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7 Tips To Improve 'Signal-to-Noise' In The SOC
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Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
4/22/2014 | 12:43:17 PM
Lowering the noise level
Thanks for sharing you wisdom with the Dark Reading community Joshua. In your experience, what do you think are the biggest mistakes SOCs make in loweirng the noise level?
jg@npulsetech.com
[email protected],
User Rank: Apprentice
4/22/2014 | 2:07:52 PM
Re: Lowering the noise level
Excellent question, Marilyn, and thank you.  In my experience, organizations too often take an "all or nothing" approach to managing the noise level.  For example, an organization may say "we get too many alerts from source X, so we are just going to ignore or turn off all alerts from source X."  I think a better approach would be "let's think about what business, operational, and security needs we can address through alerts from source X and tune source X delicately to address those needs."  Additionally, organizations will sometimes emote or intuit noise reduction.  Phrases like "this feels like it's less actionable" or "I think this is always a false positive" can be dangerous.  The best source for educated decisions is the data.  The data do not lie and form the basis for good security decision making (and the tips provided in the article of course).
Marilyn Cohodas
Marilyn Cohodas,
User Rank: Strategist
4/23/2014 | 9:45:40 AM
Re: Lowering the noise level -- gut feelings
Phrases like "this feels like it's less actionable" or "I think this is always a false positive" can be dangerous.

How do you quantify those "gut feelings." And is there no place for them in the SOC?
jg@npulsetech.com
[email protected],
User Rank: Apprentice
4/23/2014 | 9:58:54 AM
Re: Lowering the noise level -- gut feelings
Another excellent question Marilyn, thank you.  Gut feelings, or put another way, intuition, can certainly catalyze and inspire investigation and analysis.  Not every feeling or intuition is going to lead in a productive direction of course, and only experience can really help determine what may be a promising intuition vs. what may not be a good use of resources.  For example, it is reasonable to say "I don't think we have any legitimate business traffic to any .ce.ms domains."  Following this hypothesis, the organization should seek the ground truth that is contained in the data.  In my experience, what creates a dangerous feeling or intuition is when decisions are based solely on that feeling or intuition.  If decisions are made based upon investigation and analysis of the data catalyzed by those initial feelings or intuitions, then that can be a good thing in my opinion.


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