What is Behaviour Anomaly Detection?

22.08.2019 Read
What is Behaviour Anomaly Detection?

Behaviour Anomaly Detection techniques are essential to your network security as they help your IT professionals to notice any unusual behaviour. In this article, we discussed how and why Behaviour Anomaly Detection tools must be implemented in order to keep your business safe. Keeping your network safe is an intricate task that involves various steps. Taking necessary measures to make the façade hard to penetrate is one of them, but also being able to notice any unauthorized access or suspicious behaviour is another. It is a fact that no measure is ultimate, and no system is impenetrable. That is why being able to detect any suspicious activity proves itself essential. If an unauthorized access or a security event goes unnoticed for a prolonged period of time, it can seriously harm your systems or cause major data breaches. Such unfortunate events can cost your business a massive amount of money and/or hard earned trust of your customers. Through anomaly detection, you can identify any behaviour or pattern that does not conform to the regular behaviour on your network. Detection and evaluation of such patterns are essential to identification of security breaches. Moreover, the information extracted from behaviour patterns of a network is critical and actionable in most cases. Defining the ‘Normal’ In order to detect an anomaly, it is crucial to define the ‘normal’ behaviour. Although it sounds pretty straightforward, defining normal is rather an involved task even for cutting edge monitoring tools. The reason behind it is the possible sources of potential anomalies. Inaccurate or incomplete audit logs, a slight misconfiguration in the system or a mere failure of proper reporting may seem like an alarming anomaly. In the event of such false positives, your security professionals are notified. Until they assess the ‘anomaly’ and decide that it is a false positive, they spend much of their energy and time that could be better spent on an actual threat. Moreover, false positives create notification fatigue which causes the actually dangerous security events to go unnoticed. That is why setting up a baseline is essential for behaviour anomaly detection. Though it is a task that requires gathering and analysing massive amounts of data from numerous sources. Breaking the data obtaining and processing into smaller steps is a useful approach. Following steps can be applied in order to retain as much data as possible to set a meaningful baseline for anomaly detection:

  1. Asset Inventory. First you need to know your assets in detail in order to be able to keep up with their traffic and behaviour. Thus, you should create a comprehensive IT asset inventory along with a detailed network topology. Then you must assess which assets of yours are at high risk or have high traffic. Your security measures must focus these assets.
  2. Keeping Detailed Logs. Logs are the most essential components of not only anomaly detection but also IT security. Without the knowledge of what happened in your network (and when that happened), you can neither detect any intrusion nor set a ‘normal’ behaviour.
  3. Keeping logs is of no use without a comprehensive analysis. In order to set a baseline for normal behaviour on your network, you need to analyse a significant amount of logs from various sources and correlate the information they provide.

How Can SIEM And Behaviour Anomaly Detection Work Together? In the market, there are numerous tools that are used for anomaly detection since it is a rather well-known and often discussed subject when it comes to cyber security. Yet with the significant raise in the number of malicious attacks and ever continuing evolution of the techniques that hackers use, anomaly detection tools alone are not the ultimate solution for keeping your business secure. Anomaly detection can point out to unusual behaviour that can mean an attack, but it cannot provide your IT security team a 360-degree view of the attack. Thus, your IT professionals cannot assess the attack or come up with the appropriate remediation. That is why you need to implement SIEM for its significant inspection capabilities. With SIEM solutions, you have more actionable information on security events. Moreover, you can even designate various actions for SIEM to take in the event of a security compromise in order to contain the problem and immediately act upon it. Together, Behaviour Anomaly Detection Tools and SIEM can improve the security posture of your business greatly.

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