In today’s rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape, CTOs play a critical role in safeguarding the digital infrastructure of financial organizations. To effectively combat these threats, a proactive and comprehensive approach to cybersecurity is essential. In this blog post, we will explore how Agio’s Cybersecurity Operations empower CTOs and their firms by providing automated response capabilities.

At a high level, automated response improves the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of threat response, strengthening the overall cybersecurity posture and reducing the impact of potential cyber incidents. By leveraging the security controls within an environment, CTOs can drive faster Mean Time to Detect (MTTD) and Mean Time to Respond (MTTR), ultimately reducing dwell time and the impact of a potential incident.

The Five Key Benefits of Automated Response

  • Real-time threat response: Automated response enables immediate action against malicious activities, reducing the time between detection and mitigation. It helps prevent further damage by swiftly blocking unauthorized access or malicious behavior.
  • Enhanced accuracy: Automated response relies on predefined rules and algorithms, ensuring consistent and accurate identification of threats. It minimizes the risk of human error and false positives, allowing for more reliable threat detection and response.
  • Scalability and efficiency: With automation, firms can effectively handle a large volume of threats and attacks without overwhelming human resources. Automated response actions can act quickly without the need for human analysis before taking action.
  • Proactive defense: Automated response can proactively identify and block emerging threats based on predefined patterns and behavior. It enables organizations to stay one step ahead of attackers by swiftly adapting to new attack techniques and signatures.

Examples of Automated Response Capabilities

  • Endpoint Cyber Operations tools: Some automated response capabilities are the ability to quarantine, execute process termination and network isolation: An EDR solution can automatically quarantine suspicious files or processes by isolating them from the rest of the system. This prevents their execution and potential spread, reducing the risk of further compromise. When the EDR solution detects malicious or suspicious processes, it can automatically terminate them to halt their activities and prevent potential damage or data exfiltration. Finally, in cases where the EDR detects an endpoint communicating with known malicious domains or exhibiting suspicious network behavior, it can automatically isolate the affected device from the network. This containment measure helps prevent unauthorized data exfiltration or communication with malicious actors.
  • Azure Active Directory or O365 Isolation or Quarantine: When a security threat is detected, the platform can automatically isolate affected systems from the network or quarantine suspicious files to prevent further damage or lateral movement.
  • DNS Security and Web Filtering tool: Open Extended Detection & Response (XDR) platforms can utilize these tools to automatically block malicious IP addresses, domain names, or URLs. This helps prevent communication with known malicious entities and reduces the risk of further compromise.
  • User Account Lockout or Password Reset: In response to suspicious activities or authentication failures, the platform can automatically lock user accounts or initiate a password reset to protect against unauthorized access.
  • Firewall Blocks: Automated blocking actions on firewalls enhance incident response by reducing the time between detection and containment, minimizing the impact of security incidents, and preventing further unauthorized access or malicious activities.

A Walk-Through of a Firewall Scenario

  • Alert creation: The XDR platform continuously collects and analyzes security event logs and data from various sources, such as network devices, servers, endpoints, and applications. It correlates and analyzes this information to identify potential security incidents or suspicious activities. Through event correlation, machine learning, and user behavior analytics the automated response action applies predefined correlation rules, threat intelligence, and behavior analytics to identify patterns or indicators of malicious activity. If an event meets specific criteria defined in the rules, it is classified as an alert or detection.
  • Notification: The XDR platform triggers an alert or notification to the security operations team. The alert includes relevant information about the detection, such as the source, type, severity, and context of the event.
  • Automation: The XDR platform communicates with the firewall through integration or APIs to send instructions for blocking specific IP addresses, port numbers, or protocols associated with the detected security alert.
  • Firewall Rule Modification: The firewall receives the instructions from the XDR platform and modifies its rule set accordingly. This can involve adding new rules to block traffic from the identified malicious IP addresses or updating existing rules to deny specific network connections or activities related to the malicious activity.
  • Verification: There are controls in place that allow the security engineers to design the automated actions to be timed to allow the security operations team enough time to evaluate the activity and determine whether the block should remain or expire. This provides the benefit of immediate response, added time for investigation and the flexibility to remove the block if it is determined that the trigger was a false positive.

 

CTOs need advanced solutions that empower them to respond swiftly and effectively to emerging cyber-threats. Open XDR provides the comprehensive capabilities necessary to strengthen a firm’s cybersecurity posture and protect its most valuable assets. Agio’s AI-powered approach unifies and simplifies the entire security stack to protect your full attack surface area from the most sophisticated cyber threats. Learn more.

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