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Security Feature

July 26, 2016

Protecting Your Organization with Automated Cyber Security Incident Response

By Special Guest
Gabby Nizri, CEO of Ayehu, Inc

Recent news reports about massive data breaches have unfortunately, quickly become commonplace. Now, the conversation has increasingly turned to ransomware. If you’re not yet familiar with ransomware, it is the latest method cyber criminals are using to infiltrate the computer systems of unsuspecting victims and demand payment in return for data and files. It is, for all intents and purposes, electronic, anonymous extortion and it’s taking the cyber-world by storm. Furthermore, it’s not just individuals that are being targeted but corporations and organizations of all sizes that are at risk. 

The recent high profile attacks on healthcare organizations and the latest warnings of new strains of ransomware make us wonder, where will this end?  Unfortunately, the ever-evolving threat landscape promises that this will certainly not be the last of it, especially as we see extortionware rapidly gaining more notoriety. 

So the question becomes, what can organizations do to better prepare for and protect against these potentially devastating threats?  Even those that feel they have made great strides in this area by implementing several data security tools are still struggling to cut through the noise and achieve true security. 

Organizations of every shape, size and industry must be vigilant about understanding the current risks and take the appropriate steps to protect themselves and their critical information.

What’s the real risk of ransomware?

Just about everyone in the IT realm has reluctantly become familiar with traditional cyber-attacks in the form of malware, but ransomware has upped the ante by providing a faster, more effective way for intelligent hackers to get rich at the expense of others. The monetary costs associated with the ransom, however, are the least of the problem. It’s the fact that in the process, these criminals are gaining access to sensitive data – data which, if used maliciously, can very well impact the ongoing success of the business as a whole.

What can be done?

The problem with ransomware, as with its older brother malware, is that it’s not only effective, but it’s incredibly persistent. Many individuals and businesses alike that believed they were adequately protected have fallen victim simply because the security measures they had in place were not up to the challenge of the relentless attempts by the enemy.

When considering how to improve your ability to protect your data, detecting threats quickly and effectively is a perfect place to start.  A strong Incident Response process could save you from serious trouble, because even a short amount of time after compromise and before response can be devastating.  And while in many cases good initial steps are taken to detect incoming threats, limited staffing and an incomplete process can mean that incidents can easily slip through the cracks. 

The good news is there are ways to fortify the cyber security incident response process without having to hire additional personnel.  There are new technologies emerging today that automate Incident Response, so that systems are always being monitored, events are immediately identified and valuable, enriched data is provided – all leading to a faster response and minimized damage.

Automated Incident Response is designed to be closed-loop, leaving no holes, so that it can handle the onslaught of attacks. The right automation tool will integrate seamlessly with existing event monitoring systems. The moment an attack occurs, not only is it instantly detected, but the incident is then automatically assessed, verified and prioritized. From there, the appropriate action can then be taken, whether it’s the triggering of an automated workflow to address and defend against the threat electronically or the alert and escalation to the appropriate human decision maker for further input.

Essentially, automation is like a bridge that connects and coordinates the entire incident response process to make it stronger and more effective. It also helps to address the problem of increased persistence of attacks. With automation, there is no need to worry about staffing issues as it provides round-the-clock protection. This ensures that no incident, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is allowed to slip through the cracks undetected.

Everyone is at risk…

Think all of this won’t affect your organization? Think again. In fact, according to Gartner (News - Alert), by the year 2019, 40 percent of large enterprises will not only benefit from, but will actually require the implementation of specialized, automated tools in order to meet regulatory obligations in the event of a serious information security incident.

In other words, nobody is safe. The best way to protect your business is to take a defensive stance and proactive measures that include incorporating automation as an integral component of the cyber security incident response process. Only by adopting this strategy can you truly protect your precious data as well as your well-earned reputation. 

Edited by Alicia Young

Technology Marketing Corporation

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