What is Threat Detection and Response (TDR)?

Whether you’re facing a sophisticated phishing attack or a form of never-before-seen malware (also known as an “unknown threat” or “unknown unknown”), threat detection and response solutions can help you find, address, and remediate the security issues in your environment.

What is Threat Detection and Response (TDR)?

Threat detection and response is the practice of identifying any malicious activity that could compromise the network and then composing a proper response to mitigate or neutralize the threat before it can exploit any present vulnerabilities. Within the context of an organization’s security program, the concept of “threat detection” is multifaceted. Even the best security programs must plan for worst-case scenarios: when someone or something has slipped past their defensive and preventative technologies and becomes a threat.

Detection and response is where people join forces with technology to address a breach. A strong threat detection and response program combines people, processes, and technology to recognize signs of a breach as early as possible and take appropriate actions.

threat detection and response

What threats are the focus of TDR?

The first step to an effective threat detection and response process is understanding what threats are in the cyber environment. This shortlist covers several of the most common types, but there are more out there and new ones appear all the time.

  • Malware includes any malicious software program. Malware programs include spyware, viruses, trojan horse applications, and other applications that can infect your computer or network, stealing sensitive information and otherwise wreaking havoc and chaos.
  • Phishing attacks trick the recipient into volunteering sensitive data. They usually consist of an email that requests the recipient to provide sensitive information. They may also include a link to a web page that has been spoofed to resemble a familiar site where the visitor might enter login information or other personal details.
  • Ransomware is a type of malware that locks or disables a computer and asks the user to pay to regain access.
  • DDoS attack happens when a cyber attacker uses a network of remotely controlled computers to flood a website or network with traffic, usually in an attempt to disable the server. A botnet is a network of infected computers. Some hackers realized that instead of writing a virus that makes your computer go haywire, they could write a program that makes your computer send spam emails to others with malicious attachments or participate in a DDoS attack. You may not even know that your machines are affected.
  • blended threat uses multiple techniques and attack vectors simultaneously to attack a system.
  • Zero-day threats are new threats that nobody has seen before. They result from the arms race between IT organizations and cyber attackers. Because they are brand new, zero-day threats are unpredictable and difficult to prepare for.
  • Advanced persistent threat (APT) is a sophisticated cyber attack that includes long-term surveillance and intelligence gathering, punctuated by attempts to steal sensitive information or target vulnerable systems. APTs work best when the attacker remains undetected.

Safeguard your organization with a Threat Detection and Response solution

For threats that an organization is unable to prevent, the ability to rapidly detect and respond to them is critical to minimizing damage and cost. Some solutions offer a standalone option. Others sell “threat detection” as a feature of an existing security product, portfolio, or platform.

The list is long, but here are the most common tools that utilize some form of TDR to help secure your data, personally identifiable information (PII), customer information, and other important information.

  • Security information and event management (SIEM) systems. An SIEM solution is a centralized place to amass cloud log data. Security teams can then query this vast amount of cloud log data to find items of concern. However, relying on traditional SIEM systems for threat detection and response can be costly and inefficient.
  • Threat intelligence platforms. These solutions provide organizations with transparency and visibility into all attack vectors. Security teams can then know what is happening across multicloud environments, the network, email, cloud-based applications, mobile apps, and more.
  • Intrusion detection systems (IDS) and Intrusion prevention systems (IPS). These solutions analyze network traffic for patterns and recognize malicious attack patterns. Intrusion prevention systems combine the analysis functionality of an IDS with the ability to intervene and prevent the delivery of malicious packets.
  • Threat intelligence integration. Threat intelligence feeds can be an invaluable source of information regarding current cyber campaigns and other aspects of cybersecurity risk. A Threat Detection and Response solution should allow the direct integration of threat intelligence feeds, which can be used as a source of data when identifying and classifying potential threats.
  • Endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions. These solutions identify malware attacks using artificial intelligence and sandbox-based content analysis techniques that are not easily fooled by evasion tactics.
  • User and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) solutions. These solutions use algorithms and machine learning to detect anomalies in the behavior of not only the users in a corporate network but also the routers, servers, and endpoints in that network.
  • Cloud access and security brokers (CASB) solutions. These solutions provide an additional protection layer for company employees accessing cloud-based applications. They also enforce security policies and serve as a gateway between cloud applications and users, enabling organizations to deliver on-prem security controls beyond their local infrastructure.
  • Cutting-edge data analytics solutions. Enterprise networks are growing more and more complex and include a wide variety of different endpoints. This means that security teams have access to more security data than they can effectively process or use. Cutting-edge data analytics is a critical component of distilling this mass of data into usable insights to differentiate true threats from false positives.

threat detection and response

What does a detection and response team do?

A threat detection and response team relies on Threat Detection and Response tools to identify threats and quickly remediate them. Any company, regardless of industry or size, can benefit from threat detection and response solutions, as modern threats can exist anywhere in your environment: from your cloud to your data center to your endpoints.


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