Take Advantage of Security Cheat Codes With Behavioral Intelligence

September 5, 2016
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4 min read

Before the heyday of the internet, I had to leave my apartment and actually haunt the back aisles of strip mall video game stores to figure out how to get past the boss fight at the end of my favorite first-person shooter game. If I had better behavioral intelligence on the NPCs in “Wolfenstein,” I would have had an innate sense of their movements and strategies.

Alas, in the early 1990s, I was more focused on passing particle dynamics at Georgia Tech and looking good in flannel, so I resorted to cheat codes.

In an ideal world, we could set our security systems to “God Mode” and take all the hits from attackers; at the very least, we could turn on “notarget” and slip under the attackers’ radar. In the absence of those strategies, though, security teams must find ways to develop that innate sense of attacker movements and apply it their defenses.

Integrate to Identify Anomalies

The closest we get to security God Mode is integrating network, endpoint and user data so security analysts can see active and historical user and device anomalies. By pairing a behavioral intelligence solution with a security intelligence solution, analysts can analyze behavior patterns for indicators of advanced and insider threats to enable rapid investigation and response before a breach even occurs.

If you have the IBM QRadar Security Intelligence platform, a wide range of complementary apps are available on the IBM Security App Exchange to extend those capabilities and increase the value of your security investment. E8 Security, one of QRadar’s partners in the App Exchange, ingests and analyzes data collected by QRadar. Through machine-learning, E8 determines patterns and prioritizes behavioral intelligence indicators of compromise (IOCs) that policy- and signature-based solutions are likely to miss.

Immerse Your Security in Threat Intelligence — Watch the on-demand webinar

E8 Security App: More Than Extra-Life Tokens

The E8 Security App for QRadar uses a customer’s own data to augment existing security products. It adds a sort of prevention superpower to security teams by drastically increasing their effectiveness. The app allows teams to quickly draw conclusions from avalanches of disparate log events in minutes and prevents a breach even when enforcement products can’t.

The E8 Security App provides behavioral threat intelligence by automatically drawing connections between seemingly unrelated incidents. Security analysts can easily visualize relationships between targets, explore divergent hypotheses and uncover hidden attack patterns. This level of insight gives security teams a unique view into what’s going on within their organization on a granular level, including telltale signs of internal and external threats.

The app provides security teams with visibility into existing users, devices and traffic, and points out when they change — for instance, when new users and devices come online or access an application for the first time or from a different location. This visibility is essential to noticing when someone or something is acting in a way they shouldn’t, and informing changes to existing policies to prevent those risky actions in the future.

E8 also detects and prioritizes threatening and suspicious indicators that may not be obvious to security teams. It does so by using data science and machine learning to understand and report unknown indicators for which there aren’t existing policies or signatures — kind of like providing cheat codes that make teams more powerful against targeted and insider threats.

This enables analysts to easily hunt for sophisticated threats in their environment by automatically correlating data patterns, visualizing relationships between disparate data sets, and making it quick and easy to search for and understand targets and attack stages, including lateral movement. What would normally take security teams hours only takes a few minutes with E8’s app, which means response times decrease dramatically and incidents are remediated right away.

Winning the Boss Fight Against a Backpacker

For one client, E8 Security detected backpacking in a customer environment. Backpacking occurs when an insider uses their system or application access to copy data onto removable media, such as a USB drive, and exfiltrates the data by carrying it out of the building.

The first indicator was a significant uptick in logins to new systems that the employee had historically never visited. This was shown in the E8 app as a behavior graph that illustrated the volume of login events for that user over time.

There were two spikes in the number of logins, separated by eight days, that stood out. Because the E8 app is able to profile entities by tying users to devices and modeling their normal behaviors, the customer was alerted to this employee’s abnormal actions.

The customer’s suspicions about this employee were reinforced when the employee turned in their resignation shortly after the last instance of unusual logins. The customer was able to confront the employee with the evidence of their activity and then reclaim the stolen data. The E8 Security app used log data the customer already had to provide real intelligence, prioritized appropriately with a view of the employee’s historical behavior, so the customer could address it before it became a big problem.

Learn More About Behavioral Intelligence

For more information on the E8 Security App for QRadar, visit the E8 Security website, read the data sheet or schedule a demo. You can also watch the on-demand webinar, “IBM Security App Exchange Spotlight: Immerse Your Security in Threat Intelligence,” to learn more about E8 and QRadar integrations.

Pamela Cobb
Market Segment Manager, IBM X-Force and Security Intelligence

Pamela Cobb directs product marketing activities for the IBM X-Force and Threat Protection offerings developing messaging, collateral, website content. She c...
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