How you can improve your threat detection in four easy steps

4 May 2022 | by Hannah Brice

Threat Detection

Cybersecurity threats are a never-ending battle but having solid threat detection in place will make the fight a whole lot easier.

Even after a threat is contained, the damage done can last for years. For example, a data breach can expose sensitive information like credit card numbers and social security numbers. Once the data theft has occurred and this information is out there, it can be used over and over again to commit fraud. And once your reputation is damaged, it can be very difficult to repair.

This is why it’s so important to be vigilant about external threats and detect threats quickly. It’s not enough to simply react to them; you need to be proactive in order to protect your organization from the lasting damage cyber threats can cause. Here are a few ways to build a more informed response strategy around threat detection.

What is threat detection, and why is it important?

Threat detection is a broad name for various techniques that keep you informed of your IT assets’ health to help you prevent malicious activity. For instance, you could monitor the traffic passing through your network for abnormal activity that might indicate someone’s accessing information improperly.

Why go to the trouble to detect threats? The answer lies in what attackers do after they gain access to your organization’s network. News flash: Their bad behavior usually goes further than merely posting offensive messages on your corporate social media accounts.

Our data reveals that attackers typically stay within a compromised network for some time. In most cases, you can expect them to stick around for anywhere from 85 to 310 days!

Most security teams probably wouldn’t be too comfortable with this. Who wants to share their secrets or critical assets with criminals, let alone do so for almost a year? High post-intrusion dwell times are a fact of life, and so is the damage they do to businesses. Companies whose networks play host to lingering hackers lose more than just raw data. Many fall prey to massive intellectual property losses or financial theft.

Even if hackers fail to deplete your corporate rainy day funds today, they can drop hidden backdoors in your network and come back for your revenue in the future. Or, as is increasingly common, they’ll wait until you’re on the cusp of a momentous step forward only to strike with ransomware and malware. You could even become a pariah when hackers use your stolen data to attack your clients, partners, and stakeholders.

Threat detection is vital because it’s the best way to stem the bleeding after an incident. You’ll never anticipate every potential threat vector, and as you grow, your company will become more vulnerable to new angles of attack. With robust threat detection, you can act on every threat detected, improving your security posture.

How can you improve your threat detection?

Threat detection lets you know when something goes wrong so that you can implement protective measures. Every organization should have a means of continuous threat monitoring to cater to the type of networks needing protection, the kinds of threats they face, and resource availability to reduce the likelihood of security incidents. That said, these are four easy ways to get started:

1. Detect threats by deploying Honeypots

One form of threat detection is the use of honeypots. These are attractive lures used to detect, deflect, or in some cases, counteract attempts at unauthorized use of information systems. As a threat detection method, they are typically used by security teams to better understand attack vectors, identify hackers and dissect their methods.

Honeypots are set up to look like part of a network, but are actually isolated from it. This makes them seem like an attractive target for criminals and work well for insider threat detection too.

Once someone has struck your honeypot, they are caught in the trap and your security team can observe what they do via system logs and other everyday network data, gathering behavior analysis of the attacker. If your trap mirrors some of the key features of your systems or the technologies your real networks use, you can even discover where your gaps lie and how to plug the leaks using the threat intelligence data gathered.

In some cases, honeypots are also used to bait criminals into revealing their identity or location. This information can then be used to track them down and bring them to justice. As you can see, honeypots can be powerful tools in the fight against digital crime and a great threat detection tool for your security team.

2. Ensure your security teams scan for vulnerabilities

Vulnerabilities are different from threats. Think of them as the windows of opportunity that let imminent dangers slip your defenses. A hacker stealing your customers’ payment information is an example of a threat. Your poor network management practices that allowed the attacker entry in the first place would be an example of a vulnerability.

While not strictly a form of threat detection, by having a robust scanner in place for identifying vulnerabilities. you can gain valuable information about your systems and security controls that could support the threat detection process and prevent malicious activity.

Vulnerability scanning teaches you where your most exposed attack surfaces lie. When coupled with proactive management, it can significantly lower your susceptibility to risk.

3. Follow security analysts’ best practice and be a better bookkeeper

Develop your own business or consumer applications in-house? Play it safe by keeping a software bill of material documentation. This will help you with threat detection.

As your home-brewed tech library grows, you’ll have to bring in more dependencies and third-party tools to help it thrive. This means you’re introducing a greater chance for mission-critical errors or malware attacks. Any given library or support app could potentially become the backdoor that lets in a threat.

Maintaining an accurate software bill of material helps you keep pace with your organizational evolution. It’s the easiest way to keep up with all the software versions so that you don’t remain vulnerable to the latest threats.

4. Get to Know Your Network Better

Advanced threat detection requires having a good understanding of your digital landscape. Too often, businesses lose track of the apps, devices, and systems they have in place.

IT assets can be hard to conceptualize, particularly in modern cloud-adjacent business environments. Mapping your network infrastructure as comprehensively as possible improves your odds of knowing when something is amiss.

Fortunately, getting a firmer grasp of the landscape is easier than it sounds. You can start by regularly using an automated threat response scanning tool. Many create accurate network maps as they scan.

Is there anything you can do for free?

Fortunately, you can implement some of these fixes right away. For instance, Conpot, t-pot, ADBHoney, gaspot, and similar software let you deploy honeypots free of charge.

Alternatively – or better yet concurrently – you can operate like the leading security analysts and use one of the most advanced threat detection tools available – Lupovis. Full-fledged threat response tools make it simpler to act on IT data by organizing and prioritizing ongoing insights. We also help you maintain the correct countermeasures by using AI-powered algorithms to lead hackers away from high-risk zones, diverting hazards in real-time. To find out more about real-time threat detection with Lupovis, request a demo today.

Still keen to learn more about how your threat detection methods could be improved? Or how it could be used to support your incident response? Get in touch with us.

4 May 2022 | by Hannah Brice

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