Whether you’re a CISO trying to move the needle on detect, know, and respond metrics or a security team struggling with false positives, deception technology can dramatically improve your quality of life.
Deception techniques use fake assets and credentials to lure attackers, making them think they’re stealing actual files or data. The alert they receive when they access a decoy asset provides valuable, actionable intel.
Improved Threat Detection
Cyber deception allows organizations to protect themselves from attacks without the cost and complexity of additional security controls. It allows security teams to leverage a scalable solution that enables them to detect attackers throughout the enterprise and in critical assets, including the perimeter, on endpoints, in the network, in Active Directory, and throughout application layers as well as often overlooked environments.
So, what is deception technology? Deception technology works by deploying a collection of traps and decoys to imitate existing infrastructure, which intruders can interact with. The resulting intelligence can capture and analyze the attack path, including surveillance, initial infiltration, exploitation, privilege escalation, and lateral movement. The data also enables IT security to understand what the attacker was trying to achieve and how they were trying to accomplish it, allowing them to strengthen their defenses.
This can reduce the time it takes to detect and respond to an attack, especially when compared to point solutions requiring attackers to breach a specific asset or waiting for behavior and malware detection alerts to notify them. Additionally, it can significantly decrease the time attackers spend in a network, as they quickly realize that all they are stealing is not factual information. Moreover, unlike other threat detection solutions, deception solutions can deliver almost zero false positives, as no one but attackers should interact with them.
Decreased False Positives
As attacks grow more sophisticated, detection tools are increasing in frequency and complexity. This is creating an overwhelming amount of alerts that are causing security teams to lose sight of natural threats and miss important attack details. Deception technology can help to reduce this noise by catching attackers as they interact with false information or credentials and redirecting them away from the existing network.
Deception platforms map the entire attack surface with a deep model of the environment – including endpoints, servers, network infrastructure, applications, and often overlooked environments. The platform then creates a variety of high-interaction decoy assets to mimic the actual environment, attracting the attention of attackers. Decoys can range from artificial networks, servers, and credentials to dummy files.
When an attacker interacts with a decoy, it triggers an alert that lets the security team know they are in the network and can monitor their activity. This can be done safely as the attacker is lured to a deception sandbox to engage them and gather threat intelligence while actively attacking in the real world.
Like those on the other firm, weaving in and out of laser beam tripwires, deception systems let you watch attackers at work and capture what they are attempting to do for deeper forensic analysis. This can allow security to shut down an attack before it can spread.
Enhanced Indicator of Compromise
Most attackers don’t know everything about the environment they are trying to infiltrate. That means they will likely miss a decoy or misdirect if they think the temptation is genuine and not a trap. As a result, the defender gains a decisive advantage in this war of attrition by having an indicator that they have been tricked.
When an attacker interacts with a decoy, they trigger a real alert flagged by their existing threat detection systems endpoint security, network security, and SIEM solutions. Deception alerts are high-fidelity and packed with data that makes them more valuable to the security team than low or false positives generated by traditional technologies.
These alerts can be investigated and responded to faster, reducing the Mean Time To Know about cyberattacks and the risk of breach. Additionally, a more detailed attacker profile can be built using this information to prioritize threat hunting and proactive response. All of these benefits add up to shift the power asymmetry in favor of the defender, giving organizations confidence that they are closing off attacks before they can cause real damage. We have seen teams get a handle on threats in single-digit minutes after deploying deception technology. This is a significant improvement over typical detection times of days and hours.
Enhanced Response Time
While security teams constantly search for cyber attackers, attackers change their tactics and strategy. They deploy advanced tools to hide and disseminate information within your network to combat this. This way, attackers can steal and monetize your critical business assets, disrupt operations, and even compromise your brand.
With so many point products and systems in place, security alerts can quickly become overwhelming, leading to many false positives. With deception technology, IT teams can rely on dynamically deployed decoys to alert them when attackers interact with them and provide detailed IOCs. This eliminates the need to weed through multiple alerts that could be false or potentially malicious.
The best deception systems are designed to mimic real-world enterprise applications, networks, and data and use realistic but fake credentials, databases, servers, and files that lure intruders into a trap. Once inside the network, the attackers are enticed to interact with the decoys but are exposed to detection mechanisms that prevent them from leaving without being discovered.
With deception, IT can observe an attack in a safe environment, safely engage with attackers, study their movements, and learn more about the attack and its intent to strengthen defenses for next time. This approach is more effective than the typical honeypot, which can only provide a false incentive to an intruder and is not capable of actively engaging with and observing attack behavior.