Time management guru Brian Tracy is often quoted as saying, “Every minute of planning you do now will save you 10 minutes in execution; this gives you a 1,000% return on energy.”
In cybersecurity, where we are faced with a volume of threats and events that exceeds the capacity of available resources, achieving this level of return on time and energy is essential. Whether you need to update existing plans or build new ones, investing in cyber defensive strategies, incident response plans, security personnel, and operational processes has to be part of your organization’s continuous improvement practice.
When building and updating plans, look to industry best practices. In cybersecurity, this means promoting the use of as much interoperability, automation, and orchestration as possible within an organization’s security operations. However, you will not necessarily get optimal results and maximum velocity by simply adding these capabilities on top of existing architectures, policies, and processes.
Architecture Enables Velocity
Increasing velocity requires an architecture that can actually be sped up. Most organizations rely on a multivendor, siloed security infrastructure, where products do not communicate with each other. These types of security architectures lack sufficient interoperability of the inspection, intelligence gathering, analytics, and enforcement components to gain much from automation.
Interoperability enables automation and improves effectiveness. The active sharing of data makes it practical and possible for every security control to leverage each other’s strengths and experiences. Rather than treating each malware interaction as a standalone event, adaptive threat prevention integrates processes and data through an efficient messaging layer. This approach reinforces levels of inspection and analysis and connects end-to-end components to generate and consume as much actionable intelligence as possible from each event.
Processes And Policies Are Lubricants
An adaptive and interoperable security architecture helps overcome the all too common functional fences that impede detection, response, and any chance of improved prevention. However, this is only possible when the organization’s processes and policies complement the architecture. Unintegrated security functions keep organizations in firefighting mode, always reacting and pouring human resources into every breach. Process inefficiency exhausts scarce investigative resources and lengthens the timeline during which data and networks are exposed to determined attackers, which is directly correlated with the extent of damage.
Automation And Orchestration Are Accelerants
Enabled by an interoperable architecture and efficient processes, automation and orchestration become a force multiplier, augmenting human capabilities, increasing processing capacity, reducing workloads, and significantly improving incident response times. Security products, integrated with a real-time, bidirectional messaging layer, can directly share event data, context, and threat intelligence, regardless of location and with little or no human interaction. This means that you can communicate security policies and commands from centralized security controls to remote branches, home offices, mobile devices, cloud services, and IoT devices.
It is simply no longer acceptable for the time-to-detection to reaction to containment to take hours or even minutes. To accelerate this process and keep up with the enormous volume of sophisticated threats, security architectures and processes must evolve and be automated.
Intel Security’s Data Exchange Layer (DXL) is an open and easily integrated messaging fabric that enables security components from a large ecosystem of vendors to share relevant data. By providing near real-time command and control options for otherwise inaccessible systems, it benefits organizations by facilitating automated response, vastly reduced response times, and better containment. The goal of DXL is to promote collaborative security, enable active command and control, forge interoperability (plug-and-play) among distributed elements from disparate vendors, and ensure consistency and speed of outcomes.
In closing, get started planning today so that you can benefit from the savings on execution time tomorrow. Remember to apply your security reference architecture planning across all phases of your protection domains, including your IoT ecosystems. One last quote from Brian Tracy: “Imagine no limitations; decide what's right and desirable before you decide what's possible.”