This is the final installment of a two-part series dissecting the Left of Bang strategy and mindset and how it applies to modern cybersecurity practices. Click here to read part one. Left of bang is a proactive cybersecurity approach that strengthens incident detection and response by identifying and addressing threats before they impact the organization.
The risk of a cyberattack is a growing concern for organizations—and with an event occurring every 39 seconds, chief information security officers (CISOs) are taking it seriously. Left-of-bang technologies help organizations proactively identify cyber threats to prevent attacks and better manage risk. With the organization’s operational integrity, financial stability and brand at stake, cyber leaders are prioritizing cybersecurity, making it an essential part of their business strategies, rather than a nice-to-have, add-on service.
However, moving cybersecurity left of bang can be difficult for organizations that lack the on-staff expertise to recognize cybersecurity vulnerabilities. A knowledgeable value-added reseller like WEI can help organizations move cybersecurity left of bang and integrate the technologies that address their cybersecurity weaknesses and industry- and business-specific needs.
The Value of Left of Bang Technologies
These solutions are designed to help minimize risk and exposure to prevent attacks before they impact the organization. The analytics and automation built into these tools can help organizations speed threat detection and response, better manage their internal resources and address the constantly changing threat landscape.
Improving Mitigation Speed
Armed with powerful analytics, left-of-bang technologies constantly scan the IT environment for threats, using automated responses to quickly remediate issues. These advanced capabilities help organizations lower the mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR) to an attack. Organizations use these metrics to measure their cybersecurity progress.
Easing the IT Skills Shortage
Analytics and automation also minimize the strain of the IT skills shortage. Many organizations are bringing their outsourced managed detection and response (MDR) initiatives back in house, putting greater expectations on their internal teams. By automating detection and response, such technologies allow organizations to better utilize their IT resources.
Keeping Pace with Evolving Threats
Bad actors continuously evolve their attack tactics, and organizations need to keep up. Solutions focused on left-of-bang combine analytics and the latest threat intelligence to detect new threats and network anomalies that may indicate an attack. User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) technology help organizations recognize behavioral anomalies—such as individuals accessing systems or data outside their normal scope of work or downloading data to an external device—to address a potential issue early.
A Technologies that Assess the IT Environment
An effective cyber strategy begins with situational awareness. This is achieved through asset management, vulnerability management, and penetration testing or red teaming.
Asset Management. Asset management technologies provide visibility into an organization’s IT environment, including all endpoint devices, users, software and cloud services. By inventorying all cyber-enabled assets, organizations have a clear picture of what needs to be monitored and protected. The environment is continually reviewed as new assets are introduced and existing assets are changed and decommissioned.
Vulnerability Management. Vulnerability management technology helps organizations identify, assess and address security weaknesses and prioritize remediation efforts to better secure IT assets.
Penetration Testing and Red Teaming. Penetration testing and red teaming both stage an ethical attack on an IT environment to identify gaps that provide access to bad actors; however, their approaches are different. Red teaming more closely simulates a real-world attack. The exercise is executed over several weeks without the organization’s knowledge. During this time, the red team looks for weaknesses, attempting to penetrate as far into the network as possible. With penetration testing, the organization is aware that an attack with a pre-determined scope will occur during an agreed-upon timeframe.
Technologies that Prevent an Attack
The goal here is to stop an attack from occurring. Two of the most common prevention technologies are next-generation firewalls (NFGW) and endpoint security.
NGFW. Traditional firewalls block potential threats by monitoring and filtering network traffic according to predefined parameters. NGFWs introduce additional capabilities to improve decision-making on traffic flow and defend against modern cyber threats.
Endpoint Security. Every endpoint device provides a potential access point for an attack. To block potential threats, endpoint security technology uses artificial intelligence (AI) to assess incoming data against an ever-expanding database of threats.
Proper Deployment of Cyber Solutions. Simply installing left-of-bang technology is not enough. Organizations need to ensure the technology utilizes the right settings to fortify their environments. This may include having proper policies configured and set to block, or up to date versions of products that introduce the latest prevention capabilities.
Integrating Right-of-bang Solutions for a Comprehensive Strategy
While left of bang is ideal to prevent attacks, every organization should have a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that includes right-of-bang technologies as well. These technologies support event detection and response as well as recovery efforts to restore the IT environment and any lost data. By addressing threats across all five cyber domains—assessment, prevention, detection, response and recovery—organizations align their strategies with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework for a powerful cyber defense solution.
Building a dynamic cybersecurity strategy that prioritizes left of bang while integrating right of bang can be challenging, especially for organizations without the necessary resources. WEI’s experienced cybersecurity engineers can help organizations shift their cybersecurity strategy left of bang and deliver additional value including:
While CISOs understand the value of left-of-bang solutions, business leaders may not recognize the benefits until it is too late. WEI guides CISOs to build the business case for a left-of-bang strategy to help achieve executive buy-in.
Offering Experience in the Latest Cybersecurity Solutions
The cyber landscape is complex and continually evolving, making it difficult for organizations to keep up. Every year, WEI helps organizations establish and continually evolve a cybersecurity plan that:
- Identifies cybersecurity weaknesses.
- Moves cybersecurity left of bang for better visibility of the threat landscape.
- Manages the ever-changing and increasingly sophisticated cyberattack landscape.
- Integrates tools to simplify and speed cyber threat management.
Ensuring Cybersecurity Products Work Together Seamlessly
An effective cybersecurity strategy integrates multiple products to address threats across the full attack continuum. Ensuring these products work together effectively can be complex, especially when organizations add new solutions over time. WEI can help ensure cybersecurity technologies are properly deployed and follow best practices to effectively protect the IT environment and business operations.
Meeting Specific Cybersecurity Requirements
Every company’s cybersecurity philosophy, risk tolerance, budget and journey are different. WEI guides companies to recognize and address their business- and industry-specific risks by assessing the criticality of confidentiality, integrity and availability (CIA). For example, financial services and healthcare organizations place a heightened focus on data confidentiality and integrity because they handle highly sensitive data and have strict compliance requirements around data security. Availability is also critical to these organizations as downtime can negatively impact earnings and patient care. Other industries are better suited to tolerate data loss, making confidentiality and integrity less critical.
Embracing Left of Bang for a More Secure Future
A left-of-bang approach is a powerful investment in a company’s cyber posture and operational integrity. WEI can help your organization adopt this proactive approach to head off an attack before it impacts the business. Ready to improve your cyber defenses? WEI is here to help. Contact us here.