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What Is Threat Detection and Response (TDR)?

afranczyk - August 15, 2022

Threat detection and response (TDR) helps organizations detect and neutralize attacks before they disrupt operations or escalate to a breach. Organizations face many challenges when attempting to detect threats. TDR solutions offer threat detection based on rapid analysis of forensic data, helping organizations streamline and automate threat response.

TDR solutions enable threat protection for sophisticated attack vectors such as social engineering, ransomware, fraud, and zero-day attacks. Common types of TDR technologies include Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Network Detection and Response (NDR), and Extended Detection and Response (XDR).

What Threats Are the Focus of Cyber Threat Detection and Response?

Here are the most common and pressing cyber threats addressed by TDR solutions:

Malware

Malicious software (malware) programs execute specific malicious activities as part of an attack. Malware infects computers or networks and then attempts to steal information, spy, or cause damage. Common malware includes viruses, spyware, and trojan horse applications.

Phishing

Phishing attacks attempt to trick victims into providing sensitive data. Commonly, phishing attacks use email communication to manipulate recipients to divulge information. The email may include a link to a malicious web page spoofed to resemble a legitimate website, where the victim is prompted to enter login information and other personal or financial details.

Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that locks and encrypts data on the victim’s computer. Once the data is encrypted, the program displays a demand note that asks the victim for ransom, threatening to delete or release the data if the payment (typically in Bitcoin) is not sent.

Insider Threat

An insider threat originates within the organization. Commonly, insider threat attacks are initiated by former or current employees or business associates with access to privileged accounts or sensitive information within the corporate network. These insider threats misuse their access to willingly or unwillingly perform malicious activities.

Fraudulent Activity

Organizations can face various fraudulent activities, including money laundering, fraudulent banking claims, cyberattacks, identity theft, forged bank checks, and other illegal practices. Here are common threats:

  • eCommerce payment fraud—all illegal online transactions performed by cybercriminals on commerce sites are called eCommerce payment fraud. These threat actors target online users and deprive them of their money, sensitive information, or personal property.
  • Website cloning—this popular method enables scammers to steal money from users. It occurs when threat actors create a clone site of a legitimate website and a trap designed to trick unsuspecting victims into visiting the cloned website. Actors typically use links shared through phishing emails, texts, and social media posts to direct victims to the cloned website.
  • Identity theft—fraudsters often attempt to obtain personal data using various means like malware, emails, messages, and fake websites. Next, they use this information to purchase goods under the stolen identity. They have the goods sent to a different delivery address without intending to use their own money to pay for the items.

Zero-Day Threats

A zero-day attack exploits a critical security vulnerability developers or vendors are unaware of. A zero-day vulnerability has not been discovered yet and does not match known malware signatures. Since it is unknown and undiscovered, there is no patch yet, allowing cybercriminals to use it to launch attacks.

Advanced Persistent Threats (APT)

An advanced persistent threat (APT) is a planned and organized cyberattack directed at a specific target. An APT typically leverages long-term surveillance and intelligence to target systems or steal sensitive information. Successful APTs allow the attacker, typically a nation-state or state-sponsored group, to remain undetected.

DDoS

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack attempts to overwhelm a targeted service, network, or server with fake traffic to cause disruption. The attack uses bots and botnets (collections of bots) to generate this fake traffic. Once they establish the botnet, the threat actor delivers remote instructions to each bot to direct the attack.

Essential Components of a Threat Detection and Response Solution

The ability to detect and respond to threats is essential for minimizing the damage caused by unpreventable threats. A robust threat detection solution should include these capabilities:

  • Full visibility into attack vectors—the complexity of an organization’s infrastructure presents many potential vectors for infection. It is important to see all application and network-based vectors.
  • Comprehensive malware detection—malware threats are becoming more advanced and difficult to detect, using tactics like polymorphism to avoid detection based on threat signatures. AI-powered analysis can detect threats that evade conventional anti-malware solutions.
  • Accurate detection—a security operations center (SOC) usually receives too many alerts to process, so it is essential to minimize false positives.
  • Data analytics—complex networks have many endpoints, meaning that the SOC collects large volumes of security data. Data analytics can help filter this data and extract actionable insights.
  • Threat intelligence feeds—integrating threat intelligence lets the threat detection solution keep up with the latest security threats.

Once the security team or threat detection solution has identified a potential threat, it is important to respond quickly. It requires a tool to support investigation and remediation efforts. A threat response solution should include these capabilities:

  • MITRE ATT&CK threat analysis—this framework helps teams understand how attackers might carry out cyberattacks. The security team should refer to MITRE ATT&CK to identify and mitigate attack techniques.
  • Automated remediation—automation accelerates the process of responding to attacks, which is often necessary to minimize damage.
  • Threat hunting and investigation—the security team must manually investigate prioritized incidents and use threat hunting to detect intrusions. The solution should support these efforts with threat intelligence.

Types of Threat Detection and Response Tools

A defense-in-depth security strategy uses layered tooling to protect applications, operating systems, and data. Security teams often deploy multiple cybersecurity tools, which can overlap and clash. This layered approach was effective until attackers found ways to exploit the lack of coordination between the tools.

Today, comprehensive security solutions combine the capabilities of once separate technologies. They leverage AI and threat intelligence to minimize false positives. The AI-powered behavioral analysis supports continuous monitoring, while threat intelligence feeds help keep an organization’s security strategy up to date.

Related content: Read our guide to threat detection software (coming soon)

The following are some of the evolving threat detection and response solutions.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

EDR solutions protect network endpoints by collecting and analyzing endpoint device data. They track suspicious activities over time and their effects on different devices, storing all endpoint information in a database for further analysis and response.

Network Detection and Response (NDR)

NDR solutions create network traffic baselines and track network activity to identify potentially malicious behavior. They use AI to enhance security and identify sophisticated threats like command-and-control and misconfiguration threats. NDR derives data from network logs, traffic packet captures, and telemetry streams.

Extended Detection and Response (XDR)

XDR is the latest addition to the detection and response market, extending NDR capabilities with a more comprehensive view of the threat landscape and collecting information from more sources. XDR solutions are SaaS platforms that combine various security capabilities, including AI and automation. While EDR and NDR provide information on potential threats, security teams still have to investigate and mitigate threats—XDR is more proactive.

Managed Detection and Response (MDR)

MDR is a service-based innovation rather than a technological one. Organizations can leverage threat detection and response capabilities without purchasing or maintaining EDR, NDR, or XDR solutions. A service provider is responsible for securing the network and endpoints, reducing the burden on in-house security teams. MDR is especially helpful for companies without enough security staff.

Threat Detection and Response with Pathlock

Pathlock helps you enhance your logging capabilities by capturing granular transaction details in real-time. The real-time analytics provided by our threat intelligence tools helps convert your ERP application from a black box of mystery into a white box full of actionable insights. With Pathlock, you can –

  • Identify when a careless worker falls victim to a phishing attack by setting up a dashboard that tracks location-based access. If a legitimate user account suddenly starts accessing your ERP system from outside the United States, for example, you can begin an investigation into other activity by that account.
  • Closely monitor the activity around sensitive reports and queries and ensure that data is not being exfiltrated in bulk by unauthorized users or offboarding employees, such as arrogant insiders.
  • Monitor high-risk data activity for unusual behavior. For example, a Disgruntled Employee with access to compensation data needs that ability to do their job. However, you can track the number of times a user accesses that data during the day or outside of business hours. Instead of asking “if” a person should have access to that data, you can track how often and when that data is accessed.
  • Track a variety of user access data points when it comes to detecting a malicious insider. Since this is usually a compromised account, you can set dashboards to track after-hours access, mobile phone access, strange IP address access, and access from a foreign country. All signs that a legitimate account has been compromised.
  • Apply a prefix to the username of any outside irresponsible contractor or temporary worker to fully track their data access and usage inside your ERP system.

Schedule a demo with our PeopleSoft experts to learn how our transaction logging and real-time analytics can help you combat security threats, uncover hidden business risks, effectively respond to audit findings and ensure compliance. Without customizations or additional hardware.

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