A new report, Tackling Attack Detection and Incident Response, from Enterprise Strategy Group [ESG], commissioned by Intel Security, examines organizations’ security strategies, cyber-attack environment, incident response challenges and needs.
The survey found that security professionals are inundated with security incidents, averaging 78 investigations per organization in the last year, with 28 percent of those incidents involving targeted attacks – one of the most dangerous and potentially damaging forms of cyber-attacks.
According to the IT and security professionals surveyed, better detection tools, better analysis tools & more training on how to deal with incident response issues are the top ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the information security staff.
Nearly 80 percent of the people surveyed believe the lack of integration and communication between security tools creates bottlenecks & interferes with their ability to detect and respond to security threats. Real-time, comprehensive visibility is especially important for rapid response to targeted attacks and 37 percent called for tighter integration between security intelligence and IT operations tools.
In addition, the top time-consuming tasks involved scoping and taking action to minimize the impact of an attack, activities that can be accelerated by integration of tools. These responses suggest that the very common patchwork architectures of dozens of individual security products have created numerous silos of tools, consoles, processes and reports that prove very time consuming to use. These architectures are creating ever greater volumes of attack data that drown out relevant indicators of attack.
Security professionals surveyed claim that real-time security visibility suffers from limited understanding of user behaviour and network, application and host behaviour. While the top four types of data collected are network-related, and 30 percent collect user activity data, it’s clear that data capture isn’t sufficient. Users need more help to contextualize the data to understand what behaviour is worrisome. This gap may explain why nearly half [47 percent] of organizations said determining the impact or scope of a security incident was particularly time consuming.
Users understand they need help to evolve from simply collecting volumes of security event and threat intelligence data to more effectively making sense of the data and using it to detect and assess incidents. Fifty-eight percent said they need better detection tools, [such as static and dynamic analysis tools with cloud-based intelligence to analyse files for intent].
Fifty-three percent say they need better analysis tools for turning security data into actionable intelligence. One-third [33%] called for better tools to baseline normal system behaviour so teams can detect variances faster.
People who took the survey admitted to a lack of knowledge of the threat landscape and security investigation skills, suggesting that even better visibility through technical integration or analytical capabilities will be inadequate if incident response teams cannot make sense of the information they see. For instance, only 45 percent of respondents consider themselves very knowledgeable about malware obfuscation techniques, and 40 percent called for more training to improve cyber security knowledge and skills.
Automation to Enhance Action
The volume of investigations and limited resources and skills contributed to a strong desire among respondents to help incident detection and response. Forty-two percent reported that taking action to minimize the impact of an attack was one of their most time-consuming tasks. Twenty-seven percent would like better automated analytics from security intelligence tools to speed real-time comprehension; while 15 percent want automation of processes to free up staff for more important duties.
The ESG believes that there is a hidden story within the Intel Security research that hints at best practices and lessons learned.
This data strongly suggests that CISOs
Create a tightly-integrated enterprise security technology architecture
CISOs must replace individual security point tools with an integrated security architecture. This strategy works to improve the sharing of attack information and cross-enterprise visibility into user, endpoint & network behaviour, not to mention more effective, coordinated responses.
Anchor their cyber security strategy with strong analytics, moving from volume to value
Cyber security strategies must be based upon strong security analytics. This means collecting, processing, and analysing massive amounts of internal [i.e., logs, flows, packets, endpoint forensics, static/dynamic malware analysis, organizational intelligence [i.e., user behaviour, business behaviour, etc.]] and external data [i.e., threat intelligence, vulnerability notifications, etc.].
Automate incident detection and response whenever possible
Because organizations will always struggle to keep up with the most recent attack techniques, CISOs must commit to more automation such as advanced malware analytics, intelligent algorithms, machine learning & the consumption of threat intelligence to compare internal behaviour with incidents of compromise [IoCs] and tactics, techniques, and procedures [TTPs] used by cyber-adversaries.
Commit to continuous cyber security education
CISOs should require ongoing cyber-education for their security teams, including an annual series of courses that provide individual professionals more depth of understanding of threats and best practices for efficient & effective incident response.
The full Intel Security report can be downloaded from the following link.
Intel Security surveyed 700 IT and security professionals at mid-market [i.e. 500 to 999 employees] and enterprise [i.e. more than 1,000 employees] organizations located in Asia, North America, EMEA and South America. Respondents came from numerous industries with the largest respondent populations coming from information technology [19 percent], manufacturing and materials [13 percent] & financial services [9 percent].
About Enterprise Strategy Group
ESG is an integrated IT research, analyst, strategy & validation firm that is world renowned for providing actionable insight and intelligence to the global IT community. ESG’s unique understanding of client needs is based on extensive interactions with end users, vendors, and channel partners. ESG has a 360° perspective, which ESG connects directly to its research proficiency and operational knowledge.
Image Source – Intel Security