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Building an Early Warning System

Last Updated: Monday, January 21, 2013

One topic that has resonated with the industry has been Early Warning. Clearly looking through the rearview mirror and trying to contain the damage from attacks already in process hasn’t been good enough, so figuring out a way to continue shortening the window between attack and detection continues to be a major objective for fairly mature security programs. Early Warning is all about turning security management on its head, using threat intelligence on attacks against others to improve your own defenses.

This excerpt from the paper’s introduction should give you a feel for the concept:

Getting ahead of the attackers is the holy grail to security folks. A few years back some vendors sold their customers a bill of goods, claiming they could “get ahead of the threat.” That didn’t work out very well, and most of the world appreciates that security is inherently reactive. The realistic objective is to reduce the time it takes to react under attack, in order to contain the eventual damage. We call this Reacting Faster and Better. Under this philosophy, the most important thing is to build an effective incident response process. But that’s not the end of the game. You can shrink the window of exploitation by leveraging cutting-edge research to help focus your efforts more effectively, by looking in the places attackers are most likely to strike. You need an Early Warning System (EWS) for perspective on what is coming at you.

These days proprietary security research is table stakes for any security vendor, and the industry has gotten much better at publicizing its findings via researcher blogs and other media. Much more information is available than ever before, but what does this mean for you? How can you leverage threat intelligence to provide that elusive Early Warning System?

That’s what this paper is all about. We will define a process for integrating threat intelligence into your security program, and then dig into each aspect of the process. This includes baselining internal data sources, leveraging external threat feeds, performing the analysis to put all this information into the context of your business, and finally building a scenario so you can see how the Early Warning system works in practice.

Direct Download (PDF): Building an Early Warning System

We would like to thank Lookingglass Cyber Solutions for licensing the content in this paper. Obviously we wouldn’t be able to do the research we do, or offer it to you folks for this most excellent price, without clients licensing our content.

EWS Table of Contents