Organizations today face an unprecedented number of security threats, and the risks will only increase as employees, customers and partners embrace new trends and innovations on their road to digital transformation.
These changing and growing threats mean that traditional security methods – techniques that defend the enterprise with moats and walls and monitor for things that go bump – are no longer enough to protect the enterprise.
Furthermore, manual processes, cross-team hand-offs and siloed point solutions hinder the ability of security teams to efficiently respond to attacks or assess and remediate vulnerabilities. A lack of business context for the affected service or resource further exacerbates the problem by treating all threats equally. And this makes it difficult for security teams to identify and focus on high-priority attacks that have the greatest impact on the business.
While it’s impossible for organizations to answer the question, “Are we secure?” most businesses also struggle to establish baseline metrics for their security posture that they can track over time. Without this, they lack the ability to strengthen the infrastructure and improve their response.
The result? An overflow of events, inefficient security operations and missed attacks that lead to a lowered security posture for the organization and could result in an eventual breach or compromise.
How can an organization improve its awareness and response time? How can it obtain better governance, reduce risk and be prepared to respond when things go wrong?
What’s required is a foundational change that turns traditional Security Operations Centers (SOC) into intelligence-driven, context aware and automated units. An intelligent SOC integrates security analytics with the IT landscape to deliver business and dependency context. The result is a simplified SOC that can automatically identify critical incidents and vulnerabilities, and prioritize response activities based on infrastructure dependencies and related services.
In addition, automation and orchestration tools transform operations to provide better visibility, correlation and response to security threats and vulnerabilities.
These tools help to address the challenge in several ways:
Visibility – Simple dashboards show executives and analysts the exact status of their overall security posture and allow users to drill down into a specific incident. Security Management and Security Operations staff have a single place to understand current security and risk exposure.
Event triage and assignment – Users can easily identify authorized approvers and experts and quickly escalate issues if service level agreements (SLAs) aren’t met — while ensuring the security of “need to know” data.
Event, vulnerability and threat correlation – By correlating this information against enterprise asset information, users get a better understanding of how critical an issue is to the business. This allows incident responders to address the most important issues first. Oversight also helps identify those responsible for the IT assets that are experiencing vulnerabilities.
Workflow – By enabling clear workflow processes to automate security-run-books and accelerate response times, organizations ensure that pre-defined tasks are addressed quickly and easily. This enables Tier 1 services to be performed quickly and allows more experienced security personnel to focus on more critical and specialized security work.
Automation of basic security tasks – With the automatic correlation of threat intelligence data and security incidents, analysts have all the information they need to protect the business. Automation permits responders to focus on more complex problems more effectively. And users have accurate data at their disposal to continuously assess the organization’s security posture.
Define, track and report on metrics – Start to define key performance indicators focused on increased productivity and responsiveness to security incidents and vulnerabilities. Begin to track the number of incidents investigated by analysts, the response time for critical incident and vulnerability resolution, and the number of events that are investigated and closed without requiring action by the security teams. The goal should be increased productivity and responsiveness to critical events across the enterprise, resulting in better risk management overall.
Through the implementation of an intelligent SOC and an effective security service management framework, your business can make foundational changes in the way you manage and address threats and risks in your environment. This approach will provide you with a complete, end-to-end view of security risks and improve response in a way that better protects your business.
As Global Offerings manager for CSC’s Managed Security Services, Matthew O’Brien leads strategic global security initiatives, including CSC’s Risk Management Center, Network Security and Situation Awareness programs. With more than 25 years’ experience in the IT Industry, Matthew’s expertise spans IT governance and strategy, risk management, enterprise architecture, technology planning, and solution and policy design.