Data enrichment is the Holy Grail of the security industry. All platforms - and especially the newer platforms to hit the market - are only as meaningful as the data they ingest.
The question, therefore, is how does an organisation ensure that its platforms have the data they need to operate efficiently?
What is Data Enrichment?
Data enrichment is the process of augmenting existing sets of data by supplementing it with additional details that render it more complete and actionable.
In the security context, data enrichment is a process that pairs security event data with additional event, non-event, and contextual information in order to more easily translate raw data into meaningful and actionable insights.
A few examples of contextual information for data enrichment in the security sector include:
- Vulnerability, such as the scan reports.
- Geolocation, such as internal network classifications.
- Asset information, such as the configuration management database (CMDB).
- Identity details, such as Active Directory (AD) or Enterprise Resource Planning Systems (ERPs).
Some use cases that benefit from basic enrichment and its additional contextual data include:
- Reducing the number of false positives, particularly from work-at-home scenarios.
- Empowering your threat hunters to better locate entry points and possible damage.
- Augmenting real-time analytics with bigger picture data.
In practical terms, data enrichment makes your data more valuable. After all, by being able to integrate additional details and layers, your operators and the systems they rely on will have access to a more complete picture any time an event is triggered or a security response is activated.
Effectively, data enrichment allows faster decision-making (as they no longer need to hunt for the pieces, the data is already enriched) and better decisions (as they have more data at their fingertips).
Why does this matter to my organisation?
Operation security today isn't what it was even ten years ago.
The quantity and complexity of threats has been increasing exponentially, leading to an increasing need for security sophistication.
Typically, rather than attempt to build one-size-fits-all apps and platforms, the industry has become hyper-specialised with platforms designed to handle select numbers of tasks in the most robust manner possible. The consequence of this has been requiring that organisations rely on an increasing number of tools in their security playbooks.
As it stands, in 2022, a typical mid-to-large scale organisation has too many security platforms in too complex an environment to be able to maintain and utilise them through micromanagement or manual intervention. Automation, therefore, is the solution which bridges these complex components together and gets them talking in a meaningful manner for your operations.
Adding to this complication is the accumulation of data. With more apps comes more data, and while data is the lifeblood of most enterprises, more data requires even greater resources to analyse.
How can automation help enrich your data?
To efficiently enrich your data from a multitude of sources, automation is the key. While integrating your apps is the essential first step in allowing them to share their data, the right automated workflows will ensure that the right data is automatically paired up and sent to the correct channels.
The power of automation is crucial as threats operate in real-time, and having your system act at the same pace - or even preemptively - without requiring human intervention in the crucial stages of an investigation, gives your security ops team a fighting edge against security threats.
In many cases, automation not only improves your response time but having enriched data may also be the factor that enables your team to realise and respond to a threat at all. Like the mythical Holy Grail that is said to grant everlasting life to those who drink from it, data enrichment can be the defining factor in keeping your systems secure, online, and functioning - perhaps not in perpetuity, but at least until your next major update or patch.
Considering venturing into security automation and building data enrichment processes? Metron has experience integrating multiple SOAR platforms and building custom playbooks that rely on automation.
If you are considering any custom cybersecurity solution that focuses on the resources and needs of your organisation, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org.