By IT Director Luke Bragg
How much do you trust the security, privacy, and reliability of the digital technologies you use every day? The concept of digital trust has gained significant attention in recent years. In a world where digital technologies are ubiquitous, digital trust has become a critical factor in ensuring the success of businesses and organizations.
The number of tools and techniques to meet this end can be overwhelming. This guide will discuss how digital trust can be established and maintained, and why it is essential for businesses to prioritize it. We will also focus on cybersecurity monitoring, which is a crucial aspect of maintaining digital trust.
Understanding Cybersecurity Monitoring
Cybersecurity monitoring is the process of continuously observing and analyzing an organization’s digital environment, including digital assets, to detect and respond to potential security threats. It’s a critical component of any cybersecurity strategy, as it helps organizations identify vulnerabilities and prevent cyberattacks before they occur.
By detecting and responding to potential security threats in real-time, cybersecurity monitoring helps prevent data breaches and other security incidents that can damage their reputation. Knowing experts have eyes on your digital environment allows organizations to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their digital assets, which is essential for building trust with customers, partners, and other stakeholders.
Continuous monitoring provides real-time visibility into an organization’s digital environment. On the other hand, periodic monitoring involves conducting security assessments at regular intervals to identify vulnerabilities and assess the effectiveness of existing security controls. While periodic monitoring is useful for identifying long-term trends and assessing compliance with regulatory requirements, it is not as effective as continuous monitoring in detecting and responding to real-time security threats.
Cybersecurity Monitoring Tools and Services
There are many cybersecurity monitoring tools that can support an organization’s efforts to level up their digital trust. Familiarizing yourself with them will help arm you against the risks of navigating a digital business environment.
- Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS): This tool monitors network or system activities to identify and raise alarms for unauthorized access, suspicious behavior, or security breaches in real-time. It acts as an early warning system, ready to raise the alarm if it finds anything suspicious. IDS is often used with an intrusion prevention system (IPS) designed to actively thwart the threats flagged by IDS. Many businesses tap into the strength of IDS and IPS using an intrusion detection and prevention system (IDPS) to detect and proactively defend against cyberattacks.
- Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Solutions: These benefit enterprises in a variety of ways and have become a significant component in streamlining security workflows. SIEM puts different security systems together to provide a complete overview of any security incident through real-time monitoring and the analysis of event logs. IDS alone can seldom do more than monitor packets and IP addresses. Likewise, your service logs only show user sessions and configuration changes. SIEM solutions combine these systems and others like it to help security teams identify and respond to cyber threats that might slip by other security measures.
- Network Traffic Analysis (NTA): These tools are used to monitor network traffic for signs of suspicious activity, such as malware infections or data exfiltration attempts. These tools can help identify potential threats before they become serious problems by analyzing network traffic patterns and identifying anomalies that may indicate malicious activity.
Investing in expensive hardware or software solutions isn’t the only way for businesses to stay ahead of cyber threats. Managed cybersecurity monitoring services, which we’ll explore later in this guide, provide businesses with access to a team of cybersecurity experts who can monitor their networks 24/7 for signs of suspicious activity. They also respond to incidents as they occur and provide guidance on how to improve overall cybersecurity posture.
What about the dark web? The dark web is a hidden part of the internet not indexed by search engines that can only be accessed using special software. Cybercriminals often prowl the dark web to buy and sell stolen data like credit card numbers, social security numbers, and login credentials. Dark web monitoring services help businesses identify when their data has been stolen and sold on the dark web so they can take action to prevent further damage. By monitoring the dark web for stolen data, businesses can stay ahead of cybercriminals and protect their sensitive information from falling into the wrong hands.
The Strategy Behind Cybersecurity Monitoring
A comprehensive strategy should include both proactive and reactive approaches to ensure the organization is well-prepared to detect and respond to any potential threats. Proactive measures involve identifying potential vulnerabilities and addressing them before they can be exploited by attackers. Reactive measures, on the other hand, are taken in response to an attack or a security breach.
To balance proactive and reactive approaches, focus on building a strong foundation of security controls that can detect and prevent attacks before they occur. This includes implementing firewalls, IDS, and other security technologies that can identify potential threats and block them before they can cause damage. At the same time, you should also have a plan in place for responding to security incidents when they do occur. This includes having a team of trained professionals, like Anderson Technologies, who can quickly identify the source of the attack, contain it, and restore normal operations as quickly as possible.
Integrating threat intelligence into monitoring strategies is another important step in building an effective cybersecurity monitoring strategy. Threat intelligence involves gathering information about potential threats from a variety of sources, including social media, dark web forums, and other online sources. This information can be used to identify new types of attacks and vulnerabilities that may not be detected by traditional security technologies. By integrating threat intelligence into their monitoring strategies, organizations can stay ahead of emerging threats and take proactive steps to protect their digital assets.
The Continual Vigil: Continuous Cybersecurity Monitoring
Continuous monitoring not only provides real-time insights into the status of users, devices, networks, data, and workloads in the infrastructure, but it also helps information assurance and IT professionals obtain intelligence before an attack against their organization. Continuous monitoring is achieved by implementing a meaningful and operable Security Operations Center (SOC, pronounced “sock”) for the organization. The SOC helps to identify incidents and intrusions by collecting logs and events from different systems and applications, detecting anomalies, and generating alerts. A SOC depends on skilled professionals with expertise in multiple areas such as network, systems, database, programming, cybersecurity, threat hunting, IT governance, digital forensics, and Vulnerability Assessment and Penetration Testing (VAPT) knowledge.
Implementing ongoing threat detection and response is another crucial aspect of cybersecurity. It involves identifying potential threats to an organization’s infrastructure and taking proactive measures to prevent them from causing harm. Threat detection can be achieved through various methods such as network traffic analysis, endpoint detection and response (EDR), SIEM, IDS, IPS, and NTA tools. Once a threat is detected, you must respond quickly to minimize damage. Response measures may include isolating affected systems or devices from the network, blocking malicious traffic or IP addresses, patching vulnerabilities, or updating software versions and hardware firmware.
However, continuous cybersecurity monitoring also has some challenges, such as high costs associated with implementing a SOC and hiring skilled professionals with expertise in multiple areas. Additionally, continuous monitoring generates a large volume of data that needs to be analyzed effectively to identify potential threats accurately. That’s why it helps to have a trusted partner like Anderson Technologies on your side to decipher this data and determine what vulnerabilities need to be shored up first.
Strengthening Cybersecurity Risk Monitoring
To be effective, risk assessment and cybersecurity monitoring efforts must be integrated. This means risk assessments should inform monitoring activities, and monitoring data should be used to refine risk assessments. Using this feedback loop ensures that monitoring efforts are aligned with risk management objectives.
Managed Cybersecurity Monitoring Services
Managed cybersecurity monitoring is a service that provides businesses with a comprehensive view of their IT infrastructure. One of the main advantages of managed monitoring is that it allows businesses to focus on their core competencies while leaving the monitoring and management of their IT infrastructure to experts like Anderson Technologies. This can help businesses save time and money, as well as improve their overall efficiency.
When it comes to monitoring your IT infrastructure, you have two options: outsourcing or in-house monitoring. Outsourcing your monitoring to a third-party provider can be beneficial because it allows you to focus on your business while leaving the monitoring to the experts. It can also be more cost-effective than in-house monitoring, as you don’t have to hire additional staff or invest in expensive monitoring tools.
On the other hand, in-house monitoring can give you more control over your IT infrastructure and allows you to customize your monitoring tools to meet your specific needs. It can also be more secure since you have complete control over your data. However, in-house monitoring is often much more expensive than outsourcing because you must invest in expensive monitoring tools and hire additional staff.
When selecting a managed monitoring provider, there are several criteria you should consider. First, look for a provider that has experience working with businesses like yours. You should also look for a provider that offers a range of services, including real-time monitoring, detailed reporting, and proactive issue resolution.
Another important criterion is security. You should look for a provider that has experience working with sensitive data and a proven track record of keeping data secure. You should also look for a provider that offers flexible pricing options so that you can choose a plan that meets your specific needs.
Security Monitoring in the Context of Cybersecurity
Security monitoring builds digital trust by providing organizations with the visibility they need to detect and respond to threats. By monitoring their systems for suspicious activity, organizations can demonstrate their commitment to protecting user data and maintaining the integrity of their digital services. This can help build trust with customers, partners, and other stakeholders.
There are many examples of organizations that have successfully used security monitoring to detect and prevent security incidents. For instance, in 2019, a major financial institution detected a phishing attack against its employees using its SIEM system. The system alerted the organization’s security team to the attack, allowing them to quickly respond and prevent any data loss or damage. This demonstrates how security monitoring can help organizations detect and respond to security threats in real-time, preventing data loss or damage.
Implementing Cybersecurity Information Assurance & Continuous Monitoring
Cybersecurity Information Assurance (IA) is the practice of safeguarding information systems by ensuring their confidentiality, integrity, and availability. It involves the use of security controls such as access control, encryption, and firewalls to protect sensitive data from unauthorized access, modification, or destruction. The essence of Cybersecurity IA is to ensure that information systems are secure and reliable.
By aligning continuous monitoring with IA, organizations can ensure that their security controls are effective and up to date. This alignment can help organizations identify potential security risks and take proactive measures to mitigate them.
Best practices for ensuring consistent information assurance include establishing clear security objectives, defining normal network and system behavior, establishing a baseline, monitoring for deviations from the baseline, and conducting regular risk assessments. Organizations should also ensure that their security controls are up-to-date and effective by conducting regular vulnerability assessments and penetration testing, in which you hire someone to attempt to break your cybersecurity in order to find vulnerabilities. By following these best practices, organizations can ensure that their information systems are secure and reliable.
At a time when remote work is prevalent in most industries, AI is everywhere, and cybercriminals hassle businesses of all sizes just for fun, cybersecurity monitoring should be a top concern for your organization. Comprehensive cybersecurity monitoring is essential to minimizing data leakage, improving response time to attacks, and patching up security vulnerabilities. It’s never too late to invest in the right technology, and keeping an eye on your IT infrastructure will enable you to maintain the level of digital trust you need to focus on your important role.
If you want to sleep easy knowing that your business is protected from cyber threats and data breaches, consider getting a managed service provider to help you implement comprehensive cybersecurity monitoring strategies and provide you with peace of mind. Want to learn more? Give Anderson Technologies a call!