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Helping MSSPs Reduce Risks with Adaptive Threat Management

Customers put a lot of trust in an MSSP – trust that you can provide with the service(s) that you are offering. If you can’t, you AND your customers suffer. The consequences are typically costly and far reaching - disrupted operations and lost revenue; reputation damage, for both you and the customer; and compliance and legal issues, which can result in fines and lawsuits (customers can sue the MSSP for damages). To reduce the risks of offering security services and maintain the trust of your customers, not to mention adherence to any service level agreement (SLA) you have in place, you need to deliver. It’s just that simple.

If only delivering was simple to achieve. Many MSSPs are struggling to staff up to investigate and respond to all the cybersecurity alerts they receive in their SOC – the security infrastructure of a single customer can generate tens of thousands of alerts daily. It should be noted, lack of resources is not an issue that’s unique to MSSPs - 82% of IT professionals report a lack of cybersecurity skills within their organization and more than 30% of cybersecurity openings in the U.S. go unfilled every year! As a result, MSSPs are looking to get more out of the resources they do have.

 

Current Tools Exacerbate the Challenges

Unfortunately, most of the tools and processes associated with investigating, responding and remediating security incidents are time-consuming and laborious to use, which exacerbates the resource shortage and adds considerable costs to your operations that cut into the potential profitability of any service you may offer.

For those alerts that are investigated, analysts can spend hours/days/weeks trying to collect all the information needed from all the different endpoints throughout the environment. Starting from the time of the alert and working backward, analysts have to try to piece together the full extent of the attack and identify the root cause of the incident. This is almost impossible to do without in-depth historical visibility into all the endpoints involved in the investigation.

Given that Gartner estimates most attacks have an average dwell time of 205 days before they are detected, it’s not unusual for there to be big gaps in the attack timeline, which means endpoints involved in the incident may be missed and attack tactics left undiscovered. As a result, there is the potential for an attacker to persist in the environment and come back at a later date to reinitiate their attack objectives.

In addition, remediation mechanisms are often imprecise, requiring systems and endpoints to be taken offline while they are re-imaged or cleaned. This is time that renders users idle, cutting into performance and productivity metrics for which you may be accountable.

 

What You Need to Deliver Profitable Security Services

You need a way to get deep, historical visibility into endpoints and quickly close the loop on security incidents to reduce the risk and increase the revenue streams of security services. Automated endpoint and incident response capabilities can help you improve response times, increase productivity and operationalize your security services, so you can meet SLAs and deliver the security services your customers want. What do these capabilities look like? They include the ability to:   

  • Observe
You need constant, automated endpoint vigilance, coupled with long-term central data storage to ensure you have the visibility you need to quickly and efficiently understand what is going on in your environment. It must be constant and granular, so as soon as you get an alert, you have all the data you’re going to need to quickly and simply build out the entire attack story. Since you can’t know in advance what data you might need to reconstruct and analyze an attack, recording everything  is critical to achieving the granular view you need into all the activity on all endpoints at all times. Historical endpoint visibility will give you a complete record of all the files, processes, registries, users, hardware, networks, etc. you may need from the past days/weeks/even months to ensure there are no gaps when you build out the attack timeline, so you can be confident nothing is missed or left to assumptions.
  • Analyze
You need to be able to quickly validate whether an alert is a threat and then understand the full extent of its activities to be able to effectively respond. Causalities need to be quickly made, taking the alerts from SIEM, network, and detection technologies and finding correlations within the endpoint data. Each alert needs to be automatically investigated and triaged, producing the root-cause and full timeline of the event, without consuming too many resources. Effective use of automation at this stage can reduce response times dramatically – by up to 99% - and eliminate false positives, enabling you to focus resources on the threats that really matter.
  • Respond
You need to be able to quickly and surgically remediate any threat or incident. The response needs to be orchestrated across multiple endpoints, if needed, to optimize your resource utilization and ensure an attack is immediately shut down and can’t propagate. Responses may include quarantining, killing a process, deleting a file, deleting and modifying registry keys, stopping a service/driver, removing a user, adjusting a firewall rule, etc. With the right tools, the attack should be stopped, with no impact whatsoever on a user’s productivity or the business’ continuity.
  • Defend
You need to be able to learn from past events and predict where there are potential vulnerabilities, so you can ‘close the loop’ on security incidents and make adjustments to your defensive posture to automatically prevent similar attacks in the future. The knowledge accrued in handling actual incidents needs to immediately be applied to create adaptive threat management that reflects the landscape going forward. When coupled with historical endpoint visibility, you can hunt for advanced threats that were specifically designed to avoid detection, identify file-less and in-memory attacks that remain invisible to other tools and gain insight into the irregular activities within endpoints to proactively identify and address vulnerabilities across the board. Essentially you will be able to build a self-optimizing architecture that can improve the overall efficiency and effectiveness of your security services.


The Value of Adaptive Threat Management that Closes the Loop on Security Incidents

Historical endpoint visibility and adaptive threat management enables you to quickly understand what is going on in your customers’ environment, end-to-end, and automate incident response, alert management, proactive threat hunting, investigations, responses, remediation and preemptive defenses. When you can continuously adapt to meet current threat levels, you improve your cybersecurity efficacy and reduce the risks associated with offering security services, because you can:

  • Meet Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Slash end-to-end response times to minimize attack impacts and keep your customer’s business going. Enable proactive action, based on contextual insights that uncover root causes of attacks, so you can close the gaps and protect against future exploits.

  • Enrich Product and Service Catalogs to Increase Profitability

Quickly and cost-effectively introduce new services – such as endpoint visibility, alert validation, automated IR, threat hunting, risk assessment, etc. – to increase your revenues and expand your share of wallet.

  • Reduce Costs

Optimize your security workflows and operations to minimize the time and expertise required to offer cybersecurity services, automate the investigation of alerts, and improve response times to reduce the impact of costly incidents.  

 

Adaptive threat management helps MSSPs close the loop on security incidents and reduce the risks associated with offering security services. For more information, click below:

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