Companies and organizations have always relied on many security tools to fight their battles against cyber criminals. Some of the important tools are often firewalls, anti-viruses, and even EDR solutions. However, security operations centers (SOCs) are now aware that these security tools are often not enough for the type of sophisticated attacks by cybercriminals.
Hence, they are turning to Network Detection and Response (NDR) platforms for a more foolproof approach to their web security. Nevertheless, certain features must be present in a modern NDR platform, and we will be discussing them below.
Understanding How Modern NDR Platforms Work?
A Network Detection and Response (NDR) is basically a security tool used by companies to combat some of the cyber threats they face on the web. An important characteristic of this web security tool is that it is not passive, as it actively monitors what is going on in an organization’s network to detect when there’s a security breach. Whenever there are suspicions of malicious activity on a network, an NDR solution automatically responds to the threat by itself, or it sends an alert to the security team of a company.
The advanced capabilities of the NDR platform allow a threat correlation feature, which provides the security team with more context whenever they are carrying out a forensic investigation. NDR platforms basically work using a step-by-step method, ranging from monitoring to helping investigate how a threat occurred.
The first step in how NDR platforms operate is usually by analyzing and monitoring every form of traffic coming through an organization’s network. The next step is to use its machine learning capabilities to develop baselines of normal network traffic and abnormal ones. By developing these baselines, it can detect when traffic has malicious attributes and can easily alert other security tools and communicate with them on how to handle the threat. Afterward, another function of this tool is to provide information on how the threat started and how to prevent it in the future.
Top Key Features of a Modern NDR Platform
Before choosing an NDR platform, there are some features an organization or company should always look out for, and they include:
On-demand Packet Capture (PCAP):
On-demand Packet Capture (PCAP) is one of the features an NDR platform should have before any consideration of adding it as a security tool. For an NDR platform to operate effectively, the ability to easily have access to network data is an important characteristic. Hence, the function of On-demand Packet Capture (PCAP) is to readily capture network packets for the security team to have context on any ongoing threat.
It is important to note there are two types of PCAP solutions: the continuous PCAP and the precision PCAP. Each of them has different functions, with the continuous PCAP being on all the time and the precision PCAP being only available at the time of the attack. It is an expert recommendation to look for an NDR platform that offers both types of PCAP.
There’s something many companies overlook when they are evaluating the NDR platform for their organization, and that is a user-friendly interface. In many NDR platforms, their user interactions are usually clumsy and do not provide a great space for fast and effective navigation during a security incident. That is why NDR platforms like Stellar Cyber are very important, as they provide software with an intuitive interface so even beginners can navigate it.
Identification of All Devices
One of the biggest disadvantages of some NDR platforms is that they are only limited to detecting network traffic from normal devices such as desktops, laptops, and smartphones. However, when it involves IoT (Internet of Things) devices, they aren’t up to the task of detecting their traffic. Cybercriminals are aware of this, and they often hide under the shadows of undetected IoT device network traffic to perpetrate their attacks.
Hence, one of the key features to look out for in a modern NDR platform is one that can detect all sets of devices, including IoT devices. In fact, it should also have the ability to detect remote DHCP traffic to ensure there’s no hiding place or cover for threats.
Ability to Decrypt Internal Traffic
Cybercriminals are employing more sophisticated techniques in their quest to steal the data and resources of organizations. So, one of the methods they employ is using already encrypted internal traffic within an organization to make their entry.
Hence, the NDR platform an organization is using must have the ability to decrypt internal traffic within an organization. More specifically, it should decrypt the traffic for which the organization created the encryption keys — this is to ensure the preservation of privacy.
Cloud-hosted Machine Learning (ML)
A critical feature of a modern NDR platform is that it should have cloud-based machine-learning capabilities. The reason behind this is quite simple: a cloud-based ML integration allows an organization to detect malicious activity in real-time by leveraging a compute-intensive predictive model.
One of the benefits of leveraging a cloud-hosted NDR platform is the flexibility and the additional processing power it adds to the whole operation. Furthermore, another aspect is that cloud-based tools are more susceptible to continuous and spontaneous security updates.
Easy and Flexible Deployment Options
This is something most companies overlook when they are choosing an NDR platform — but it is a very important aspect of evaluation. A modern NDR platform should be able to adapt to your environment no matter the mode of operation.
In other words, this platform should work effectively without compromising quality, not minding if the organization is operating on-premises or hybrid cloud. This is an aspect NDR platforms like Stellar Cyber provide to the fullest, as it provides quality monitoring and detecting services no matter the work mode.
NDR platforms are fast becoming very popular among organizations as they provide a more holistic approach to how organizations handle their web security. Still, there’s a need to evaluate an NDR platform before settling down for one to avoid wasting resources on outdated solutions.
Some of the features an organization should look out for in an NDR platform include having an On-demand Packet Capture (PCAP), a user-friendly interface, and flexible deployment options. Other important features include the ability to decrypt internal traffic, identification of all devices, and cloud-hosted machine learning.