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Are You Listening to Your Kill Chain?
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ChristopherJames
ChristopherJames,
User Rank: Strategist
1/22/2019 | 2:02:37 AM
Just Sniff them out
Well I don't think you're going to be a very successful hacker if you aren't at least able to hide long enough to get part of your hack in place right? Of course it will take a while for the systems to detect unauthorized entry. The most important part is how long it takes before they are discovered right?
b haley
b haley,
User Rank: Author
1/23/2019 | 11:24:16 AM
Re: Just Sniff them out
Thank you for reading and engaging in this discussion. You are right that it takes time for hackers to do their work and time to detect them. That part is a race condition. Can we spot, block and remove the hacker before they accomplish their goal. There are several sides to tilt the odds in our favor. the 3 I think are most important are actionable alerts, quick remediation, and proactive defenses.

If our detection tools can identify attacks quickly, clearly, with relevant information, and with certainty; we can take action. Looking at the forensics from major breaches, we captured great intelligence and usually identified the attack many times. However, the security team didn't get the details or have confidence that it was a real problem in all the noise. That feels like a problem with clarity and certainty, not identification. Most pitches I hear are all about speed to detect. My core premise is a tool giving alerts that cannot be acted on will be ignored. It gives only a false sense of security.

We have tools to quickly isolate and remediate machines. No excuse for not having those in place.

Proactive defenses provide some space between the attack and its completion. We see attacks where it is clear the hackers know what they are after in terms of servers, applications and sometimes passwords. By the time someone sees an IDS alert, that hacker has the info they were after. An IPS that shuts off access is speeding up the time to isolation, but is still in a race and false alarms impact operations. When users complain, security tends to loosen constraints, making detection slower.

Proactive defenses, those in place before the hacker attacks, at least slow the attack. Not talking about esoteric here. Firewalls, MFA, DLP, honeybots... all put speedbumps in the path and detection points. My gold standard for actionable alert is someone logging into a honeypot. Hackers are wasting time and giving away information on where they are, what they are after and whose credentials they are using. Honeypots weakness is a hacker must find the honeypot a more attractive target than real systems. With inside knowledge or good luck, the hacker avoids those defenses.

Another proactive example is my company builds tools to limit traffic from the server side (opposite the firewall approach). If you try to access a server from too far away (outside the data center, outside the cluster, outside the company...), an alert identifies the attack source, destination and target app. At the same time, the server cannot respond to the attacker so it is effectifly cloaked. While the attacker is trying to figure why this machine they found in LDAP won't respond, the security team is taking action. That gives a proactive defense with highly actionable alarms.

 
MarkSindone
MarkSindone,
User Rank: Moderator
1/27/2019 | 10:40:04 PM
They evolve just as much
There is just so much that we can do in the prevention of attacks. Regardless of how tough we think our security measures might be, attackers might just be even more advanced than we really are. That is simply how evolvement truly works and we need to stay ahead of the attackers in order to come up with a solution.


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