What is Security Analytics?
Security analytics is an approach to cybersecurity that detects potential threats to IT systems through a combination of data collection, data aggregation, software, algorithms, and analytic processes. Security analytics applications use real-time data and historical data for threat detection and diagnosis. Sources of data include:
- Server logs
- Network traffic patterns
- Real-time alerts from workstations, endpoints, servers, sensors, mobile devices
- Real-time feeds from security applications such as firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, endpoint detection and response systems
- Third-party threat intelligence
- Cloud resources
- Business applications
- Non-IT contextual data
- Identity and access management data
Security analysts can incorporate different combinations of methods, including statistical analysis and machine learning, in order to analyze data. The main elements of security analytics solutions include:
Network analysis and visibility (NAV). NAV devices and applications analyze traffic from end users and applications as they flow across the network.
Behavioral analytics. Behavioral analytics study patterns of user, application, and device behavior in order to detect abnormal behavior, which often indicates a security breach or cyberattack.
Security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR). SOAR technologies are orchestration hubs that handle communication between data gathering, analysis center, and threat response applications.
Forensics. Forensics uses tools to investigate past or ongoing attacks, to determine how the IT systems were compromised, and to identify lingering vulnerabilities.
External threat intelligence. Threat intelligence platforms provide contextual insight from threat data gathered from multiple sources.
Benefits of security analytics solutions include:
Regulatory compliance. Security analytics solutions help organizations to comply with government and industry regulations such as HIPAA and PCI DSS. Security analytics solutions can integrate a variety of data sources, providing your organization with a single, unified view of data events across numerous devices. This provides both proof of compliance and the ability to detect and address instances of potential non-compliance.
Rapid detection and response. Security analytics solutions analyze a wide range of data types, connecting data from different events and alters to detect incidents or cybersecurity threats in real time. Security analytics solutions speed detection and response to cybersecurity threats, which can prevent or mitigate damage.
Enhanced forensics. Security analytics solutions can offer insight into where cyberattacks originated, how their IT systems were compromised, to specify which assets were compromised, and to identify any data loss. Timelines can be provided to help reconstruct and analyze past incidents in order to prevent future incidents.
Security analytics solutions are often used for the following:
- Detecting potential threats
- Detecting data exfiltration
- Detecting insider threats
- Analyzing network traffic to detect anomalous activity
- Monitoring employees
- Monitoring user behavior
- Identifying compromised accounts
- Identifying improper user account usage
- Investigating malicious activity
- Investigating cybersecurity incidents
- Maintaining compliance
- Demonstrating compliance