Prioritising the Dynamic Re-organisation of Defence

It’s become something of a cliché for cybersecurity vendors and service providers to write ominously about the looming imminence of successful cyber-attacks against organisations – it’s now a matter of not if, but when the phrase “it’s not if, but when” will turn up in any given bit of marketing material!

Unfortunately, this is one of those clichés that, if no silver bullet, is worth its weight in gold. “Comedy” aside, it’s both a) true and b) worth paying attention to. Even in the last couple of weeks (at time of writing), we’ve seen major ransomware attacks making global headlines – the Colonial Pipeline attack in Virginia, USA (rumoured to have cost somewhere in the region of $4 million to resolve by paying the attackers), and in the Irish Health Service which has resulted in IT systems being shut down for days.

The success of these attacks doesn’t illustrate a lack of investment in cybersecurity by boards (Gartner, for example, predicts a continuing year-on-year investment of up to 10% through 2021 and beyond) but rather an incomplete understanding of risk, a reliance on static defence (firewalls, IDS/IPS brittle controls, AV, etc), brittle controls, and a failure to gather and utilise threat intelligence – then proactively act on it.

Fortunately, there are ways to rectify the situation, and SecOps teams have a key role to play in making it happen: a shift to Active Defence. It’s not a new idea – even as far back as 2004, national cyber defence agencies were insisting that “static defence is inadequate” – or even necessarily novel ideas – but a combination of the post-pandemic threat landscape, the democratisation of threat as malign actors increasingly set themselves up as a kind of mirror universe cyber services provider, and the maturation of both market and technology means that it’s an idea that’s time, to borrow another cliché, has finally come.

By understanding what business services and assets are defending – and why they’re critical – building a threat profile of likely attacks and attackers becomes a manageable task, and this combination of business insight and intelligence gives a baseline position from which current control and capability effectiveness can be assessed. But to effectively counter identified threats as they evolve, and avoid control drift, dynamic re-organisation of defence is critical – monitoring threat intelligence, continuous assessment of risk surfaces, and a proactive adaptation of your defence in line with your intelligence.

Adarma’s threat intelligence experts delve into the basics of Active Defence, an overview of the important techniques of Dynamic Risk Assessment, Denying Threats, Detecting Threats, Disrupting Threats, and Deceiving Threats, and an insight into minimum capabilities and methods for utilising your existing investments in the white paper Active Defence for Security Operations Teams.

Read the white paper here, and let us know what you think – and how we can help.