adapting to potential threats.
Cyber security is a complex piece of the puzzle for businesses to tackle, but it will be necessary to avoid breaches and data loss. A TDR solution provides a number of critical features and capabilities to identify unusual behaviors and deliver information that helps teams respond quickly. To learn more about how a layered security approach can help you mitigate and prevent more threats, contact Faronics today.