The practice of analyzing security data for detecting threats and responding to them is known as security analytics. Don’t expect to see a one size fits all formula here. From algorithms to analytical processes, from use cases to procedures, everything varies from organization to organization.

Even though you can implement security analytics across your organization, the most effective use case of security analytics is in your network. The reason is that your enterprise networks encompasses everything from your best dedicated servers to applications to users.

If your business is not taking full advantage of security analytics but planning to do so soon, then this article is for you. Learn how you can use security analytics to your advantage by doing it the right way.

In this article, you will learn about seven effective tips to make the most of your security analytics.

1.        Integrate Security Data

Successful businesses understand how important it is to integrate your security data. In fact, it differentiates successful businesses from unsuccessful ones as most businesses struggle with security data integration. Experts suggest that integrating security data will help you to streamline processes and save a lot of time. More importantly, it allows them to focus on use cases.

2.       Understand the Boundaries

Every enterprise has some boundaries and potential attack surfaces. It is highly recommended that you develop a better understanding of these boundaries. Make sure to continuously update your inventory. Use a combination of security data and active scanning. Very few companies use this approach and end up paying a heavy price for it. When you combine the active scanning with security data, you can get a clearer picture of your security analytics.

3.      Solid Detection Methods

If you want the best results from security analytics, it is important to choose the best threat detection methods. A strong arsenal contains a combination of role-based matching, statistical modeling and machine learning. On the contrary, most businesses who struggle with security analytics rely on existing threat intelligence as their primary detection method. This makes them more vulnerable to cyberattacks and makes them a soft target for hackers. With no security analytics in place and the only source you are relying on is threat intelligence, you are literally flirting with danger.

4.      Use Data from Vendors

Companies who take full advantage of security analytics rely heavily on data provided by their vendors. In fact, 80% of companies say that the content provided by vendors is enough for them. Irrespective of whether that vendor data is sourced from out of the box or come from service engagements.

Most cloud hosting providers and vendors have their own data repositories where they collect, store and analyze security data. The difference comes in the processing method. Some vendors use stream processing while others rely on distributed processing. Stream processing is capable of handling large amounts of security data by distributing the load over several nodes. All these nodes combine to form a grid-based architecture.

5.      Configure Tools and Algorithms

What makes companies who do security analytics the right way stand out from companies who struggle with it? It is the emphasis they put on fine tuning their tools and algorithms. In fact, 41% of high performers spend more than 40 hours every week on detection tuning, which is two to three times more than poor performing companies.

Most tools and algorithms are designed with a specific audience in mind and if your use case falls beyond the boundaries, you will have to tinker with the tool and algorithm to make it suitable for your business needs. Successful companies know that they can make the most of their tools and algorithms only when they customize it according to their business requirements. The more personalized a tool or algorithm is, the better results it will deliver.

6.      Prioritize Alerts

Instead of doing everything manually, high performing IT teams automate analytics output. In addition to this, they also prioritize alerts based on threat and asset criticality. That is not all, they also have automated investigation playbooks associated with specific alerts. This means that they will receive an automatic alert if one of the critical threats impacts any asset. As a result, they get timely information about any suspicious activity, which makes it easier for them to take action before it is too late.

7.       Measure the Output

Last but certainly not the least, track your results. How can you know whether your security analytics are delivering the required output or not? It is by measuring the output. Organizations which are at the higher maturity level when it comes to security analytics implement a system that helps them to continuously track results. When it comes to KPIs, best security analytics companies and average security analytics companies are poles apart.

They both measure different metrics which is why they see security analytics from two completely different perspectives. For instance, successful security analytics companies track key performance indicators and metrics such as time spent on investigation and time to respond while average performing organizations focus more on measuring the volume of alerts. They ignore time-based metrics which is why they struggle to improve their security analytics mechanisms.

Conclusion

More and more companies are jumping on the security analytics bandwagon but only few can reap rich rewards out of it. By following some of the tips, you can end up on the right side and succeed in getting the best out of your security analytics data. Focus on automating the processes and tweaking the tools and algorithms to fulfill your business needs to achieve the best results with minimal effort.

Know the limitations and boundaries of your enterprise and establish a solid threat detection mechanism which uses a combination of techniques and technologies for ultimate protection. Lastly, don’t forget to integrate your security data as it will help you analyze it and extract actionable insights from it, which would benefit your business in the long run.

How do you use security analytics? Feel free to share it with us in the comments section below.