Is Your Cyber Security Incident Response Plan Really Up to Par?

Is Your Cyber Security Incident Response Plan Really Up to Par?Unfortunately, today’s IT professionals know all too well that we live in a “when, not if” world of cyber-security threats. With attacks becoming more and more sophisticated, complex and effective, and the ongoing, relentless persistence of would-be hackers, no organization is safe from becoming a potential target. If you haven’t assessed the status of your cyber security incident response strategy lately, chances are you are more vulnerable than you may think.

Application and Software Security

Like it or not, every single piece of software out there has some type of vulnerability. What’s more, many of these potential risk factors have never even been tested. It’s only a matter of time before these dangers are discovered and exploited by cyber-criminals. So what can you do? Simple. Take a defensive stance and a proactive approach using automation as your foundation for security. That way as soon as an incident occurs, it can be automatically and instantly addressed.

Data Enrichment Capabilities

When a cyber-attack occurs, there’s plenty of information that will inevitably be generated about the incident. To truly protect against these damages, IT personnel need much more than just basic incident data. They must also collect and analyze relevant information about the context of the incident, as well as its legitimacy and severity. By leveraging automation as part of a comprehensive cyber security incident response strategy, valuable data can be correlated from multiple systems and instantly evaluated, categorized and prioritized.

Saving Time and Money

Most experienced IT pros will tell you that they spend the majority of their time not addressing the overall big-picture of cyber-attacks, but rather putting out fires and managing internal issues. Not only is this extremely time consuming, but it’s also a waste of valuable money. Incorporating automation into the cyber security incident response strategy reduces IT department workload by eliminating the need for personnel to respond to weaknesses manually.

Furthermore, response times are dramatically decreased, as are the costs associated with securing systems and networks while simultaneously enabling more scalable, effective incident responses. It also helps to streamline compliance efforts.

Staying a Step Ahead

The best way to thwart would-be cyber-attacks is to prepare for them ahead of time. With the right automation tool, part of an organization’s cyber security incident response plan can include the identification and development of “what if” scenarios and the subsequent cultivation of IT security best practices and pre-defined remediation procedures. By planning ahead, your company will be much better positioned to ward off attacks and minimize any damages suffered as a result of successful infiltrations. Essentially, automation allows you to fight fire with fire, drastically decreasing the potential risks associated with cyber security incidents.

If you haven’t conducted an audit of your cyber security incident response strategy any time recently, chances are you are ripe to become a target in the near future. Protect your business, your sensitive data and your precious reputation by investing in a solid incident response plan that has automation as its foundation.

Don’t wait until it’s too late! Get started today by downloading your free 30 day trial of eyeShare.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Cyber Security Incident Response – Zero-Day Linux Flaw Demonstrates Need Now More than Ever

Zero-Day Linux Flaw Demonstrates Need for Cyber Security Incident ResponseThe recent discovery of a long-standing critical flaw in the Linux kernel has potentially left millions of end-users vulnerable to a cyber-attack. While the discovery of the flaw was recent, it turns out the vulnerability has actually been present in the code since as early as 2012. This means that for approximately 4 years, attackers have had the ability to gain privileges on affected devices. This serves as another candid reminder of the critical importance of a quality cyber security incident response strategy.

The number of devices that could potentially be impacted by this recent flaw could stretch into the tens of millions, since it affects any operating system that has Linux kernel 3.8 or higher, including both 32-bit as well as 64-bit. Of even greater concern, however, is that it also affects Android versions KitKat and above, which indicates that nearly 66% of all Android devices are currently exposed to the critical flaw.

So, what, exactly is the impact of the newly discovered zero-day Linux flaw? Well, for starters, local access on any Linux server is all that a would-be attacker would need in order to exploit the problem. If successful, the attacker would be able to gain root access to the end-user’s operating system, enabling them to view private information, delete files and install additional malicious applications.

One of the reasons this breach is so newsworthy is because flaws in Linux kernel are typically patched immediately upon detection. For this reason, Linux-based operating systems have long been considered to be among the most secure. The zero-day vulnerability has been present for almost 4 years, leaving any individual or business that uses a Linux server exposed to potential cyber-attacks.

The good news is, the Linux team is now aware of the issue and has made assurances that a patch is in the works. It also doesn’t appear that any would-be hackers have yet attempted to take advantage of the flaw. What this does point out, however, (with glaring obviousness) is yet again how incredibly critical it is to have an adequate cyber security incident response plan in place.

Too often businesses in particular account for only one piece of the security puzzle. They invest tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars into monitoring systems, assuming that this alone will be enough to keep them ahead of potential attacks. Unfortunately, given the fact that these monitoring systems must be manned by humans, coupled with the volume and complexity of incoming threats, the chance of a serious attack being missed is alarmingly high. This is precisely what occurred in the Target breach of a few years ago.

The solution to this dilemma is fortifying the cyber-security incident response strategy with an automation tool. This removes the human element from the process. Technology can then handle the daunting task of assessing, verifying and prioritizing every legitimate threat that comes in. The automated tool will then execute the appropriate next steps, right through the final resolution, completing the process and closing the loop.

Thankfully this particular flaw was identified and addressed by one of the “good guys,” but make no mistake – had it been discovered by an attacker first, the outcome would have been potentially devastating. Like it or not, we are all at risk of a potential cyber-attack, especially businesses. Taking a proactive approach by developing, implementing and solidifying a strong cyber security incident response plan is absolutely critical in order to keep systems – and all the important sensitive data contained within – safe from a potential breach.

Is your cyber security strategy as strong as it should be? If you’re not absolutely confident that it is, the time to act is now, before you fall victim to an online attack. To start your free 30 day trial, click here.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

What Will Be the Next Step in Cyber Security?

What Will Be the Next Step in Cyber Security? Cyber security experts around the world understand now that they can’t stop the next attack.

The main questions that still exist are: when, how, what will happen, would I know about the attack, and how much time will it take me to stop the attack?

Good Information Security Standards has always been to use layers, with one technology protecting the other. Unfortunately, in the end, after all security control has been implemented, what will happen? Will my organization be secure? Once the attack has been detected, what action will need to be performed?

In other words, a lot of questions are left unanswered. But what we can say with certainty is that the attackers are here. They may come from multiple backgrounds with different agendas, but they are most certainty coming.

My goal as a cyber security professional is to stop them. In order to succeed, I need to perform the right action every time, all the time. I need someone to be able to be as fast and as methodical as my attacker is.

The world has changed. Cyber-crime is a full-time business, and as with every business, time is money. With that, approved security experts need to develop the next phase of security.

Cyber security plans need to be strategized around delaying the attacker, solving problems faster and costing the attacker money and time. After all, if it’s not worth it, why do it?

So now, every file is checked with every technology available. Every entry is checked and every communication is examined. But then comes the biggest problem. Who can take the necessary action to verify and block all the attacks that are coming from multiple sources?

As cyber security professionals, we’re trying to think about what to look for in the biggest collection of information that’s ever been monitored. We’re trying to find the resources to understand what an attack is and then block it.

The problem is, we’re all looking at the problem in the wrong way.

Our attackers communicate. They use scripting and other systems to do a lot of the “heavy lifting”. If we want to be able to stop/delay them, we cannot place a person in charge of pressing the buttons. We need to be able to fight fire with fire, and even better – use guns against knives.

Instead of implementing a cyber security system that was design for everyone, let’s face it; our company is not like any other company. We strive to change things, using our own knowledge, experience and expertise to our advantage. We customize our security to best fit the protection we need, choosing the best security architecture for each organization.

At Ayehu, we use automation for cyber security along with customized security design that will make would-be attackers give up before they even reach their goals. So, instead of alerts reaching a level 1 engineer, passing though multiple systems and then communicating with level 2 for accessing more systems to mitigate the attack, we build the procedure and leave level 1 with the knowledge of level 2 and strict access to stop the attacker within level 2 devices.

By doing what we do best faster, and by adapting our security to the relevant risks (even if it’s by just a few seconds), we could CHANGE the outcome for the positive.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

7 Must-Ask Questions about Cyber Security Incident Response

7 Must-Ask Questions about Cyber Security Incident ResponseOne only needs to read the latest headlines in the news to recognize the growing risk of cyber threats. With big name brands routinely falling victim to online criminals and millions of consumers subsequently suffering the consequences, it’s becoming abundantly clear that cyber security incident response is something every business must make a priority. Not sure where your organization stands? Here are 7 questions you should be asking to avoid becoming the next victim.

1. Who is responsible for my organization’s cyber security?

First and foremost, is there a team in place that has cyber security incident response
on their to-do list? If not, it’s time to sit down with your IT department and get things moving in the right direction.

2. Are we fully aware of what’s at stake?

In order to protect your organization’s infrastructure, it’s critical that those in charge of cyber security incident response have a clear and accurate picture of precisely what the network and other assets to be protected include. In other words, you must know ahead of time what’s at risk if you are to take a proactive approach to security.

3. What kind of plan do we have for monitoring threats?

In most cases, cyber incidents can be prevented or addressed before they have a chance to cause significant harm – provided, of course, that there’s an adequate plan in place for identifying these threats in a timely manner.

4. What happens to those threats once they’re detected?

The reason why many organizations have fallen victim to cyber criminals isn’t due to lack of threat detection, but rather lack of action taken once a risk is identified. Leveraging tools like automation can help fortify cyber security incident response by ensuring that every single incoming threat is assessed and prioritized.

5. Do we have the resources to handle cyber-attacks?

Another issue behind successful cyber security breaches is the fact that even the largest organizations simply do not have the manpower to keep up with the number and complexity of incoming risks. Again, this is where automation technology can complete the puzzle – without having to hire additional staff.

6. What is our policy for preventing future attacks?

An important yet often overlooked component of cyber security incident response is the identification and documentation of best practices for handling future problems. This can help thwart future breaches before they can succeed.

7. Where do we begin?

If you’re not completely confident you’ve got the right answers for any of the above questions, chances are your organization is dangerously vulnerable. Contact us today and let’s discuss how our tools can help establish and/or strengthen your cyber security incident response plan so it’s most effective.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

How Netflix Leverages IT Process Automation to Protect Its Information

How Netflix Leverages Automation to Protect Its InformationWith more than 62 million subscribers worldwide, it’s no wonder digital services company Netflix has to focus on keeping up a fast-paced, secure IT operations environment. The engineers who work for the streaming media organization are faced with the task of deploying code thousands upon thousands of times each and every day. How do they maintain such a high level of output? Well, one thing they’ve come to rely on is IT process automation.

The very nature of Netflix’s industry makes the company and its clientele much more vulnerable to cyber security attacks. And, as many other significant-sized enterprises have learned the hard way over the past decade or so, having a monitoring system in place simply isn’t always enough to achieve optimum protection levels.

What companies like Netflix need is a more comprehensive and closed-loop process that handles potential risks from start to completion. More importantly, these businesses must find a way to achieve this goal while balancing tight budgetary restraints and increasing demands for better, faster service. In other words, they must figure out a way to do more with less while also always maintaining the greatest level of cyber security.

As Netflix has discovered, IT process automation can provide the ideal solution to this need. Jason Chan, cloud security architect for Netflix, knew he and his team were facing a monumental task, particularly given the significant and speedy growth the company has sustained, stating that: “The only realistic way of maintaining security in an environment that grows so rapidly and changes so quickly is to make it automation first.”

Today, Netflix leverages IT process automation to perform and complete a broad spectrum of both routine and complex tasks and workflows.

Whether it’s identifying subscriber accounts that have been compromised or prioritizing and responding to incoming security incidents, automation plays a central role. In fact, the technology has virtually eliminated the need for human interaction (at least on a basic level), thereby reducing error rates while dramatically improving efficiency levels.

The company’s internal cyber-security system continuously monitors the platform for any changes which may indicate a potential breach. From there, the system then automatically determines the level of risk and, if necessary, notifies the appropriate team member that a change has been detected. For serious threats, the right human worker is made aware of the issue in a timely and effective manner so that it can be addressed immediately, thereby mitigating any potential damages.

In some instances, human intervention is completely unnecessary. For example, one monitoring tool Netflix employs can automatically identify a security problem, such as a compromised employee account, and isolate the concern and facilitate the appropriate action plan for dealing with the situation. When a security alert is received, the system goes through a series of workflows to establish precisely what’s happened and how severe the problem may be. If it’s determined that a certain action should be taken, such as disabling a compromised account, the IT process automation tool can execute that task accordingly.

Furthermore, IT process automation provides the added level of protection a digital firm like Netflix (or any business, for that matter) needs in order to prevent potential security breaches. Even without budgetary constraints, most IT departments simply do not have the capacity to handle the volume and complexity of incoming threats. This is when things get missed. Automation, on the other hand, can be the safety net, ensuring that no threat slips by undetected.

Finally, it’s important to mention that IT process automation isn’t meant to replace human workers, but rather – as Mr. Chan points out – to make life easier. “You really need to help get what’s most important in front of people as quickly and easily as possible, so you’re using your human resources as effectively as possible.”

How secure is your business against cyber threats? Could IT process automation be the missing link for you just as it has been with Netflix?

Check out these 5 compelling reasons you should automate your incident response process

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

How to Use Automation to Thwart Cyber Security Attacks

How to Use Automation to Thwart Cyber Security AttacksCyber security attacks are nothing new to the business world. One need only look to news reports from recent months to see that these types of serious breaches are occurring on an ever-increasing basis. Furthermore, they’re also increasing in severity and complexity. For organizations that are ill-prepared for such imminent threats, the results can be nothing short of catastrophic. The good news is, there is a highly effective tool that can stop a cyber attack in its tracks: automation. Here’s how.

Cyber security attacks are occurring on a daily basis, and they’re affecting businesses great and small. What’s more, with the savvy criminals behind these attacks becoming more skilled at avoiding detection and gaining access to the sensitive data they’re after, companies must be able to anticipate the risks and act accordingly to mitigate damages. This is made even clearer when one considers that a successful breach can occur in mere moments while the subsequent clean-up can take months or even years to complete.

Now consider even more sobering data. In 2012, the United States alone saw an increase in mobile malware of 400%. Targeted cyber attacks also went up by 42% and the number of records compromised as a result of a security breach rose by 300%. These shocking numbers represent a digital world that is constantly evolving. As technology advances, cyber security incident response strategies must stay a step ahead of the game. Automation can provide the missing puzzle piece needed to achieve this goal.

The first step is evaluating your monitoring system. Like it or not, with the increase in threats, unless you have a solid system in place to effectively identify these risks as they occur, you’re more vulnerable than you may think. Furthermore, even the most well-staffed IT department is no match for the volume of incoming incidents. The key is developing a cyber security incident response plan that integrates a quality monitoring system with the automation necessary to keep on top of incoming threats.

Adequate risk management requires automation technology that can adapt in real-time so that the moment a potential risk is detected, it is immediately analyzed. From there, should action be necessary, incidents must be prioritized based on threat-level and sent along the appropriate channels so they can be addressed accordingly. Responses can either be triggered automatically or can be escalated to be handled via human intervention if need be. All of this must occur 24/7 in order to stay ahead of the game, something most businesses do not have the resources to handle without automation.

The key to an effective cyber security incident response strategy is closing the gap between detection and response. It’s becoming increasingly evident that traditional incident management plans which depend on manual intervention are simply no longer capable of keeping up with the frequency, speed and versatility of cyber attacks. Simply put, new risks require a new way of thinking and automation is proving to be the key to stopping incidents in their tracks.

How solid is your cyber security incident response plan? Download your free trial of eyeShare today to learn how automation can provide you with the tools you need to keep your organization safe for years to come.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response