Threat-Informed Approach: Chief security officers (CSOs) and chief information security officers (CISOs) bear the pressure of defending their company from a cyberattack. Although this grueling obligation has not changed, the job has become more complex over the years, and in 2020 it is incredibly challenging. Organizations worldwide have been under stress since the onset of the virus in March, and cybercriminals have conducted several scams linked to the coronavirus pandemic. Health care organizations and other businesses struggling to survive under heightened financial and organizational constraints are being targeted.
Adversaries are targeting more aggressively, although there is a rising review of security services and spending. Approximately 70% of CISOs predict that next year their budget will decrease. However, CSOs and CISOs are still required to protect the enterprise, despite a reduced budget and a – list of innovations needed to keep the organization secure. Given these steep hurdles, this article shares critical tips for building a threat-informed cybersecurity protection plan such that CSOs and CISOs can achieve their goals.
What Does a Threat-informed Defence Constitute?
Threat-informed defence “applies a deep understanding of adversary tradecraft and technology to protect against, detect, and mitigate cyber-attacks. It’s a community-based approach to a worldwide challenge.” Simply put, the threat-informed defense needs an understanding of the adversary’s approach and what is required to defend the organization against the tactic. Although cybercriminals tailor their attacks to what is most timely (for example, Covid-19 or the 2020 elections), there is also little change in the method of assault.
The 2020 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Study found that accounting for 67% of breaches investigated, cybercriminals skew towards identity theft, mistakes, and social attacks. The study also showed that ransomware attacks are on the rise, demonstrated by the increased threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers in recent months. These insights help companies identify common attack strategies and behaviors of adversaries. The next move is for security leaders to consider their existing defensive capabilities and work to defend the organization from attacks. A dedicated threat-informed security approach often includes a close bond between conventional red and blue teams to form a purple team focusing on identified threats and evaluating the organization’s defenses.
Specific steps CSOs and CISOs may take to enforce a threat-informed approach to security effectively are as follows.
- They are using the system of ATT&CK to grasp enemy strategies, approaches, and processes (TTP). The plan is open, usable globally, and focused on real-world observations of the actions of adversaries. This knowledge base helps all security leaders better understand their risks and how bad actors are likely to carry out specific attacks.
- Analyze the mission of the company and essential vulnerabilities. Press, “What would adversaries target that would significantly impact the organization’s ability to function or profit? How would the adversary seek to engage those assets? What defences are in place to protect those assets?” Such complex discussions ensure that the security team thinks like the adversary and prioritizes the most critical protection assets.
- Switch from red and blue teams to a purple team structure. Organizations should adopt the conventional dialogue between the blue and red groups to a collective purple team technique that emulates the enemy as a way of self-evaluation. Organizations will recognize their security technologies, their organization, and its organizational characteristics inside a purple team building. The Purple Team Doctrine ensures that companies continually maximize their preparation for cybersecurity.
- Test and verify controls for protection against identified threats. Most security leaders are unsure if the cybersecurity tools that have been deployed are working as anticipated. Security leaders must select, execute and configure security resources wisely, with tighter budgets. It is therefore critically essential that the security capabilities implemented are reliable, successful, and meet standards. Checking controls against the known intruder behaviours that are most likely to affect the company ensures that any possible gaps are detected and patched until they are discovered and exploited by bad actors.
- Appoint a representative in the enterprise to oversee threat-informed security. It takes a change in culture, procedures, and instruments to incorporate a threat-informed defence and requires good leadership and oversight. It also needs coordination and teamwork across disciplines and a designated leader to coordinate this organization’s strategy.
- Becoming threat-informed would require safety teams to learn about the overall threat environment, their organization’s defences, and the company’s general purpose. Validating their security controls in advance and challenging advanced threats by defending themselves against established TTP will allow teams to self-iterate their safety posture and apparent low-effort attacks from opponents. Given the growing challenges facing CSOs and CISOs today, the gold standard that will keep us one step ahead of the adversary is a threat-informed approach to cybersecurity.