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User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA)

Preventive measures are no longer enough. Traditional securities are not going to be 100% foolproof and hackers and attackers will get into your system at one point or another. Therefore, detection is equally important – when hackers do successfully get into your system.

User and Entity Behavior Analytics (UEBA) technologies use advanced algorithms and machine learning on identifying patterns of the user and device activity that are outside of the normal patterns of expected behaviour in order to identify activity that could be suspicious or malicious.

UEBA is particularly useful for the detection of insider threats, advanced attacks that have gained a foothold on the network and malicious activity such as financial fraud by providing contextual information regarding what users are doing with network resources, applications and data.

Three Pillars of UEBA

Gartner’s definition includes three primary attributes of UEBA Systems:

  1. Use cases — UEBA Solutions report the behaviour of entities and users in a network. It detects, monitors and alerts of anomalies. UEBA Solutions need to be relevant for multiple use cases, unlike systems that perform specialised analysis such as trusted host monitoring, fraud detection, etc.
  2. Data sources — UEBA Solutions can ingest data from a general data repository. Such repositories include data warehouse, data lake or Security Information and Event Management (SIEM). UEBA tools don’t place software agents directly in the IT environment to collect the data.
  3. Analytics — UEBA Solutions isolate anomalies using analytic methods, including machine learning, statistical models, rules, and threat signatures.
UEBA Best Practices

Follow these best practices to successfully implement a UEBA Solution:

  • Think about both internal and external threats when establishing new policies and rules.
  • Make sure that only relevant team members receive UEBA alerts.
  • Do not consider non-privileged user accounts as harmless. Attackers commonly gain control of standard accounts and escalate privileges to penetrate sensitive systems. UEBA systems can help detect unauthorised privilege escalation.
  • Do not treat UEBA processes and tools as a substitute for basic monitoring systems such as Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS). They should complement the traditional monitoring infrastructure.

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