All organizations have plans for different incidents that could impact the business’s resilience to them if they are not prepared. The purpose of a security playbook is to provide all members of an organization with a clear understanding of their responsibilities towards cybersecurity standards and accepted practices before, during, and after a security incident.

Once the incident response team is defined and aware of their position, key action steps of a cyber security incident need to be put in place. These include:

  • Incident detection
  • Response actions
  • Communication

There is no “one-size” fits all approaches to a cybersecurity playbook. Before defining the strategy that is right for your organization, you must have a clear understanding of what data is most important to protect.

The incident response team needs to be put in place prior to an incident occurring. Various levels of personnel and departments need to be involved to ensure company-wide understanding and participation. The incident response team should include:

CEO/CTO: CEO/CTO react to the malicious messages throughout the organization and communicating with the board.

IT Department: It is important to have the technical leader and members of the IT department to put their input on the plan, but it cannot be solely their responsibility.

Communications/Public Relations: It is necessary to deal with the potential media coverage and the agree on the message to be communicated to the public.

Legal Counsel: Having a lawyer involved provides legal insight and the impact of the incident response. Moreover, they ensure that the incident response meets compliance and regulatory requirements

cyber security predictions

After assembling a team, you will need to establish an incident response plan that has step by step instructions with key actions to be taken in the aftermath of an incident. Drills and exercises need to be implemented, so personnel is ready to respond when an incident happens. The reason for practice is to find weaknesses sooner and draw up a new plan if needed.

The biggest problem is that the team has to react fast. If you react quickly and effectively you will reduce your impact and cost. The team needs to have clear and constant communication throughout the remediation efforts.

If the incident has affected customers in any way, whether is is their data or specific to the company, the legal team needs to help to deal with this issue. The legal team should comply with any legislative requirements that need to be met.   

Finally, after the team discovers weaknesses and keeps all the solutions together, the most important conclusion is to ensure that the organization is prepared to handle any potential incident.

CyberSponse Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity automation and orchestration, helps accelerate an organization’s processes, security operations teams and incident responders. The CyberSponse platform enables organizations to seamlessly integrate, automate and playbook their security tool stack, enabling better, faster and more effective security operations. With a global presence, offering an enterprise platform, CyberSponse enables organizations to secure their security operations teams and environments. For more information, visit www.CyberSponse.com.

For more on Cyber Incident Response and how to use playbooks in your organization please check out our other website: IncidentResponse.com.

 

In the market today, the role of security analysts and demands for them have evolved. With a substantial influx of complex data for human operators to process and determine all aspects of security, automation is the term that is becoming increasingly common in the cybersecurity environment.

Computers are being used more and more to help make critical decisions and are doing so without human interaction. This is beginning a shift away from human involvement in solving cyber attacks and may be a direct suggestion of what is going happen to the security profession. Security automation is defined as technology that effectively clears the security decision-making process from the user. Across all different categories of cybersecurity, there is a big push to bring in a wide set of automation strategies that takes away the human error, covering all levels of the stack. Some SOCs are now machine-assisted and automate decision support like data gathering and running comparative analysis. As a result, organizations are looking how to automate cybersecurity operations.

Cyber Security Investment

Automation is entering the cybersecurity field and is becoming the norm. So, why is automation in security such a big deal? Does it mean that cybersecurity decisions will be done without any human involvement? If all this is happening, would it impact the demand for security jobs?

Like any other industry, automation in cybersecurity brings more efficiency and decreases operational time. Automation reduces risks and operational errors, where the human element plays a major role. Obviously, not all steps in cybersecurity can be automated. It is important for organizations to understand which exact detailed functions can and should be automated. Testing is a big part of security and in many aspects, it still depends on manual analysis. Major time saving is what automation can provide to companies. Automating processes in segments like operations and productions management, and industrial control systems improve overall cybersecurity performance.

Analysts with the right tools and processes are enabled to better focus on actually analyzing data and not repetitive mundane tasks. c Automation tools are playing an important part zeroing in on the intelligence for humans to take a call on. Automation will not reduce demand for security professionals because cybersecurity will still require people to manage the systems.

Automation plays a major role in many industries from manufacturing to transportation. Cybersecurity is no exception. Automation in air traffic control has only led to increasing capacity and accuracy. That is the consensus in terms of automation in security. It is expected that with the adoption of all these technologies, demand for security professionals will only go up. Cybersecurity needs smart talent with strong critical thinking skills to analyze threats and secure our networks.

CyberSponse Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity automation and orchestration, helps accelerate an organization’s processes, security operations teams and incident responders. The CyberSponse platform enables organizations to seamlessly integrate, automate and playbook their security tool stack, enabling better, faster and more effective security operations. With a global presence, offering an enterprise platform, CyberSponse enables organizations to secure their security operations teams and environments. For more information, visit www.CyberSponse.com.

For more on Cyber Incident Response and how to use playbooks in your organization please check out our other website: IncidentResponse.com.

It is really amazing when you think about how much data people put on the internet. From credit card information and online shopping to very personal information on social media, and even information as simple as emails between colleagues and conversations in chat rooms like Whatsapp.

Needless to say, there is a lot to worry about these days. Cyber breaches and various attacks that have affected so many people’s financial data and definitely was a big topic during the 2016 presidential elections and afterward.

Most people still neglect protecting their online data from hackers and different attacks. It is important to consider an attack from a hacker’s point of view. This way you can actually consider what data would be interesting to hackers and cyber criminals. Just as life circumstances change, your data privacy and cybersecurity priorities may change too.

The question is, who should you be worried about? Here are a few of people you should always be aware of, that may attack your information.

Criminal Hackers:  This might be the most obvious and most dangerous group to access your system. They can basically attack any system if they put their mind to it; they can put a virus or ransomware on your computer by simply hacking your social media through posting spam. Normally, criminal hackers are motivated by money and financial reward. Any measures you take against more dedicated criminal hackers will work against any level of hacking. So you should lock your systems up and back up your data to make it difficult to get access to.

Cyber Security Investment

Marketers and Legitimate Business: Almost all your personal information is on different sites and is available for various third parties to obtain. Through the use of public records, they know f what genre of movie you like to watch on Netflix or what political preferences you have. The reason why this should be a cause for concern, is third parties tracking your every move and personalize different marketing material (spam) depending on what you are doing online. If you are worried about this group collecting and using information, encrypt and defend your identity on different platforms and cookies preferences.

Governments: With all the secret documents and leaks coming out recently,  more and more citizens that are becoming skeptical about the U.S. government and its involvement in personal citizen’s’ life. But if you look at the grand scheme of things, other countries have a much worse track records regarding collecting people’s private data.

It is understood to have some level of anxiety related to these groups but it is knowing how much you are worrying about each group will guide your protection. Some people are using Tor browsers and encrypted communication channels. People’s web histories and searches may require more protection. There are tools that can help protect all of this information. Some of these are straightforward features and others are relatively disruptive in process of protecting you.

There are many ways you can mix cyber self-defense technologies. Using encrypted text and data apps for organizing activities, and turning on basic security layers for personal social media and online activities. Furthermore, if the communication is not especially sensitive they can opt out to take minimal cybersecurity measures. People need to protect their financial data and opt for using virtual private networks and security-enhancing tools when working online with financial information.

CyberSponse Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity automation and orchestration, helps accelerate an organization’s processes, security operations teams and incident responders. The CyberSponse platform enables organizations to seamlessly integrate, automate and playbook their security tool stack, enabling better, faster and more effective security operations. With a global presence, offering an enterprise platform, CyberSponse enables organizations to secure their security operations teams and environments. For more information, visit www.CyberSponse.com.

For more on Cyber Incident Response and how to use playbooks in your organization please check out our other website: IncidentResponse.com.

The main concern of a business executive is a company’s profitability. Every day corporate executives make decisions where to invest company money by comparing the costs and benefits, seeking to understand their return on investment (ROI). Finding ways to keep cost down while getting the most out of your protection against cybersecurity breaches is a struggle for most businesses. To make matters worse, some organizations are setting up complex systems and defense mechanisms that can make  ROI unquantifiable.

Bottom line, good security means no financial, brand and image loss to a business. On the other hand, the financial impact of a successful breach can be deadly to a corporation. Potential cyber breaches and their consequences justify the upfront and ongoing expense required to prevent its occurrence. Businesses of all sizes and every industry get breached. The question is, how do businesses calculate and measure how much security is enough security? The good news is that with the right strategy, calculation and communication, understanding the ROI on your cybersecurity plan is entirely possible.

First, there are costs involved in the overall implementation of a cybersecurity plan, such as monitoring systems and incident response software. These expenses can be easily measured.

Secondly, recognizing and showing the benefits that can help strengthen a case for enhanced incident management can be very helpful. Far too often, cybersecurity measures focus squarely on prevention, when in reality it’s the remediation that can truly quantify the return. In reality, it is not the attack that is costly; but rather the expense involved in identifying, isolating, and resolving the issue before it has a chance to cause any damage.

The majority of large corporations today find out that attacks are usually coming from their bank or a third party vendor. Using outside sources to detect breaches takes a greater amount of time than having products you can use in-house. Cybersecurity breaches happen in mere minutes. The gap between a compromise and detection is alarming, to say the least, and that’s without taking into account the amount of time it takes to recover. Most of the mean time to resolution (MTTR) is spent determining the actual problem, and the remainder is spent fixing the damages and resolving the problem.

With the right technology and tools, there can be significant savings in MTTR alone. Keeping in mind that the type and severity of incidents will vary, it is essential to rank the incidents by resolution time and cost. The costs associated with support personnel may also vary based on level and skillset. Once you conduct an initial assessment and use the formula of Annual Cost of Incidents X Reduced Time to Resolution (%) = Annual Savings you can potentially save about 50-75 percent with your tools.

Currently, IT executives understand the importance of investing in cybersecurity; the problem occurs when they need to convince other executives and corporate leadership.

An important element of ensuring that all your tools are operating to maximum capacity is to get a Security Orchestration Automation Response (SOAR) product, like CyberSponse. This will help you create playbooks, which in turn help you assess what tools you will need and be ready whenever an attack is to follow. You will need the best of the best in the category, CyberSponse.  

CyberSponse Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity automation and orchestration, helps accelerate an organization’s processes, security operations teams and incident responders. The CyberSponse platform enables organizations to seamlessly integrate, automate and playbook their security tool stack, enabling better, faster and more effective security operations. With a global presence, offering an enterprise platform, CyberSponse enables organizations to secure their security operations teams and environments. For more information, visit www.CyberSponse.com.

For more on Cyber Incident Response and how to use playbooks in your organization please check out our other website: IncidentResponse.com.

With a gigantic number of security alerts and threat intelligence to manage, it seems like an impossible task for managers to get a complete and accurate view of all cyber attacks. It has become almost an impossible task to manage risk. There is simply too much information to collect, organize, and analyze.

What do you need the most when you start building a product? Right tools for the job, right? It is the same in cybersecurity. You need the right cybersecurity tools to build a lasting and strong cyber defense from different events. These various tools work together to detect and prioritize threats. All the tools are managed through playbooks created by a security team to respond to incidents. No matter the size of the company or the type of data you want to protect, to understand your threat landscape is very crucial. The solution to all these problems seems like an easy one, but finding the right tools is not an easy task.
Finding the right software and tools is about making the right decision based on the return on investment (ROI). Firstly, security managers need to understand what each tool does and from there they can make the right decision in picking the tools they will need. There is no crystal ball that will predict when breaches happen, but you need to have your machines ready to respond automatically. This can definitely change the company’s way and timeline of defending and responding to attacks.

Company’s size and infrastructure also play a huge role in building its cybersecurity capabilities. Of course, when it comes to tools, one of the main factors is the size of your business. If you are small and medium enterprise, it does not make sense for you to purchase the enterprise-grade tool. That would make no financial sense and, at the end, it will end up ruining the security you are trying to build. It will not scale far enough for your company to fit an enterprise size security system.
Businesses need to take into account how long it will take to actually have these tools installed. Hardware, software or virtual appliances need to be tested. The types of threats that businesses experiences should be considered. They differ in diverse industries. Some vendors specialize in certain sectors like finance and healthcare. Others in education and utility business. Obviously, you would like the tools and the toolkit that integrate with your pre-existing tools, if not it is best to look at other vendors.

The importance of these tools cannot be more emphasized. Purchasing security analytics tools, theoretically, would make a business more secure. Purchasing the right security analytics tools is what actually ensures it. These tips will help you get started.
An important part to ensure all your tools are operating in max capacity is to get a Security Orchestration Automation Response (SOAR) product, like CyberSponse. This will help you create playbooks that help you learn what tools you will need and be ready whenever an attack is to follow.  You will need the best of the best in the category, CyberSponse.  

CyberSponse Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity automation and orchestration, helps accelerate an organization’s processes, security operations teams and incident responders. The CyberSponse platform enables organizations to seamlessly integrate, automate and playbook their security tool stack, enabling better, faster and more effective security operations. With a global presence, offering an enterprise platform, CyberSponse enables organizations to secure their security operations teams and environments. For more information, visit www.CyberSponse.com.
For more on Incident Response and how to use playbooks in your organization please check out our other website: IncidentResponse.com.

 

 

Last Friday, a devastating wave of ransomware known as #WannCrypt or #WannaCry spread to over 200 countries. In terms of a number of infections, the country that got hit the hardest was Russia. The United Kingdom, Spain and other countries saw damage to their National Health Service. Hospitals had to unplug their computers to stop the malware from spreading to important information.

The United States, even though affected mildly by this attack, should feel quite lucky compared to other countries. Why? The intentions behind these attacks and who they were targeting are still unknown. Choosing not to target many U.S systems for some reason we are not really sure. Another reason is that most users in the United States have the most recent Windows operating system, while other countries user is in previous versions. This seems like a win for the United States, right? No, on the contrary, we need to look at this as a warning stage for something more malicious in the near future.

The biggest lesson to all of us is that the next major cyber attack might be just around the corner. Cybersecurity should not be politicized and politics has nothing to do with this cybersecurity. Government officials and business entities have everything to gain, in terms of public safety and promoting better cybersecurity. Recent events have put a spotlight on cybersecurity and how important to strengthen our security really is.

Protecting all your data, systems, and networks from all forms of malicious activities are not going to happen. We have to realize what assets are most important for us to defend. Data audit is an important step towards improving your cybersecurity. Do you need to ask questions, what data is critical to your company? What data do we need to store? What data should be accessible all the time and which data should just have limited access? And etc.

Cybersecurity teams should be held accountable to ensure compliance with the fundamental standards for information security. If the compliance is imperfect than the attacker probably already knows where the weakness is. It is critical to maintaining resilience in the face of cyberattacks that target top priorities.

We all should have a strategic communication plan in our companies. Do not wait until you are in the midst of a cyberattack to brainstorm all the key points with your board, shareholders, and clients. Do some research on how companies have managed or failed to manage their communication strategies against cyberattacks.

Our government officials can also help themselves by spending some time to educate themselves about the cyber threats. Private and public sector executives have to develop some contacts, gather insights, and improve their instincts on cybersecurity to stay ahead of the curve. One way is having set products that could help you see attacks coming and organize them, in a way that helps you save time and money. One of such platforms is Security Orchestration Automation Response(SOAR) and its leader CyberSponse.

CyberSponse Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity automation and orchestration, helps accelerate an organization’s processes, security operations teams and incident responders. The CyberSponse platform enables organizations to seamlessly integrate, automate and playbook their security tool stack, enabling better, faster and more effective security operations. With a global presence, offering an enterprise platform, CyberSponse enables organizations to secure their security operations teams and environments. For more information, visit www.CyberSponse.com.
For more on Incident Response and how to use playbooks in your organization please check out our other website: IncidentResponse.com.

 

An important first step in improving the nation’s cybersecurity was taken by the President last week.  On Thursday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order on strengthening the cybersecurity of federal networks and critical infrastructure.

The most important highlight of this executive order is that the President will hold heads of executive departments and agencies accountable for managing cybersecurity risk to their enterprises.

The timing of the cybersecurity executive order could not have been better. The day after the order was signed, the biggest ransomware Wanna Cry cyber-attack shook the whole world. More than 150 countries were affected. Recent cyber-related events only confirmed that strengthening our cybersecurity is absolutely necessary.

Even though the signing of the executive order was a big step, it does not fix all the problems immediately. There is still a lot of work to be done after this initial first push.

The executive order calls for federal agencies to seek opportunities to have a co-existing cyber technology and not keep them separately in a vacuum. Combing onsite and cloud-based IT systems government agencies increase their threat landscape and open more doors and windows for an outside malicious attack. Due to the division of power, expertise, responsibilities and resources, government entities prefer to operate their own IT environment as individual silos.

Cybersecurity is only as strong as its weakest link, so what are the steps to make sure that these weakest links diminish and disappear in the near future?

It is important to recognize that private sector, especially start-ups, are the most innovative in cybersecurity. The government through its procurement procedures will more likely look at large and well-established vendors rather than explore new technologies in start-up space. This has to change! In cyber protection, you cannot use yesterday’s solutions to defend tomorrow’s problems. That is why the government should increase its cooperation and support to cybersecurity start-ups. The government needs to take a closer look at these small companies more often because they might have a solution to major challenges due to their agile and fast-paced development. Hackers work at a very fast pace, bigger companies have too many channels to catch them in time and this is where smaller companies are more useful.

It is needless to say that buying cyber technology from foreign sources is a pretty risky business. The concern is valid. We know Russia and other state actors are engaging in nefarious activities. There are valid concerns that Russia collaborates with private Russian firms.

The cybersecurity infrastructure of the United States is too vulnerable to cyber attacks. The systems that we, as a country, are using are functional but not secured and this creates serious challenges. President Trump’s executive order addresses this concern by requesting all executive branches to submit a risk management report. In these report, there has to be a description of what are security measures and significant risks towards their agencies. Also, this will determine if some agencies can realistically adopt consolidated network architectures.

Let’s hope meaningful progress is made after these 90 days and that these reports will help to recognize what data needs to be protected. Fixing these problems will take a lot of time and efforts, so it is better to start sooner than later.  

One of the ways to improve cybersecurity is automated the most repetitive tasks and focus on incident response. The best in this business is security orchestration automation response (SOAR) platform, CyberSponse.

CyberSponse Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity automation and orchestration, helps accelerate an organization’s processes, security operations teams and incident responders. The CyberSponse platform enables organizations to seamlessly integrate, automate and playbook their security tool stack, enabling better, faster and more effective security operations. With a global presence, offering an enterprise platform, CyberSponse enables organizations to secure their security operations teams and environments. For more information, visit www.CyberSponse.com.

For more on Incident Response and how to use playbooks in your organization please check out our other website: IncidentResponse.com.

 

CyberSponse’s staff constantly get asked about the features that strengthen different cybersecurity organizations.  As a Security Orchestration Automation Response (SOAR) company, we understand better than anyone that an effective cybersecurity organization consists of the right mix of people, processes, and technologies.

If you work in cybersecurity, you have most likely heard of the two teams: security operation centers (SOCs) and computer security incident response teams (CSIRTs). Which team is better? It all depends on the needs of your organization. Each team has their differences,  from the way they are built to their exact work in the organization.

Security Operation Centers(SOC)

Think of the SOC as the brain of a cybersecurity organization. The SOC is the center of all roles and responsibilities, seeking to protect information in the enterprise as it’s primary goal. The SOC performs prevention, detection, incident management, and anything to do with managing and protecting information within the company.

The SOC also oversees the people, processes, and technology involved in all operational aspects of cybersecurity. More often than not, companies will only have a SOC before they establish a separate CSIRT. Typically, a CSIRT function will fall under a SOC for maximum capabilities. The goal of a SOC is to implement and oversee cyber-related activities to make an organization run more efficiently and protect against malicious attacks.

Create a SOC  

Some smaller companies do not need a full-blown SOC. Below are some points for your consideration that will help decide if your organization needs a SOC:

  1. The amount of sensitive data being handled has increased
  2. The emerging threat landscape requires dedicated security resources
  3. Your organization is growing and the number of end-points is increasing
  4. Standard processes and ownership over security are non-existent
  5. ROI on security is not going according to plan
  6. You need to improve monitoring and response capabilities
  7. Your Manager Security Service Provider (MSSP) is outdated

Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT)

The Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT), is a center of information security, incident management and response in an organization. A SOC may be used to guide the CSIRT or the CSIRT may act as the company’s main cybersecurity outlet.

Having said that, what are actual differences between the CSIRT and a SOC? The CSIRT enables an organization to have many hands working on a function, therefore minimizing and controlling the resulting damage of an incident.  You also need the team to be transparent with what has happened; they need to communicate to customers, board members, and possibly the public of just how the incident has affected the company. If the incident was perpetrated by an internal actor, legal action will need to be pursued against the individual.

CSIRT: Why Should it be Created?

The CSIRT has the abilities to rank and escalates alerts and tasks, coordinate and execute response strategies, and develop communication plans for all departments. The CSIRT can be a formal or an informal team depending on your company’s needs; it will depend on threats that your organization is facing.

If your organization is in a high-visibility industry (government, healthcare, etc.) were responding to threats is of higher priority and a critical part of business strategy, a full-time CSIRT may be necessary. The CSIRT can evolve over time; it can start off informally and later evolve into a fully developed organizational function.

No matter what company or team you have leading your security against cyber attacks, you must ensure the proper plan and products are in place. You need the best of the best, CyberSponse, can help centralize and navigate your team through the cybersecurity world by organizing tools to alerts.

CyberSponse Inc., a global leader in cybersecurity automation and orchestration, helps accelerate an organization’s processes, security operations teams and incident responders. The CyberSponse platform enables organizations to seamlessly integrate, automate and playbook their security tool stack, enabling better, faster and more effective security operations. With a global presence, offering an enterprise platform, CyberSponse enables organizations to secure their security operations teams and environments. For more information, visit www.cybersponse.com.
For more on Incident Response and how to use playbooks in your organization please check out our other website: incidentresponse.com.

 

If you really think about it, incident response plan (IR plan) is just old books on a shelf. These written guides, which show how firms should detect, respond, and limit the effects of a security incident, should be highly valued but are usually left gathering dust on the “shelf”. So many plans go untried and untested for years and sometimes are out-dated that they are unfit to help at the time of a data breach.

Cyber security experts say that IR plan today should include a policy that defines what an incident is, and have a step-by-step guide of how the business responds to an incident. Following the directions in place, organizations hope to lessen the blow from the attacks and reduce costs and recovery time that are usually associated with data breaches.

It is funny even with all these cyber incidents, some companies do not even have one in place. It is really concerning those certain organizations still do not take cybersecurity seriously and are not prepared to respond to a cyber breach.

So what are some factors that you could look out for to improve or to prepare your IR plan started? Let’s discuss.

  • Fixing the IR plans: Do you have an IR Plan in place? More often than not the plan does not fit the purpose. Some IR plans are so poorly designed that, in a case of an emergency, they would do no good. One point of failure is that some companies love to put one or two people in charge to guide the organization through the crisis. This might become very troubling in case both employees in charge are unavailable. Who will take responsibility of leading corporation through a crisis then? Have a plan, train according to the plan and make sure everyone knows their responsibilities in case of crisis and emergency.
  • How it should look:  When building IR plans you need to have the purpose defined, the role of each team member, as well as the lifecycle of the plan itself. It is encouraged to hold exercises to practice the plans. A big part is having cross-department reps that are selected to take the lead on incidents in their departments to make sure there are multiple hands and coordinated actions responding to the incident. Many believe that there are six key phases to develop a successful IR plan: 1) Preparation 2) Identification 3) Containment 4) Eradication 5) Recovery 6) Lesson Learned.
  • Team and Skills: A lot of professionals highlight the importance of team’s diversity that can execute on the plan. Experts say that communication can make or break any IR plan to ensure that team members know exactly what they are supposed to do and coordinate their actions. Plans rely on good intelligence and statistics being provided by the managers, who can turn it into business language for company leaders. Attackers will know right away if the plan has holes in it, so why give them a chance? Put a team that can execute their part so there are no cracks that people can slip in resulting in branding and corporate reputation damage.

So take that incident response plan off the shelf, blow some dust off it and make sure it is still applicable. A robust plan is very much achievable, as long as you get the right processes in place, the right people onboard and that you test it regularly to ensure it is fit for purpose. What are you waiting for?
For more information on Incident Response or the best in the SOAR (Security Orchestration and Automation Response).  Please visit our websites!!