What does remediation mean? If you look up the root word ‘remedy,’ you’ll see it’s defined as “a treatment for an injury or disease,” or “a means of eliminating or counteracting something that’s undesirable.” In terms of cybersecurity incident response, remediation means addressing a breach in the most effective way possible to limit the amount of damage that can potentially be done to the organization being targeted. In reality, cybersecurity involves so much more.
Unfortunately, far too many of the cybersecurity incident response plans that are in place today merely act as a Band-Aid to the problems that exist currently. For example, many remediation solutions initiate an automatic kill process. What they don’t take into account, however, is whether the underlying threat happens to be persistent (APT) or capable of propagating. They also routinely fail to verify whether the threat is entirely contaminated or not.
Going back to the original definition of the word remedy, let’s say you were suffering a fever. You could take an over the counter remedy, such as Tylenol, which would effectively reduce the fever. Or, as a better alternative, you could take a prescribed antibiotic, which would address the actual cause of the fever. One option simply tamps down or places a Band-Aid over the problem while the other gets to the root of the problem.
Applying this to cybersecurity incident response, the best approach should dig deeper to find and eradicate the actual cause of the underlying threat, such as locating the malware and other malicious files that caused the breach. Without this extra step, your organization is left vulnerable to the virtually immeasurable damages that can be caused if the true issue isn’t taken care of properly.
To truly remediate a cybersecurity incident, you must first identify it and gather as much relevant information about it as possible. That information must then be adequately analyzed to determine what type of threat you’re dealing with and its potential impact. To give you an idea of what type of ‘relevant’ information we’re talking about, start with the following:
- What systems have been affected?
- Which process is allowing the issue to continue?
- What are the characteristics of the incident?
Only when you have a clear and accurate understanding of what you’re up against can you properly address and remediate it. It can be helpful to think of cybersecurity incident response as a process rather than a specific solution. The fact is, today’s cyber threats are evolving and becoming more dynamic and complex by the day. Simply preparing in advance for possible scenarios isn’t enough anymore. Current day cyber-attacks require immediate response.
Effective cybersecurity incident response cannot be static. It must adapt alongside the changing threat landscape. It requires deep research and data analysis in every step of the process. In other words, it requires a certain degree of intelligence. That’s where automation comes into play. The right automated cybersecurity incident response plan should leverage advanced technology, such as machine learning, that will both address the need for round-the-clock monitoring and response as well as adapt intelligently over time.
Is your current remediation strategy simply a Band-Aid for the real problems plaguing your organization? We invite you to experience the power of intelligent automation, designed to address and evolve along with the modern threats businesses face today.