SOC SIEM tools

What Is Alert Triage? Do You Know How It Is Carried Out?

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With cybercriminals always on the lookout for a vulnerability in an organization’s system, analysts need to be on their toes at all times. Their role is to stop these cybercriminals from getting into the system; otherwise, the entire organization will be ruined.

Security Operations Centers face an overwhelming amount of security alerts every day. It becomes almost impossible to look into all these threats with limited tools and technology. Where most of the threats are false positives, some of them are accurate too. This is why it becomes important to look into every one of them.

What Is Alert Triaging?

The term “triage” was introduced on the battlefields of France. Due to the overwhelming number of patients that required urgent treatment, the top surgeon of the facility categorized patients into three parts and prioritized them according to this list.

  1. Those who will live regardless if they are treated right away.
  2. Those who will not live regardless of any medical treatment they receive.
  3. Those who will probably live if treated right away.

This process was introduced to utilize resources in the maximum amount. The process was then termed “triage.” The process is still used during emergencies. Triage analysis is where threats are prioritized based on the triaging process.

Similarly, in the cyber world, alert triage is a process that allows analysts to prioritize threats and then decide if those threats should be deeply analyzed. The problem is that without following a lengthy triage process, analysts have no way of figuring out which threats can turn into breaches. Sometimes due to this lengthy process, these threats convert into breaches.

What does triage mean in cybersecurity?

Like a medical emergency, cybersecurity becomes an emergency too when it faces several threats. The process of triaging used by analysts is similar to the process given above. In triaging, analysts first determine what threats are serious enough to harm the system and what only seem like threats but are not. After analyzing what threats to look into and what threats to discard, analysts turn to examine the remaining threats.

The effectiveness of threat analysis depends on the tools and resources analysts have. If they have good enough tools that support them by thoroughly investigating threats and sending them high alert to look into them immediately, their job will not be that hectic. But most of the time, software and tools fail to do a good job, which leaves analysts alone with a long process of looking into every threat.

Analysis of SIEM Incident Detection in Security Operations Center

When the system shows a threat, it does not reveal much information about it. General software shows very little data that can hardly be used to prevent breaches. For example, if an employee’s credentials have been stolen are being used to access files and other data, the software will only flag it as a suspicious activity instead of showing you the details of the threat. Security information and event management (SIEM) analyze and correlate every available business information and network activity to detect incidents in real-time.

Understanding SIEM Deployment

  • Log correlation: A single login can not show suspicious activity but analyzing the pattern of failed and successful login attempts can flag the activity as a threat.
  • Threat intelligence: SOC SIEM tools help early threat detection by identifying incidents in advance. Security Operations Center SIEM tools give the most reliable and latest threat information.
  • Anomalous user behavior analytics: To prevent breaches, it is important to analyze user activity. It involves analyzing their login and log-out times, user privileges, and accessible data.

Handling Alert Triaging and Analysis

  • Identify: The first step is to analyze if a threat is malicious or not. It requires network security monitoring and deeper investigation. Before taking action, figure out how did it enter the system? What harm has it caused? Where is it? Have you detected all of it?
  • Contextualize: Prioritize the alert based on its solution and discovery, if there is external intelligence available for it, what information you have of threat, and what damages it has caused till now?
  • Contain: Analyse what risks this threat possesses. According to the threat level, you can plan a response with proper SOC SIEM tools.

Learn How to Handle Alert Triaging

Are you interested in fighting off cybercriminals by joining the team of cybersecurity operations? In that case, EC-Council’s Certified SOC Analyst (CSA) program is your perfect first step towards joining SOC. The course has been designed for Tier I and Tier II SOC analysts to achieve skills to perform entry-level and intermediate-level operations.

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