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Cyber Threat Intelligence: The Key to Successful Incident Response

Established incident response processes are arguably the most important component of a cybersecurity program, providing clear guidelines to effectively handle security incidents and reduce the recovery time, damage and costs left in their aftermath. With automated threat intelligence and proactive strategic planning, you can accelerate the incident response life cycle and better protect your organization and its assets.

Incident response refers to the process by which an organization moves to contain, manage and recover from a security breach or cyberattack against their systems, including all efforts to reduce damage and manage the aftermath of the incident. A structured incident response plan is critical, providing coherent guidelines to effectively handle cybersecurity incidents and reduce recovery times, damages and costs suffered as a result of system compromise. According to the recent eBook by Brad LaPorte, poor incident response is one of the Top 5 Cybersecurity Risks facing organizations today.

Dwell Time: Every Minute Counts

Dwell time represents the length of time a threat actor has unrestricted, free reign in an environment - measured from the time an attacker infiltrates a system until they are identified and removed. Dwell time is determined by adding Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) and Mean Time to Respond (MTTR). Lengthy dwell times provide attackers with ample opportunity to create havoc within your organization’s network. Until discovered, threat actors can move laterally throughout your infrastructure and gain access to private data, funds, and other sensitive information.

The 6 steps of effective incident response are:

  1. Preparation—Codify an organizational security policy, conduct a risk assessment, identify sensitive assets and potential attack surfaces, and define coherent principles, rules and processes for incident response processes
  2. Identification—Continuously monitor all sensitive IT systems and infrastructure - using manual or automated monitoring processes - to enable detection of a deviation from normal operations and identification of potential cybersecurity incidents
  3. Containment—Contain and limit damage from the security incident, for example, by isolating network segments, taking down servers and patching system vulnerabilities
  4. Eradication—Remove malware and any other malicious content from all affected systems, identify and address the root cause of the attack in order to prevent future compromises
  5. Recovery—Bring affected systems back online, preventing additional attacks by testing, verifying, and monitoring affected systems
  6. Lessons learned—Perform an incident post-mortem, investigating the incident to extract lessons that can be implemented to support incident response processes in the future

How Automated CTI Can Accelerate Incident Response

When it comes to cybersecurity incident management, time is clearly of the essence. Cybercriminals are rapidly evolving, waging attacks of increasing sophistication, speed and scale. As attack velocity accelerates, the need for a well-functioning Security Operations Center (SOC) and an automated threat intelligence solution becomes ever more necessary. The SOC’s primary function is to maximize an organization’s overall security posture by reducing their potential risk exposure in the event of a malicious cyberattack. Cybersecurity risks have the potential to affect all aspects and functions of an enterprise, threatening to inflict significant financial losses, disrupt business operations availability, and damage brand reputation. As digital assets and attack surfaces rapidly expand, SOC teams face a tremendous challenge, overwhelmed by the growing slew of security alerts and data. By using an automated threat intelligence solution, the SOC gets advanced warning of potential breaches. The best cyber offense then becomes a good defense:

  • Blocking attacks before the organization’s data or systems are compromised
  • Quickly triaging and investigating threat alerts
  • Shortening an attack’s dwell time.

Superior incident detection relies on accurate, relevant and timely threat intelligence, providing the  monitoring processes and asset-specific alerts to bring attention to a potential cyber incident before significant damage is suffered. Cybersecurity professionals are constantly looking for better tools, knowledge, and methodologies to stay ahead of the threat curve. The threat intelligence industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 12.9% between 2019 and 2026, eventually reaching a whopping USD 13.9 Billion. As professionals realize the potential uses of threat intelligence and how it can propel cybersecurity operations with its people, platforms, and processes, the threat intelligence industry will continue to grow.

Cybersixgill’s extensive collection of deep and dark web threat intelligence, when embedded into the SOC’s workflow, can act as a force multiplier, maximizing the SOC’s effectiveness. It is the only offering that provides SOC teams with fully automated threat intelligence and deep dive investigative capabilities in real-time, accelerating the incident response life cycle so you can better protect your organization and assets.

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