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Why Security Teams Love Intelligent Deception | @CloudExpo #Cloud #Security #Analytics

In this climate of confusion, deception-based solutions offer a viable and proven way to stop attackers in their tracks

Top 5 Reasons Why Security Teams Love Intelligent Deception

Cyberattacks are relentless. The pace of attacks shows no sign of slowing, and organizations understand that 100 percent prevention of attacks is not possible. Traditional prevention and detection techniques are falling short, and security professionals are scrambling for new paradigms that can more effectively detect attacks and mitigate the growing levels of damage.

In this climate of confusion, deception-based solutions offer a viable and proven way to stop attackers in their tracks. Why? Because instead of sitting back and waiting to be the victim, detection technologies let organizations be proactive and take the attack to the attacker. We've compiled a list of top five reasons why more security teams are opting for deception:

1. Malware Agnostic
Today's cyber defenses are centered around prevention. Yet next-generation firewalls, DLPs and antivirus solutions all rely on signatures and reputation to accomplish (or not accomplish) their task. This means that if they don't recognize the threat, they can't stop it. This is why we see so many data breaches at companies that have invested heavily in security - because threats are always changing and organizations are being hit with new attacks never seen before.

Deception, on the other hand, is a defense paradigm that's completely attack-agnostic. There's no need to define which specifically "irregular" attack is underway. Operating under the assumption that attackers have already breached the network, deception solutions set traps, lures and fake data to detect and stop human and machine attackers.

With intelligent deception technologies, the malicious nature of a particular software or user is determined when they trigger a trap. Once an intruder is detected, the deception layer sends an alert to the security team while profiling the threat. Using this approach, organizations can significantly shorten breach-to-resolution time and get a higher ROI dealing with accurate incidents.

2. Attack Interference
Intelligent deception not only lures attackers to decoys, it also serves to slow down attacks and keep the attackers engaged with decoy systems instead of roaming and causing harm to the network. Decoys engage attackers and keep them occupied in a number of ways, such as:

  • Adjusting the decoy's TCP stream as necessary to enable a slower or faster interaction
  • Allowing password-guessing in order to continue engaging the attacker. For instance, a decoy can be preset to decline the first six attempts, and allow the seventh to come through, regardless of the string that was typed in.
  • Feeding the attacker large files even when those are not requested by the attacker.

3. Enriched Threat Intelligence
The deception approach allows security teams to take the initiative - proactively developing intelligence that helps find the attacker's communication channels, understand how the connection was established, find out what protocols were used, and more. Some of the more advanced deception solutions employ traffic analysis engines in order to both place their traps strategically as well as to gather additional information about network threats.

By combining data from decoys, traps, traffic analysis and other active detection tools, deception platforms can feed and enrich SIEM/SOC systems to help organizations build comprehensive threat maps using real data in real time. The threat intelligence and visibility generated by drawing the attacker in rather than simply repulsing the attack enables an understanding of the attacker's goals - preventing not only this attack, but also future attacks. This is how organizations can take the attack to the attacker.

4. Minimizes False Positives
Alert fatigue and frustration from tedious analysis of false-positive are two of the biggest challenges facing cyber defenders. The former can lead to a "boy who cried wolf" mentality, which puts the organization at risk when security teams start ignoring alarms and can't begin to address the wave of alerts. The latter creates frustration because to be classified as false positives, numerous events demand considerable analysis and collection of data from a wider pool of sources for corroboration.

Deception solutions offer relief from this labor-intensive paradigm. Decoys trigger a low number of false positives because legitimate traffic shouldn't go near them in the first place. False positives are further reduced via higher levels of interaction between the decoy and the attacker and by correlating findings with other sensors in the network. Furthermore, advanced intelligent deception platforms that have integrated traffic analysis capabilities run internal correlation of data from both the deception and monitoring layers to ensure even higher alert accuracy. With far fewer false alarms, the security team can avoid configuration and management distractions and concentrate on real incidents.

5. Easy to Deploy & Manage
Current deception solutions are light years more advanced than the old, clunky honeypots of 10 and 20 years ago. Deploying deception is simple and fast. Intelligent deception is based on decoys and mini-traps - otherwise known as breadcrumbs or lures. These are placed on endpoints and servers and lead back to the decoys. In advanced deception-based solutions, deception components are deployed using point-and-click configuration, which largely automates the rollout of phantom decoys and networks. Deception solutions that have integrated traffic analysis capabilities use those in order to strategically place traps and decoys where they can be most effective - and dynamically adjust the deception layer as the network and threat environments evolve. Coupled with deception's accuracy and low (often no) false positives, this ease of configuration and management allows organizations to benefit from the technology without having to increase headcount.

The Bottom Line
The rising tide of cyber threats and the failure of traditional security paradigms to address them have created a perfect storm of cyberattacks. Deception is one of the few solutions that can break this cycle in an effective and cost-effective way - shutting down attacks before they cause damage, and letting network security professionals go on the offensive against attackers.

More Stories By Doron Kolton

Doron Kolton, founder and CEO of TopSpin, is a 25 year veteran of the data security market. Prior to founding TopSpin Security in 2013, he was in charge of web application firewall (WAF) development as VP of Product & Engineering of Breach Security, a position he continued to hold after the company was acquired by Trustwave.

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