Incident response is an essential part of protecting information systems and technology. Cybersecurity threats are evolving daily causing security-related incidents to occur frequently. Cybersecurity attacks nowadays are more complex and disruptive than ever. Adversaries have become more advanced and found new ways to bypass security controls thus damaging and compromising the organization’s reputation, network infrastructure, and services.

Activities based on preventive measures can help decrease the attack surface but keep in mind that while not all security incidents can be prevented, the damage caused by these security incidents can be lowered.

Reducing Mean Time To Response(MTTR) is the key.

In an organization its up to the security teams to manage security incident alerts. Due to the large volume of alerts, the task of managing alerts and taking necessary action become quite cumbersome job for the security team. In order to tackle this issue Automated or Semi-Automated Investigation and Response is used to reduce time on mean time to response.

Organizations Infrastructure and Tools

With new technological advancements and needs, every organization’s IT infrastructure is also changing and evolving. Organizations are using different security controls and security prevention mechanisms to minimize the damage caused by cybersecurity threat actors. For instance, an organization may use a Next-Generation Firewall that includes Deep packet inspection, IDPS (Intrusion Detection and Prevention) mechanism, etc. while other organizations may use SIEM for correlation between different security-related attacks.

We need to understand that there are a lot of ways to secure an organization’s network and infrastructure due to the different complex systems that are deployed.

Modern Tools and Techniques for Incident Response

With evolving cybersecurity threats, security experts and analysts have also come up with new and effective techniques, tools, and incident response plans that help them to mitigate and respond to complex cybersecurity threats.

As new technologies and defense mechanisms are being created your teams need to pick up the pace and learn to tackle new incidents effectively and smartly to protect your organization’s critical infrastructure. More importantly, the insights, logs, and alerts collected from different prevention and monitoring platforms/mechanisms need to be analyzed thoroughly so that the critical alerts are handled and prioritized leading to an effective alert resolution.

Cybersecurity Talent

Threat Actors have become very powerful and are capable of launching devastating attacks on organizations critical infrastructure and services that cause millions of dollars worth of losses. The identification and mitigation of threats is only possible if an organization has a well-trained security staff and an incident response plan in effect.

To handle security alerts from variety of systems, analysts have to go through complicated and challenging processes including alerts enrichment, correlation, figuring out false positives, taking right actions etc. This task is quite overwhelming for security analysts and may cause burnout. As per Gartner, there is the cybersecurity talent shortage and there is  difficulty in hiring these talents. Below is a comparison of cybersecurity talents in terms of hiring difficulties in different countries.

Cybersecurity talent market in the U.S. (Source: Gartner)
Cybersecurity talent market in the U.K. (Source: Gartner)

Given the above stats that identify the cybersecurity talent shortage and excessive cybersecurity threats and alerts, adaptive context-aware incident response is needed by CISOs to handle threats and alerts properly.

There are a number of platforms which will help your organization to handle most advanced threats and alerts that are overwhelming for your Security staff or if the current solution deployed in your organization has excessive MTTR (Mean Time to Response).

Below are some of the popular Incident Response and SIEM platforms:

  1. IBM Security Qradar
  2. LogRhythm NextGen SIEM Platform
  3. InsightIDR
  4. AlienVault USM (from AT&T Cybersecurity)
  5. Data Dog
  6. Splunk Enterprise Security

Apart from the platforms described above they are number of adaptive context aware incident response platforms that will help your organization to cope up with the evolving cybersecurity threats.

About Me

I am an Information Security  enthusiast pursuing my Master’s in Information Security and trying to get into a full-time cybersecurity career. You can follow for more write-ups and articles here.

The awesome image used in this article is called Night Garden and it was created by Siv Storøy.