Why Your IT Ticketing System Doesn’t Cut it for Incident Response

By Alex MacLachlan October 18, 2016 incident-response

In order to weather an attack in today’s ever-evolving cyber security climate, an organization must develop comprehensive cyber resilience. Cyber resilience involves the leveraging of detection, incident response (IR), and prevention methodologies that contribute to the overall flexibility and ultimate survival of an organization during and after an incident or disaster. Cybersecurity incidents require a coordinated, rapid response that combines effective, cross-departmental collaboration with the adaptability to react to changing threats in real-time, as an incident unfolds.

IT Ticketing Systems Don’t Offer an Adaptable, Effective Approach to Today’s Sophisticated Cyber threats

An effective incident response requires an agile, tailored approach to all possible incident scenarios as they arise. Since most IT ticketing systems are designed to operate in an organizational vacuum, a basic IT ticketing system simply can’t provide the comprehensive level of response of a dedicated incident response platform. The methodology outlined in D3’s Unified Incident Response platform streamlines the entire incident response lifecycle and ensures the rapid threat detection, triage, analysis, and remediation required for effective incident response and disaster mitigation. Here are just a few reasons IT ticketing systems simply aren’t adequate to perform the functions of a dedicated incident response platform:

1. Security and Confidentiality Are Non-Existent

IT ticketing systems, by design, are geared toward accessibility rather than security—meaning anyone at any level of authorization can open and submit a ticket. Due to their accessibility, the permissions systems that most organizations have in place don’t adequately protect sensitive or confidential information in standard IT ticketing systems. Anyone with access to the IT ticketing system can review a ticket, along with all of its potentially compromising information. When you work with a unified incident response platform like D3, certain accessibility privileges can be activated to regulate the accessibility of sensitive incident information—thus keeping an incident from turning into a full-blown data breach.

2. IT Ticketing Isn’t Responsive to Modern Hacking Methods

According to Frost & Sullivan’s White Paper, The 2015 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Study, 85% of IT survey respondents working in an incident response capacity spend significant amounts of time in cyberattack remediation and malware cleanup. The typical IT ticketing system requires extensive manual labor and generally offers few to no options for integration, automation, and orchestration of incident response. In today’s increasingly volatile cybersecurity climate—with hackers constantly advancing their techniques to get around even the most comprehensive defense systems—standard IT ticketing systems simply don’t operate as quickly and thoroughly as these most sophisticated hackers. To make matters worse, today’s cyberattacks are largely based on social engineering techniques—making the identification and containment of a potential incident even more difficult. “With the evolution of attackers’ capabilities, the realism and targeted approach of today’s phishing campaigns rival the information security professional’s efforts to elevate employees’ ability to recognize, report, and leave untouched suspected phishing messages. Unfortunately, just one nonchalant “click to open” or “click on this link” is sufficient to start a virulent propagation of malware across the organization’s network and systems, thus highlighting the need for security awareness education and training spanning the entire organization, not just security professionals.” – Michael Suby, VP of Research Frank Dickson, Research Director Information & Network Security, The 2015 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Study Social engineering attacks operate under the radar, and usually aren’t detectable until well after an employee clicks on a malware-infected attachment—thereby releasing the Trojan into the organization’s network. By the time the IT team becomes aware of the situation, the damage, in many cases, has already been done. In order to effectively respond to a social engineering and/or phishing campaign, an incident response team needs an arsenal that goes beyond simple identification and ticketing of the incident. IR teams need a rapid response that offers play-by-play guidance to effectively contain and mitigate the threat before it turns into a full-blown data breach.

3. A Reliance on Human Discretion and a Lack of Consistency

When it comes to the most common threats facing businesses today, phishing methods using a variety of social engineering techniques remain at the top of list—at 54% of all threats—according to The 2015 (ISC)2 Global Information Security Workforce Study. To make things more complicated, today’s cyber criminals aren’t solitary, opportunistic hackers: according to Verizon’s DBIR, “the main perpetrators for these types of attacks are organized crime syndicates (89%) and state-affiliated Actors (9%).” Clearly, this type of organized enemy requires a more thorough, organized response: one that goes beyond the simple acknowledgment and discretionary functionality offered by an IT ticketing system. IT ticketing systems rely heavily on their human counterparts to determine criticality, validate threats, and triage potential incidents as they arise. Due to the discretionary nature of the ticketing system, ticket responses are largely inconsistent and inefficient—especially when it comes to phishing attacks and other cyberthreats that arise from organized crime syndicates. These sophisticated cybercriminals know how to navigate the cybersecurity landscape and how to get around an organization’s basic perimeter defenses. To add to the ineptitude of IT ticketing systems for IR is the fact that today, the hacker’s method of choice relies on human interaction to circumvent basic security defenses. Opening an IT ticket once ransomware has taken hold of your network will have little to no effect in the timeframe necessary to mitigate damages. “The phishing scenario is going to work quickly, with the dropping of malware via malicious attachments occurring within seconds.” Verizon’s 2016 Data Breach Incident Report In order to effectively respond to a complex and elusive threat like ransomware and other social engineering techniques, a multi-dimensional unified response platform that draws on a preexisting, predetermined knowledge base is necessary.

4. A Singular Purpose Without a Dedicated IR Focus

A successful incident response requires that an organization is prepared, have the proper knowledge and intelligence, and effective, structured IR management. Successful IR teams have clearly defined roles with delegated responsibilities—and they specialize in performing certain tasks quickly and effectively.

A Unified Incident Response Platform Offers an Adaptable, Tactical Defense to Cyberattack

While a standard IT ticketing system has its place for application updates, network connectivity issues, and other hardware and software-related technical matters—IT ticketing has no specific functional benefit when it comes to incident response. A unified incident response platform takes incident response to a whole new level and offers a streamlined approach that allows users to validate and triage incidents before applying remediation techniques supported by fully-integrated IR playbooks. With a tailored IR toolkit provided by D3 Cyber, your organization can not only survive a cyberattack—it can stay up-and-running with limited to no downtime while the incident is brought under control. By utilizing a more tactical, purposeful approach to incident response, incident responders and IT teams can centralize their incident records in a comprehensive, scalable platform that offers rapid threat escalation, streamlined validation, and more efficient triage.

To learn more about how D3 Security can be custom built to fit your organization’s needs click on the button below to book a demo.

Alex MacLachlan

Alex MacLachlan

Alex is the Director of Marketing at D3. He oversees D3's marketing, communications, and digital programs. He enjoys fishing, "checking the analytics", playing golf and watching hockey - in that order.


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