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How Top Organizations Are Planning for Security Automation and Orchestration

How Top Organizations Are Planning for Security Automation and OrchestrationMost business leaders today are feeling the pressure to innovate. But sometimes it’s ok to live by the old adage that you don’t always have to reinvent the wheel to be successful. In some areas, it’s entirely ok to look around, figure out what other companies are doing right and mirror their actions. Such is the case with security automation and orchestration.

The folks over at ESG Research polled more than 400 cybersecurity professionals to find out what today’s top firms are doing to keep their sensitive data safe. Here’s what they discovered (and how you can implement the same strategies for similar results).

  • 35% are looking to use security automation and orchestration technology to integrate external threat intelligence with the collection and analysis of internal security data. The key difference here is that these organizations want to move away from manual security investigations and instead use automation to do the heavy lifting, thereby streamlining the entire workflow.
  • 30% want to use security automation and orchestration technology to enhance the functionality of their existing tools. Typically speaking, this is focused on orchestrated workflows as a component of such things as incident response, security investigations and remediation tasks.
  • 29% are looking to leverage security automation and orchestration technology to automate basic remediation tasks, such as generating new firewall rules upon the receipt of an IoC list.
  • 28% are using security automation and orchestration technology to compare and contextualize data using the output of multiple other tools. Envision a bunch of threat detection tools generating alerts and producing reports. Today’s top security pros want to leverage security automation and orchestration to correlate these outputs to achieve a more holistic perspective of security incidents.
  • 22% are looking to use security automation and orchestration technology as a way to integrate their security and IT operations tools. This enables security analysts to access asset databases, CMDBs, trouble ticketing systems, etc.

IT executives are now viewing security operations much the same way that Henry Ford approached building vehicles. CIOs, CISOs and other security professionals recognize that manual processes aren’t capable of scaling to meet increasing demand, so they’re turning to new technologies as a solution. Just as Ford used a production line, IT leaders are leveraging security automation and orchestration platforms.

Ultimately, what the study from ESG uncovered was that successful security automation and orchestration comes as a result of a strong commitment to process improvement, a well-planned, phased implementation strategy and solid partnerships with tech vendors who have in-depth security operations experience.

Ayehu is prepared to become that partner. Take our next generation IT automation and orchestration platform for a test drive today to get started.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response

What Happens in a Ransomware Attack?

What Happens in a Ransomware Attack?According to Cisco, ransomware is the most lucrative form of malware in history, and attacks are only expected to get worse, both in terms of the number as well as complexity. Hackers who once used ransomware as a tool to extort money from individuals are now leveraging advanced tactics to compromise data from large corporations with the intention of selling it for a profit.

We’ve talked at length about how to respond and recover to a ransomware attack, but it can helpful to understand what exactly such an attack entails. Insight like this can improve employee education. Knowing the various phases of an attack, along with best practices for preventing them, is key to avoiding costly and time consuming remediation.

That said, let’s take a look, step by step, at what happens when a ransomware attack is initiated.

Step 1 – Initial Infection (Estimated time: 1-2 seconds)

Most ransomware hackers gain access to a target network via social engineering, such as a phishing email. Educating employees on how to spot a phishing scam can dramatically reduce the risk to your organization by preventing successful breaches before they occur.

Step 2 – Execution (Estimated time: 0 – 5 seconds)

Once a malicious link is clicked or infected file opened, the ransomware is able to gain a foothold, quickly infiltrating the network and locking up files. In a matter of seconds, malware executables are released into the victim’s system where they begin to quickly wreak havoc.

Step 3 – Backup Corruption (Estimated time: 5-10 seconds)

The next step involves the ransomware virus targeting backup files and folders. This prevents the user from being able to backup corrupted files, which is what makes this type of malware so profitable. Victims often have no choice but to pay the fee or risk losing all of their data with no way to replace or restore it.

Step 4 – File Encryption (Estimated time: 10 seconds – 2 minutes)

Once the victim’s backups are successfully removed, the ransomware then executes a secure key exchange with the server, thereby putting encryption keys in place.

Step 5 – User Notification (Estimated time: 2-15 minutes)

With the victim’s backup files gone and the encryption successfully established, the final phase involves notification to the user and demand for the proposed ransom. In many cases, the user is given a specified amount of time in which to pay the fee or the amount will begin to increase.

Ultimately, your organization’s defense against these attacks will depend on your level of preparedness. Along with employee education, it’s equally critical to employ the right tools that will allow you to effectively monitor, detect, respond and eradicate these threats. Automated security playbooks, for example, initiate workflows which remediate affected devices while also preventing further propagation. Suspected attacks immediately trigger the playbook to automatically initiate remediation and mitigation procedures.

Best of all, you can try these playbooks for yourself, absolutely free of charge for 30 days. Simply click here to launch your Ayehu trial today.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

7 Steps to Maximum Cybersecurity

7 Steps to Maximum CybersecurityKeeping your organization safe against the barrage of attacks coming in at an alarming rate is no easy feat. Not only are cyber criminals smarter and more sophisticated than ever before, but they’re also much more relentless. Hackers seeking access to your sensitive data will stop at nothing to get what they want. You have to be ready to do battle at all times, day or night. Is your cybersecurity strategy strong enough to withstand the onslaught? If not, here are seven essential steps that will put you in a much better position.

Step 1 – Assess your risk posture. This is the first step, but also an important part of ongoing cybersecurity efforts. Identify areas of risk and potential vulnerabilities through which hackers may attempt to gain access to your network. Staying a step ahead of the game can prevent attacks from occurring in the first place.

Step 2 – Set up monitoring and security controls. Anti-virus, malware and firewalls should already be in place. More comprehensive network monitoring solutions are also recommended to achieve a stronger line of defense.

Step 3 – Invest in incident management. These days the question isn’t will your company be attacked, but when. Network security measures are designed to prevent invasion and they do a decent job. Unfortunately, they’re not foolproof. Strengthening these tools with automated incident response ensures that if a hacker manages a successful breach, the incident will quickly be detected, isolated and eradicated without the need for any human intervention.

Step 4 – Educate employees. Cyber security isn’t something only the IT department must be concerned with. It’s everyone’s job. To that end, make sure each and every employee within your organization is clear on what his or her role is, how to keep information safe and what red flags to watch for.

Step 5 – Manage user privileges. Research indicates that the biggest threats to a company’s information security are insiders. In most cases, users are unaware they are compromising sensitive data. In others, the perpetrator does so maliciously. To mitigate these risks as much as possible, be diligent about managing user privileges. Limit, monitor and audit user activities accordingly.

Step 6 – Create an all-inclusive security policy. When defining your cybersecurity strategy, don’t forget to account for things like removable media, mobile devices and remote workers. These things can present an added risk to your secure network. Establish and implement controls over media usage. Develop and enforce a mobile working policy. This will keep data secure, both at rest and in transit.

Step 7 – Leverage data to develop best practices. Perform routine audits of any and all security events to identify areas where improvements can and should be made. Utilize data from past incidents to develop and improve your organization’s best practices for responding to future incidents.

Remember – cybersecurity isn’t a “set it and forget it” strategy. It’s a living, breathing practice that must evolve alongside the many attacks that are being waged against your business on a daily basis. By implementing the above steps and harnessing the technology that’s available to you, your organization will assume a much stronger posture against any threat that may arise.

Could your company benefit from the enhanced protection of automated cyber security incident response? Find out today by launching your free trial of Ayehu.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

4 Biggest Cybersecurity Threats to SMBs

4 Biggest Cybersecurity Threats to SMBsMany people mistakenly believe that small to mid-sized businesses are less likely to be targeted by cyber criminals. While larger organizations certainly bear the brunt of online attacks, the fact is no business is safe from a potential breach. In fact, nearly half (43 percent) of all cyber-attacks actually target small businesses and 60 percent will go out of business within six months. The best way to defend against these attacks is to prepare for them in advance. Here are the top four cybersecurity threats SMBs face and how to secure against them.

Insider Risk – Believe it or not, the biggest security risk most organizations face is not some unknown hacker, but rather the people who work within the company itself. And in most cases, there is no malice involved, just a lack of clear understanding and knowledge of what to look for. Educating employees on the basics of cybersecurity is critical to thwarting things like phishing and other social engineering scams.

Ransomware – You can’t go anywhere online today without seeing a headline about ransomware. This type of malware essentially infects a user’s computer and locks all data unless and until the victim agrees to pay a ransom fee. Again, educating employees on what types of things might be suspicious and also having automated cybersecurity incident response technology in place that can quickly identify, isolate and eradicate the virus before it has a chance to spread are the keys to proper prevention.

DDoS Attacks – Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks ambush businesses by sending massive amounts of traffic to their websites, slowing them to a crawl and in many cases forcing critical services offline. For companies that rely on their websites or other online services to manage day to day operations, such an outage can cost tens of thousands of dollars in revenue. DDoS attacks can’t be entirely prevented, but having a strategy in place that includes a documented response plan can help mitigate damages.

BYOD – Today’s connected technology has opened many doors of opportunity for businesses to allow employees to bring their own devices (BYOD) and use them in the workplace. Of course, allowing network access with unsecured devices also comes with an added risk of data theft. The solution lies in the development and implementation of a comprehensive BYOD policy which includes educating employees on device expectations and allows businesses to carefully monitor information sharing.

These are just four of the many different vulnerabilities small to midsized businesses face when it comes to cybersecurity. Thankfully, keeping data protected, defending against incoming attacks and recovering quickly following a successful breach is entirely possible. And it doesn’t necessarily have to cost an arm and a leg, either. Check out these five ways to boost your company’s cybersecurity without breaking the bank and download your free trial of Ayehu automated incident response platform today.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

C-Suite Priorities: Protecting against ransomware with cyber security incident response

C-Suite Priorities: Protecting against ransomware with cyber security incident response

This article was originally published as a guest post on the Cyber Security Buzz blog.

Security executives are under increasing pressure to keep sensitive networks, systems and data safe from threats which are rapidly increasing in both frequency as well as complexity. It’s no surprise, then, that CSOs and CISOs often find themselves in the hot seat when it comes to the topic of cyber security. Their roles are changing along with the new daily challenges they face, and as such, they are working tirelessly to remain abreast of the latest cyber-threat news.

In particular, with ransomware steadily on the rise and cyber criminals developing new and improved ways to expose and exploit vulnerabilities, IT leaders have no choice but to re-examine their cyber security strategies to ensure that they are strong enough to withstand the variety of incoming threats they face. By investing in an incident response plan as the first line of defense, executives can provide the added protection of instant identification and isolation of the threat before it has a chance to wreak havoc.

The fact is, as the landscape of cyber threats continues to evolve and expand, it’s becoming abundantly clear that traditional preventative approaches to network and data security are no longer effective. In fact, even Gartner believes that detection and response are the foundation of a successful cyber security strategy. No organization is immune to potential attack and without the ability to quickly pinpoint and remediate a successful breach, the outcome could be nothing short of devastating, both from a financial as well as a reputational standpoint.

Compounding the problem is the increasingly widespread adoption of cloud technology and the IoT. Simply put, migration to the cloud fundamentally changes IT security. In a cloud or hybrid environment, the focus must shift to monitoring and managing incident response. Likewise, with more and more connected devices being incorporated into the workplace, the risk of potentially becoming a victim of a ransomware attack increases exponentially. Now, instead of a few vulnerabilities, the office becomes a potential gold mine for hackers, which means much more work for security professionals.

What’s the solution? While preventative measures, such as firewalls and malware monitors have their place, the best defense an organization can take against security breaches is a more robust incident response strategy that covers all bases. Specifically, a system that integrates with, enhances and extends the capabilities of existing systems and applications to create a more holistic, streamlined and highly-effective process.

A strong cyber security incident response strategy should be able to not only detect the signs of ransomware, but automatically analyze, isolate and contain the threat so that it cannot cause any additional damage. The isolated virus can then be eradicated and the recovery process can automatically begin, effectively mitigating damages. This type of approach essentially closes the loop, creating a much more impervious defense against cyber-attacks, regardless of when, where and how many points of entry exist. Best of all, this can be handled entirely without the need for human input, solving the staffing shortage and addressing skills gap in one fell swoop.

With the worldwide expenditure on enhancing detection and response capabilities expected to be a key priority for security buyers through 2020, the time for security executives to begin shifting their focus is now. By investing in a robust, automated cyber security incident response plan as the first line of defense, executives can provide their organizations the added level of protection they need to effectively thwart would-be attackers and manage threats in a way that will limit damages as much as possible.

To read the original published article, please click here.

How to Get Critical Systems Back Online in Minutes

5 Ways to Boost Your Cybersecurity without Breaking the Bank

5 Ways to Boost Your Cybersecurity without Breaking the BankToday’s cybersecurity threats come in many different forms. Whether it’s social engineering, phishing, ransomware or more complex and dangerous advanced persistent threats, one thing is for certain. Organizations of every size must take the appropriate measures to protect their sensitive data and prevent it from falling into the wrong hands.

Unfortunately, what’s standing in the way of many companies, however, is the topic of cost. Thankfully there are simple yet effective things you can do to keep your network secure regardless of budgetary limitations.

Proactively identify and address vulnerabilities.

The bad guys can’t get to you if you get to your own problems before they have a chance. Implementing a cybersecurity policy that involves ongoing testing to identify areas of potential vulnerability and taking the necessary steps to patch these holes in advance is the key. Staying on top of trends and industry news as it relates to widespread issues can also help you stay a few steps ahead of would-be hackers.

Take advantage of upgrades.

Many people don’t realize that their basic cybersecurity tools, such as antivirus software and firewall protection come with free upgrades. Take some time to go over the technology you’ve already got in place, that you’ve already paid for, and see if there are new features or enhancements that you might be missing out on. Investing a small amount of time into doing research can go long way toward preventing a potential security breach.

Develop a company-wide cybersecurity plan.

If your company lacks a defined cybersecurity strategy or the plan you currently have in place isn’t tied in with your business goals, you could be inadvertently placing yourself at a greater risk than necessary. Such a well-defined strategy does not require a large expense, either. To begin, gather a few key decision makers together for a brainstorming session and collectively answer the following questions:

  • What are our business goals/objectives?
  • What are the risks associated with those goals/objectives?
  • What type of data exists within the IT environment?
  • What tools and technologies are already available to protect that data?
  • What new tools and technologies can we obtain to strengthen our defense and that fit within our budget?

Educate employees.

The best way to approach cybersecurity, particularly when you’re dealing with limited funds and resources, is to acknowledge that it’s everyone’s job – not just IT. From the executive offices down to the frontline workers and everyone in between – every single employee should know what to look out for and what steps should be taken in the event of a potential security breach. Make ongoing education and training a priority.

Be careful with BYOD.

Smaller firms often find it beneficial to allow employees to utilize their own personal devices in order to reduce equipment expenditure. While this certainly has the potential to be a cost-effective solution, it’s critically important that the appropriate cybersecurity measures are put in place to address the increased risk of security incidents. Develop and implement thorough BYOD policies, processes and procedures and conduct regular audits to ensure employee compliance at all times.

Additionally, companies would be wise to consider investing in tools like automated incident response, which can bridge the gap created by limited IT personnel and other resources and create a much more robust and highly effective cybersecurity defense strategy.Ayehu’s automation and orchestration platform offers out-of-the-box, plug-and-play features at an attractive price point that might just surprise you.

Give it a try today FREE for 30 days or contact us to schedule a free product demo.

eBook: 5 Reasons You Should Automate Cyber Security Incident Response