November 29, 2018 / by Joyce Varghese / In ueba /

Why is UEBA important

Cyber attacks is on the tenacious rise and hackers continue to target the vulnerabilities in your system. Even a small loophole in the system can serve as an entry point for the attackers. Organisations of all sizes are spending more money than ever to protect their network and assets due to the increasing threat landscape. According to IDC, security budgets will grow by 40% by 2020. Hackers can break into firewalls, send you emails with malicious attachments, or gain access into your firewalls by compromising your system.

What is UEBA?

User and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) gives you more of a comprehensive way to make sure that your organization has top-notch IT security, while also helping you detect users and entities that might compromise your entire system. UEBA can be defined as a security solution that analyzes the user behaviors that are connected to an organization’s network and entities or end-points such as servers, applications, etc. to figure out the anomalies. It keeps a track of where do people usually login from and what applications or file servers they use, what is their degree of access, etc. UEBA then correlates this information to gauge if a certain activity performed by the users is different from their daily tasks and establishes a baseline of what is usual behavior. If something unusual happens that doesn’t comply with the baseline, UEBA detects it and sends alerts of the probable threat.

Read more on What is UEBA.

Why do you need UEBA?

Traditional cyber defence products were not designed to deal with the sophisticated, carefully-crafted and targeted attacks that enterprises now face. They still need to deal with the deadly “advanced” attacks that arrive without any warning and evade perimeter defences. SIEMs are a capable security management tool, but typically lack effective and intelligent threat detection and response. They can be bypassed by advanced attackers with relative ease, and focus more on real-time threats than extended attacks.

Some of the problems associated with relying on SIEM correlation rules include:

  • You can’t find attacks because the rules lack context or miss incidents that have never been seen before
  • Rules require too much maintenance
  • Improperly filtered rules can make incident response execution slow

UEBA overcomes the limitations of SIEM correlation rules:

  1. Reduces false positives
  2. Eliminates alert fatigue
  3. Enables teams to prioritize alerts
  4. UEBA makes it possible for your security experts to focus on the most credible, high-risk alerts
  5. Tracks anomalous user behaviour not only within your organization/network, but it can also be associated with your cloud services, machines, mobile devices, and IoT assets
  6. User behaviour analytics saves time because teams don’t have to dig into logs

Preventive measures are no longer enough. Your firewalls are not going to be 100% foolproof, and hackers and attackers will get into your system at one point or another. This is why detection is equally important: when hackers do successfully get into your system, then you should be able to detect their presence quickly in order to minimize the damage.

Benefits of UEBA

Hackers and cyber attackers are now able to bypass the perimeter defenses that are used by most companies. Earlier, you could say that you’re secure if you had web gateways, firewalls, and intrusion prevention tools in place. This is no longer the case in today’s complex threat landscape, especially when you have very porous IT perimeters that are very difficult to manage and oversee.

Let’s have a look at some of the benefits of UEBA:

  1. Fuses various types of risk information to make up a final score for risk ranking
  2. Enables prioritization and effective response
  3. Provides automated incident response, allowing teams to respond to security incidents rapidly and with less effort
  4. With UEBA, you can model:
    • The normal processes so you can catch the anomalous ones
    • The time and the day of the week a user performs any activity on the system
    • Which IP addresses specific devices connect to on a regular basis

Conclusion

UEBA strengthens security by monitoring users and other entities, detecting anomalies in behavior patterns that could be indicative of a threat. It takes a more proactive approach to security and gains more visibility into user and entity behavior. Hence, today’s enterprises are able to build a stronger security posture and more effectively mitigate threats and prevent security breaches.

UEBA solutions significantly help to reduce the load security teams deal with on a regular basis. Instead of security teams sifting through potentially millions of alerts per day, a UEBA solution can do the sifting. They identify critical breaches and notify security teams quickly, so teams can focus on responding to the most important threats. Additionally, they provide underlying data for the breaches, which can significantly improve response investigations.

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