How to Be More Proactive with Your Cyber Security Incident Response

How to Be More Proactive with Your Cyber Security Incident ResponseIt’s been proven time and time again that taking a reactive approach to cyber security incident response is an exercise in futility. Just ask Target or any number of other big-name brands that have suffered monetary and reputational damage at the hands of a security breach. With criminals becoming savvier by the day, organizations simply must take a more proactive approach to not just dealing with incoming threats as they occur, but actually thwarting them ahead of time.

The first step involves creating a more closed-loop system. That is, having a plan in place that not only identifies potential incidents, but carries through with the appropriate action accordingly. One of the biggest reasons cyber-attacks are successful is because the victim didn’t have such a strategy in place at the time of the incident. Even in cases where a threat is actually detected, it is often allowed to slip by due to the sheer volume of incoming alerts and the limitations of traditional IT departments.

To be truly effective, a cyber security incident response plan must cover every angle of the alert process. A quality monitoring system is great, but what if that system fails to adequately identify and prioritize a serious threat? To make this type of set up more proactive, automation can be integrated so that any and all incidents that occur and are picked up by the monitoring system can then be properly addressed, either automatically or via human intervention following the escalation and notification process.

In a recent survey conducted by the SANS Institute, all trends indicate widespread improvements are being made in cyber security incident response strategies across the board. Most survey respondents credited automation for these incremental improvements, but also admit that they still have quite a ways to go to reach full maturity. Advancements in skills as well as tools and technologies being leveraged and a more integrated approach are all needed in order to achieve optimum security levels.

The survey also revealed that four of the top issues relating to incident response include: lack of adequate system visibility (45%), inability to properly distinguish incidents (37%), too much time for remediation (29%) and lack of integrated, automated tools (28%). Further complicating matters is the increase in personal mobile device usage in the workplace. As more organizations adopt and roll out BYOD policies, the risk of security breaches multiplies exponentially.

Automation can provide the solution needed by offering enhanced visibility and faster, more accurate and effective response and remediation to cyber-attacks.

In conclusion, it is becoming more evident by the day that cyber-attacks are increasing, both in number and complexity. Traditional reactive cyber security incident response plans are no longer a match for these evolving risks. Only those organizations that adapt accordingly and take on a proactive approach to handing incidents will remain secure against such attacks.

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eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

5 Cyber Security Incident Response Risks and How to Avoid them Using Automation

5 Cyber Security Incident Response Risks and How to avoid them Using AutomationWhen it comes to the topic of cyber-security, or more specifically, the risks all organizations face against would-be criminals attempting to access sensitive data, there are certain emerging patterns to be aware of. Knowing ahead of time what to watch for and which tools can help reduce your company’s vulnerability is essential to staying a step ahead of these attacks. That being said, let’s examine 5 trends that should be at the top of your IT department’s list of priorities as well as how automation can fortify your cyber security incident response plan.

Not If, But When

First things first, to successfully protect your organization from the risk of a cyber-attack, you must first acknowledge that not only could a breach occur, but that it most likely will. It’s really just a matter of time. As more and more attacks are launched and are becoming increasingly complex, cyber security incident response is no longer a luxury but an absolute necessity, regardless of the size or industry of your business. Having a good offense is always the best defense.

Humans are the Weakest Link 

When we think of security breaches on a corporate level, we tend to envision sophisticated hacking programs working behind the scenes to access data. The truth is, a good majority of successful cyber-attacks occur not through programs and systems, but through the very people who work within the company. Phishing through email and social networks is on the rise, which is why training employees to know what to watch for and avoid should be an essential component of any cyber security incident response plan.

False, Traceable Data Can Help

One thing cyber criminals do is attempt to access internal information with the hopes that the data breach includes valuable material (such as personal identities or financial/proprietary information). Unfortunately for them, determining which content is useful isn’t always so easy. You can beat them at their own game by including false, traceable data in the mix and incorporating automation into your cyber security incident response process. When a hacker attempts to access/analyze the phony data, instant notification will help you identify and address the threat.

Third-Parties Increase Risk

With more and more businesses collaborating with one another and leveraging third-party vendors for assistance with a wide variety of tasks, it’s no surprise that security risks are on the rise. Many of the recent cyber-attacks reported occurred when hackers accessed sensitive information not directly from the source, but rather via a more vulnerable external partner. To avoid this, corporations should be proactively working with any and all other businesses with which they are sharing information to establish best practices and ensure a successful cyber security incident response strategy that covers all angles.

New Technologies = New Risks

Finally, with emerging technologies being introduced and adopted globally on a daily basis, cyber criminals are ramping up their efforts to exploit the new and unknown risks associated with such changes. To achieve the benefits associated with new tech, such as the internet of things, an organization’s cyber security plan absolutely must include tools – like automation – that will help to quickly and accurately pinpoint any would-be attacks so they can be immediately and effectively addressed, mitigating risk.

Could your enterprise use a more secure strategy for staving off cyber-attacks? Download your free trial of eyeShare to see how automation can bridge the gap and create a more solid, secure infrastructure for your business.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

Is Your Cyber Security Incident Response Plan Ready?

Internet Security System

It seems like almost weekly there’s a new report of some big name brand being hacked and the subsequent outcome of hundreds of thousands, sometimes even millions of people having their sensitive information compromised. These days, online security is something every business must think about, regardless of size or industry. Is your cyber security incident response plan truly strong enough to handle a potential attack? Let’s take a look.

First and foremost, is it up to date? One of the biggest reasons organizations fall victim to cyber-attacks is that they fail to recognize the sophistication of their attackers. Nowadays, hackers are constantly adapting their tools and strategies until they’re successful, and if you’re not also staying up to date with your cyber security incident response, you’re more vulnerable than you may think. The first step in ensuring adequate security is to keep your strategy fluid.

Additionally, many businesses leave themselves open to attack by only considering half of the equation. Even the best monitoring system won’t protect your data if you’re not able to adequately field all the incoming alerts. This is precisely what happened to Target a few years back. They had a great monitoring platform in place, but could not keep up with the myriad of incoming incidents. As a result, the one that compromised the personal information of millions was able to slip through the cracks undetected until the damage had already been done.

A robust and highly effective cyber security incident response plan must also include a secondary process which essentially closes the loop between alerts and their subsequent resolution. IT process automation can do just that, and even better, it can achieve optimum results without the need for additional human workers. IT simply integrates ITPA with the existing monitoring system so that all incoming alerts can be instantly and automatically identified, analyzed, prioritized and assigned.

With this type of cyber security incident response strategy, your organization can rest a little bit easier knowing that any and all incidents will be detected and properly addressed the moment they arise, thereby avoiding the risk of becoming another Target (literally and figuratively).

Furthermore, a comprehensive security plan that includes sophisticated tools like ITPA can make predicting and proactively preventing possible attacks easier and more effective. That means your business can stay a step ahead of your would-be attackers.

Regardless of size or industry, businesses everywhere are facing the growing challenges of keeping sensitive data safe from the clutches of cyber criminals. Knowing what ingredients go into a solid, effective cyber security incident response plan that is designed to adapt to the changing climate can help protect your organization both now and in the future.

Not sure if your strategy is up to par? Could automation provide the added level of security you need? Contact us today to learn how we can help or download our new eBook: 5 Reasons you Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

How to Prepare for and Deal with Cyber Security Threats

Cyber Security Incident ResponseOne only needs to read the latest headlines in the news to recognize the serious threat cyber security incidents can have on a business. With big-name retailers and financial service providers being at the top of the list, it’s becoming more evident that even companies that are smaller and in various industries must properly plan for potential security breaches. That being said, let’s take a look at how the right cyber security incident response plan can help you prepare for and deal with attacks in the most timely and effective manner.

First, establish a plan. As in most cases, when it comes to protecting your company’s sensitive data, the best defense is always a good offense. To that end, a detailed and comprehensive cyber security incident response plan should be developed and put in place ahead of time, before any potential breaches occur. The more prepared you are, the better you’ll be able to mitigate your damages.

Next, prioritize your assets. While ideally you’d like to protect your entire business from damages incurred in the event of a cyber-attack, in reality doing so will probably be way too costly and labor-intensive. For that reason, your cyber security incident response plan should identify and prioritize the key assets of the business. This way, if and when a breach occurs, the appropriate steps can be taken to protect those assets that are most valuable.

Make sure you have the right tools in place. As we learned from last year’s Target debacle, simply having a detection strategy in place isn’t enough. You also need a system that will swiftly identify, assess and prioritize threats as well as notify the appropriate parties so the proper action can be taken. This is where automation can help, as it can enhance existing alert systems and create a more closed-loop process.

Your cyber security incident response plan should also contain a variety of what-if scenarios and proposed solutions so that if and when a breach does occur, the appropriate response can be deployed in the quickest and most effective manner possible. The more you are on top of incoming threats the less likely you’ll be to suffer catastrophic damages.

Finally, be sure to keep detailed records. Not only will this information help law enforcement should they need to do an investigation, but keeping track of significant security incidents will help you develop best practices and hopefully improve your strategy moving forward.

Like it or not, cyber threats are becoming more and more common and they’re also getting more sophisticated by the day. To avoid becoming a victim, businesses of every shape, size and industry must take the appropriate measures to proactively prepare for such an occurrence. By applying the above tips, you’ll be able to develop a sound cyber security incident response plan that will keep your assets and your reputation safe from harm.

If you’d like to learn more about how automation can improve and fortify your cyber security response strategy, try eyeShare today!

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

The Role of IT Process Automation in The Snowden Effect

the role of it process automation in the snowden effectThese days, everyone is hyper aware of the topic of security – especially given the onward shift toward cloud computing. Businesses across industries are cracking down to ensure that they prevent leaks of confidential and sensitive information. We’re all aware of the so-called “Snowden Effect”, which essentially highlights what could happen when personal information is released, so how does one continue to compete in an increasingly virtual climate without sacrificing compliance with security of information?

IT Process Automation may be the key that solves this problem, and it’s starting in the most unlikely of places: the US government. The reason behind this change, however, is what’s being called into question.

Recently, the National Security Agency/Central Security Service (NSA/CSS) announced that it would begin the process of automating nearly 90% of its system administration duties in an attempt to eliminate waste and free up valuable resources. The NSA/CSS is a US defense agency that is responsible for providing timely information to key government officials and military leaders. The agency is also tasked with the broad responsibility of protecting sensitive or classified national security information from foreign adversaries.

Perhaps no other agency or commission has as much of a concern for privacy than the NSA/CSS. Yet, many critics have called into question its plan of IT process automation, touting the security risks associated with removing the human element from the picture and introducing technology as its replacement. Keith Alexander, the agency’s director has defended the decision, boldly stating that:

“[Until now] we’ve put people in the loop of transferring data, securing networks and doing things that machines are probably better at doing.” He further went on to point out how automation would “make those networks more defensible … [and] more secure.”

Contrary to popular belief that software and computers are inherently risky in terms of security breaches, the government agency feels instead that leveraging such technology will actually improve the ability to maintain confidential information securely. This is due, in great part, to the infamous Snowden Effect, in which a former CIA and NSA employee, Edward Snowden, leaked details of several top-secret United States and British government mass surveillance programs to the press. The devastating results have rocked the cloud computing industry across the globe, striking fear in individuals and businesses alike and creating an environment of uncertainty on a global scale.

The idea of rolling out a massive IT process automation project within one of our own government agencies seems, to some, to be about much more than just a way to improve efficiency. Rather, many feel it is more about finding a way to remove what is now viewed as the biggest risk to our national security and critical, confidential information – humans. Even if the real reason behind the shift toward IT process automation is, indeed, to boost efficiency and cut costs, the real benefit of automation in this case becomes diluted or lost completely.

How the government will actually leverage IT process automation remains to be seen, as does the long-term effects of doing so. In the meantime, the real reason why this technology can and should become an integral part of the business culture – regardless of industry – remains not in eliminating people and the risk they pose from the business process, but rather providing innovation that will free up those talented and highly skilled people to be able to focus on much more important matters, like driving the future growth and success of their organization.

Ready to learn the real benefits of leveraging IT process automation for the future success of your business? Download our free eBook: 10 Time Consuming Tasks You Should Automate today!

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Should You Automate Security Incident Response?

Should You Automate Security Incident Response?There’s no question that incidents of cyber-security violations are on the rise. In fact, the numbers are steadily climbing at an alarming rate. In 2013, the number of incidents increased by an incredible 48%. The following year, security breaches rose another 23%. With statistics like this, it’s becoming increasingly evident that businesses must be proactive and extremely diligent about protecting their sensitive data from falling into the wrong hands. Could automated security incident response be the answer?

In years past, the traditional 4-step method of managing security incidents was sufficient. IT personnel would prepare as much as they could for possible attacks and spend a great deal of their time analyzing the events that were detected to determine their legitimacy and severity. From there, the next step was to contain or eradicate the problem and work toward system recovery as quickly as possible. IT would then evaluate their response to develop better practices for use in the future. For a while, this was enough to keep cyber-attackers in check.

Unfortunately, with online security breaches becoming much more frequent and sophisticated, the old method for security incident response is no longer effective. It’s simply not fast enough, nor is it proactive or thorough enough to keep up with the changing demands. Today, IT personnel just don’t have the capacity to handle such an influx of threats, nor do they have the time or bandwidth to evaluate and address every event as it comes in. This can lead to devastating and costly breaches.

When you add automation into the security incident response process, however, all of these shortcomings can be addressed and eliminated. With a quality automation product, the IT department can streamline their incident management process. Incoming events are detected and the system automatically evaluates, prioritizes and escalates. This eliminates false positives and ensures that legitimate threats are always detected, reported and addressed in a timely manner.

Additionally, automation can then facilitate a seamless, closed-loop process, updating the incident log, resolving alerts and tracking and documenting all processes to be used for developing best practices moving forward. An automated system can also help IT departments to become more proactive by identifying and mitigating vulnerabilities. Most importantly, with an automated process, systems can be back up and running much faster, reducing costly downtime and improving customer satisfaction.

Today’s automation products can be easily and seamlessly integrated with existing incident management programs, such as Solarwinds and Servicenow, to extend and enhance legacy systems without the need for an entire platform replacement or overhaul.

With cyber-attacks steadily on the rise, businesses of every shape, size and industry are at risk of becoming victims. The best way to protect yourself, your organization and those whose sensitive information may be at risk is to establish a solid security incident response plan.

Is your company protected?

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response