Getting Ahead of the Attack

By Matt Wilson
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[By Matt Wilson, vice president of product management, Netography]

Being proactive is always good advice, but being proactive and being prepared when it comes to cybersecurity is a must. With threat actors maturing and constantly changing their methods, security teams must always be aware of what’s happening on the network. However, it can be challenging to truly map out what solutions and techniques your teams may need to apply to get ahead of looming attacks, but there are things they can consider. Let’s look at three best practices that organizations should consider implementing to proactively prepare for an attack.

Eliminating Visibility Silos

Centralized monitoring and analytics play an important role in making sure your team has full visibility into what is happening on the network. Teams should first take an inventory of what tools they have in place and how each team is using it. For instance, your security team may be using an endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution to visualize and store data while your cloud operations team may be using very different information and different tools for viewing and storing data.

Once that inventory is complete, teams can collaborate to integrate disparate systems, processes, and data sources into a unified framework. This will help both teams not only get comprehensive visibility into all traffic, but they will also gain a new understanding of how to work together while continuing to use a familiar tool set. Having visibility into the organization’s network, endpoints, applications and cloud infrastructure helps in recognizing patterns, anomalies and potential threats across the entire ecosystem.

In addition to a centralized platform, consolidated reporting creates a unified reporting structure that allows for a holistic view of the organization’s security posture. This consolidation helps in understanding the correlations between seemingly disparate security events and can enhance your team’s ability to identify and respond to threats promptly.

Closing Gaps from Legacy Tools

It’s no secret that the network has become more complex and diverse. In fact, recent research found that roughly 87 percent of enterprises are taking a multi-cloud approach which means that many of the legacy solutions that were once sufficient for networks no longer are. As such, modernizing security infrastructure is essential. Older systems may have vulnerabilities that aren’t patched or protected against current threats. And many of those same systems rely heavily on deep packet inspection (DPI) which is getting tricky as more organizations move to Zero Trust models that require encryption. This makes it very difficult for DPI to see into the network traffic to inspect packets, and any workarounds to it can be expensive and hard to deploy. Migrating to newer technologies with built-in security features can significantly reduce the attack surface.

It doesn’t stop at simply deploying more modern technologies for network visibility. Your team must also ensure that it has established a regular and robust patch management process that will ensure that software, applications, and systems are up-to-date with the latest security patches, closing potential entry points for attackers through known vulnerabilities.

Accelerating Detection and Response

As previously mentioned, relying on packet-based network monitoring can be costly and complex; not every organization will have the budget or manpower to deploy additional appliance-based devices across a distributed network. It is therefore important to look at solutions, like a network defense platform (NDP) and other monitoring devices that can detect anomalous network activity across your OT, IT and IoT network in real-time without necessarily requiring additional hardware or software. These technologies can recognize patterns, anomalies, and suspicious behaviors that might be missed by traditional rule-based or packet-reliant systems.

Finally, setting up automated response mechanisms for known threats can help contain and mitigate attacks promptly, and reduce attacker dwell time within the network. Automated response can range from isolating compromised systems to shutting down specific processes to prevent further damage.

In addition to these best practices, there are other procedures – such as continuous employee security training and awareness programs, and adopting a Zero Trust approach – that your team can take in order to stay ahead of the attack. By integrating these best practices, organizations can significantly improve their ability to detect, respond to, and mitigate potential cybersecurity threats effectively.

About the Author:

Matt Wilson is the Vice President of Product Management at Netography. Over his 25+ year career, Matt has held senior technology leadership positions across numerous industries including Neustar, Verisign, and Prolexic Technologies. With a rich background in innovation and go-to-market strategies, Matt has been a critical leader in helping many companies conceptualize solutions from the customer lens and drive them to market with significant impact.

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