How AI and SOC Protect Organizations

How AI and SOC Protect Organizations

Keeping up with the evolving threat landscape is difficult and organizations face several challenges such as the cyber skills shortage and managing the security tools in their infrastructure. The more security tools an organization implements, the more security alerts a security operations centre (SOC) has to investigate. Each of these security alerts need to be analyzed, investigated and remediated. However, research from the Neustar International Security Council (NISC) found that 26% of security alerts are false positives. To eliminate the number of false positives and keep up with attackers, combining artificial intelligence tools with a SOC’s expertise is crucial.

AI SOC

Source: ZDNet

Improving Threat Intelligence and Detection

The longer a threat goes undetected, the more damage can be inflicted. Hackers have more time to steal sensitive data or gather intelligence for future attacks. Detecting a threat as soon as possible is crucial in reducing the impact of a breach. However, threats are constantly evolving, and new vulnerabilities and attack vectors are being discovered daily.

To effectively detect threats, security analysts must have access to the latest threat intelligence data. This can be done through threat intelligence feeds. Threat intelligence feeds provide information on cyber threats and risks, which gives security analysts a real time view of the external threat landscape. Threat intelligence feeds are usually integrated with a tool like security information and event management (SIEM), which has AI capabilities. Since SIEM analyzes data from all the devices in a network and correlates that information with data from threat intelligence feeds, it can identify potential threats more quickly. The data from threat intelligence feeds provide security analysts with context to inform their decisions for responding to threats. This enables them to respond more quickly and do their work more efficiently.

Increased Productivity

Investigating several security alerts per day can burden a SOC team. The number of alerts makes it difficult for security analysts to prioritize alerts to investigate, which can allow critical alerts to slip through. Furthermore, dealing with false positives makes it harder for analysts. False positives are alerts that indicate a threat is happening when in reality there is no threat. Dealing with false positives can slow down an analyst’s ability to determine threats, which can also lead them to miss real critical alerts.

Manually investigating security incidents is a time-consuming process. Security analysts have to collect information from the network and correlate that information to gain context and determine the severity of an incident. SIEM makes it easier for security analysts to investigate threats. SIEM automates the process of gathering information and consolidating and analyzing data. When critical security alerts are identified, a security analyst is notified and will start investigating the issue. Leveraging artificial intelligence ensures that analyst skills are being used to identify real and serious threats and reduces the number of false positives they encounter.

Using a Hybrid Intelligence Platform

Implementing a SOC in-house is an expensive investment. The cost of hiring security personnel, buying security tools and licenses and paying for continued security training can end up costing hundreds of thousands of dollars. Furthermore, the cybersecurity skills shortage makes it more difficult for organizations to find qualified applicants. Fortunately, organizations can outsource a SOC to a service provider like Jolera to ensure their organization is protected.

Jolera combines the security expertise of a SOC with intelligent analytics from SIEM through its hybrid intelligence platform. Under our hybrid intelligence platform, human and machine intelligence merge with proprietary technology to help manage and secure an organization’s environment. Our SIEM system picks up emerging threats and eliminates false positives while our security analysts investigate and remediate security incidents. We then generate a report on an organization’s infrastructure allow you to gain actionable insights to help guide their security posture and investments. For more information on our hybrid intelligence platform, contact us today.

Improve Security by Knowing Your Cyber Threats

Improve Security by Knowing Your Cyber Threats

Security threats are targeting organizations daily. According to the Hiscox Cyber Readiness Report 2019, 61 per cent of organizations reported experiencing a cyber incident. While there are common security threats like phishing and malware that are targeting organizations, threats like weak passwords or exposed vulnerabilities will vary from organization to organization. In order to close these security gaps, organizations must gain visibility into the threats that target their business and implement the right security tools to protect their data.

Source: Hiscox

4 Ways to Discover Cyber Threats

1. Vulnerability assessment

A vulnerability assessment scans your organization’s IT infrastructure to identify known vulnerabilities like misconfigurations or missing patches. As there are new vulnerabilities being discovered daily, organizations should conduct a vulnerability scan on a quarterly basis. Vulnerabilities found are ranked in order of severity to help organizations prioritize what to patch first. Vulnerability scans should also be done whenever there are significant changes in the IT infrastructure, such as implementing new technology. This helps organizations verify that the changes they are implementing are not negatively affecting the security posture of their environment.

2. SIEM

A Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) system analyzes log data generated from devices across a network in real time to identify patterns of suspicious behaviour that are indicative of potential threats. It leverages machine intelligence via behavioural analytic capabilities and human intelligence through alert investigation by security experts. SIEM provides organizations with a holistic view of the security events within their infrastructure. SIEM uses correlation rules and use cases to determine threats. SIEM can also detect more sophisticated threats like malicious insiders.

3. Penetration Test

A penetration test is similar to a vulnerability test in that it checks for vulnerabilities. However, a penetration test goes more in depth because it attempts to actually exploit them by simulating attacks. Instead of just simply knowing about vulnerabilities, a penetration test shows how threat actors can launch successful attacks against your organization. Penetration tests are great for organizations who want to test their defence capabilities and have greater insight into their infrastructure. Due to the nature of a penetration test, these tests take longer and require more skilled resources.

4. Monitor Dark Web for User Credentials

User credentials in the wrong hands can have devastating consequences. Cybercriminals can sell your organization’s credentials to other threat actors on the dark web or use them to enter your network. Once they have access, they can use an employee’s account to spread malware to other employees or clients, gather intelligence for future attacks or escalate privileges to gain further access. Since organizations can have hundreds or thousands of users, it can be difficult to determine if user credentials have been compromised until it’s too late. By monitoring the dark web for stolen credentials, organizations will be able to take action against this threat before it escalates to a full-blown data breach.

Learn how Jolera can help your organization defend against the evolving threat landscape by contacting us today.

Eliminate Gaps in Your Security Tech Stack

Eliminate Gaps in Your Security Tech Stack

According to research by Forrester, 55% of organizations use 20 or more tools for their security and operations. While it’s important to protect every aspect of your IT infrastructure, buying every security tool available isn’t always the best solution. Integrating several security tools at once can be difficult to manage, especially if they’re all from different vendors. This can cause your infrastructure to become unnecessarily large and complex, which can lead to security gaps.

security tech stack

Source: Forrester

Do You Have Gaps in Your Security Stack?

An organization’s security stack consists of all the tools, technologies, platforms and vendors used to protect data and manage security. The larger an organization’s security stack, the harder it is to properly manage and ensure it stays updated. This can lead to backdoors hackers can exploit to enter your network and launch attacks.

The more security tools integrated, the greater amount of alerts being generated. Managing and investigating these alerts take a lot of time and effort and can result in a lot of false positives. As a result, organizations miss important alerts because they are either too overwhelmed or don’t take any alerts seriously. To overcome these issues, organizations must evaluate their cybersecurity stack to ensure they are implementing the right level of security protection and controls for their business.

3 Ways to Minimize Security Gaps

1. Assess your security framework

The security tools in your IT infrastructure should be strategically implemented to align with your organization’s security framework. Once you’ve established a good security framework, you can assign the necessary tools to meet each category. Your security framework should drive your security strategy and the tools you implement, not the other way around. A popular industry standard framework is the NIST framework, which is designed to help organizations better understand, manage, and reduce cybersecurity risks.

Assessing your security risk profile with a security risk assessment is also a good idea to help validate the security tools in your infrastructure. Security risk assessments analyze IT environments to determine an organization’s cyber risks and their potential impacts. It’s important that organizations understand the unique risks to their business to ensure they are taking the right actions to prevent these risks and minimize any harm.

2. Leverage unified security solutions

To best optimize their security stack, organizations must focus on gaining visibility across their infrastructure while using intelligent analytics to make decisions. This is best achieved through using unified security solutions that take a holistic approach to security by combining the best features into one solution.

Integrating turnkey solutions rather than those that only serve one-off functions will help reduce the number of tools in your security stack. For example, having a firewall is great but you will need security experts to monitor, and investigate firewall logs to ensure your network is being protected. Instead of having to install a separate firewall monitoring tool and hiring experts to investigate and respond to alerts, integrating a firewall solution that includes these features, like Secure IT – Firewall, will help you save time and money.

3. Use automated detection

As mentioned earlier, keeping up with the vast amount of cyber threats can be overwhelming. A security system that combines automation with human expertise increases the efficacy and efficiency of detecting threats. Jolera’s investment in hybrid intelligence combines human and machine intelligence with proprietary technology to help manage and secure IT environments. Our security information and event management (SIEM) system uses AI and machine learning capabilities to analyze and detect potential threats within your entire network.

For more information on how Jolera can help your organization defend against the latest threats, contact us today.

7 Firewall Capabilities That Enhance Network Security

7 Firewall Capabilities That Enhance Network Security

As the threat landscape continues to evolve, organizations must implement security technologies to protect their organization from threats like malware and DDoS attacks. According to the 2018 Cybersecurity Survey Report by the CIRA, 61 per cent of organizations monitor their networks and use firewalls to identify cyber risks to their organization. Firewalls are a traditional security tool that help organizations secure their network edge. As threats got greater and technology improved, firewalls evolved their capabilities to become next generation firewalls (NGFW).

Source: Firemon 

How Next Generation Firewalls Protect Organizations  

A NGFW firewall has the same benefits of a traditional firewall but includes enhanced capabilities that allow real time protection against malware, vulnerabilities and network attacks. 

Many firewall services like our Secure IT Firewall solution feature next generation firewalls to provide organizations with greater protection against the evolving threat landscape. Secure IT Firewall also contains years of Hybrid Intelligence that combines both human and machine learning to apply rules to specific applications and other functions to allow or deny traffic.

7 NGFW Capabilities for Advanced Protection 

1. Advanced threat protection 

Most traditional firewalls integrate with a separate intrusion prevention system (IPS) to gain additional security features. Next generation firewalls have IPS capabilities built in to protect against a wide variety of threats, such as DDoS attacks, malware and spyware. Further integration with threat intelligence systems like SIEM provide advanced layers of protection to defend against the modern threat landscape. 

2. SSL Inspection

Malicious threats can be hidden within encrypted web traffic. In order to filter out malicious content, the NGFW intercepts encrypted web activity to filter out malicious activity through a “man in the middle” approach. The NGFW will first decrypt the incoming web traffic and then scan for threats like malware or viruses. After its examination, the traffic will be encrypted and forwarded to the user so that the user can access the data as originally intended. 

3. Application Control 

The users on your network use several tools on their devices, such as email, social media and other vendor applications. Some of these web applications can be malicious and lead to open backdoors that can be exploited to enter your network. Application control allows organizations to create policies that either allow, deny or restrict access to applications. This not only protects organizations by blocking risky applications but also helps them manage their application traffic to ensure availability for business-critical resources. 

4. User identity awareness

User identity awareness allows organizations to enforce policies that govern access to applications and other online resources to specific groups or individuals. The NGFW integrates with your authentication protocols (such as LDAP or Active Directory) so that access is governed by user identity as opposed to IP address. User identity awareness not only helps organizations control the types of traffic allowed to enter and exit their network but also manage their users.

5. Deep packet inspection

Deep packet inspection inspects data to identify and filter out malware and unwanted traffic. By inspecting the content of a data packet, the NGFW can intelligently determine which applications are being used or the type of data being transmitted. This allows the firewall to block advanced network threats (such as DDoS attacks, trojans, spyware and SQL injections) and evasion techniques used by threat actors. 

6. Centralized Management 

Firewalls need proper security management to ensure that they meet the security needs of the organizations that need protection. Firewall capabilities need to be updated and firewall rules need to ensure they are being properly enforced. Centralized management of your firewall(s) is crucial in gaining on overall view of your firewall configurations. Organizations need to ensure they can scale their firewall to ensure that their organization has maximum protection to fit their growth needs. 

7. Reporting and insights 

Firewalls generate logs that detail information about security and network traffic that security administrators review to understand the overall activity. This information provides organizations with useful insights to help them prioritize application traffic and understand their network security and monitor user activity.

3 Steps to Optimize Your IT Infrastructure for Growth

3 Steps to Optimize Your IT Infrastructure for Growth

The growth period of a business is always exciting, but it can also be an overwhelming time. Organizations need to ensure their operations can support greater demands. If their IT infrastructure is not optimized to scale, this period of transition can be more difficult.

A common business practice that indicates growth for companies are mergers and acquisitions (M&A). While there are many factors that go into M&A deals, technology and security plays a critical role. According to research from (ISC)², 63% of M&A experts say IT tools are factored in as assets while 95% consider cybersecurity a tangible asset. Optimizing your IT infrastructure will benefit business productivity, increase security and prepare your business for future growth, even if you don’t expect to be a part of a M&A.

Source: (ISC)²

Optimizing your IT infrastructure

Your organization should not just be optimized for your current business needs but also for your business plans for the next 5 or 10 years. Of course, the future is always uncertain, and many things can happen in between. However, optimizing your infrastructure for something like a M&A will help your organization get to where it needs to be when the time comes. Here are three things you can do to optimize your organization for future growth.

Audit and Assess

The first step in optimizing your IT infrastructure is to assess your IT assets and understand how they are being used across your organization. Sometimes organizations purchase software programs or applications that they later abandon or are similar to something already being used. As a result, they are potentially spending a lot on licensing fees on services they aren’t even using/don’t need. It’s important for organizations to gain visibility into their infrastructure in order to understand how their IT investments work for their business.

The best way to gain visibility into your IT infrastructure is to audit and keep track of all the devices, software and apps being used and who has access. As roles change and employees depart your organization, you need to ensure that permissions are being adjusted accordingly. Taking the time to review your IT assets can help keep your organization more secure and ensure you’re maximizing your IT revenue.

Manage and Monitor

Management of your IT infrastructure is important in ensuring that all systems, software and applications are updated to the latest versions. When your IT systems are properly managed, its easier to keep track of which parts of your infrastructure need to be upgraded and ensure that your network is working efficiently. Failing to update your IT assets puts your organization at risk to security vulnerabilities and compliance regulations.

Monitoring and management of your IT assets can be overwhelming, especially if you have limited resources. In cases like this, outsourcing to a managed services provider like Jolera can help reduce IT costs and provide organizations with IT expertise. Outsourcing IT management leaves the IT issues to your service provider while you focus on your business. If you are interested in how Jolera can help you manage your IT infrastructure, contact us today.

Scale and Secure

When organizations start to grow, things can get complicated very quickly. Having an IT infrastructure that can support expansion can alleviate stress and make the process easier. The traditional on-premise IT infrastructure model makes it more difficult for organizations to scale their business due to the hassle of having to purchase, configure and integrate new equipment into their network. Using cloud technologies within your IT infrastructure ensures your organization is built to scale.

When scaling your IT environment, it’s important to ensure your organization remains secure and complaint. Encryption is key to protecting data, whether its in transit or at rest. Having IT experts who understand your business needs and security is key. Securing your IT infrastructure is important no matter where your servers reside. Protect every threat vector by integrating security solutions like our Secure IT platform. Our solutions were created to work together to ensure that organizations can layer security across their technology assets.

How Your Security Culture Builds Customer Trust

How Your Security Culture Builds Customer Trust

Cybersecurity risks are at an all time high, making security an integral part of an organization’s business. As consumers become more cognizant of data breaches and the threats to their information, they expect organizations to secure their data. Research by Privitar found that 50 per cent of consumers would trust a company less if their data was being inappropriately used. By integrating security inside out via your organizational security culture, you end up with more secure processes and controls to protect customer data. As a result, organizations can build trust with the customers and business partners they work with daily.

Source: ZDNet

How Security Culture Shapes Organizations

Security culture encompasses the beliefs, behaviours and values that drive how an organization approaches security. A good security culture ensures organizations are safeguarding data and decreasing cyber risk by embedding security into their business processes and encouraging employees across all departments to share the security responsibility. 

To reduce risks and protect their network, many organizations implement security technologies like firewalls and anti-malware tools. However, many hackers are targeting employees instead with phishing emails and other social engineering tactics. Without a strong security culture to motivate and guide employees to take security seriously, organizations put their business at unnecessary risk. 

Building a strong security culture is an ongoing process and simple activities like forcing employees to undergo cybersecurity training once a year is not enough. Organizations need to shift their mindset and see their security culture as an opportunity to improve their organization instead of a liability. 

How to Differentiate Your Organization with Security

Building customer trust is not easy and retaining it is even more difficult. Implementing steps to improve security culture will not only give you peace of mind in that you are staying secure but will help you build trust with business partners and customers.

Increase Executive Understanding

Without support from business leadership, having a strong security culture is difficult to maintain. Business leaders are responsible for prioritizing security and ensuring that there is a security budget available. If business leaders aren’t putting in the necessary effort to invest in security, an organization’s overall security culture will be weaker.

Executives who make it a point to have a strong security culture show employees and business partners that they understand the risks cyber threats pose to their business.  This means they are investing in protecting their data by using security solutions and implementing user awareness training. When customers or stakeholders see that security measures are being taken seriously, it makes them more willing to enter business.

Improve Data Security

Security isn’t separate from business processes. In fact, all business processes should have security built in to ensure data is adequately protected. Organizations must consider a data-centric approach to security. This includes being aware of the data they collect, its value and how that data is being secured and accessed. 

An effective cybersecurity culture will help employees mitigate cyber risk and prevent data exfiltration. Being aware of threats like social engineering will help employees be more alert and prevent them from engaging with these attacks. They will also feel more open to reporting these kinds of incidents if they come across them. Limiting employee access to organizational files and ensuring data is encrypted and backed up is also crucial. Integrating cost effective security solutions like those from our Secure IT platform will keep data safe at every threat vectors. 

Review Security Investments

As organizations grow, security measures might change. As you handle more data and/or hire more personnel, security becomes a greater issue. Organizations need to evaluate their security measures to ensure their security culture reflects what the business needs. For example, if you are hiring new employees, make security a part of onboarding. Ensure that new employees read security policies and are required to do cyber awareness training.

Doing a security assessment will help validate security controls and help organizations keep track of their security processes. These assessments help organizations understand where they need to improve and help guide them on how to be more secure. This can help organizations develop their security strategy and help them focus on how to improve. If you are interested in conducting a security assessment for your organization, contact us today.