When it comes to incident response, speed is essential, but so is effectively identifying the threat. For cloud and container investigations, it’s vital to have a well-defined, well-practiced plan. And automating operations throughout not only accelerates the process but also improves its consistency and accuracy, thereby reducing the time to resolution.
Efficiency and speed are essential for incident response. However, as technology has evolved, executing things quickly has become increasingly challenging. Cyber-attackers are developing their strategies in response to the continued popularity of the cloud. The attack surface is rapidly expanding, reaching out to the containers at the edge. The situation is further exacerbated by the unexpected increase in remote work during the pandemic.
To prevent threats and limit damage, businesses must be able to collect, sift, and analyze data fast. It necessitates automation in a cloud environment and the utilization of a cloud-native investigation platform for the best results. During an assessment, just automating evidence collecting can save analysts days, if not weeks. Here are five best practices for reducing the time it takes to investigate and respond to a security incident.
Identify and Collect Data Prudently
Efficiently conducting initial triage by collecting the right artifacts will significantly save processing time and acquisition resources. It will help security teams detect new data sources while excluding others.
It is crucial to standardize on a set of artifacts for triage that include logged-on users, the network connection state, event logs, current executing processes, volatile memory, and registry hives. Security teams can collect, process, and analyze it automatically with cloud-native solutions if a full-disk image is required for triage evidence processing.
Efficiently Collect and Process Data
The faster security teams can assess and respond to critical events, the lower the risk to their company. It’s best to standardize and document evidence processing and interact with systems of interest in parallel wherever possible.
Automation can significantly simplify the process, which is crucial in cloud and container environments to ensure data is captured before it vanishes. Organizations can also leverage remote commands to activate a Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) platform. Moreover, by integrating the cloud-native investigation platform with other solutions, enterprises can ensure that a deeper investigation can begin as soon as high-severity detections are detected.
Standardize Data Preservation
Data lifecycle management is often determined by the value and volatility of the data. Businesses must establish and document where and for how long data will be held and who will have access to it. They should define hot and cold storage needs and the whole chain of custody, including appropriate evidence labeling and tagging, if possible.
Assess Data in a holistic Way
Organizations must be prepared to gather and aggregate data at scale, allowing for a holistic view across all systems and the capacity to drill down into the data in a user-friendly way, such as a timeline. Additionally, threat intelligence should be used to augment acquired data so that analysts can swiftly and efficiently focus on the essential evidence first and then go on from there. A holistic approach improves the effectiveness of the investigation and accelerates recovery.
Refine the Toolset
Computing environments are not static, and neither should the incident response process. It should be able to respond to changes in security and computing environments. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, has accelerated cloud adoption, pushing enterprises to either apply insufficient IR processes to cloud investigations or accept the risk of restricted visibility and response capabilities in the cloud. Organizations, however, could leverage the cloud as a security asset, mainly if they use a cloud-native investigation platform. The cloud can also be used to collect, process, and store evidence in a safe, flexible, and efficient manner.
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