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Why incident response is better with Microsoft Sentinel

Microsoft Sentinel is quickly becoming a go-to tool for incident response teams. With its cloud-powered analytics and machine learning (ML) capabilities, it can provide organisations with real-time visibility into security threats and help them respond quickly and effectively.

Sentinel has numerous benefits that can help organisations better protect their data and stay ahead of potential security risks. By leveraging the capabilities of Microsoft Sentinel, businesses can gain improved visibility into their security posture, faster response to incidents, and better protection of their data and systems.

How does Microsoft Sentinel’s incident response work?

Microsoft Sentinel is a cloud-native Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) and Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) solution designed to simplify security operations, enable proactive threat detection, and speed up incident response.

The goal of Sentinel’s incident response is to detect and investigate security incidents, and then take the appropriate action to remediate the threat. This involves three stages: detection, investigation, and remediation.

Sentinel begins by detecting a potential incident based on a variety of data sources. For example, it can detect what IP addresses are being used to attack a network, what software is being used to attack a system, or an unusual spike in CPU usage. Once it detects a potential incident, it begins gauging the severity of the incident and determining if it is an immediate or a longer-term threat to the organisation’s data and systems.

After assessing the seriousness of the incident, Sentinel will begin investigating the incident, also known as collecting information, to determine the source.

Assigning an incident ticket to analysts

Once Sentinel detects a potential incident, it automatically creates an incident ticket for the security analyst handling the response. This ticket includes what system or data was affected, the threat type, and a description of the incident. When the ticket is created, the analyst receives an email with the ticket attached, allowing them to respond quickly to the incident and begin investigation.

A key benefit of Sentinel is that it can automatically create incident tickets for security analysts. This allows them to respond directly to security incidents without having to search for existing tickets.

Reducing false positives

Sentinel’s analytics engine uses ML to automatically detect and categorise suspicious behaviour, such as unusual network traffic or unauthorised software. The engine can detect real threats, while also contributing to the detection of false positives.

With ML, Sentinel creates a model of behaviour that it uses to detect and classify malicious behaviour such as scanning, phishing URLs, and attempts to access data. Once Sentinel detects a potential incident, it categorises the detected behaviour as benign or malicious. It then uses this information to create a statistical model, including how often that type of behaviour occurs. Sentinel then compares this model with the behaviour that was detected to determine if this is a real threat.

However, Sentinel’s model can only identify behaviour, not determine intent. It cannot determine if a user is scanning, trying to access unauthorised data, or attempting to attack another network.

Understanding how an incident occurred

Sentinel provides a repository of historical data that can be used to understand how an incident occurred, so steps can be taken to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Sentinel collects data from servers, networks, apps, and other devices, along with logs from cloud services like Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, and customers can choose to have it collect data from a small subset of their devices. This collection of data provides an extensive view into how incidents occur, allowing organisations to better protect their systems, authenticate users, and detect and block malicious activity.

These different types of data and their sources can be used to better protect systems. For example, an incident can be traced back to a specific server, which can be protected by removing the server from the network. An incident can also be traced back to an app or other type of device, which can be blocked to protect the overall system.

Faster response to incidents

The faster a security team can respond to an incident, the faster they can pinpoint the source of the threat, shut it down, and restore the affected system. Sentinel’s quick-response capabilities allow security analysts to quickly investigate and respond to incidents.

Sentinel provides an incident ticket that contains information about the event, allowing security analysts to quickly investigate the incident. Once an incident ticket is created, a security analyst can quickly investigate the incident by starting with the information in the ticket and then logging into their security workstation and using the same tools they use every day.

Deploy Microsoft Sentinel and reap the benefits of proactive incident response

Microsoft Sentinel is quickly becoming a go-to tool for incident response teams. With its cloud-powered analytics and machine-learning capabilities, it can provide organisations with real-time visibility into security threats and help them respond quickly and effectively.

The Microsoft Sentinel team at Steadfast Solutions specialise in deploying and managing Sentinel for businesses of all sizes and industries. Talk to them today and gain a more efficient security operations environment, with visibility into threats across your business’s infrastructure.