Patterns Tell Stories: Event Correlation In Network Security


July 11, 2019 by Siobhan Climer and Mishaal Khan

Event correlation is simply the occurrence of two events in proximity to one another. Event A correlates with Event B.

In network security, event correlation describes the technique for analyzing a large set of event points and identifying relationships or patterns that signal a security threat.

Data intelligence, operations support, root cause analysis, and fraud detection all use event correlation to help consolidate intelligence into actionable insights.


How To Use Event Correlation: Use Cases


There are dozens of tools and platforms that use event correlation, and the practice is not relegated to network security; neural networks, data analytics, research science, and even marketing tools use event correlation to identify patterns.

event correlationPatterns tell stories, and a trained set of eyes can identify potential outcomes or root causes that might signal a threat.

For example, perhaps a closed account, unused for years, suddenly attempts to login multiple times. Event correlation tags the last login attempt (Event A) to the delayed multiple login attempts (Events B-Z), marking the event series as suspicious.

Unlike people, event correlation tools are able to map and contextualize millions of events very quickly, identifying these suspicious patterns in real-time. Event correlation can identify the event series, the potential connection to other events, and root causes, enabling the IT team to develop a remediation plan.


Integrating Event Correlation Into Your Technology Roadmap


Despite these many benefits, buying an event correlation tool is not going to solve network security for you.

  • event correlationHow does event correlation fit into your broader SIEM system?
  • How will your team respond to identified suspicious correlated events?
  • How will you proactively defend against attacks?
  • What will you do if you are overrun with event correlation alerts?
  • How will you prioritize securing your environment?
  • What happens if event correlation fails to identify an attack?


These are just a few of the questions you will need to answer to develop a hardened security posture.


Design And Deploy A Security Roadmap


Oftentimes, organizations are ill-prepared to build an information and data security roadmap that takes everything into consideration. More and more businesses are bringing on security analysts and security teams that focus singularly on designing and deploying a custom-built security roadmap.

By bringing in security experts, IT teams are better able to focus on strategic initiatives that relate to business growth. Find out how our security team views your environment and how tools – like event correlation – can bring you peace of mind.

Register Today.

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About Mindsight

Mindsight, a Chicago IT services provider, is an extension of your team. Our culture is built on transparency and trust, and our team is made up of extraordinary people – the kinds of people you would hire. We have one of the largest expert-level engineering teams delivering the full spectrum of IT services and solutions, from cloud to infrastructure, collaboration to contact center. Our highly-certified engineers and process-oriented excellence have certainly been key to our success. But what really sets us apart is our straightforward and honest approach to every conversation, whether it is for an emerging business or global enterprise. Our customers rely on our thought leadership, responsiveness, and dedication to solving their toughest technology challenges.

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About The Authors

Siobhan Climer, Science and Technology Writer for Mindsight, writes about technology trends in education, healthcare, and business. She previously taught STEM programs in elementary classrooms and museums, and writes extensively about cybersecurity, disaster recovery, cloud services, backups, data storage, network infrastructure, and the contact center. When she’s not writing tech, she’s writing fantasy, gardening, and exploring the world with her twin daughters. Find her on twitter @techtalksio.

Mishaal Khan, Mindsight’s Security Solutions Architect, has been breaking and – thankfully – rebuilding computers for as long as he can remember. As a Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), CCIE R&S, Security Practitioner, and Certified Social Engineer Pentester, Khan offers insight into the often murky world of cybersecurity. Khan brings a multinational perspective to the business security posture, and he has consulted with SMBs, schools, government institutions, and global enterprises, seeking to spread awareness in security, privacy, and open source intelligence.

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