Five Ways to Improve Threat Detection Investigation & Response (TDIR) with a Next-Gen SIEM

In the cybersecurity field, the relatively new concept of Threat Detection Investigation and Response (TDIR) has gained traction. TDIR is more than just a buzzword; it represents a proactive, comprehensive, and strategic approach to cybersecurity. At first glance, TDIR might seem to simply encapsulate the responsibilities of the SecOps team within the SOC that we’re all familiar with. However, there are several key themes of TDIR making it capable of delivering transformative results. We’ll explore these themes and offer ways to achieve them. First, it’s crucial to understand that TDIR is not a product one can simply purchase. Instead, it’s a framework tailored to the specific needs and risk tolerance of your environment.

What is TDIR?

Threat Detection Investigation and Response (TDIR) is a proactive, risk-oriented approach to managing cybersecurity threats. It involves the detection of threats, the investigation of incidents, and the formulation and execution of strategic response plans to mitigate risks. The goal of TDIR is to stay ahead of sophisticated cyber attackers by adopting a strategic, data-driven, and business-context enriched approach to cybersecurity.

Fundamental TDIR Themes

Here’s where you can start to draw distinction with TDIR, by understanding fundamental themes associated with the framework.

TDIR is all about business-risk prioritization

This entails pinpointing key assets and data, prioritizing their safeguarding based on breach impact. It involves ongoing threat landscape monitoring for new threats and vulnerabilities. Additionally, it necessitates a quick, business-aligned response plan.

TDIR is fine-tuned to your business

The TDIR framework must be tailored to your business’s unique needs, objectives, and risk tolerance. It should safeguard your specific assets, data, and systems, aligning with your strategic goals. This customization is vital for an effective, efficient, and sustainable TDIR strategy.

TDIR requires data unification

This means consolidating all relevant data from various sources into a single, accessible platform. It’s about breaking down silos and integrating data from across the organization to provide a holistic view of the threat landscape. This unified data approach enhances threat detection and response capabilities, and risk quantification to facilitate more informed decision-making.

TDIR is a framework, not a product

While this is true, we are seeing the introduction of TDIR platforms, also known as Next-Gen SIEMs. This is the natural convergence occurring across the entire industry and threat detection, investigation and response tools found in a SOC are no different. However, there is no silver-bullet and these platforms must interoperate with your existing solution stack in-order to maximize effectiveness and build a comprehensive TDIR framework.

TDIR fosters business cross-collaboration

TDIR fosters a shared responsibility culture by dismantling barriers between organization departments. It enhances collective comprehension of cybersecurity risks and promotes collaboration among IT, security, and business teams. This interdepartmental cooperation is vital for creating and executing an efficient TDIR strategy.

TDIR Headwinds Facing SecOps Teams

Adopting a TDIR approach is not without its challenges. Cyber threats are constantly evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Traditional Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solutions often struggle to keep pace with the constantly changing threat landscape. As a result, SOC teams find themselves struggling with a myriad of operational headaches:

  • Data Overload: The sheer volume of alerts and data generated by security tools can be overwhelming, making it difficult to identify real threats.
  • Fragmented Tools: Many organizations use a multitude of security tools, leading to a fragmented view of their security posture and making TDIR more challenging.
  • Lack of Real-Time Analysis: Without the ability to analyze security data in real-time, SOC teams may miss or respond too late to critical threats.
  • Insufficient Integration: The lack of effective integration between different security systems can hinder TDIR efforts, preventing a coordinated and effective response.
  • Evolving Threat Landscape: As cyber threats become more sophisticated, SOC teams need to constantly adapt and improve their TDIR capabilities to keep up.
  • Aligning Security with Business Objectives: Often, there is a disconnect between the organization’s security efforts and its business goals, which can hinder the effectiveness of TDIR strategies.
  • Lack of Skilled Personnel: SOC teams often struggle with a shortage of trained cybersecurity professionals who can effectively handle TDIR tasks.

Legacy SIEMs: A Roadblock to Effective TDIR

Legacy SIEMs, which were designed to handle a relatively static threat environment, are ill-equipped to handle the dynamic, evolving nature of modern cyber threats. These SIEMs often struggle to ingest, analyze, retain, and query the high volumes of data generated by modern, cloud-native environments. Furthermore, static correlation-based rules and rudimentary “black box” ML models fail to prioritize true threats, leaving analysts to slog through a monstrous amount of false positives. This can lead to inadequate threat detection, cumbersome investigations and delayed response, increasing the potential damage caused by an attack.

Five Next-Gen SIEM Capabilities to Drive a More Effective TDIR Program

Given these challenges, organizations need to adopt new strategies and tools to enhance their TDIR capabilities. When evaluating tools, it is imperative that the TDIR tool is capable of conforming to and amplifying your unique processes and requirements. You should not have to compromise your desired operations model in order to accommodate a tool’s inflexibility. In other words, the tool should conform to your business needs, not the other way around.

The next-generation of SIEMs have emerged as modern security analytics platforms that push well beyond the boundaries of traditional SIEMs. Here are five ways a Next-Gen SIEM Can improve Threat Detection Investigation and Response:

Unified Visibility

Aggregating data from various sources to provide a holistic view of an organization’s security posture and risk. This includes data from network devices, endpoints, cloud-based infrastructure, identity systems, threat intelligence, vulnerability assessments, and even relevant business application data. A unified Next-Gen SIEM platform can enhance threat detection capabilities by providing a comprehensive view of the organization’s security landscape, making it easier to identify anomalies and have the context to prioritize response to threats.

Advanced Analytics

Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, can significantly enhance an organization’s threat detection capabilities. The rise of behavioral-based analytics has been accelerated by these advanced data science techniques, capable of analyzing vast amounts of data in real-time, identifying patterns, and predicting threats before they materialize. The efficacy of advanced analytics is dependent on unified and holistic data.

Risk Quantification

Real-time assessment and prioritization of threats based on the impact to an organization’s operations and business objectives. This requires a deep understanding of the organization’s business context, including its critical assets, business processes, and risk tolerance. By quantifying risks, organizations can prioritize their response efforts, focusing on the threats that pose the greatest danger to their operations, business objectives and bottom line.

Artificial Intelligence  

AI can play a crucial role in the investigation phase of TDIR. With natural language searches analysts are able to accelerate the investigation process and garner insights in an instant that would have typically taken hours. Furthermore, AI can automate response playbooks and work tirelessly behind the scenes to uncover new threats and recommend new ML models.

Open and Flexible Platforms  

These are essential for an effective TDIR strategy. This includes the ability for Next-Gen SIEMs to dynamically scale as the threat environment changes, support for all data sources and formats, and the ability to integrate with other security tools and services. A flexible, dynamic architecture allows organizations to adapt their TDIR strategy to the evolving threat landscape, ensuring that they are always prepared for the latest cyber threats. Furthermore, openness of these TDIR platforms must allow you to customize your ML models, adjust risk scoring aligned to your risk tolerance and offer various hosting options for your desired architecture.


Gurucul’s Unified Threat Detection Platform

The Gurucul platform offers organizations the opportunity to significantly improve their Threat Detection and Incident Response capabilities right from the start. By leveraging historical data, the platform enables the establishment of behavioral baselines on day one. Additionally, it provides access to an extensive library of out-of-the-box security and threat content, which includes over 10,000 ML models, playbooks, integrations, reports and dashboards combined. This allows organizations to quickly enhance the effectiveness of their SOC.

One of the key features of the Gurucul platform is its ability to simplify data ingestion. It achieves this by utilizing an intelligent data fabric that can ingest, interpret, monitor, enrich, reduce, and route both security and non-security data from any source or format. This eliminates the need for costly third-party services, data distribution, or parsing software.

At Gurucul, we recognize that every SOC is unique. That’s why we have intentionally developed a platform that is open and flexible, allowing you to tailor it to your specific needs, environment and business risk requirements. This flexibility is a critical aspect of achieving a mature TDIR program.

With our “glass box” approach to machine learning and artificial intelligence driven analytics, you have the ability to fully customize your data science needs. Our platform provides a simplified, wizard-driven interface that allows you to easily configure, adapt or contribute models to meet your requirements.

Learn About Gurucul's Next-Gen SIEM

Conclusion: The Evolution of Threat Detection Investigation and Response

Adversaries are now leveraging the most advanced technologies available to them, which is particularly concerning given the increasingly rampant threat landscape.

With the emergence of adversarial AI, SOC teams cannot afford to remain stagnant in their approach to TDIR. At the same time, they cannot undergo a lengthy and disruptive rip and replace of legacy solutions. Instead, they can immediately realize the value of a Next-Gen SIEM through a SIEM augmentation strategy.

Think of this strategy as a high-fidelity threat detection overlay that expands the capabilities of your SOC and minimizes the operational complexity caused by your legacy SIEM. By adopting this approach, you can achieve your goal of defeating dwell time faster while expending less effort.