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New Research: Starting Your Detection and Response Capability

by Anton Chuvakin  |  December 28, 2017  |  3 Comments

Please don’t laugh, but alongside our “Testing Security” research project (that will likely skew towards the high-maturity security audiences) we are also doing a new research project for mainstream organizations in Q1 2018. It will focus on starting your detection and response effort.

Now, a security skeptic may say “why teach an organization to focus on THREAT DETECTION and RESPONSE in 2018, if they have not figured it out by now, they are hopeless …”

We disagree! We do in fact see plenty of organizations actually wanting to improve their security and to evolve away from their sole [and failing] focus on prevention. However, many simply do not know how to do it in their circumstances [e.g. you cannot start with hiring a team of 10 for your 24/7 SOC or blowing your budget on a big fat UEBA with nothing left for the personnel to run it or buying threat intel and then going “whaaaat is all that data?”].

So, while there is plenty of good advice on many particular aspects of threat detection and response, what we think we need here is a usable guidance on how to embark on this journey, written for the mainstream, not for the elites with their high maturity security ops teams, security data lakes and threat hunters.

BTW, and I cringe that I need to say it, but “focus on detection and response!” does NOT mean “better prevention is not needed” – of course it is needed. But – and my analogy risk is high here – just as in the physical realm “if you just use better door locks, you can avoid funding the police” sounds thoroughly idiotic, so it is in the realm of cyber

A contrarian may further opine thus: “why tell the low-maturity organizations to ‘start the effort’, shouldn’t they use an MSSP or an MDR?” Well, guess what, if you do use an MSSP, you will need your own response capabilities anyway [to respond to what an MSSP or an MDR sends you … duh!]. Hence, you need to know how to start a detection and response effort. Furthermore, to separate “a clown-class” MSSP from genuine excellence you need some basic understanding of what they do – hence detection and response again.

Now, those of my readers who were involved with threat detection (back then, it was called intrusion detection… how quaint and 1990s :-)) and response since 1995 may still laugh. OK, laugh away then … but please share what would have helped YOU to start with detection and response … EVEN IF it was in 1995…

Finally, as some of you recall my poll, this research aligns perfect with these findings, skewed though they may be.



What are some of our plans for this?

  • Baby’s first threat detection: how to start if all you have is “firewalls + AV” (or: firewalls and SSL)?
  • So you hired your first security analyst, what should he/she do for maximum impact (“one person detection and response capability”)?
  • We got a log management tool, so where do we go next? To SIEM? To network monitoring? To endpoint monitoring?

No real call to action to vendors here, but if you have any creative tips for starting the detection and response effort, we are all ears…

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Category: announcement  incident-response  monitoring  security  

Anton Chuvakin
Research VP and Distinguished Analyst
8 years with Gartner
19 years IT industry

Anton Chuvakin is a Research VP and Distinguished Analyst at Gartner's GTP Security and Risk Management group. Before Mr. Chuvakin joined Gartner, his job responsibilities included security product management, evangelist… Read Full Bio

Thoughts on New Research: Starting Your Detection and Response Capability

  1. I can share that in 2017 we saw more organizations established a threat hunting team along to their current incident response team.
    In the beginning I was under the impression that they overlap each other but when you dig inside you find out that it’s totally make sense.
    The main gap that I personally identify is the lack of collaboration tools between both teams.

  2. […] our new research project focused on starting your detection and response effort, we are thinking about an essential bundle of security operations processes needed for such effort. […]

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