IT Security Assessments: A Proactive Approach to Cybersecurity
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In today’s digital age, the importance of IT security assessments cannot be overstated. Businesses face an ever-evolving threat landscape that puts their sensitive data at risk. A proactive approach to cybersecurity can help identify vulnerabilities and threats that lurk inside a network. In this article, we’ll explore three key components of IT security assessments: threat hunting, vulnerability scans, and syslog/security information and event management (SIEM).
Threat hunting is the practice of proactively searching for cyber threats that are inside a network, yet remain undetected. It involves a range of techniques such as intelligence fusion, threat feeds, advisories and bulletins, and maneuver. Intelligence fusion involves gathering information from various sources to create a comprehensive understanding of the threat landscape. Threat feeds provide real-time information on current and emerging threats. Advisories and bulletins are published warnings about vulnerabilities or exploits that could affect a system. Finally, maneuvering refers to the ability to move laterally within a network. Threat hunting can thwart maneuvering by identifying the chokepoints that an attacker would have to go through in order to move laterally within a network.
Vulnerability scans involve the process of examining services on computer systems for known vulnerabilities in software. This process helps identify potential attack vectors that could be exploited by hackers. There are various types of vulnerability scans, including credentialed vs. non-credentialed and intrusive vs. non-intrusive. Credentialed scans provide more accurate results by using login credentials to access the system. Intrusive scans attempt to exploit vulnerabilities, while non-intrusive scans only identify vulnerabilities. False positives and false negatives are common issues that can arise from vulnerability scans. Log reviews can help identify false positives, while configuration review can help identify false negatives. Application, web application, and network vulnerability scans can also be conducted. Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) and Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS) are used to rate the severity of vulnerabilities.
Syslog/Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
Syslog stands for System Logging Protocol and is a standard protocol used in Linux systems to send system log or event messages to a specific server, called a syslog server. SIEMs are employed to collect, aggregate, and apply pattern matching to the volumes of data generated by systems, networks, and applications. SIEMs can help detect security incidents, provide visibility into user behavior, and enable incident response. Review reports, packet capture, data inputs, user behavior analysis, sentiment analysis, security monitoring, log aggregation, and log collectors are all components of SIEM.
Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR)
Security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) is an emerging technology that integrates security tools and processes to streamline incident response. It involves automating routine tasks, such as vulnerability scans and threat hunting, and providing a centralized platform for incident response. SOAR can help reduce response times, increase efficiency, and improve overall security posture.
IT security assessments are crucial for identifying and mitigating cyber threats. Threat hunting, vulnerability scans, and syslog/SIEM are three key components of IT security assessments. By proactively identifying vulnerabilities and threats, businesses can better protect their sensitive data and prevent cyber attacks. With the emergence of new technologies like SOAR, incident response can be streamlined and automated, enabling faster and more effective incident resolution.