We cannot rely on network defenses to be perfect. Adversaries continue to evolve and mature, as they share, or sell, information among their community on exploits and bypasses to security controls. Even if security tools work “as advertised,” it takes an understanding of the enterprise risk posture to configure, tune, and log them to be effective. Often, misconfigurations due to human error or lack of knowledge of tool capabilities give enterprises a false sense of security.
Security tools can only be effective if they are supporting a process of continuous monitoring that allows staff the ability to be alerted and respond to security incidents quickly. Enterprises that adopt a purely technology-driven approach will also experience more false positives, due to their over-reliance on alerts from tools. Identifying and responding to these threats requires visibility into all threat vectors of the infrastructure and leveraging humans in the process of detection, analysis, and response. It is critical for large or heavily targeted enterprises to have a security operations capability to prevent, detect, and quickly respond to cyber threats before they can impact the enterprise. This process will generate activity reports and metrics that will help enhance security policies, and support regulatory compliance for many enterprises
As we have seen many times in the press, enterprises have been compromised for weeks, months, or years before discovery. The primary benefit of having comprehensive situational awareness is to increase the speed of detection and response. This is critical to respond quickly when malware is discovered, credentials are stolen, or when sensitive data is compromised to reduce impact to the enterprise.
Through good situational awareness (i.e., security operations), enterprises will identify and catalog Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) of attackers, including their IOCs that will help the enterprise become more proactive in identifying future threats or incidents. Recovery can be achieved faster when the response has access to complete information about the environment and enterprise structure to develop efficient response strategies.
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