Accelerate Incident Response with NetOps and SecOps Collaboration

How to harness your teams’ collective expertise to detect and respond to security incidents quickly and decisively.

Accelerate Incident Response with NetOps and SecOps Collaboration

As the cybersecurity landscape constantly evolves, the battle against data breaches rages on, with organizations grappling not only with the threat of intrusion but also with the daunting task of swiftly identifying and containing breaches. According to a recent IBM report, the average time to identify a data breach stands at a staggering 204 days, with an additional 73 days required to contain it. These numbers paint a stark reality of the persistent challenges faced by organizations in detecting and mitigating security incidents. However, amid this sobering landscape, there lies a beacon of hope: the collaborative partnership between network operations (NetOps) and security operations (SecOps).

As digital transformation accelerates and cyberthreats grow in sophistication, seamless collaboration between NetOps and SecOps becomes more critical than ever. The siloed approach of the past, where these teams operated in isolation, is no longer tenable in the face of today’s evolving threat landscape. Instead, organizations must harness both teams’ collective expertise to detect security incidents and respond to them swiftly and decisively.

Adding to the urgency of collaboration is the fact that many security breaches are first discovered as a result of network performance issues. These issues often serve as early indicators of a potential breach, highlighting the interconnectedness of network operations and security. By leveraging the insights gleaned from network data, organizations can proactively detect and mitigate security threats before they escalate into full-blown breaches.

The statistics from the IBM report underscore the urgency of this collaboration. The prolonged dwell time of a data breach—from the moment of intrusion to its identification and containment—underscores the need for a proactive and unified approach. By breaking down silos and fostering collaboration between NetOps and SecOps, organizations can significantly reduce the time it takes to detect and contain breaches, thereby minimizing the potential impact on business operations and mitigating the risk of data loss.

The following sections explore how NetOps and SecOps collaboration can address this pressing issue, drawing insights from real-world use cases and highlighting the pivotal role of innovative solutions such as those offered by NETSCOUT. Through collaboration, organizations can turn the tide against cyberthreats, fortifying their defenses and safeguarding their most valuable assets.

Use Case 1: Anomalous Traffic Patterns

  • NetOps perspective: The NetOps team notices unusual spikes in network traffic during off-peak hours, leading to performance degradation and potential service disruptions. They investigate further but struggle to pinpoint the cause.
  • SecOps intervention: Upon analyzing the same network data, the SecOps team identifies that the anomalous traffic patterns coincide with unauthorized access attempts to sensitive servers. It becomes evident that the network is under attack, potentially leading to a data breach or system compromise.
  • Collaborative resolution: By sharing insights and collaborating, both teams combine their expertise. NetOps provides contextual information about network infrastructure and performance, while SecOps leverages threat intelligence and security protocols. Together, they implement countermeasures to mitigate the attack, such as firewall rules, intrusion detection systems, and user access controls.

Use Case 2: Suspicious Application Behavior

  • NetOps perspective: NetOps observes erratic behavior from a critical business application, including unexplained data transfers and unauthorized access attempts. The application’s performance deteriorates, impacting user experience and business operations.
  • SecOps intervention: Upon closer examination of the network data, SecOps identifies that the abnormal application behavior aligns with indicators of compromise associated with a known malware variant. It becomes evident that the application has been compromised, posing a significant security risk to the organization’s data and systems.
  • Collaborative resolution: Recognizing the urgency of the situation, NetOps and SecOps collaborate to contain the threat and restore normal operations. NetOps provides insights into application dependencies and network traffic flows, enabling SecOps to isolate the affected systems and deploy antivirus solutions and intrusion prevention mechanisms. Together, they coordinate incident response efforts to minimize the impact on business continuity and mitigate potential data loss.

Use Case 3: Insider Threat Detection

  • NetOps perspective: NetOps detects unusual access patterns from a specific user account, including unauthorized attempts to access restricted network resources and sensitive data repositories. These activities raise concerns about insider threats and potential data exfiltration.
  • SecOps intervention: By analyzing the network data and correlating it with user behavior analytics, SecOps confirms suspicions of insider threat activity. They uncover evidence of malicious intent, such as unauthorized file transfers and attempts to bypass security controls, indicating a significant security breach.
  • Collaborative resolution: Recognizing the severity of the insider threat, NetOps and SecOps collaborate closely to mitigate the risk and prevent further unauthorized access. NetOps provides visibility into network traffic patterns, while SecOps reviews server access logs and implements enhanced authentication measures, data loss prevention strategies, and employee monitoring protocols. Together, they investigate the incident thoroughly, identify the root cause, and implement corrective actions to strengthen the organization’s security posture and protect against future insider threats.

In each of these use cases, collaboration between NetOps and SecOps proves instrumental in detecting, analyzing, and mitigating security incidents. By leveraging the same network data, both teams can work together effectively to address cybersecurity threats, safeguard critical assets, and ensure the resilience of the organization’s infrastructure and operations.

Leveraging NETSCOUT’s Unique Capabilities

In the face of evolving cyberthreats and complex network challenges, collaboration between NetOps and SecOps is no longer just beneficial—it’s imperative for organizational resilience. As highlighted by the use cases above, the seamless integration of network data is central to the success of this collaboration. NETSCOUT stands out as a leader in providing comprehensive packet-level visibility and actionable insights via its innovative solutions such as nGeniusONE and Omnis Cyber Intelligence.

By offering a single source of smart network-derived packet data, NETSCOUT enables both NetOps and SecOps to leverage a unified platform for monitoring, analysis, and response. Whether it’s detecting anomalous behavior, mitigating security incidents, or optimizing network performance, NETSCOUT empowers teams to act swiftly and decisively, safeguarding the organization’s assets and ensuring uninterrupted operations.

In an era where collaboration is the cornerstone of success, NETSCOUT’s commitment to facilitating synergy between NetOps and SecOps sets it apart as a trusted partner in navigating the complexities of the digital landscape. Together, with NETSCOUT’s expertise and innovative solutions, organizations can forge ahead with confidence, knowing that they have the tools and support needed to tackle any challenge head-on.

Learn more about how NETSCOUT enables NetOps and SecOps collaboration.

Read the case study.