Digital Forensics & Incident Response – a new approach to cybersecurity
In an ever-evolving threat landscape, a strong cyber incident response and forensic capability is what is becoming essentially important for businesses to stay ahead of their adversaries
The threat landscape is constantly evolving. On the face of this, what continues to concern an organization is the question of when they are going to be attacked. Developing an incident response capability to identify and contain threats is indispensable for any organization. Combining cyber investigative services with incident response expertise and digital forensics is going to be critical to manage the growing complexity of modern cybersecurity incidents.
Often performed using EDR or XDR tools, investigators get an immediate access to data on computer systems across a company’s environment, and they start getting answers about what is happening very quickly even if they do not already know where in the environment they need to look into.
Raj Sivaraju, President, APAC, Arete speaks to VARINDIA of what it means to have a strong DFIR in place and how it helps an organization in the wake of a cyber incident -
How does Digital Forensics & Incident Response (DFIR) help identify potential threats or investigate cybersecurity incidents?
Raj Sivaraju (RS): DFIR is a reactive response to cyber incidents that focuses on identifying, investigating, and remediating cybersecurity incidents experienced by organizations. It involves collecting, preserving, and analyzing forensic evidence to obtain a clear and detailed picture of attacks.
These insights help businesses close their security loopholes, minimize the impact of the overall damage, and strengthen their preparedness for future events. With evidence in hand, they can press charges against the attackers and support a cyber insurance claim to get their IT infrastructure back up and running.
Simply put, these frameworks are crafted to bolster the recovery efforts of the business by enhancing its defenses against the evolving threat landscape.
What are the steps involved in the DFIR process?
RS: Previously, DFIR was all about digital forensics and response preparedness for incidents. But with the advent of the latest attacks, this domain has evolved and extended to threat intelligence from its regular identity – preserve, analyze and report.
The present DFIR process involves six steps: Preparation (getting ready with an accurate assessment of the incident to respond to it, Identification (investigating the incident immediately), Containment (preventing the attack from further spreading), Eradication (tackling the issue head-on), Recovery (getting everything back up and running in the shortest time possible), and Post-incident review (reviewing the lessons learned to stay prepared for future events).
Are security/cyber fraud investigating agencies using DFIR? If yes, how is it benefitting them?
RS: DFIR is a process, not a tool. Many agencies use DFIR to automate investigations and obtain evidence to support litigation or documentation. When a compromise occurs, DFIR swiftly contains the incident and restores systems, thus minimizing the overall impact of the cyberattack and bringing stability and control to the victim organization’s hand.
For this, the DFIR team works closely with companies to develop strategic plans synced with their team’s structure and strengths, thus streamlining the overall digital forensics and incident response operations.
What tools/skills are needed for DFIR?
RS: To begin with, incident responders need to have a strong understanding of computer systems and networks. They must be data-savvy, understand how systems function and how to rectify issues using data analysis.
Moreover, they must also be good at oral and written communication to convey seamlessly within their teams and with clients. Lastly, they must be well organized to deal with data accurately and be patient to handle work pressure without any hassles. Cybersecurity incidents are omnipresent in today’s digital-first world, and these DFIR skills are a must to minimize their impact on an organization.
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