Quick Guide to Cybersecurity Analytics

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There are a lot of tools at the disposal of cybersecurity and IT professionals to help businesses detect and monitor anomalies within their IT environments. The area of tool coverage is vast, and includes capabilities for network activity, email messages, and endpoints, network perimeter, and even cloud security. There are even tools for monitoring, alerting, and threat detection across any ecosystem. While these tools generate a ton of useful data, managing them and trying to connect the dots to understand the storyline behind a potential anomaly requires in depth technical and contextual knowledge about what they mean and how they are connected. One data set alone may not provide much value but combining the data with threat intelligence and correlating anomalies helps businesses to see the big picture of a security incident without spending hours trying to connect the dots. This is what the industry defines as cybersecurity analytics.

Here’s what organizations need to know about cybersecurity analytics, the tools that generate them, and how they can lead to smart decisions.

Table of Contents

What are cybersecurity analytics

Cybersecurity analytics, also known as cyber analytics or security analytics, are the real-time and historical data generated by the IT environment from security tools, databases, and endpoints that are used to detect threats. Pairing cyber analytics with data science and machine learning allows for aggregating data to collect evidence, build timelines, and analyze capabilities. This allows end-users to perform and design proactive security strategies to detect, analyze, and mitigate threats. Traditional security information and event management only measures security analytics in the past tense, but new cybersecurity analytics tools offer a proactive approach that can be used to stop threats before they can cause damage.

How are cybersecurity analytics collected?

There are several data sources used to collect cybersecurity analytics. These include endpoint and user behavior data, business applications, operating system event logs, firewalls, routers, external threat intelligence databases, virus scanners, and more. These are then processed by artificial intelligence and machine learning tools and paired with contextual analysis to create a holistic view of an organization’s cybersecurity that allow that organization to focus on what is important, and to know what is noise.

Why are security analytics important?

Cybersecurity analytics provide a lot of insight into the current security environment at an organizational level and can be used to help prevent future attacks. Additionally, cyber analytics can be useful in reporting to help justify cybersecurity purchases and budgets to less technical audiences.

Move from protection to detection

Cyber analytics can be used to train systems to proactively protect against threats. Data points such as IP addresses, access points, and user behavior can establish a baseline for an organization. When actions are taken that are outside of this norm (a device logging on from a foreign IP or accessing files in a large quantity, for example), this can easily be detected and stopped before a threat actor is able to do substantial damage.

Unified visibility of current environment

Cybersecurity analytics tools can create a unified view of an organization’s overall security posture in a way that individual tools cannot. Tools like ProVision Open XDR are designed to compile data from a variety of sources from firewalls and EDRs (Endpoint Detection Response) to servers and networks, and then pair it with advanced cyber threat analytics to create a comprehensive view of the security status and potential threats within your environment.

Prove and improve the ROI of security tools

Collecting and reviewing analytics can be a great way to measure the ROI of cybersecurity tools. When assessing the ROI of security tools, it’s important to consider the cost of a potential breach, the cost of the security tools, and how much risk was mitigated by having the security measures in place. When looking at the risk mitigation, data points can include how many threats were found, patches implemented, phishing attempts stopped, and so on. Collecting data points and cyber analytics can help to prioritize where and what types of threats an organization is facing, allowing for strategic planning and investment.

Show value to the C-Suite and Board

Cybersecurity teams often face a double-sided challenge. When nothing is breached, executives often wonder why they’re investing in cybersecurity. When a system does get breached, executives wonder why they’re investing in cybersecurity. Cybersecurity analytics can be used to help less-technical audiences understand the value of a strong cybersecurity program. There is a saying in IT and IT Security. “If everything is working, then the staff is being lazy. If something is broken, then the staff is incompetent.” This saying illustrates the need for good metrics to show the value to the people making decisions.

Cybersecurity analytics tools

All security tools will produce their own data points, but to make use of these individual and disparate metrics, you’ll need a cybersecurity analytics tool. These tools, such as ProVision Open XDR, combine data from a variety of sources to create an overall view of your security landscape. For example, you may have a network log in from an unusual country and separately a scan from that user shortly after. Individually, these facts don’t necessarily seem problematic, but the combination of actions together could spell trouble. Cybersecurity analytics tools are designed to correlate actions like this allowing security teams to stop threats before they become serious problems.

What can cybersecurity analytics tell you?

Cyber analytics can help IT and security managers understand how to best protect an organization from current and future attacks. Security analytics are used to derive a forward-thinking approach to security and can be used to train systems to refine algorithms leading to higher fidelity alerting and less false positives.
Ready to get a better handle on your cybersecurity data? ProVision Open XDR is a leading cybersecurity analytics tool that can help organizations of all sizes stay better protected against cyberthreats with vendor-agnostic automated log ingestion, advanced machine learning and behavioral analytics, and 24/7 monitoring and alerting. Contact us today for a full demo of the ProVision platform!
Tristin Zeman

Tristin Zeman is the Digital Marketing Manager at Foresite. For the past 10 years, she has helped organizations of all sizes create and scale marketing programs through digital and traditional marketing channels and efficient marketing operations.

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