Thursday, January 26, 2012

Thinking About Vectors

I find it interesting how most clients ask me to help them write reports or alerts to monitor their enterprises for various different threats. This is, of course, to be expected in my line of work. What I often ask them is "What vectors into (and out of) the enterprise are you concerned with/do you want to monitor for?" Clients often find this to be a surprising question, but when you think about it, the question isn't really all that surprising. The most advanced analytic, the fanciest report, or the coolest detection technique aren't worth much if they aren't relevant to the enterprise they're being applied to, right? It's important to conceptualize and understand what it is you'd like to monitor for based on the vectors into (and out of) the enterprise you're concerned with. Once that is done, implementing those concepts is usually fairly straightforward. That's all well and good, but what if you don't know what vectors you ought to be concerned with? To that, I say, know your network! Study and analyze the data transiting the network and let it guide you towards an understanding of the vectors you might want to concern yourself with.

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