Consider the benefits of UEBA technology with MDR experts at the helm

Article by Gareth Cox of Exabeam.

Best-in-class security technology complements best-in-class expertise, and vice versa. Both are necessary to significantly improve the security situation.

User and Organization Behavior Analytics (UEBA) technology is a game-changing development for the cybersecurity industry. These tools allow security policies to enforce static rules and detect a much broader range of suspicious activities across the enterprise.

Correlation rules have been synonymous with Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) since SIEM 1.0 solutions first appeared on the market in the mid-2000s. Over time, new features like improved log management and better alert classification made these tools more valuable to enterprise IT leaders, but static rules remained the norm.

The cracks in SIEM 1.0 technology are starting to show. Even the most sophisticated set of security rules routinely fail to detect insider threats and compromised accounts. It’s easy to see why: How do we catch someone whose behavior seems normal?

Next-generation UEBA platforms offer a complete break from SIEM 1.0 capabilities. Instead of relying on rules, these tools build basic profiles of every user and device on the network, and then generate alerts when their activity deviates from established norms.

Behavioral insights are enhanced with machine learning. Without emerging technologies such as machine learning, this new approach would be prohibitively expensive, time-consuming, and nearly impossible.

Requiring security experts to manually design, implement, and maintain behavior profiles is not cost-efficient or effective at the enterprise level. This would require thousands of staff hours per month to be diverted from other critical security tasks.

Next generation UEBA platforms automate many of these tasks. Instead of painstakingly configuring hazard indicators and mapping specific scenarios by hand, users can simply design a core set of indicators and let the algorithm construct and score all possible permutations.

Automatically generating behavioral risk scores and prioritizing alerts accordingly improves risk coverage and reduces time spent on alert configuration and maintenance. This eliminates the need for manual risk score assignment and empowers analysts to make quick, informed decisions.

The experience and professionalism of those analysts is important. You have equipped them with modern tools, but using those tools correctly requires human insight.

The value of recognizing and responding to expertise

Cyber ​​attacks do not always follow a strictly defined pattern. Every organization presents a unique risk profile with a surface area defined by its network architecture, IT equipment and company culture. A wide variety of strategies, techniques and processes (TTPs) exist for navigating all these variables.

Investigating security incidents is a uniquely human challenge. Log records and other data obtained from the UEBA solution play an important role in that investigation, but they cannot accomplish it by themselves.

It takes a security professional to collect that data, analyze it, independently verify it, and orchestrate an appropriate response. The better qualified this person is, the faster and more accurate the investigation will be.

For example, consider the scenario of an insider attack. The UEBA platform can alert an organization when a legitimate user upgrades their permissions and starts tampering with files they’ve never touched before. But this information may not reveal much about that person’s intentions or motives, or whether they are acting alone or as part of a group. One needs to interpret the data before reaching these conclusions.

This is where the value of a highly qualified Managed Detection and Response (MDR) vendor truly shows. Experienced analysts spend time adjusting the UEBA algorithms to meet the organization’s specific needs. They continuously improve their analytical models to meet today’s security needs and communicate their insights more effectively using customized data visualization solutions.

Castra is a respected managed services vendor that uses next-generation UEBA solutions from my own company, Exabeam, to detect suspicious activity, conduct deep investigations and mitigate security threats.

Castro has built over one hundred custom visualizations, dashboards and reports for Exabeam, and developed over fifty unique rules and detection models to meet the needs of its clients. Organizations’ identification and response needs can be trusted to their team of qualified industry experts.

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