Top 5 Benefits of Network Detection and Response

By Kevin Nickerson

Jan 9, 2024 9:45:00 AM

About 5 minutes

The threat landscape is continuously evolving, meaning companies need to keep rethinking and strengthening their approach to security. Today’s advanced threats use sophisticated methods to evade detection called “known unknown” threats and zero-day exploits called “unknown unknown” threats.  

With new threats emerging all the time, organizations need to look beyond the signature-based methods of threat detection, such as intrusion detection systems (IDS) and intrusion prevention systems (IPS) or security information and event management (SIEM) solutions, that are typically used in the security operations center (SOC). 

Network detection and response (NDR) solutions are advanced security products that use artificial intelligence (AI), such as machine learning, to monitor and analyze all network traffic to detect and alert organizations of potential cyber threats within their organization’s network. Instead of recognizing known threat signatures, NDR discovers anomalous activity associated with malware, targeted attacks, insider abuse, and risky behavior, which is indicative of an active attack.

Here’s an overview of the top benefits delivered by network detection and response (NDR).

1) Expanded Network Visibility

If organizations fail to monitor all network traffic, they will miss the discovery or internal reconnaissance activities hackers conduct to scope out the network and uncover vulnerabilities before carrying out an attack. These activities resemble a burglar casing a business before carrying out a robbery and include network scans and port scans, as well as command-and-control communications and other network-based attack tactics.

NDR solutions discover these early-stage suspicious activities by providing continuous visibility across all users and technologies connected to the network, from the data center to the cloud to endpoints used by remote workers and IoT systems. 

NDR can see all these events, even the early network-based command-and-control and discovery activities that usually escape notice because they don’t create a log event. Early detection means companies can stop attacks before they cause damage. NDR products also see the later stages of an attack, including lateral movement and exfiltration activities.

2) Advanced Threat Detection

Top NDR solutions use behavioral analytics and ML/AI to model attacker behaviors directly so companies can detect advanced and persistent attacks accurately. AI enables NDR solutions to detect active attacks instead of traffic anomalies, avoiding the creation of false or low-priority alerts that can overwhelm security teams trying to prioritize threat response. 

NDR can detect threats at key phases of the attack lifecycle, including reconnaissance, weaponization, delivery, command and control, lateral movement, data collection, and exfiltration. 

3) Increased Accuracy 

The sophistication and volume of threats has increased, making distinguishing attacks from legitimate traffic difficult and resulting in alert fatigue. While IT teams have solutions capable of detecting attacks and sending alerts, they lack the time to sort through all the alerts to eliminate false positives so they can focus on active attacks. 

NDR helps security teams quickly detect attacks that older network security tools and endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions miss. Using analytics, NDR provides the context necessary to uncover and eliminate false positives, improving accuracy. 

By observing the attacker from different perspectives, NDR triangulates the data, creating a much more detailed and accurate picture of whether an attack is occurring. This validation avoids the false positives generated by many cybersecurity tools.

4) Accelerated Incident Response 

Many organizations need to draw data from multiple data sources to drive threat detection and response workflows, slowing down incident response. NDR provides a single source of network truth that gives security analysts the full picture they need to investigate and resolve incidents. A comprehensive view of threat data reduces mean time to resolution (MTTR) for threats.

With visibility into the earliest stages of the attack, NDR solutions can identify anomalous network traffic related to command-and-control communications and discovery activities. NDR solutions offer the ability to automatically respond to a serious attack by cutting off a suspicious network connection and shutting down an attack in real time as it’s taking place. NDR can also leverage integrations with other security tools to trigger incident response.

5) Improved SOC Efficiency

Organizations face a chronic shortage of cybersecurity expertise, making staffing and running a security operations center (SOC) challenging, if not impossible. AI-driven NDR solutions use automation to improve security detection and SOC efficiency.

NDR enhances and supplements the endpoint detection and response (EDR) and adds a proactive approach to the security information and event management (SIEM) solutions SOCs typically use by broadening coverage and taking a proactive approach to network security. 

NDR reconstructs an entire attack in natural language to provide analysts with all the information they need to respond to alerts quickly and completely. NDR leads to more cost-efficient SOC operations by consolidating technologies that are siloed typically and optimizing SOC investments in security automation by following best practices for defense.

How to Fit NDR Into Your Security Strategy

In combination with other security tools in your company’s arsenal, NDR can provide complete SOC capabilities and deliver full visibility into the network. NDR supplements EDR and SIEM tools by monitoring all network activity and using advanced analytics to distinguish between an attack, whether known or unknown, and legitimate traffic.

ProActive Solutions can help your company decide how NDR fits into your overall security strategy using our consultative approach. We can assess the current state of your network security and threat landscape and show how adopting NDR can fill in the gaps and defend against emerging risk.

Find out how NDR can enhance your network security strategy. Request a network services consultation from ProActive. 

Tags: Network Security, Network detection and response, NDR, security operations center, SOC, network visibility, incident response, advanced threat detection