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Strengthen Incident Detection and Response with a Left of Bang Cyber Strategy & Mindset

  Todd Humphreys     Nov 30, 2023

The Left Of Bang Strategy And Mindset Also Applies To CybersecurityThis is the first 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 two. 

Cybersecurity threats, including ransomware, malware and phishing, continue to grow and evolve, increasing risk for businesses of all sizes and across all industries. According to the World Economic Forum’s 2023 Global Risks Report, cybercrimes rank among the top ten global risks—ahead of the natural resources and debt crises, prolonged economic downturn and the use of weapons of mass destruction. With 91% of respondents in the 2023 Global Cybersecurity Outlook study reporting that a “far-reaching, catastrophic cyber event is at least somewhat likely in the next two years,” organizations need to do more to keep pace with the diverse, ever-changing threat landscape to better manage cyber risk.

Left of bang is a compelling strategy and mindset to help enterprises go on the offensive and detect threats earlier to improve their cyber resilience. Let’s explore.

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What is Left of Bang?

In a cyber context, “left of bang” is a proactive cybersecurity approach that can bolster incident detection and response by helping IT teams identify and address threats before they wreak havoc on the organization.

A Powerful Strategy with a Military Background

Left of bang has a military history, originating in 2006 during the Iraq War to better protect Marine convoys from buried improvised explosive devices (IEDs). The military viewed an incident—the bang of a detonated IED—as an event in the center of a timeline. Right of bang referred to the time and events that occurred after the explosion, while left of bang included everything prior to the incident. By training Marines to be more aware of their surroundings—recognizing subtle and explicit environmental changes, unexpected human behaviors and other anomalies—the left-of-bang approach significantly enhanced Marine’s situational awareness, enabling them to detect threats before they occurred to improve convoy safety.

The same strategy and mindset can be applied in the cyber space to help IT teams identify cyber threats before they impact the organization.

The Value of Left-of-bang Cybersecurity

Left of bang trains security teams to recognize and address inconsistencies within the IT environment earlier on the threat continuum to strengthen their cybersecurity postures. Utilizing the right technologies, processes and practices, IT teams increase visibility into their IT environments to boost threat recognition, speed responses, and reduce the number and intensity of attacks. This is a critical differentiator that allows enterprises to prevent malicious activity, rather than deal with the fall out of a successful attack.

Proactively Detect Threats

With improved views of the IT environment and all its endpoints, IT teams achieve a better understanding of normal network behavior, allowing them to compare it against current network activity and any known exploits or indicators of threat-actor activity. This supports enterprises’ abilities to better manage their cybersecurity. Left of bang helps enterprises:

  • Understand normal network behavior
  • Proactively detect anomalies and potential threats
  • Respond to threats quickly
  • Reduce the number and intensity of attacks
  • Establish a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy


Speed Recognition and Response

The ability to recognize early-warning signs of a potential attack or breach allows IT teams to react to malicious activity more rapidly to mitigate risk, limit exposure and improve outcomes. The intensified training also enables IT personnel to be more agile and purposeful in their decision making and responses to better protect the enterprise.

Enable a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Strategy

While a left of bang approach has proven to strengthen incident detection and response capabilities, combining left-of-bang and right-of-bang technologies offers a more powerful solution. Information identified from the right of bang can feed the left of bang with critical data on new attack scenarios, including how an attack occurs, specific threat indicators and behaviors, and other lessons learned from an attack. This critical feedback can expand enterprises’ situational awareness, helping them stay abreast of constantly changing attack scenarios.

At a minimum, IT security leaders should be looking to prevent and interfere with any indicator leading up to an attack. Preventing even just one step in the attack can disrupt an entire incident’s potential. The earlier your team can detect, the earlier it can be prevented, which is always the best strategy.

Partner with WEI for a Comprehensive Cybersecurity Solution

Beginning the journey toward a more proactive cybersecurity strategy can be overwhelming. WEI’s experienced security engineers can help enterprises navigate these complex waters, devising cybersecurity solutions that integrate left-of-bang and right-of-bang technologies.

To ensure the right fit, WEI works with enterprises to assess their current network states, identify hidden vulnerabilities, and understand their unique needs and risk tolerances. With experience across a broad range of cybersecurity solutions, WEI can develop a multi-layered strategy that integrates automation and intelligence tools to optimize visibility across all touch points of the IT environment to help proactively detect, alert and remediate threats without impeding authorized workflows. Serving as an extension of the organization, WEI can deliver a comprehensive incident detection and response strategy that helps future-proof organizations against the increasingly sophisticated cyber threat landscape.

Up Next: Stay tuned for our follow-up blog on the specific left-of-bang and right-of-bang technologies that can fortify your overall cybersecurity posture. In the meantime, contact WEI today for any questions about our next-gen cybersecurity solutions.

Tags  security strategy security solutions security management cybersecurity cybersecurity strategy Enterprise Cybersecurity security operations center

Todd Humphreys

Written by Todd Humphreys

WEI's Cybersecurity GTM Leader, Todd has led GTM initiatives for the world’s largest cybersecurity leaders, including 11 years at WEI’s longtime partner, Palo Alto Networks. With over 30 years as an IT professional, Humphreys has helped pioneer cybersecurity solutions such as intrusion detection, wireless security, next generation firewalls, and XDR solutions.

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