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Jul 22 2022 | by Muhammed Mobin

The Importance of Traceability in Cybersecurity

Traceability is the capability of an enterprise to detect the possible source or origin of a cyberattack. Considering the proliferation of cyberattacks, all security protocols and policies in any enterprise should entail the tracing of the possible origins of a security threat.  

The Importance of Tracing 

As per Kaspersky's findings, 35,400,000 cyberattacks were globally detected between January 2022 and April 2022 - up from 32,500,000 documented in 2021 within the same period. 

That's why knowledge of its possible origin is critical if a cybersecurity breach or ransomware attack has been detected on the network. That way, future security protocols can be adjusted accordingly. This data can then be used by self-learning AI systems to upgrade an enterprise's detection and response capabilities. 

Essentially, knowing the source of the breach, how it was initiated, and related information becomes crucial for tweaking corporate security protocols for similar threats in the future. The level of traceability in a system is directly related to the readiness of an enterprise to thwart existing and future cyber security threats. As such, comprehending the origins of the data breach or hacker activity can help correct, mitigate, and enhance existing security protocols. 

Altogether, the level of all intrusion detection compliances and audits relies on the level of tracking and tracing of a cyber security attack, whether it is from a remote location or from within the corporate network itself. The higher the traceability, the more comprehensive the response to a cyber security breach. 

Let's explore the benefits of traceability in more depth. 

Benefits of Traceability 
Proactive Tracking and Tracing 

In the current world of cyber security, just having basic security technologies installed within the corporate network is not enough. Adding the sophistication of tracing enables the organization to seek, search and trace the possible threat aggressively. With this inclusion of traceability, the enterprise security protocol and policies have both a proactive and passive strategy for cyber security.   

Technology platforms like Darktrace upgrade security protocols to introduce self-Learning AI into the network to adapt faster after every cyber threat is detected and traced. 

Hacker Profile Building 

A profile of a hacker or a group of hackers gets built by determining the source of the attack, the geographical origins, IP address, and subnets used. Information such as methods and dark web tools used by these hackers also gets collected.   

Building this profile helps in creating a template for the hacker. With an increased ability to trace, a digital footprint similar to the hacker template is found, and an immediate alert is raised of a possible data breach or cybersecurity attack.   

Increased Vulnerability Detection  

With traceability, an enterprise increases its ability to continuously investigate security vulnerabilities within a network caused due incorrect device configurations, inconsistent patch management, and so on. These vulnerabilities get identified and responded to in real-time, thus decreasing the threat level of a cybersecurity breach attempt. The source of the hack becomes more apparent once the vulnerability has been traced and responded to.   

Using technologies which can mine data real-time, to understand if any vulnerabilities are being exploited, the cybersecurity systems of an enterprise continuously get updated on vulnerability data which makes autonomous responses possible. 

Advanced Phishing and Malware Detection 

Phishing and malware are the most common methods employed to hack into a network, steal data or install ransomware. Tracing tracks back email behavioral patterns and helps confirm whether phishing was the possible route of ingress. 

A successful phishing expedition results in malware or ransomware being loaded on the network giving hackers command and control. Tracing will allow for the advanced detection of anomalies on the network resulting in early alerts of the cyberattack. The remote IP which is instructing malware or is being used to upload data gets detected as well, which could help the autonomous systems block the IP from accessing the networks further. 

Deployment of Security Software with Advanced Capabilities 

The sophistication of an autonomous cyber AI solution like Darktrace deployed on the corporate network plays a significant role in tracing a data breach. Intrusion detection software, packet sniffers, reverse IP generators, and next-generation firewalls with inbuilt packet inspection and deep penetration detection and awareness are just some of the assets that get upgraded with the introduction of traceability. 

Tracing introduces advanced and innovative tools and technologies which help to detect anomalies, report, respond, and trace back threats to the source.  

Enhanced Forensic Investigation 

AI-based cyber security tools and devices used for traceability throw up a lot of data which matches a compromise event, and a possible source of a cyber security threat. This data can be automatically analyzed for malicious activity and injected into the enterprise immune system. Once injected, further investigation can automatically take place by tracing the data points back to the data breach's source. 

High Level of Cybersecurity Awareness and Education 

There is an element of human intervention and decision-making in any response to a possible security breach. Traceability results in the crucial recognition of early warning signs. Anomalies in the network traffic, multi-login attempts, endpoint, and server-side activity after office hours are just some of the data points the IT staff get updated on. In effect, regular intelligence augmentation becomes part of the enterprise's security policy. 

Data Traceability Compliances 

The inherent capability of an enterprise to track and trace security breaches and origins can go beyond providing visibility to incidents and related data, and can extend to tracking customer data lifecycle also inside the digital ecosystem. Traceability of customer data with respect to where it originated from, and where it is stored and used can help fulfil compliances, which companies need to adhere to. 

The Bottom Line - Tracking and Tracing are Critical 

An enterprise's level of implementation of traceability solutions defines the maturity stage of cyber security in an organization. Its implementation needs to be comprehensive, always up to date, and running online 24/7.   

Reach out to us to learn more. 

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