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ACS Blog

Security for the Real World: Before the Attack

In the real world, your security team is up against professional and skilled adversaries.  A single magic solution does not exist to combat these threats.  However, there are strategies that you can deploy to address what Cisco calls, “the Attack Continuum.”

The Attack Continuum is the life cycle of a given threat which includes 3 phases: the before, during, and after phases. Each stage of the Attack Continuum requires its own set of technologies to detect, fight, and learn from an attack. Traditionally these phases are dealt with as separate entities, but to build a stronger defense system it's best to view each phase as a piece of the security puzzle. Each stage holds different answers to the ultimate solution—the security of your systems.

In this article, we’ll focus on the “before” phase of a cyber-attack.

What can you do before an attack to prevent and slow down a potential threat?  How can you “make the hole smaller”?  The first step is to provide visibility. You cannot defend what you cannot see.  You have to know what is on your network in order to defend it, such as devices, OS’s, services, apps, and users.  

Determined assailants will find ways around the “before” technologies. However, it is still a vital piece of any security strategy.

To learn more the Attack Continuum, how to make your IT system more visible, and how it can enhance your security strategy contact today.

This article is part of a 3-phase series. Read next month’s installment to learn about defense “during an attack”.