Security monitoring

Security monitoring and analysis: from tools to platforms

This is the first installment of a three-part series. Be sure to read Part 2 and part 3 for more information.

Janus, the ancient Roman god of beginnings and endings – from whom we take the name of January, the first month of the calendar year – was depicted as having two faces: one looking back and the other looking the front.

In the context of time, it can be argued that security monitoring and analytics initiatives are the Janus of contemporary cybersecurity. Let’s look at the two sides of security.

  • Looking back: It is common for companies to start these initiatives by investing in tool-driven tactical approaches, which are typically used to aid them in forensic investigations of anomalous activity, as well as after-the-fact audits and reporting on the compliance and progress of the work.
  • Looking forward to: As these initiatives mature, the top performers are moving beyond tactical tools to a more strategic, proactive, and platform-focused approach to security monitoring and analysis. It’s not just about staying secure and compliant, but also about driving optimizations and driving even greater business value from their IT infrastructure.

Download the report: The Business Value of a Security Analytics Platform

Distinction between security monitoring tools and platforms

Distinguishing between tools and platforms is not just a pun. Rather, it reflects the basic evolution pattern that can be seen in many categories of cybersecurity solutions over time – from a mixed bag of lower-level tools for specialized IT and technical staff to self-integration of point solutions by the business, integration of product suite vendors, and integration of platforms by vendors and ecosystem.

A recent report from IBM and Aberdeen Research, “The Business Value of a Security Monitoring and Analytics Platform”, which studied nearly 11,000 current installations of selected solutions in the security monitoring and analytics category security, provides interesting and factual information on the current situation. market adoption of tools versus platforms.

  • Tools: Two-thirds of all installs in this analysis were a single product at a single site, indicating that the tools approach is a popular and effective starting point for investigation, compliance, and reporting.
  • Platforms: A third of all installs in this analysis were on sites with multiple products. This characterizes the more evolved platform approach, which helps organizations achieve better integration of relevant data from a wide range of sources, better visibility into a rapidly changing threat landscape, and more IT infrastructure. complexity, and better analytics to help operational staff prioritize and take action. on the most relevant information.

Analysts will be analysts

A platform approach to security monitoring and analysis helps your analysts take full advantage of the incredible amount of data already generated by your organization’s IT infrastructure, including:

  • Logs that continuously record information about events occurring in your computing infrastructure, including network devices, servers, virtual machines, endpoints, operating systems, applications, and databases;
  • Log, information, event, flow and session data also generated by your existing security solutions, including endpoint security software, intrusion detection and prevention systems, management systems identities and access, and a wide range of other potential sources; and
  • Threat intelligence from a wide range of third-party sources that ideally collect, correlate, assess, and disseminate information about the who, what, where, when, and how of active attack campaigns.

When your security analysts spend the majority of their time looking back and conducting forensic investigations into what has already happened, they’re not really security analysts, they’re security researchers. One of the biggest values ​​of a platform approach is that it empowers your analysts to be analysts.

Download the report: The Business Value of a Security Analytics Platform

Derek Brink

Vice President and Research Fellow, IT Security and IT GRC, Aberdeen Group

Derek Brink helps individuals improve their critical thinking, communication skills, and leadership skills by teaching graduate courses in safety…
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