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 The way attackers infiltrated an organization was once relatively simple. The attacker would find a vulnerability such as an unpatched device or compromised account, sneak into the system, encrypt files or steal data, and leave the organization to clean up the mess and find better ways to build up their defenses.

 Today, organizations are a combination of attack surfaces, which on paper, seems like it would be harder for an attacker to navigate. However, as organizations get smarter, so do attackers. Now, attacks aren’t so linear; attackers can find a vulnerability, lay dormant, jump from one attack surface to another, lay dormant again, and then launch in a full-fledged attack against the business. And sometimes, it would be too late, and organizations must dish out millions of dollars to recover and remediate.  

 As futile as it sounds, that doesn’t mean we can’t stay ahead of today’s threat detection curve. Here are five ways the best SOCs stay ahead of attackers.

1. Invest in your technology

 The one piece of technology that will allow organizations to stay ahead of attackers is AI. We’re not talking about LLMs (large language models) that just support analysts in building queries for their investigations. We’re not talking about AI/ML approaches that only detect anomalies and require constant human maintenance.

 We’re talking about utilizing AI to build an attack signal that surfaces the most critical and urgent threats specific to each unique customer environment while giving the full narrative to the attack. At Vectra AI, we call this AI our “Attack Signal Intelligence.”  

 For over a decade, Vectra has been researching, developing, pioneering, and patenting Security AI centered on delivering the best attack signal on the planet. Our Attack Signal Intelligence goes beyond signatures and anomalies to understand the attacker behavior and zero in on attacker TTPs across the entire cyber kill chain post compromise. It analyzes attacker behaviors and traffic patterns unique to the customer’s environment to reduce alert noise and surface only relevant true positive events. Armed with context around the complete narrative of an attack, security analysts spend their time and talent on what they are good at – hunting, investigating, and stopping attacks from becoming breaches.  

2. Adopt an XDR strategy

 Having an extended detection and response (XDR) strategy is crucial to combatting the modern-day hybrid attack that spans multiple attack surfaces. With an XDR strategy, you’ll be able to achieve:

  • Coverage: Integrated high-quality threat detection coverage across the entire hybrid attack surface — networks, IoT/OT, public clouds, identities, SaaS applications, endpoints and email. Defenders need assurances they have the visibility required.  
  • Clarity: Integrated signal that correlates detections to prioritize real attacks in real-time. Defenders need to know what to focus on first — where to start their work.  
  • Control: Integrated, automated, managed investigation and response actions that arm SOC teams to move at the speed and scale of hybrid attackers. Defenders need competence and confidence to keep pace with the volume and velocity of threats.  

3. Regularly assess your exposure risk

 Securing an organization is a moving target given the constantly changing and evolving IT environment. Keeping pace with a moving target requires regularly assessing your exposure to attacks.  

 Doing so entails looking at the basics including reviewing boundary firewalls and internet gateways, malware protection, patch management, allow listing and execution control, secure configuration, password policies, and user access control. Integrating these basics into your security program is vital along with keeping regular updates.

 On top of that, look at the surface areas to which your organization can potentially be exposed. In some cases, there are resources to pressure test and analyze gaps within your attack surfaces.  

 These measures cover your exposure risk before a potential compromise, but what should you look at after an attacker has already compromised an identity and infiltrated the environment? Once an attacker is in your system, it introduces more complexities in detection and response. An attacker can take a plethora of actions to bring harm to your business such as multiple-account compromise, identity privilege escalation, and elusive lateral movement — all which may lead up to a business-critical incident.  

 What happens then, and what can you do to answer this challenge? The answer lies in your detection and response technology — mainly ensuring that the signals your technology is pulling in will intelligently inform you of these suspicious behaviors even before it becomes a full-fledged attack. For example, Vectra AI’s Attack Signal Intelligence can correlate hosts and entities across attack surfaces with AI and ML-driven attribution that accurately fills the information gaps that produces post-compromise complexities. Getting rich and accurate context into the way an attacker moves will set you up for success even when an attacker can get past your defenses.  

4. Engage with third-party experts

 While investing in quality technology can significantly reduce the workload for your SOC team, it sometimes is not enough to combat the modern-day attack, especially within today’s hybrid environments. That is why we highly recommend combining artificial intelligence technology with human intelligence, especially third-party industry experts, as an extra line of defense against hybrid attackers. Third-party industry experts can come with managed detection and response services, who provide deep insights on the security industry along with being the subject matter experts to the platform and technology you are using. Outsourcing some of the repetitive, mundane SOC tasks to industry experts is a great investment to make, especially when these experts are well-versed with the technology and platform you utilize for threat detection and response.  

 In the case of Vectra MXDR, our team of analysts are experts in both the cybersecurity space and the Vectra AI Platform. On top of that, Vectra MXDR can cover all your attack surfaces – SaaS, cloud, identity, network, and endpoint via our integrations with CrowdStrike, SentinelOne, and Microsoft Defender globally 24x7x365. Vectra MXDR can offload hours of work, freeing up time and talent for the high-value, more critical tasks.  

5. Optimize talent and budget

 Speaking about freeing up time and talent, the final way the best SOCs are staying ahead of today’s attackers is optimizing the people and resources within their teams. People perform the best doing what they love – does your SOC team love managing alerts, tuning rules, and creating reports for hours each day? Probably not. Instead, the security budget you free up utilizing a managed detection and response service can be invested in security initiatives or programs your SOC would love to work on – threat hunting programs, mentoring, research, building business relationships, and overall high-level initiatives meant for high-level talent.  

 This is why outsourcing your repetitive SOC tasks to an MDR service is critical to a modern SOC. When you have another team taking care of the day-to-day tasks your SOC team is spending way too much time on, it frees more time for analysts to dive deeper into high-value projects, therefore optimizing your talent and security budget. 

Vectra Al is the best find of the NWU company for cyber security of Ukraine

 Thanks to the NWU company, which is the official distributor of Vectra Al in Ukraine, you can now buy NDR (Network Detection and Response) from the world leader of the domestic IT market, which is an integral part of the SOC triad.

 Vectra AI, Inc. is the leader in hybrid attack detection, investigation and response. The Vectra AI Platform delivers integrated signal across public cloud, SaaS, identity, and data center networks in a single platform. Vectra AI’s patented Attack Signal Intelligence empowers security teams to rapidly detect, prioritize, investigate and stop the most advanced hybrid cyber-attacks. With 35 patents in AI-driven detection and the most vendor references in MITRE D3FEND, organizations worldwide rely on the Vectra AI Platform and MDR services to move at the speed and scale of hybrid attackers. 

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