April 30, 2012 1 Comment
I received some interesting responses from my last week’s post (Incident Detection, Then Incident Response) so let me try to answer them all collectively.
No, my post was not a knock against incident response (IR) or forensics tools. I believe we are getting things out of order. It is about detection first. Better analysis? Good. Better Response. Good. But it all starts with breach detection. In fact, if we had better breach detection, organizations would actually get more value out of their IR/forensics tools.
The inability of organizations to detect breaches is easily explained. The picture below is my attempt to illustrates what I call The Breach Detection Gap. This gap exists between the numerous layers of prevention solutions and IR/forensics tools leaving organizations unable to detect breaches at the point of infiltration.
The IT security market has been fixated – technically and emotionally – on prevention. Hence the numerous “usual suspects” on the left side of the breach. I think my position is clear (cystal) that a prevention-centric strategy is doomed to failure. Tradecraft relentlessly and rapidly evolves to evade any gains in prevention, and targeted attacks and the Advanced Persistent Threat are engineered to evade the specific defenses meant to defend their target.
IR and Forensic tools provide deep insight and valuable analysis to the breach investigation process, but are only brought to bear after the breach is detected. Unfortunately, this is where most organizations spend the meager budget slice that is set aside for post infiltration.
The Breach Detection Gap is the critical exposure between prevention tools and IR/forensics tools that leave organizations without the means necessary to detect breaches in real-time. Obviously, without detection there can be no timely response. Which is my point of last week’s post: re-packaging IR tools as the solution for breach detection problems is not the answer. The answer must start with faster and more accurate detection.
Someone also asked why I don’t name names. I try to write this blog to stimulate thought and while I unashamedly say where Triumfant solves specific issues I try very hard to keep this from being an ongoing advertisement. I also have never believed that there is any value from directly speaking in a negative manner about any other vendor. There are some good IR/forensics tools in the market that are very hot right now, and when products get hot, the market begins to act strangely around them. My post was not a knock on those products, but on the efforts I see in the market to position those tools with professional services as the solution to the Breach Detection Gap. Make no mistake, the organizations around these hot products and event the vendors behind these products see this as a chance to sell professional services projects to hunt down breaches. I will leave it to you to figure out who those vendors are, but I think in most cases the answer will be easily discerned if organizations resist the hype.
What I did not say in last week’s post is that Triumfant is positioned to detect breaches in real time. There are ample posts that address that directly as well as a new whitepaper on our site, so I won’t go into details here. I will say that while heuristics, behavioral, and IPS/HIPS are also being directed to the problem, I think that Triumfant’s use of change detection and the analysis of change in the context of the host machine population is uniquely suited for the role of breach detection. You get rapid detection (real-time), and within minutes we provide detailed information to help formulate an informed response, and we custom-build a remediation to stop the attack and repair the machine. That is rapid detection and response.
And while Triumfant provides a wealth of IR/forensics data, we fully endorse the use of IR/forensics tools to provide the full range of post-breach investigative work.
But it all starts with detection.