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Leveraging East–West Network Visibility to Identify Threats in Later Stages of MITRE ATT&CK

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The need for comprehensive internal network monitoring has been identified as one of the most common network misconfigurations by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) this year. As organizations face an increasingly complex threat landscape and the boundaries of traditional networks vanish, there is a growing need for new methods and solutions to ensure the security, performance, and resilience of enterprise networks.

The MITRE ATT&CK framework has emerged as a valuable tool in understanding and combating cyber threats such as ransomware and advanced persistent threats (APTs). By leveraging the tactics and techniques collected in the framework, cybersecurity teams can proactively defend against potential attacks before they materialize into full-blown security incidents.

However, the detection of ransomware is usually a sign that it’s already too late to prevent damage. This underscores the importance of continuous monitoring of the network, as well as the implementation of effective preventative strategies and robust visibility capabilities. Monitoring network activity and application utilization are essential components of maintaining a secure and resilient network infrastructure.

In today’s business landscape, where remote work and hybrid cloud environments are increasingly prevalent, network visibility needs to encompass both internal and external elements. Ensuring end-to-end visibility across the entire enterprise network, from SD-WAN and remote offices to co-locations and data centers, is crucial for detecting and mitigating potential security threats.

A modern zero-trust environment operates under the assumption that the network has already been compromised. To effectively combat threats at various stages of the attack lifecycle, SecOps teams require east-west traffic visibility to track the internal movement of attackers across servers. This level of visibility enables organizations to detect anomalies and potential security incidents before they escalate into full-fledged attacks.

By combining internal-facing and external-facing solutions, IT, NetOps, and SecOps teams can enhance their performance monitoring capabilities and address issues across hybrid and remote environments. The comprehensive network visibility provided by north-south and east-west monitoring is essential for dealing with the final phases of the attack lifecycle, including command and control, exfiltration, and impact.

In conclusion, organizations must prioritize internal network monitoring and visibility as key components of their cybersecurity strategy. By leveraging frameworks like MITRE ATT&CK and implementing comprehensive monitoring solutions, enterprises can enhance their security posture and defend against evolving cyber threats in an increasingly interconnected digital landscape.

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