The concept of a cyber fusion center revolves around the integration of disparate security functions and teams into a unified structure. In order to understand the necessity and value of cyber fusion, we first need to understand the issues faced by teams operating within a conventional security operations center (SOC).
A Web of Tools and Technologies
In the race to stay abreast of the evolving cybersecurity landscape, security teams deploy different tools and technologies to strengthen their security posture and gain visibility into various threats. This involves a wide range of tools like Firewall, Antivirus (AV), Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) platforms, Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR), Intrusion Detection and Protection Systems (IDS/IPS), vulnerability patching tools, Role-Based Access Control (RBAC) systems, Identity and Access Management (IAM) systems, and many more.
While each deployed tool or technology may serve a different purpose, the management of the entire stack, often amounting to a few dozen tools, becomes a major challenge for security managers. Additionally, this complexity leads to some unintended consequences such as the friction in switching between tools, incompatibility in terms of data flow, siloed processes, and more, that can hamper the performance of specific teams and the security operations as a whole.
Key Elements of Security Operations
Another way to understand the different aspects of security operations is from a functional standpoint. This includes security monitoring, threat intelligence, incident investigation, incident response, threat hunting, vulnerability management, security compliance, risk management, security governance, and more.
Each team, along with its preferred tools and technologies, adds a certain value to the broader picture. However, in order to make the most out of the available human and technological resources, organizations need to remove the barriers between the different security functions. Let’s understand how the integration of different security teams through cyber fusion can radically transform the security outlook of an organization.
Synergy through Integration
A cyber fusion center builds upon the conventional SOC model by unifying disparate teams within an organization such as SecOps, threat intelligence, incident response, threat hunting, and others to create a seamless end-to-end threat detection, response, and management workflow. This integration is achieved through a cyber fusion center platform that collates threat intelligence, analyzes the historical data of security events, provides a risk analysis of potential threats, and gives the ability to effectively respond to all the threats. The secret sauce that makes cyber fusion possible is the combination of security orchestration, security automation, threat intelligence analysis, information sharing, and threat response - all executed from a single modular integrated platform. This unique approach of cyber fusion is focused on improving coordination and collaboration between functionally distinct but operationally related teams to increase operational effectiveness, readiness, and response to cyber threats. This is enabled by the communication of strategic, tactical, and operational threat intelligence, and by empowering the security teams with human-to-machine and machine-to-machine orchestration capabilities to execute threat mitigation actions at a rapid pace before it impacts their organization.
Unique Upsides of Security Integration
The integration of different security functions opens up the door to new possibilities and unique benefits like:
- Seamless Security Orchestration - By leveraging integrations between various security functions and tools organizations can build seamless security orchestration capabilities across on-premise, cloud, and hybrid environments.
- Early Prevention - By combining strategic and tactical threat intelligence with the security events data from various tools, security teams can work towards proactively preventing loopholes in their defenses.
- Advanced Threat Detection & Proactive Analysis - Real-time threat intelligence and cyber data fusion gives security analysts the right contextual information they need to improve threat detection mechanisms against various threats.
- Process Automation and Standardization - Creating automated, standardized processes to deliver consistent response to different threats becomes easier when the entire security infrastructure is seamlessly integrated.
- Automated Threat Response & Management - When the everyday security operations are streamlined and standardized, security teams can leverage automation to create end-to-end machine-driven threat response and management workflows.
- Elimination of operational bottlenecks - By tracking the key metrics through integration, security managers can more easily identify the specific steps in their security processes that need to be optimized to improve their MTTR or MTTD.
The Bottom Line
Integrated security operations in a cyber fusion center boost team productivity, accelerate incident response, improve utilization of all resources, and reduce organizational costs and risks. With different functional teams working together, information and actions can be exchanged and shared easily and thus collaboration comes to the fore. Therefore, organizations can benefit greatly from building bridges and breaking down silos in their security operations to strengthen their cybersecurity posture.