In today’s cyber threat landscape, it’s not a question of if an attack will occur, but who will attack and when. To keep data safe against global threats that include attackers as technically sophisticated as any defender, companies need to have world-class defenses. This requires strong execution of security fundamentals, in-depth knowledge of the environment, and working with experts to be ready to Protect, Detect, and Respond detect attacks when they occur.
Protecting companies today is challenging because it’s an incredibly dynamic problem. Configurations are in constant flux, hardware is being cycled, software is updating, workloads are moving to the cloud, and users are bringing devices in and out of the network. At the same time, random attacks are entering the system, and there is danger of well-funded, determined external attackers trying to steal valuable data. Even insiders can be threats, and what an attack looks like can change every day.
Protection is the best defense, because defending just at the host, network edge, or the cloud isn’t sufficient. Similarly, threats that cause damage or pose danger need to be detected in depth as well. When threats or attacks are detected, an appropriate effective response is required. The three pillars of security; are key to a secure enterprise.
Detection in depth means taking a layered approach to find threats all over with redundant detection mechanisms, even where there are no protective defenses. It also means verifying the output of detective sensors to build trust in signals.
Some threats are not complicated to detect. Out-of-date software, missing or stale anti-malware protection, and misconfigured policies are all threats that can lead to successful attacks. These threats can be detected easily and are among the fundamental requirements to stay secure.
Other threats are tougher to detect, such as attacks against network infrastructure or insider attacks, and detection often depends on collecting numerous logs and performing analysis. Software supply chain attacks may be particularly successful, especially if users go looking for software on the Internet on their own, and require different detection methods. Knowing your environment well makes it much easier to know if something is out of place or missing.
Even in a well-protected network, there will be successful attacks. Some of them are quite easy to identify. Even if you’re not familiar with an attack, being curious and knowledgeable enough to think “that’s weird” is often the start of detecting something new. Another key to good detection and analysis is the knowledge and resources to understand the tactics, techniques, and procedures used in today’s attacks. Even the biggest organizations need help to see parts of attacks that happen beyond systems in their control.
Detecting threats can seem overwhelming when new threats are constantly making news and older threats are still capable of causing big problems. However, identifying threats can be made much easier by implementing protection and detection in depth. Executing the fundamentals of security daily, knowing what is normal for your enterprise environment, and having expert help in identifying the latest attack methods is key.
Instead of relying solely on the perimeter to keep bad guys out, organizations need to adopt a defensive strategy that catches anyone who makes it through. Identity-based protections are ideal because they follow users and devices wherever they go. That makes it much harder for attackers to steal credentials and stay undetected.
Microsoft Enterprise Mobility + Security provides comprehensive, identity-based security for user accounts, applications, devices and even your documents – no matter where they reside. Learn more about protecting your company, contact us today.