Combating Identity-Based Cyber Threats with an Identity-Centric Next-Gen SIEM

Identity-related cyber threats are on an unprecedented rise, pushing the boundaries of traditional security measures. As the cyber threat landscape evolves, businesses are increasingly grappling with sophisticated identity-based attacks. To effectively counter these challenges, organizations are turning towards advanced solutions like Next-Gen SIEM equipped with Identity Threat Detection and Response (ITDR) and Identity and Access Analytics (IAA) capabilities.

Growing Menace of Identity-Based Attacks

In recent years, identity-based attacks have emerged as one of the most effective threats to cybersecurity. According to the 2023 Trends in Securing Digital Identities report by the Identity Defined Security Alliance (IDSA), 90% of organizations experienced at least one identity-related breach in the past year.

These attacks, which exploit vulnerabilities related to identity and access management, are evolving in sophistication and frequency. They typically involve stealing, manipulating, or misusing identity-related information such as usernames, passwords, or digital certificates. The ultimate goal is to gain unauthorized access to systems in-order to conduct malicious activities.

The rise in identity-based attacks can be attributed to a variety of factors, including:

  1. Increased digitization and online identities (users and entities)
  2. Increased use of distributed cloud applications and mobile devices
  3. Weak password hygiene
  4. Continued success of social engineering
  5. Remote work
  6. Sophistication of attacks and adversarial AI

Identity-Centric Security Takes Center Stage

The rise in identity-based attacks highlights the need for effective user identity management in cybersecurity. Identity is now seen as the new perimeter, closely tied to the rise of Zero Trust. However, the very systems that can improve protection, once compromised, have the opposite effect. Attackers exploit the vulnerabilities of complex Identity and Access Management (IAM) programs, raising security teams’ awareness of identity management risks.

Ultimately, no matter how secure a network, endpoint, or device is, gaining access to a single privileged account can compromise enterprise resources. As businesses depend more on identity infrastructure for collaboration, remote work, and third-party access, these systems have become prime targets.

What is ITDR (Identity Threat Detection and Response)?

ITDR is a new class of cybersecurity solutions that focuses on protecting user identities and identity-based systems from cyber threats. It involves a combination of security tools, processes, and best practices to prepare for, detect, and respond to identity-related threats that target both credentials and management of credentials, access and entitlements. ITDR solutions focus on identifying, reducing, and responding to potential identity-based threats, such as attacks that target identity infrastructure and compromised user accounts or leaked passwords.

What is ITDR? Check out Gurucul’s Ultimate Guide to Identity Threat Detection and Response ITDR to learn how to combat identity-based attacks and build identity-centric security programs

A complete ITDR system offers a comprehensive set of threat detection and response capabilities specifically designed to prevent breaches based on identity-based attacks. This includes identity and access analytics for identity attack surface visibility and governance, risk scoring, real-time monitoring, predictive analytics, and automated remediation and incident response.

Identity and Access Analytics Improves the Effectiveness of ITDR Programs

Identity Access Analytics (IAA) solutions consolidate data from across the network to provide a comprehensive understanding of user privileges. It helps IT and IAM teams create new access policies and privileges that align with Zero Trust principles. The data obtained from Identity Analytics allows IAM and IT Security teams to write new policies and set up both access controls (which users/entities can access data) and access entitlements (what users/entities can do with data) across the network.

In essence, Identity Access Analytics is primarily concerned with understanding and managing user access privileges, while ITDR focuses on detecting and responding to threats that target these identities and access privileges. Both are crucial for a robust Zero Trust cybersecurity strategy. Identity Access Analytics provides the foundation for access policies, while ITDR offers the necessary capabilities for threat detection and response.

Why Identity-Based Attacks are Challenging to Detect and Remediate

Legacy solutions like traditional SIEM tools and siloed security analytics tools face significant challenges in effectively detecting and remediating identity-based attacks. These challenges include:

  • Limited Visibility Across Modern IT Environments: Traditional SIEMs struggle to provide comprehensive visibility across cloud, on-premises, and hybrid environments. This lack of visibility hinders the ability to detect sophisticated identity-based attacks that occur across various platforms.
  • Inefficient Incident Response: Legacy systems often lack the full context of the attack/threat and rely on manual processes for incident response, both can be time-consuming and error-prone. In the case of identity-based attacks, a swift and precise response is crucial to prevent further exploitation, which these systems may not adequately support.
  • High Volume of False Positives: Traditional SIEMs can generate a high number of alerts, many of which are false positives. Differentiating between a legitimate user’s activities and an attacker using stolen credentials can be like finding a needle in a haystack, leading to alert fatigue among security analysts.
  • Difficulty in Correlating Events: Siloed security analytics tools make it difficult to correlate events across different systems and data sources. Identity-based attacks often require correlating disparate pieces of information to detect, which is a significant challenge without integrated analytics capabilities.
  • Scalability Issues: As organizations grow and the number of users and devices increases, traditional SIEMs often struggle to scale accordingly. This limitation can lead to incomplete data analysis or delayed processing time, both of which can impede the real-time detection of identity-based attacks.
  • Lack of Advanced Analytics: Many legacy solutions lack advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities necessary to detect sophisticated attack patterns. Modern attacks require modern solutions that can learn and adapt to continuously evolving threat landscapes.
  • Complexity and Resource Constraints: Legacy systems are often complex and require specialized knowledge to manage and maintain. Organizations may face resource constraints that limit their ability to effectively operate and update these systems, leaving them vulnerable to more sophisticated attacks.
  • Lack of Advanced Analytics: Many legacy solutions lack advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities necessary to detect sophisticated attack patterns. Modern attacks require modern solutions that can learn and adapt to continuously evolving threat landscapes.
  • Integration Challenges: Traditional SIEMs may not integrate well with new security tools and technologies. This lack of integration can create blind spots and hinder the security team’s ability to have a unified view of the threat landscape.
  • Regulatory Compliance Pressures: With the increasing number of privacy regulations and compliance requirements, legacy systems may not be equipped to handle the modern demands for data protection and reporting, making it harder to maintain compliance while fighting identity-based attacks.

Examples of Identity-Based Attacks

  • Credential Stuffing: Attackers use automated tools to test stolen username and password combinations across multiple websites, exploiting the common practice of reusing passwords.
  • Password Spraying: Attackers systematically try commonly used passwords against many usernames to gain unauthorized access to user accounts, avoiding traditional brute-force detection methods.
  • Golden Ticket Attack: Adversaries exploit vulnerabilities in the Kerberos identity authentication protocol to bypass authentication methods and gain unlimited access to an organization’s domain.
  • Phishing: Cybercriminals use email, text messages, or phone calls to trick users into sharing sensitive information or downloading malicious files.
  • Social Engineering: Attackers manipulate individuals through psychological tactics to gather sensitive information, such as passwords or financial data, by exploiting human emotions like fear, urgency, or greed.
  • Kerberoasting: This post-exploitation attack technique attempts to crack the password of a service account within the Active Directory environment by masquerading as an account user with a service principal name (SPN) and requesting a ticket containing an encrypted password.
  • Man-in-the-Middle (MITM) Attack: Attackers eavesdrop on a conversation between two targets to collect personal data or passwords or convince the victim to take specific actions.
  • Credential Theft: Various methods such as Pass the Hash, Pass the Ticket, and other techniques are utilized to steal valid authentication credentials for unauthorized access to systems and resources.
  • Silver Ticket Attack: Attackers create forged service tickets encrypted to enable access to specific resources, often after stealing an account password.

In summary, while legacy solutions provided value in the past, the dynamic nature of today’s cyber threats, especially identity-based attacks, requires more advanced, integrated, and scalable security solutions to effectively protect organizations’ assets and sensitive data.

How Next-Gen SIEM Prevents Identity-Based Threats

Next-Gen SIEM is a critical component of an effective ITDR strategy and can offer identity-centric capabilities from a unified security analytics platform. It provides advanced functionalities beyond traditional SIEM solutions, enabling organizations to detect, prevent, and respond to identity-based threats in near real-time. They consolidate essential capabilities into a single pane of glass, including UEBA, NTA, SOAR, and IAA. In essence, a unified Next-Gen SIEM solution eliminates the need for siloed XDR, ITDR, and SIEM tools by providing converged capabilities from a single platform.

Let’s take a closer look at how a unified Next-Gen SIEM platform enables you prevent identity-based attacks and accelerate your ITDR program:

  • Identity attack surface visibility and governance: With the inclusion of Identity & Access Analytics within a unified Next-Gen SIEM platform you’re able to obtain visibility into your identity attack surface, empowering IAM teams to proactively strengthen access policies and hygiene. This includes obtaining visibility into excessive user and entity access privileges, and discovering rogue or orphan accounts. Ultimately, this allows IT teams to make informed decisions that improve the overall IAM program.
  • Real-time monitoring and behavioral baselines: Next-Gen SIEM solutions establish dynamic behavioral baselines for all users and entities. This helps identify anomalies in real-time that may indicate risk. These solutions can detect and prevent unauthorized activities by privileged users, tracking their activities in real-time and alerting security teams when suspicious activities occur.
  • Advanced threat detection analytics: Next-Gen SIEM platforms take identity and access analytics one step further by contextualizing anomalous behavior with adjacent telemetry to determine true threats. Using ML/AI models these platforms are able to cross-validate identity, behavior, security, network, threat intelligence and business application data to validate whether an anomaly is a threat and provide a complete picture of that threat for quick remediation.
  • Risk prioritization and context: With the aforementioned advanced ML/AI analytics and unified data fabric, Next-Gen SIEM platforms are uniquely poised to reduce false positives and prioritize the risk for security analysts to take action. Identity-based attacks can be quickly identified, contextualized and investigated from a single interface.
  • Automated response: With built-in SOAR capabilities, response playbooks can automatically be triggered when true threats are identified. Furthermore, Next-Gen SIEM platforms can be tightly integrated with IAM solutions for automated risk-based authentication and authorization, significantly streamlining an adaptive Zero Trust model.

Preventing Identity-Based Attacks with Gurucul’s Next-Gen SIEM

The Gurucul unified threat detection platform presents organizations with a valuable opportunity to enhance their Identity Threat Detection and Response capabilities from the very beginning. By utilizing historical data, the platform enables the establishment of behavioral baselines right from day one. Moreover, it offers access to a comprehensive library of pre-built security and threat content, which includes over 10,000 ML models, playbooks, integrations, reports, dashboards and more. This empowers organizations to quickly bolster their SOCs ability to detect identity-based attacks effectively.

A notable feature of the Gurucul platform is its ability to simplify data ingestion. It achieves this by leveraging an intelligent data fabric that can handle the ingestion, interpretation, monitoring, enrichment, reduction, and routing of both security and non-security data from any source or format. This eliminates the need for expensive third-party services, data distribution, or parsing software.

At Gurucul, we understand that every SOC is unique. That’s why we have intentionally developed a platform that is open and flexible, allowing you to customize it according to your specific requirements, environment, and business risk. This flexibility is a crucial element in building a mature ITDR program.

With our open “glass box” approach to machine learning and AI-driven analytics, you have the freedom to fully tailor your data science needs. Our platform offers a user-friendly, wizard-driven interface that simplifies the process of configuring, adapting, or fine-tuning models to meet your specific needs.

Now that you can answer, “What is ITDR,” learn About Gurucul's Next-Gen SIEM. Our services can help prevent identity-based attacks and assist you in creating identity-centric security programs


In the face of rising identity-based cyber threats, organizations must adopt advanced security strategies to protect their resources. Gurucul’s Next-Gen SIEM platform offers a comprehensive, effective solution to detect, prevent, and respond to identity-based attacks. By integrating these advanced strategies, organizations can enhance their cybersecurity posture and minimize the impact of identity-based threats.