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Mastering Security Analytics
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jimmyblake
jimmyblake,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/3/2014 | 11:22:25 AM
Re: Mastering Security Analytics
"...SIEM platforms still can't pull in all of the necessary feeds to track attacks across the typical attack life cycle, or kill chain, which often spans endpoints, network resources, databases, and so on..." - if so you've not the wrong SIEM platform or Use Cases, normally the latter.

I'm continually frustrated by working with companies who model use cases from available, and easy to get hold of, event sources rather than considering the intent, tools, techniques and procedures that the attacker will use (which is what you're trying to detect).  In these bottom-up cases, you end up modelling your defences in use cases, not what the attacker is doing.  These same companies are now shouting from the hilltop that SIEM is broken, but they're now going to invest heavily in analytics and fail again because the problem isn't the tool - it's the approach.

An efficient and effective SIEM platform should model the full extent of an attack-chain (we use 10 different stages in our methodology) and absolutely should include traditional infosec technical controls, network, database, endpoints - but also user profiles & permissions and applications.  If your SIEM can't handle these - your chosen SIEM platform - not SIEM itself - is the problem.  A good security operations capability should b eable to do everything mentioned here, with the right processes and skills to develop good attack-chain based use cases, to triage and tune rules continually, to product meaningful management information broken down by line-of-business and to report on the effectiveness of security controls across the business. 

The problem with Target, as you point out, was false positives.  Did Target have the right SLAs in place with their MSSP around false positives?  Did they have a defined process to continually refine content with the service provider to reduce false positives?  Did they select the service provide with the right service catalog and skills to effectively detect, prioritise and investigate incidents - or did they simply through the monitoring problem over the shelf at a third party who'd provide the service at the cheapest possible cost?  None of these problems are SIEM related, their process and governance related.

You should also build your rules to offer staged correlation that can capture possible indicators of compromise that can be used as the starting point for exploratory analytics - SIEM, analytics and visulation coupled with good profiling of your threats into use cases is the solution, not replacing one set of SIEM blinky lights with another set of analytics blinky lights.  

I'm coming across so many companies that haven't done the basics with regard business alignment, people and process around their SIEM platforms that are now looking to replace them with analytics platforms, and they won't do the right  business alignment, people and process there either -  business alignment, people and process is hard, buying a product isn't.
JasonSachowski
JasonSachowski,
User Rank: Author
10/15/2014 | 7:28:38 AM
Re: Mastering Security Analytics
Nice article @ErickaChickowski. As you've clearly outlined throughout, there are a few pain points: volume, prioritization, and resources (both people and technology). I agree that if we continue "living in this alert-driven culture", we will never get out heads above water; regardless of how many responders are at our disposal.


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