It’s hard to escape the reality that every day, cyberthreats morph and expand, escalating the need to improve and tighten security operations and response practices. While it may feel overwhelming, there are ways to help level the playing field. Cognitive computing and machine learning are new technologies that can empower security practitioners to focus on what they do best: identifying and remediating the most serious threats to protect the organization.
Seven Tips to Strengthen Your Security Posture
With the help of these emerging technologies, security teams can take the following seven steps to build a stronger security posture and improve security operations and response.
1. Detect, Understand and Act on Endpoint Threats
Endpoints such as laptops, desktops and servers are often the first point of entry for attackers. If your organization is like most, you have an ever-changing variety of endpoints connecting to your network. Detecting, patching and remediating threats, including noncompliant or rogue devices, is a massive challenge.
2. Leverage Advanced Analytics to Eliminate Threats
Networks and endpoint devices generate an immense, often unmanageable amount of data, and this problem grows every day. Buried in this data are key indicators that analysts need to uncover attacks. Some refer to this problem as a needle buried in a stack of needles.
One IBM customer network generates over 1 million pieces of security data every second. Identifying key indicators of compromise from the vast quantity of normal data requires a highly scalable, real-time security intelligence system that can correlate myriad data and put it into context to detect advanced threats while they are in progress — not hours, days or months later. This tool collects, correlates and analyzes vast quantities of security data, providing security analysts with a risk-prioritized threat view, and enabling rapid analysis and remediation of threats.
3. Deploy Cognitive Security
Key to combating today’s advanced threats is deploying an adaptive, integrated security architecture that combines machine learning with real-time threat sources, regardless of whether it’s structured or unstructured. Cognitive security solutions can continuously ingest and learn from hundreds of security knowledge sources, much of which was previously unusable by traditional security tools. This enables security experts to fill gaps, improve productivity and increase accuracy.
4. Hunt for Attackers and Predict Threats
It’s important to proactively hunt for threats, even before they appear in the cybersphere. It’s clear that preventing, detecting and responding to ongoing threats on the network is a top priority for security professionals.
But what if you could detect and deal with threats before they become cyberattacks? For example, what if you could eavesdrop on criminals discussing a potential attack against your organization on the Dark Web or social media? This would enable you to prepare for an attack before it occurs. To accomplish this, security teams should adopt intelligence analysis solutions that incorporate threat hunting into their security strategy as they mature from a reactive defense to a proactive offense.
5. Orchestrate and Automate Incident Response
Good security includes prevention, detection and response. With the help of an incident response platform, you can align people, process and technology to drive improved resilience. These solutions integrate your organization’s existing security and IT systems into a single hub for orchestrating and automating your incident response processes, making security alerts instantly actionable while adding intelligence and incident context. They also adapt to real-time incident conditions and ensure that repetitive triage steps are complete before an analyst even opens the incident.
6. Investigate and Detect Attacks With Threat Intelligence
Cybercriminals are collaborating on an unprecedented scale, sharing intelligence related to vulnerabilities, exploits, tools and countermeasures. Many make their money by selling this information to other criminals.
To combat this growing trend, security professionals must collaborate as well. By using a threat intelligence platform to facilitate cross-organizational collaboration, security teams can gain a much more complete understanding of threats, threat actors and emerging threats such as zero-day vulnerabilities. This advanced insight lends human context to machine-generated data.
7. Implement Best Practices and Consult Experts
People are the weakest link in any security defense. Security teams should deploy best practices that align with budget and risk tolerance. They should also design, build and optimize a security operations center (SOC) to execute the strategy. Security services aid in implementing and optimizing security operations technologies and can effectively manage your security infrastructure for you.
A Multilayered Security Operations and Response Strategy
Today’s threat landscape requires an innovative, integrated, end-to-end security operations and response architecture that leverages a multilayered approach built on a foundation of cognitive technology. Regardless of where you decide to start — endpoint, security analytics, incident response, cognitive security or best practices — you’ll need a comprehensive set of integrated solutions and expert advice to provide rapid and accurate security insights that help you combat threats before, during and after cyberattacks.
For more tips, download our complimentary e-book, “Integrated Threat Management For Dummies.”