Executing an Effective Security Program

In today’s global Internet connected and reliant IT environment, the issue of corporate networks becoming compromised is a fact. Defense in depth is still and important design pattern, but organizations with even relatively mature capabilities are relying on detection since prevention is simply not enough anymore. Whereas several years ago we used to speak about prevention of externally facing application attacks through coding flaws that lead to SQL Injection and buffer overflow attacks, now successful attackers have moved onto the weakest link: users. Compromise of user credentials now comprises 96% of the successful attacks on organizations. Why go through the brute force and difficult path of application compromised when the attackers can simply conduct a successful spear phishing attack on individuals in the organization?

This is where advanced detection comes in. User and Entity Behavior Analysis leads to high quality alerts regarding anomalous behavior that is exhibited by accounts where the user has been successfully compromised. Same detection capability exists for detecting users that are exceeding their authority, typically classed as Insider Threat – as well the machine learning can also detect systems (entities) that are behaving in a way that is antithetical to it’s normal behavior. Think of Point of Sale or healthcare Internet of Things devices that have been compromised and there aren’t specific user identities that can be used to profile normal behavior.

Of all these technologies that can be deployed, the foundation must be a sound information security program that puts policies, standards, guidelines and procedures in place that authorizes and supports the controls. The Security, Cyber, and IA Professionals (SCIAP.org) group have pulled together a concise document that outlines how to build an Effective Security Program.