Achieving better efficiency is a continuous process for virtually all organisations, from their daily operations to their cybersecurity processes. When it comes to the latter, achieving better efficiency poses many obstacles, such as staffing issues, an overabundance of tools, lengthy investigations, and the flood of alerts that can overwhelm any IT team. Today, these teams are tasked with getting more out of the same resources, with the key areas to improve efficiency being the security processes and technology used by their organisation. Below, we cover five strategies on how to achieve this goal.
1. Use frameworks that provide structure and process
In today’s developing cybersecurity industry, trusted frameworks that enable organised investigation and response efforts are now available to all. One example is the MITRE ATT&CK framework, which categorises attacker behaviours into a collection of tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) and allows analysts to quickly comprehend the details behind them, significantly improving response time. Other notable frameworks include the Lockheed Martin Cyber Kill Chain, NIST, and ISO.
2. Enablement and team management
Recruiting talent is easier said than done for most companies. And while experienced analysts should be prioritised given their experience, it is also important to consider new talent. If given the opportunity and under the right conditions and environment, potential candidates with a technical background in IT or relevant fields could quickly ramp up. Thus, leaders should invest more in creating an environment that allows their junior members to train and reach seniority under their watch.
After getting over the hurdles of hiring, the difficulties do not stop after creating the right environment and the right team; the next obstacle is employee retention. Teams that do information sharing and active enablement and have an attitude toward improving efficiency across operations avoid the risk of burnout from tackling redundancy in their daily tasks.
3. Information sharing
Many developments can happen overnight in the cybersecurity space. As such, staying on top of the latest incidents, TTPs, industry-specific attack trends, and more is an essential daily process. The source for such information matters, as an early warning from a trusted entity could save precious time when responding to the next supply-chain attack.
Finding peers in a similar position that team members can trade sanitised information for tips and active platforms for breaking news on new attacks or Indicators of Compromise (IOC) in the cyber community are good places to start. For instance, Twitter is home to a lively infosec community with small influencers and experts alike sharing everything from TTPs and DFIR tips to anecdotes from investigations.
4. Tabletop and incident planning
As the adage goes, practice makes perfect. Incident response must be a fluid application of pre-planned steps to a critical situation and not an uncoordinated mess if organisations want to block or mitigate the damage from a cyber-attack. Teams that regularly conduct tabletop scenarios on how they intend to tackle a severe ransomware attack, or an unprecedented supply chain attack help keep everyone on their toes for when the real event strikes.
5. Invest in a modernised security stack
Underperforming systems and solutions can impede the effectiveness of IT teams and their efforts to introduce efficiencies in their processes. As such, leaders should consider moving their security posture to a more future-ready state sooner than later and ensure their organisation can withstand even advanced adversarial TTPs. For example, next-generation antivirus (NGAV) solutions are replacing legacy antivirus software as they can better deal with more sophisticated malware and determine the first signs of suspicious activity. By having fallback detection and response capabilities, organisations get a bird’s eye view of the attack from consolidating individual malicious components. This full-scale picture is designed for processing high alert volumes and integrating multiple data sources and extended detection response (XDR) integrations.
As the threat landscape continues to pose a bigger risk and more and more prolific cyber-attacks make the headlines frequently, organisations big and small should do all they can to improve their cybersecurity posture and the efficiency of their operations to become more resilient.
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