• Creating simpler, not simple cybersecurity

        • Steve Rivers, Threat Intelligence Engineer at ThreatQuotient, is urging companies to reexamine their architecture in order to simplify their security. Here he outlines his top three factors that organisations need to consider when building their security architecture.

          Whether a company is large or small, it is my belief that security can never be considered to be simple. There are too many choices, too many tools, too many avenues to consider and too much constant change for all security people everywhere to catch up. Buyers are generally looking for the shiny new item so they can feel more secure and create a perception of additional safety. Unfortunately, the latest technology often doesn’t make security simple.

          So how can companies large and small make security simpler?  

          Large security vendors are all discussing one common theme, a secured architecture speaking the same language and using the information from disparate security devices to update or augment the inherent protections found in each individual tool. But, what if you could create your own architecture with the tool set you already have? What if you could communicate through context and a common vernacular about what’s occurring in your network to other users directly?

          The question becomes, how do you go about building that architecture?

          1. The first holistic piece to be handled is a simple dictionary. The security industry may seem outlandish but think for a moment on the number of times you have spoken in an acronym, or used a code word for a project that your company is monitoring. Does the person you are speaking to really understand what you are talking about? This is a central problem, and value that ThreatQ’s Threat Library can bring to your organisation. It provides the dictionary, context and internal reference information for a simple request, allowing everyone that interacts with the system to understand. What used to take weeks, compiling information and questioning multiple groups, can now be queried directly from the system.

          2. The second holistic piece is an information exchange. This is a system built to create and provide referential data to multiple systems in ways that natively make sense to the consumer. Being able to reduce the Time to Detection of an issue is critical in security. Where Google was once the answer, ThreatQ has the answers built in. Using Open Exchange and Threat Library that decision is now repeatable and explainable.

          3. The third holistic piece is a simple curation of data. We need to be able to quickly determine what alert is valid, what tool has valid results, and if the information that has been received externally has valid elements for my internal needs. Having pre-built or automated curation of data within a Threat Library allows a user to focus on the analytics side of the house and allow for the systems in place to get new data, enrich that data, even score or prioritise it for transmission to other teams or systems in a standardised way.

          Let’s face it, we are constantly looking for systems to make our life simpler but in security, there are no interchangeable parts. Instead, we have to find ways to automate what we can to present a combined, reference-able and context laced data set so that humans can make a final decision. Security is not simple enough to automate it away successfully. But it can be simpler by making the human smarter, so events, logs and analysis can be moved through in a faster and more repeatable manner.

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