Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Vulnerabilities / Threats

1/24/2018
02:00 PM
Liz Maida
Liz Maida
Commentary
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail vvv
100%
0%

Security Automation: Time to Start Thinking More Strategically

To benefit from automation, we need to review incident response processes to find the areas where security analysts can engage in more critical thought and problem-solving.

Automation is being hailed as a way to take some of the heavy lifting away from overworked security operations teams. Security vendors are integrating automation into their point solutions to automate tasks such as security policy orchestration, change and configuration management, incident response playbooks, and other labor-intensive tasks.

This is a good start toward solving some of the challenges of managing the modern security stack. But we need to think more strategically about automation if we're truly going to solve cybersecurity workforce challenges and gain any kind of edge over hackers.

Most automation takes place at the front end of the cycle: the detection and prioritization of security alerts. A combination of threat intelligence feeds, SIEMs, and incident response platforms generate event and incident data and perform some level of automation (correlation, orchestration, change management, etc.). This automation is helpful, but I hear, on average,  from security teams that they are only spending about 30% of their time on the front end of the cycle. It's what happens after a threat is detected, prioritized, and sent to the operations team that the real work begins.

In most organizations I've worked with, I see an estimated 40% of a team's resources being poured into manual investigation of incidents. This is often the most painstaking, lengthy part of the security life cycle. Analysts tasked with investigating and remediating security alerts often see more than 1,000 alerts per week from the more than 40 vendors deployed throughout their complex environment. The introduction of threat intelligence compounds this problem, as a single feed can generate more than 3.5 million indicators per month. Given the volume of data that must be evaluated and investigated, the average enterprise is ultimately throwing away more than 90% of its security data.

The remaining 30% of their time is focused on mitigation and reporting of the incident. These last two steps are the most important for learning from an incident and being better prepared for a future incident — yet most teams simply do not have the time or infrastructure to properly follow through on them. Once the lengthy investigation process is concluded, the results of that investigation are retained as independent, isolated reports. The technical details of the security incident are not stored or structured in a way that allows for automated correlations and are often missing the organizational context. Even when enterprises are creating their own indicators, they are manually maintaining lists of malicious IPs or domains in spreadsheets or text files rather than feeding those insights back into the system to be applied to future threats.

It's not enough to simply introduce automation. In order to extract the most benefit from automation, we need to holistically review incident response processes to find the areas where security analysts can engage in more critical thought and problem-solving.

Part of that means finding ways to automate the actual intelligence and do more of the analytical work in order to allow analysts to make quicker, more informed decisions. Beyond automating process elements, look for ways to automate correlation rules, historical analysis and coordinated communication between security devices. Intelligence automation will bring incident response to the next level. 

Related Content:

Liz Maida is instrumental in building and leading the company and its technology, which is founded on core elements of her graduate school research examining the application of graph theory to network interconnection. She was formerly a senior director at Akamai Technologies, ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
aumickmanuela
50%
50%
aumickmanuela,
User Rank: Strategist
2/7/2018 | 10:01:42 AM
Thanks)
yeah, that is true) Great article, thanks a  lot for sharing)
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/9/2020
Omdia Research Launches Page on Dark Reading
Tim Wilson, Editor in Chief, Dark Reading 7/9/2020
4 Security Tips as the July 15 Tax-Day Extension Draws Near
Shane Buckley, President & Chief Operating Officer, Gigamon,  7/10/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15105
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
Django Two-Factor Authentication before 1.12, stores the user's password in clear text in the user session (base64-encoded). The password is stored in the session when the user submits their username and password, and is removed once they complete authentication by entering a two-factor authenticati...
CVE-2020-11061
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
In Bareos Director less than or equal to 16.2.10, 17.2.9, 18.2.8, and 19.2.7, a heap overflow allows a malicious client to corrupt the director's memory via oversized digest strings sent during initialization of a verify job. Disabling verify jobs mitigates the problem. This issue is also patched in...
CVE-2020-4042
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
Bareos before version 19.2.8 and earlier allows a malicious client to communicate with the director without knowledge of the shared secret if the director allows client initiated connection and connects to the client itself. The malicious client can replay the Bareos director's cram-md5 challenge to...
CVE-2020-11081
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
osquery before version 4.4.0 enables a priviledge escalation vulnerability. If a Window system is configured with a PATH that contains a user-writable directory then a local user may write a zlib1.dll DLL, which osquery will attempt to load. Since osquery runs with elevated privileges this enables l...
CVE-2020-6114
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-10
An exploitable SQL injection vulnerability exists in the Admin Reports functionality of Glacies IceHRM v26.6.0.OS (Commit bb274de1751ffb9d09482fd2538f9950a94c510a) . A specially crafted HTTP request can cause SQL injection. An attacker can make an authenticated HTTP request to trigger this vulnerabi...