Is Your SOC Overwhelmed? Artificial Intelligence and MITRE ATT&CK Can Help Lighten the Load

Whether you have a security team of two or 100, your goal is to ensure that the business thrives. That means protecting critical systems, users and data, detecting and responding to threats, and staying one step ahead of cybercrime.

However, security teams today are faced with myriad challenges, such as fragmented threat data, an overabundance of poorly integrated point solutions and lengthy dwell times — not to mention an overwhelming volume of threat intelligence and a dearth of qualified talent to analyze it.

With the average cost of a data breach as high as $3.86 million, up 6.4 percent from 2017, security leaders need solutions and strategies that deliver demonstrable value to their business. But without a comprehensive framework by which to implement these technologies, even the most advanced tools will have little effect on the organization’s overall security posture. How can security teams lighten the load on their analysts while maximizing the value of their technology investments?

Introducing the MITRE ATT&CK Framework

The MITRE Corporation maintains several common cybersecurity industry standards, including Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVE) and Common Weakness Enumeration (CWE). MITRE ATT&CK is a globally accessible knowledge base of adversary tactics and techniques based on real-world observations.

A cyber kill chain describes the various stages of a cyberattack as it pertains to network security. The actual framework, called the Cyber Kill Chain, was developed by Lockheed Martin to help organizations identify and prevent cyber intrusions.

The steps in a kill chain trace the typical stages of an attack from early reconnaissance to completion. Analysts use the chain to detect and prevent advanced persistent threats (APT).

Cyber Kill Chain

The MITRE ATT&CK builds on the Cyber Kill Chain, provides a deeper level of granularity and is behavior-centric.

MITRE Modified Cyber Kill Chain

Benefits of adopting the MITRE ATT&CK framework in your security operations center (SOC) include:

  • Helping security analysts understand adversary behavior by identifying tactics and techniques;

  • Guiding threat hunting and helping prioritize investigations based on tactics used;

  • Helping determine the coverage and detection capability (or lack thereof); and

  • Determining the overall impact using adversaries’ behaviors.

How Artificial Intelligence Brings the ATT&CK Framework to Life

To unlock the full range of benefits, organizations should adopt artificial intelligence (AI) solutions alongside the ATT&CK framework. This confluence enables security leaders to automate incident analysis, thereby force-multiplying the team’s efforts and enabling analysts to focus on the most important tasks in an investigation.

Artificial intelligence solutions can also help security teams drive more consistent and deeper investigations. Whether it’s 4:30 p.m. on a Friday or 10 a.m. on a Monday, your investigations should be equally thorough each and every time.

Finally, using advanced AI tools, such as the newly released QRadar Advisor with Watson 2.0, in the context of the ATT&CK framework can help organizations reduce dwell times with a quicker and more decisive escalation process. Security teams can determine root cause analysis and drive next steps with confidence by mapping the attack to their dynamic playbook.

Learn how QRadar Advisor with Watson 2.0 embraces the MITRE ATT&CK framework