Why mature security operations matter

A mature cybersecurity set up is crucial if security teams are to effectively deal with whatever is thrown at them.

By Tim Ferguson

Thu 20 Jun 2019 @ 15:39

Organisations are facing an unprecedented volume of threats that are becoming more sophisticated by the day. Increasingly ambitious cybercriminals are being joined by state-sponsored actors, and they are all highly motivated to achieve their goals.

Armed with software development capabilities, an increasingly sophisticated cybercrime supply chain and an underground economy to support them, these threat actors are extremely capable of causing problems.

Organisations are at risk of customer data being exposed, intellectual property falling into the wrong hands, or disruption to operations, with potentially disastrous consequences in the cases of critical national infrastructure or defence.

A 2018 survey of 1,200 global IT security professionals representing organisations with 500 or more employees found that 77 per cent of surveyed organisations were compromised during the preceding 12 months.

All of this is overwhelming security teams, limiting their ability to identify threats. The result could be a damaging data breach or cyber incident.

There are numerous products and solutions that can help organisations better protect themselves, with cutting-edge technology such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation helping to deal with threats, particularly once they access networks.

But with organisations also dealing with evolving regulation, new industry standards and digital transformation (including the greater use of cloud computing, mobile technology and the Internet of Things), their cybersecurity maturity must be up to scratch if they are to use these capabilities to effectively reduce threat detection and response times.

To achieve the maturity needed to reduce detection and response times, organisations must overcome the following:

  • Information overload and alarm fatigue – high alert volume often obscures legitimate threats and reduces ability to identify, prioritise and respond to critical threats.
  • Lack of centralised forensic visibility – many organisations lack broad and deep centralised visibility into activity across the extended IT and operational environments.
  • Swivel-chair analysis – with multiple security products, security teams must triage and investigate threats across different interfaces, taking up time and being prone to errors.
  • Ineffective holistic threat detection – a lack of central visibility across the extended IT landscape leaves organisations vulnerable to false negatives and false positives.
  • Fragmented workflow - multiple disjointed communications tools and techniques prevent people and processes from being aligned, leading to inefficient workflow.
  • Lack of automation - without automation of pre-approved actions, security teams cannot act to immediately neutralise threats.

Overcoming these obstacles will improve efficiency and result in lasting reductions to detection and response times.

This requires organisations to define their critical security operations’ technological capabilities and vital workflow processes – something that frameworks like LogRhythm’s Threat Lifecycle Management (TLM) can help with.

Once done, LogRhythm’s Security Operations Maturity Model can then assess an organisation’s current maturity based on available resources, budget and risk tolerance, and can plan for improvements.

As your organisation’s cybersecurity posture matures, so will your security team’s ability to deal with current risks and to combat whatever attacks come their way in the future.

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Learn more about how you can benchmark and improve your security maturity by downloading our white paper.