If you don’t already have attackers in your environment you will soon enough, so we have been spending a lot of time with clients figuring out how to respond in this age of APT (Advanced Persistent Threat) attackers and other attacks you have no shot at stopping. You need to detect and respond more effectively. We call this philosophy “React Faster and Better”, and have finally documented and collected our thoughts on the topic. Here are a couple excerpts from the paper to give you a feel for the issue and how we deal with it:

Incident response is near and dear to our philosophy of security – it’s impossible to prevent everything (we see examples of this in the press every week), so you must be prepared to respond. The sad fact is that you will be breached. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but it will happen. We have made this point many times before (and it has even happened to us, indirectly). So response is more important than any specific control. But it’s horrifying how unsophisticated most organizations are about response.

In this paper we’ll focus on pushing the concepts of incident response past the basics and addressing gaps in how you respond relative to today’s attacks. Dealing with advanced threats requires advanced tools. React Faster and Better is about taking a much broader and more effective approach on dealing with attacks – from what data you collect, to how you trigger higher-quality alerts, to the mechanics of response/escalation, and ultimately to remediation and cleaning activities. This is not your grandpappy’s incident response.

To be clear, a lot of these activities are advanced. That’s why we recommend you start with our Incident Response Fundamentals from last year to get your IR team and function in decent shape.

Please be advised that we have streamlined the paper a bit from the original blog series, cutting some of the more detailed information on setting up response tiers. We do plan to post the more complete paper at some point over the next couple months, but in the meantime you can refer back to the RFAB index of posts for the full unabridged version.

A special thanks to NetWitness for sponsoring the research.

Download: React Faster and Better: New Approaches for Advanced Incident Response (PDF)