Global cybercrime continues to surge this year – government officials, business leaders, and software developers are scrambling to stay one step ahead of cyber criminals. Although software developers aim to create the perfectly impenetrable solution, no company can fully mitigate the risk of experiencing a breach. Generally, IT teams are underfunded, understaffed and ill-equipped – in both manpower and adequate resources. However, being breached doesn’t have to be an option; As businesses approach 2022, it’s notable that organizations must change how they approach cybersecurity.

 

Requiring Proof of Security for Third Parties

Organizations are still struggling to keep the bad guys out. But what business leaders are failing to grasp is that they may be fully protected and think that they’re in the clear; When in reality, it’s their third parties that are the true vulnerability. Past breaches have highlighted that a company is only as strong as its weakest partner, as 60% of cyberattacks originate from third parties. Before entering any new partnership agreements with a third party, your organization should mandate a cyber audit to be conducted prior. By doing this, you ultimately mitigate your chances of being exposed by any intermediaries.

 

Detect, Then What?

IT teams, again, are understaffed, underfunded, and have a specific expertise within cybersecurity however they are handled as generalists. This leads to burnout and causes many alerts to go unnoticed, unattended to, or simply not prioritized. Everything begins with detection; everyone should already have detection procedures implemented. Prevention is the next and most important thing to do to strengthen your defenses to prevent attackers from being able to penetrate your network. This leads to collection of security events and prioritization of them – simply, not everything can be critical or be top-of-mind. Once the collection and prioritization of events is taken care of, the response function is even more critical. Generally, security teams disperse responding to thousands of incident alerts among the few members of their IT staff, which is unfeasible to do day-to-day. In fact, it would take 8,774 data analysts, working 8-hour shifts, 5 days a week, for 52 weeks out of the year to process the same amount of security event data that machine analytics can process within a year.

 

Adding Layered Security

It’s important to add layered security to your cybersecurity strategy. Security event threat detection technology aggregates and correlates data from events across the network including authentication and logs from critical systems. Another layer to add is network threat detection technology to understand traffic patterns on the network and monitor traffic within and between trusted networks. Lastly, including endpoint threat detection technology will provide detailed information about possibly malicious events on user machines, as well as any behavioral or forensic information to aid in investigating threats. By implementing these three things, your organization will have security layers that can protect your data and critical infrastructure.

 

Benefits of Advanced Threat Detection

By implementing an advanced threat detection protection software, your organization will shorten the dwell time of infections. This is done by constantly monitoring network traffic; Advanced threat detection tools send out actionable alerts to security teams that enable them to investigate and eliminate the threat. In addition, advanced threat detection software enables organizations to reduce their risk or potential damage. The longer the infection lives in a network, the more damage it will do. By swiftly detecting a threat it can ensure that there is minimal harm. Advanced threat detection software’s protect every endpoint – by monitoring IoT devices, security teams can detect threats on vulnerable attack vectors before a threat actor can move deeper into the infrastructure. Lastly, efficiency will improve – automation of threat detection allows organizations to do more with less and ensures that security analysts can focus more time on threat removal and less time spent chasing false positives.

 

Approaches to Threat Hunting

Detection is the first step to enabling your security team to actively hunt for threats. There are 3 methods of threat hunting businesses, but how many businesses are utilizing them? As we approach 2022, it’s crucial that cybersecurity strategies adopt these 3 methods. Intel-based hunting is a reactive hunting model that uses Indicators of Compromise (IoC) from threat intelligence sources. The next technique companies need to be utilizing is Hypothesis-based hunting; Hypothesis-based is analytics driven, based on real data that your security team is seeing. The most important aspect of hypothesized-based hunting are the behavioral analytics, which enable security teams to identify reckless behavior across a network. Whether it’s malicious or not, too often, companies are compromised as a result of negligent behavior. Finally, using indicators of attack to threat hunt to identify and locate the endpoint so it can be isolated and prevent further damage.

 

Threat Hunting Needs to Include

For best practices, companies should be actively searching for the following types of threats in its digital landscape: Insider or Outsider threats – cyber threat hunters can detect threats posed by insiders, typically a member of the staff, or outsiders, like a criminal organization, Known Adversaries – a known attacker is one who is listed in threat intelligence services, or whose code pattern matches the blacklist of known malicious programs, Hidden Threats – by constant monitoring, threat hunters analyze the computing environment. They use behavioral analysis to detect anomalies indicating a threat., and finally executing the incident response plan to neutralize the threat.

 

Data Security as the Last Defense

What this does is attempt to build defenses around an organization’s crown jewel – data – have proven sufficient, so organizations must enact solutions that discover, classify, and add protection measures to the data itself. As a final measure to secure your data, these 3 controls should be practiced: identification and classification of data, followed by monetization of sensitive data usage for suspicious activity and limiting who has access to that data in a zero-trust security framework.

 

7 things to keep in mind as we forecast for 2022

As we prepare to enter the new year, it’s crucial that security leaders are mindful of best practices when crafting their cybersecurity strategy. First, technologies such as deepfake will enable phishing schemes and ransomware to be more effective – making a focus on ransomware simulations and incident response plans that much more important, leading into adding layered security. By adding layers of security blankets, your organization can significantly mitigate its risk of being breached. Which is why every business must consider adopting a Security Operations Center-as-a-Service to support its existing security tools in place. Next, is adding endpoint and cloud security so that your security team has full visibility into its network and all potential blind spots are eliminated. Collectively, businesses must implement Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) – usernames and passwords alone are vulnerable to brute force attacks and can easily be stolen by third parties. Lastly, complying with regulations such as the U.S. Department of Defense’s CMMC standard will become mandatory in attempts to secure federal supply chains.

For more information on the content provided in this blog post, view my recent presentation at the Information Security Summit here.