Demystifying the Cyber Security market – cyber security solutions and acronyms!

Helping you to navigate the cyber security market and identify the right cyber security solutions for your needs.  

 

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has advised that cyber security is one of their key priorities for 2022-23, with harsh penalties for companies, executives and board members that cannot show they have taken active and adequate steps to protect their organisation from cyber threats.   

So, whether you’re a board member, senior executive, or IT employee, your organisation’s cyber security is a top priority. 

Staying ahead of the curve 

To stay ahead of the curve amid emerging cyber dangers, executive teams and boards must examine and evaluate their security technologies and methods on a regular basis. However, keeping up with the ever-changing cyber security environment while comprehending the many different security options available can be difficult. 

Cybercriminals thrive in this environment, motivating them even more to invest heavily in evolving technologies and pivoting their tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPS) for even greater financial outcomes. Most of their success relies on the fact that many companies have still not invested in appropriate mechanisms and controls to mature their cyber security. They are playing catch-up rather than getting ahead of the curve.  

Strong, successful cyber security necessitates using numerous solutions to secure and defend the organisation’s digital environment, often known as “security in depth.” 

Navigating the Cyber Solution Landscape 

The cyber security market is rife with terms and abbreviations, which may easily overwhelm and perplex. Vendors and providers frequently employ phrases and acronyms interchangeably, assigning various meanings or marketing spin, making it more difficult for companies to choose the best solutions based on their unique needs. 

Adding to this is the fact that traditional IT security solutions, which many businesses embrace with a false sense of security, are outdated and may no longer be effective. Many firms are therefore turning to outsourced, fully managed cyber security services. 

What are Managed Security Services (MSS) 

Managed Security Services are a suite of dedicated cyber security services delivered by a Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP).

An MSSP employees a team of skilled specialists and experts who continuously monitor your company’s entire digital environment, looking for any early indicators of compromise (IOCs), strange or unusual behaviour, suspicious activity or unauthorised access.

The goal of an MSSP is to continually enhance your company’s cyber security posture against the constant and ever-evolving threat landscape without you having to invest in building and maintaining your own in-house security team.

The key benefits of engaging a Managed Security Services Provider (MSSP)   

  • Access to a team of highly skilled, qualified specialists with specialist security tools and dedicated support
  • Greater visibility over your digital landscape
  • Enhanced cyber security posture
  • Assurance of ongoing cyber security initiatives
  • Reduced operational costs, increased efficiency and productivity 
  • Mitigate supply chain risk
  • Demonstrate regulatory compliance to stakeholders

Choosing the right MSSP  

As with any other managed service, MSSPs can differ substantially in quality and expertise. Ensuring that you engage an independent MSSP with dedicated and qualified cyber security staff is essential.

Cyber security is different to IT security, and with many IT providers now offering “cyber security” as part of their managed services, it’s important to ensure that your business is adequately protected with the appropriate cyber security controls and mechanisms.

A reputable MSSP will typically have a dedicated Security Operations Centre (SOC), providing 24/7 services designed to continually monitor your digital environment for early indicators of compromise (IOCs), strange or unusual behaviour, suspicious activity or unauthorised access. Typically, the MSSP would utilise a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platform to aggregate log data, security alerts, and events into a centralised platform, which is monitored, analysed, investigated and triaged by qualified security analysts.

Some MSSPs may not take any further action other than alerting you or your IT team of these alerts, and some may offshore their SOC to reduce their costs.

Other services that should be delivered as part of a comprehensive cyber security service offering include vulnerability management, next-generation anti-virus monitoring, threat intelligence, threat hunting, managed firewall, vulnerability scanning, penetration testing and incident response.

Simplifying the noise    

First, let’s clarify and explain some of the acronyms you often hear in the market. You may have already heard of terms such as Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR), Managed Detection and Response (MDR), and, more recently, Extended Detection and Response (XDR).  

These terms are widely used interchangeably. However, you need to be aware of some critical differences, and this article attempts to articulate what each one means and how they differ. 

The difference between EDR, MDR and XDR?    

EDR, MDR and XDR are specific approaches to cyber security designed to mitigate your company’s exposure to cyber risk by monitoring for early indicators of potential compromise, with granular visibility around potential threats, more robust and faster controls, and mechanisms for responding.

There are some critical differences between these three approaches, which we will now explore further. 

Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR)    

EDR is an evolution from traditional anti-virus solutions and is typically deployed as software agents on individual endpoint devices like laptops, smartphones, and servers. These agents continuously monitor activity on the device for signs of suspicious or malicious behaviour (malicious file downloads, unauthorised application installs etc.). If a threat is detected, the EDR solution will take appropriate action to contain and remediate the threat. EDR focuses on detecting and responding to security threats at the endpoint level. Whilst many IT providers sell EDR, most don’t have dedicated security analysts monitoring and responding to potential threats. 

Managed Detection & Response (MDR)    

MDR uses a combination of technology and human expertise to detect and respond to security threats within an organisation’s environment. MDR solutions collect access and change event logs from multiple sources such as computers, services network hardware, and other applications to identify early indicators of compromise, threats, or misconfiguration within an organisation. 

Extended Detection & Response (XDR)  

XDR is a comprehensive security solution that combines technological tools and human expertise to detect, investigate, and respond to security threats. XDR goes beyond traditional security solutions like firewalls and antivirus software by providing visibility into all aspects of an organisation’s digital infrastructure. This allows XDR providers to quickly identify and remediate even the most sophisticated cyber threats. 

Simply put, XDR is a comprehensive security solution that covers all aspects of an organisation’s digital infrastructure, combining the power and features of MDR and EDR into an integrated solution. 

XDR delivers greater visibility, with actionable insights for businesses seeking to enhance their cyber security posture. 

XDR expands on the capabilities of traditional MDR solutions. Data is collected from multiple sources within an organisation’s environment, and advanced correlation and machine learning techniques are employed to detect, investigate, and respond to threats.  

Traditional EDR solutions, on the other hand, are typically limited to data collected from a single endpoint or source, making it difficult to detect and respond to threats that span multiple systems.  XDR solutions address this limitation by collecting data from multiple sources and using advanced analytics to detect threats that may not be apparent when considering data from a single source. 

XDR solutions give organisations greater visibility into their environments, helping them to respond more quickly and effectively to threats. In addition, it helps organisations to improve their overall security posture, providing insights that can be used proactively to mitigate future threats. 

Benefits of partnering with a specialist 

Partnering with a collaborative and reputable security specialist can address many of your company’s cyber security business challenges whilst providing economies of scale and thought leadership via a team of highly experienced and trained security analysts.

Companies that may have initially considered building their own “in-house” teams are rapidly identifying the financial barriers associated with attracting, maintaining and scaling a highly skilled team, further challenged by Australia’s growing cyber skills shortage.  

Engaging an MSSP, and deploying XDR services, will provide your business with the appropriate controls and mechanisms to mitigate cyber risk whilst enhancing your company’s cyber security posture. Additionally, you will be able to create a competitive advantage and point of difference whilst enhancing trust with your stakeholders by pro-actively demonstrating your cyber security preparedness. This approach can also address various regulatory compliance obligations whilst mitigating Directors’ and Officers’ personal liabilities under the Corporations Act 2001. 

Want to learn more about mitigating your company’s risk?

Let’s discuss your business’s specific security needs today! 

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