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Pictures Paint a Thousand Words: In the heart of an efficient Security Operations Platform (SOP)

When building an effective response to cyberthreats, it’s extremely important to have a cybersecurity built around credible, world-wide data of threats and potential malicious actors. The MITRE ATT&CK framework provides just such a tool. However, in the fight against cyberattacks, best-of-breed incident response tools can use that framework, and “weaponize” the data, to turn it into a powerful, graphical sets of actionable intelligence.

Simplifying Challenging Link Analysis

One common currency of trade, used by cybercriminals, is malicious links to various websites and online portals. Analyzing those links isn’t as simple as one might think. Some malicious links may, in fact originate from “good” domains, compromised into hosting malicious content. Conventional cybersecurity measures, such as browser-based filtering, and the use of antivirus software, are helpful, but these tools sometime produce “false positive” and “false negative” results, that may harm, instead of helping, the cause of securing a businesses’ cyber assets.

Amongst the notable characteristics, that a top-of-the-line incident response tool should have, are multiple features to enable analyzing potentially malicious links, including:

  • Domain/sub-domain, path lookup and analysis
  • IP information
  • Proxy checking
  • Target website reputation score checks
  • …and a whole lot more!

This information is gleaned after parsing embedded links in website content, emails, online documents, and other content that a user interacts with. The purpose of analyzing these bits of data, is to assess the malicious intent (or lack thereof!) of the link. Traditional cyberthreat analysis tools are great at looking-up limited amounts of such data, to try and determine their relationships with previously catalogued databases of malicious links.

However, when the datasets are large, and these tools attempt to present data in visually appealing format, the result is less than appealing. Cybersecurity analysts end up deciphering threats to their infrastructure by attempting to decode something akin to a spider’s nest – and that’s not helpful at all!

A well-designed incident response tools leverages the power of the MITRE ATT&CK framework, and presents link analysis data in an intuitive graphical form. This approach goes well beyond simply analyzing single artifacts, and takes link analysis to the next level, analyzing how each part of the link fits into the bigger picture. By automating the tracking and contextualizing of relationships between elements, data, and systems, and presenting them as meaningful graphics, QuoLab’s security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) capabilities help busy cybersecurity analysts to quickly spot potentially malicious content.

The Bigger Picture Uncovered

In a busy security operations center (SOC), it’s easy for analysts to get sidetracked or buried in data minutia. While analyzing these “small picture” elements to build their incident response, one could potentially miss the bigger picture, which is the aim of cybercriminals: To obfuscate their real intent behind myriads of small, inconsequential, bits of data.

QuoLab’s Graph Data Model (GDM) serves as the central hub of the incident response tool used by cybersecurity analysts to stay on top of developing threats, or to monitor ongoing responses to cyber incidents. Each new activity triggers a datapoint, that’s updated in real time into the GDM.. There’s no need for restrictive, archaic, user-defined queries any longer. GDM acts as the central command for any efficient Security Operations Platform (SOP), and delivers visually-insightful, real-time intelligence to incident analysts.

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