The landscape of cybersecurity has seen a remarkable evolution over the years. Organizations have continuously adapted to protect their digital assets and maintain compliance from early Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) to the emergence of Security Information and Event Management (SIEM). However, as we transition into the cloud era, there's a critical shift in our thinking about threat detection and response.
SIEM, or Security Information and Event Management, first took shape in the early 2000s with a straightforward concept: gather the history of all events within the IT environment. It was an essential tool for monitoring on-premises systems, providing real-time insights into what was happening at any moment.
As organizations migrated to the cloud, many adopted a "lift and shift" approach, extending their SIEM systems to monitor events in the cloud environment. However, this is where the fundamental differences between on-premises and cloud environments became apparent – the level of orchestration.
The cloud operates entirely orchestrated, where each configuration change can have a substantial impact. While excellent at answering the question of "what is happening right now," SIEM wasn't designed to provide the crucial answer to "what is the impact of these events." It focused on the "what" rather than the "so what."
When investigating suspicious activities, security teams must understand the impact of each event and assess its potentially malicious nature. Within SIEM, assigning an asset to a security group could be misinterpreted by the security team. It requires mapping security group permissions, ensuring their safety, and successfully determining intent to reveal the risk.
While such investigations can take hours, they could pose significant risks if misinterpreted. For example, if an attacker were to clone the RDS database and expose it to the internet, the technical consequences could be disastrous. This act could lead to unauthorized access, data breaches, and potential data loss, putting the entire organization at grave risk.
This posed a significant challenge for security and operations teams. Analyzing the impact of every configuration change in the cloud could be time-consuming, making it impossible to investigate every single event effectively. The result was an impossible decision – to ignore the event or divert valuable resources towards an investigation.
Recognizing the limitations of traditional SIEM solutions in the cloud era, Cloud Detection and Response (CDR) emerged as a game-changer. CDR solutions cut through the noise of cloud events, allowing security teams to focus on what truly matters. To successfully detect and respond in the cloud, CDR systems are designed to assess each event's environmental impact accurately, sparing security teams from unnecessary distractions.
An ideal CDR solution should possess several essential qualities. It must be fully aware of the organization's unique environment, traffic patterns, usage, and business requirements. It should understand the dependencies between different nodes and provide contextual information, avoiding the reporting of contextless events. Furthermore, it should be proficient in identifying normal behavior in a healthy cloud environment and detecting malicious activity when introduced. Most importantly, it must correlate posture and data with business priorities to ensure interruptions only occur when necessary.
The primary objective of a CDR solution is to streamline the handling of cloud events in your infrastructure. It achieves this by effectively offloading cloud-related events from the SIEM, providing a clearer perspective on actual risks, and minimizing the disruptive effects of false positive alerts. Once this filtration process is complete, the relevant alerts are streamed back to the SIEM, enabling a more focused and efficient approach to security monitoring.
Due to the elimination of false positives, many organizations opt to extend this streamlined alerting process to their instant messaging platforms. This additional communication layer ensures a coordinated response to security events, enhancing overall incident management capabilities.
Stream Security stands out as a pioneering force in the CDR landscape, introducing the "Cloud Twin." This innovative model continually analyzes an environment's posture and data traffic, aligning it with business needs and customized guardrails. Stream Security empowers security teams to detect threats and exposure without falling victim to false positives while assisting operations teams in confidently and swiftly responding to remediation efforts – ideally suited for the dynamic cloud era.
Are you ready to elevate your cloud security game? Book a demo with Stream Security and experience the future of Cloud Detection and Response today.
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