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Tired/Wired: Ad-Hoc Insider Threat Investigations vs. ObserveIT

If you’ve ever conducted an Insider Threat investigation using a patchwork of existing security tools (such as SIEMs or DLPs), you may have been frustrated by the sheer inefficiency of the process. The biggest reason: Gathering context and evidence can be a bit of a wild goose chase using traditional security defenses. Instead, a dedicated Insider Threat management platform like ObserveIT can help security teams complete investigations 10x faster.

Let’s break down how ad-hoc Insider Threat investigations stack up against ObserveIT in vintage Tired / Wired style:

Tired: Sifting through endless event logs. 

One of the biggest downsides of conducting an ad-hoc Insider Threat investigation is sifting through endless logs to determine the root cause of an issue after an alert is triggered. While an alert usually tells you what happened, it doesn’t deliver a lot of context into who, where, and why the potential incident took place. What’s worse, the right information might be spread out across several security tools, and hundreds of logs may be generated during the course of a day. The relevant ones are like needles in a haystack.

Wired: Tying context directly to alerts.

Using ObserveIT, security analysts can delve into specific alerts to find out more about user activity. If a certain activity looks suspicious, the analyst can then look at a timeline that combines both user and application data into a single view. This timeline view provides context into who did what, when, where, and why — by allowing the analyst to examine both the user and file system in question.

Tired: Questioning the motives of insiders.

Once you’ve dug up the appropriate logs in traditional security tools, you’ll need to find out why the user was engaged in suspicious activity. Perhaps they made a simple mistake (Fact: two out of three Insider Threat incidents are caused by employee or contractor negligence). Or maybe they’re a disgruntled employee headed for the exit, and exfiltrating as much sensitive data as they can. Regardless, log files provide little context into Insider Threat motives, causing security analysts to do a lot of reading between the lines.

Wired: Knowing whether an Insider Threat was accidental or intentional.

Instead of patching together piecemeal evidence, ObserveIT’s user, file, and endpoint diaries can provide detailed context into exactly what happened. For example, there may be a chain of incidents surrounding a single individual that would point to a malicious Insider Threat. Or, there may be a single mistake that triggered unintentional data loss. A timeline view of a specific user can also show exactly what happened in chronological order, with video playback capabilities.

Tired: Wondering what evidence to provide to legal and HR.

It can be tough for security teams to know exactly which evidence legal and HR teams need in order to conduct their aspects of an Insider Threat investigation. Looking at logs may be confusing to those outside of a technical security role, and generating the analysis needed to explain these logs can be a time-consuming process for busy security teams. However, getting this information right is crucial, as it is often the primary evidence used for determining the appropriate outcome for the individual.

Wired: Generating in-depth reports with a click of a button.

With ObserveIT, security analysts can export PDF versions of user alert summaries and reports with a click of a mouse. These reports provide easy-to-understand context and digital forensics data for HR and legal teams to take the appropriate action. With minimal effort, all teams get the context they need for an incident to continue through the Insider Threat chain of command.

Want to see in step-by-step, visual terms how ObserveIT differs from ad-hoc Insider Threat investigations? Download our Visual Guide to Insider Threat Investigations to learn more! 

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