These 6 Questions Will Provide Damage Control Prior To A Breach – Chuck Leaver

Written By Michael Bunyard And Presented By Ziften CEO Chuck Leaver


The reality of contemporary life is that if cyber hackers want to breach your network, then it is just a matter of time before they will do it. The endpoint is the most common vector of attack, and the people are the most significant point of susceptibility in any organization. The endpoint device is where they connect with whatever information that an enemy is after: intellectual property, information, cyber ransom, and so on. There are brand-new Next Generation Endpoint Security (NGES) systems, of which Ziften is a leader, that supply the needed visibility and insight to help decrease or avoid the possibilities or duration of an attack. Methodologies of avoidance consist of reducing the attack surface area through removing known vulnerable applications, cutting version proliferation, eliminating malicious procedures, and guaranteeing compliance with security policies.

However avoidance can just go so far. No service is 100% reliable, so it is very important to take a proactive, real-time methodology to your environment, watching endpoint behavior, discovering when breaches have actually taken place, and responding instantly with remediation. Ziften also offers these capabilities, typically called Endpoint Detection and Response, and organizations should alter their mindset from “How can we avoid attacks?” to “We are going to be breached, so what do we do then?”

To understand the true ramifications of an attack, organizations have to be able to take a look back and rebuild the conditions surrounding a breach. Security analysts require answers to the following 6 concerns, and they require them quickly, since Incident Response personnel are surpassed and handling limited time windows to mitigate damage.

Where was the attack activity initially seen?

This is where the ability to look back to the point in time of initial infection is important. In order to do this efficiently, organizations have to have the ability to go as far back in history as necessary to recognize patient zero. The unfortunate state of affairs in accordance with Gartner is that when a cyber breach occurs, the average dwell time prior to a breach is identified is a stunning 205 days. In accordance with the 2015 Verizon Data Investigations Breach Report (DBIR), in 60% of cases, enemies were able to permeate organizations within minutes. That’s why NGES services that do not continuously monitor and record activity however rather occasionally poll or scan the endpoint can miss out on the initial crucial penetration. Likewise, DBIR found that 95% of malware types appeared for less than four weeks, and 4 out of five didn’t last 7 days. You need the ability to continuously monitor endpoint activity and recall in time (however long ago the attack occurred) and reconstruct the preliminary infection.

How did it act?

What occurred piece by piece after the initial infection? Did malware execute for a second every five minutes? Was it able to acquire escalated privileges? A continuous picture of what took place at the endpoint behaviorally is important to obtain an examination started.

How and where did the cyber attack spread after initial compromise?

Typically the attacker isn’t really after the info available at the point of infection, but rather wish to utilize it as a preliminary beachhead to pivot through the network to get to the sensitvie data. Endpoints include the servers that the endpoints are linked to, so it is important to be able to see a total image of any lateral movement that occurred after the infection to know what assets were compromised and possibly also infected.

How did the infected endpoint(s) behavior(s) change?

What was going on prior to and after the infection? What network connections were being attempted? How much network traffic was flowing? What procedures were active before and after the attack? Immediate answers to these concerns are critical to fast triage.

What user activity happened, and was there any possible insider involvement?

What actions did the user take in the past and after the contamination occurred? Was the user present on the computer? Was a USB drive used? Was the time period outside their typical usage pattern? These and many more artifacts should be offered to paint a full image.

What mitigation is required to fix the cyber attack and prevent another one?

Reimaging the infected machine(s) is a lengthy and costly solution but sometimes this is the only way to understand for sure that all of the damaging artifacts have been gotten rid of (although state-sponsored attacks may embed into system or drive firmware to remain immune even to reimaging). But with a clear picture of all activity that took place, lesser actions such as removing malicious files from all systems affected may be adequate. Re-examining security policies will most likely be necessary, and NGES systems can assist automate future actions should comparable circumstances emerge. Automatable actions consist of sandboxing, cutting off network access from contaminated computers, killing procedures, and far more.

Don’t wait until after a cyber attack happens and you have to hire an army of experts and spend time and finances piecing the realities together. Make sure you are prepared to answer these six key questions and have all the answers at your fingertips in minutes.

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