Despite best efforts, cybersecurity incidents occur that impact your organization. It’s no surprise with a global 38% increase in cyberattacks in 2022 compared to 2021. No matter how solid the security posture is, a constant barrage of attacks has the potential for some incident to take root. When this happens, it is necessary to have ways to restore business functionality but also find out how the incident got through so it will never happen again.
According to the NIST cybersecurity framework, the fifth protection pillar is to Recover. While it is easy to assume that it only refers to a recovery of data, it instead encompasses the entire process of restoring business functionality and bolstering defenses so that similar attacks are prevented.
Recovering From Incidents
The “Recover” pillar of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework (CSF) is the final piece of the framework focused on restoring operations and learning from the incident. The Recover pillar is driven by an in-depth forensic analysis of the incident to determine root causes and steps to recover any lost data or operational ability. Much of the information from the Detect pillar will feed into this analysis cycle, helping to identify what data was affected, if anything was lost or damaged, and discover the method by which the incident occurred. This information is crucial to create a holistic understanding of the incident and ensure steps are in place to prevent it in the future.
Data-driven forensics involves data analysis and computational techniques to gather, preserve, and analyze digital evidence to investigate cybercrime and determine the cause of a security incident. In the context of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, data-driven forensics can aid in the recovery process by providing critical information that can help organizations understand the nature and scope of an attack and its impact on their systems and data.
By collecting and analyzing data from various sources from the Detect pillar, such as network logs, system images, and endpoint data, forensics analysts can piece together a comprehensive picture of the attack, including the methods used by the attacker, the assets affected, and the timeline of events. This information can then be used to support the development of an effective response and recovery plan.
For example, data-driven forensics can help organizations determine whether the attack was carried out by an insider or an external attacker and what kind of data or systems were targeted. This information can inform the development of strategies for restoring systems and data to a secure state and implementing new security controls to prevent future incidents.
Multiple Forms of Recover
The Recover phase of an incident is not only about data recovery but also involves determining how the incident occurred so it can be prevented in the future. Like the rest of the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, the information feeds into the cycle, allowing the organization to improve its cybersecurity posture.
Backup and Recovery
While not the only form of the Recover pillar, backup and recovery processes are critical components. They provide organizations with the means to recover their systems, data, and operations in the event of a security incident or disaster. By regularly backing up important data and systems, organizations can ensure they have access to the information they need to restore operations and return to normal business activities.
The recovery process begins with the restoration of backup data and systems. This is typically done by copying the backed-up data to new hardware or virtualized environments. In the event of a disaster, this allows organizations to quickly restore their operations and data, reducing the impact of the incident and minimizing downtime. Additionally, backup and recovery processes can be designed to include a testing component, which allows organizations to verify that their backups are working correctly and that they can be successfully recovered in the event of an incident.
Implementing a robust backup and recovery process allows organizations to increase their resilience and reduce the impact of security incidents.
Like backup and recovery, caching allows for a short-term backup of data modified to allow rapid recovery if a change is detected to be malicious. When changes happen, the original information is held safely in memory until detection-based controls analyze behavior. This prevents threats such as ransomware from rendering data unusable, as it will only temporarily impact critical data, minimizing the impact.
Forensics is the final piece of the Recover pillar that creates a feedback loop to improve cybersecurity. By incorporating data-driven forensics into their incident response and recovery processes, organizations can improve their overall cybersecurity posture and better protect their critical assets and data.
Defend Your Data on All Pillars
Defending your data requires implementing functions across the entire NIST Cybersecurity framework. Sotero is an advanced data security platform that allows your organization to implement a multi-layered defense to defend your data wherever it is stored. With Sotero, your organization can stop threats such as human attackers and ransomware early in the attack process before significant damage is done.
Read our white paper to learn more about the NIST Cybersecurity Framework and how Sotero can help your organization meet every phase to create a whole data protection lifecycle.
Contact Sotero today for a demo on how the Sotero Data Security Platform can help your organization get and maintain complete data security coverage across all five NIST lifecycle stages.