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July/August 2011

Turn your computer incident response team into counter-threat operations

It’s natural for members of a technology-centric industry to see technology as the solution to security problems. In a field dominated by engineers, one can often perceive engineering methods as the answer to threats that try to steal, manipulate, or degrade information resources. Unfortunately, threats do not behave like forces of nature. No equation can govern a threat’s behavior, and threats routinely innovate in order to evade and disrupt defensive measures. Security and IT managers are slowly realizing that technology-centric defense is too easily defeated by threats of all types. Some modern defensive tools and techniques are effective against a subset of threats, but security pros in the trenches consider the “self-defending network” concept to be marketing at best and counter-productive at worst. If technology and engineering aren’t the answer to security’s woes, then what is? To best counter targeted attacks, one must conduct counter-threat operations (CTOps). In other words, defenders must actively hunt intruders in ...

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