What should Security Operations teams take away from the IBM X-Force 2024 Threat Intelligence Index?

The IBM X-Force 2024 Threat Intelligence Index has been released. The headlines are in and among them are the fact that a global identity crisis is emerging. X-Force noted a 71% increase year-to-year in attacks using valid credentials.

In this blog post, I’ll explore three cybersecurity recommendations from the Threat Intelligence Index, and define a checklist your Security Operations Center (SOC) should consider as you help your organization manage identity risk.

The report identified six action items:

Remove identity silos
Reduce the risk of credential harvesting
Know your dark web exposure
Establish secure AI and models
Implement a DevSecOps approach to planning and testing
Reduce the impact of an incident

I’m going to focus on the first three. Why? Because the last three are things you should be doing now irrespective of the results of the 2024 Threat Intelligence Index report and are much larger than the SOC. While the first three action items involve more than just the SOC, the call to action for the SOC is clear: focus on identity risk.

Remove identity silos

The report notes that 30% of all observed entry points to incidents in 2023 used valid credentials. The use of valid credentials is more damaging when accounts do not use enterprise identity systems with built-in controls. We need to make sure our insider risk capabilities are up to date. The SOC checklist includes:

Centralized monitoring: Ensure the SOC continuously monitors user activities and access controls through a centralized identity management system. For high-risk systems off the enterprise identity platform, capture authentication activity. Ensure user and entity behavior analytics are in place with the appropriate use cases in the SOC detection platforms. Validate your ..

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