Continuous Information Security Monitoring to Combat Continuous Threats

July 12, 2018 | Amy Pace
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Continuous security monitoring -- a term you’ve heard time and time again. And, while you may be tired of hearing the term, the fact is that continuous monitoring is vital when it comes to mitigating risk, protecting critical assets, and meeting compliance demands.

Unfortunately, continuously security monitoring has become more and more of a challenge given that today’s networks no longer have a defined perimeter, but rather ever-evolving and dissolving network boundaries due to the rise of cloud and mobile computing.

This growing attack surface is a cyber-criminal’s dream and a network defender’s nightmare. The bad guys only need to find one weak spot, while you’re tasked with defending against all potential weak spots. That’s definitely not a fair playing field.

So where do you start? Well, to state the obvious, you can’t monitor what you can’t see, so getting visibility into who and what is connecting to your network is the first step. Automated asset discovery is one of the most essential capabilities for a continuous security monitoring program.

But, it’s not just knowing which assets are running on your network, you need to know what software and services are installed on them, how they’re configured, and whether there are any vulnerabilities or active threats being executed against them. Constant application updates and changes to application and system configurations can introduce vulnerabilities and leave you susceptible to an attack, even if you are keeping your security controls up to date. This brings us to step two in continuous security monitoring -- continuous vulnerability management.

Let me take this opportunity to throw in a frightening stat. According to the National Vulnerability Database (NVD), more than 14,700 vulnerabilities were reported in 2017, doubling that of 2016. Needless to say, vulnerability management is an ongoing process, and therefore by its very nature an essential part of any continuous security monitoring initiative.

Continuous asset discovery and continuous vulnerability management go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other when it comes to implementing a successful continuous security monitoring program. And, while you could leverage two separate tools to perform each of these tasks, why not make your life easier with a single solution that combines these capabilities? Even better, why not leverage a solution that combines all the essential capabilities for continuous security monitoring!

AlienVault® Unified Security Management® (USM) gives you the upper hand in detecting and remediating the vulnerabilities in your environment before attackers exploit them. It does so by delivering automated asset discovery and vulnerability scanning as part of a unified platform that also includes intrusion detection, behavioral monitoring, SIEM event correlation, log management, and very importantly, continuously updated threat intelligence.

With AlienVault USM, you get crucial real-time visibility into assets on your network, which ones are vulnerable, and where the asset is actually exposed to threats – allowing you to focus on the most important issues first. You'll be able to quickly answer critical and time-sensitive questions, such as:

  • What devices are on my physical and virtual networks?
  • What instances are running in my cloud environments?
  • What vulnerabilities exist on the assets in my cloud and network?
  • Are there known attackers trying to interact with my cloud and network assets?
  • Are there active threats on my cloud and network assets?

Conclusion

Let’s face it, the bad guys aren’t going to let up when it comes to finding the holes in your security. They only need to find one weak spot to exploit, and they WILL find it if it’s there. This is why continuous security monitoring remains a must. And, this starts with knowing what assets are on your network and where you’re exposed. Let AlienVault USM help you gain the advantage over cyber-criminals.

Amy Pace

About the Author: Amy Pace
Amy is a Principal Product Marketing Manager at AlienVault. She has over 15 years of hands-on experience in information technology and security, holding lead roles in Sales Engineering, Technical Sales Enablement, Product Management, and Product Marketing. Prior to joining AlienVault, she worked at NSS Labs, heading up the Product Marketing team for their cloud security platform.
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