Improving Identity Management With Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)

Data has become essential for today’s enterprises. Nearly every business process can be improved with the help of data, and holding a large haystack of data can increase the value of your business. Unfortunately, the high value of data has increased the incentive for hackers and criminal syndicates to break into corporate systems. Suffering a data breach can lead to the publication of proprietary and personal information, attempts to blackmail your company, and crippling lawsuits from stakeholders.

Improving identity and access management with Advanced Threat Protection (ATP)

Thankfully, there are a wide range of solutions that can help businesses to secure valuable proprietary data. Advanced Threat Protection is one of the most common approaches to protecting high-value systems against hacking attempts and complex malware. Read on to decide whether ATP is right for your organization.

What Is Advanced Threat Protection

ATP is a data protection strategy that focuses on actively studying and monitoring the networks, servers, and access mechanisms around sensitive information. There are many complex network security devices and applications that can be installed to enhance security, but the reality is that there is no such thing as a perfectly secure system. With enough resources, hackers can break into even the most protected networks. Instead of relying on a “leave it and forget it” approach, many organizations need to actively monitor their networks for signs of malicious activity. Countermeasures can then be implemented to prevent hackers from breaking in and to make systems more secure overall.

Strategies that involve the use of ATP utilize a wide range of products, including:

  • network devices,
  • malware protection software,
  • threat dashboards,
  • email gateways, and
  • server-side software.

The channels that are used as part of an ATP strategy help to ensure early threat detection. In this way, active countermeasures can be implemented in time to prevent a serious data breach. ATP helps to develop customized active countermeasures that are designed to be effective for a unique system. Most importantly, ATP sets up systems that enable automated software to react almost instantly to a threat with the support of security specialists.

How Is ATP Related to IAM?

Identity and access management is an important part of ATP because most data breaches occur due to unauthorized access. ATP can set up systems that are designed to detect when authorized users may be engaged in risky or nefarious activities. Some systems can also be set up to recognize when a user may be accessing a system in a suspicious manner, such as by connecting from a foreign country, using a new device, or connecting with a dormant account.

Using ATP properly can help to inform IAM professionals about activities that warrant review. In highly secure environments, ATP can be configured to automatically block authorized users from accessing systems when they exhibit unusual behavior. It can also be helpful to set up monitoring systems that provide high-quality access logs. When log files are easy to understand, IAM professionals can review them manually on a regular basis to look for suspicious activity. Visit this page to learn why you should consider an IAM certification.

Overall, ATP and IAM work harmoniously together because they both focus on active countermeasures to keep systems secure. Properly implemented ATP can reduce the chances of mistakes being made during manual IAM review and monitoring processes. ATP can also help IAM managers to audit the work quality of IAM specialists and to profile the quality of system access controls implemented throughout an organization.

Why Use ATP?

Using ATP can protect your organization’s data against what research shows to be the most common sources of unauthorized access. For instance, real-time awareness can help system administrators to disrupt and stop data breaches while they are in progress. Research has demonstrated that most serious data breaches are the result of an unauthorized user having access to a system for an extended period of time. Without properly implemented ATP, unauthorized users could be able to explore and test a system for months before finally being detected. ATP can detect unauthorized access immediately so that network administrators can revoke access privileges in a matter of seconds.

Another important reason to use ATP is that it provides network administrators with the context needed to make effective decisions. When data breaches occur, network administrators are often unknowingly aware of the activities that an unauthorized user has been conducting. However, when context is poor, administrators are often unable to recognize that the activity is potentially nefarious. ATP makes log files fully understandable and provides security specialists with powerful dashboards to recognize threats and implement an effective response.

Problems Solved by ATP

ATP solves most of the security challenges that can lead to data breaches. Some of the problems that ATP solves include:

Real-time monitoring: When ATP is implemented properly, security specialists can respond to potential data breaches before unauthorized users have enough time to study a system and steal valuable data.
Actively responding to threats: ATP facilitates rapid intervention by security specialists. Detection strategies are implemented at every touchpoint, and security specialists receive actionable alerts that enable rapid response activities.
Organizing response resources: When security specialists need to respond in a matter of minutes, there is little time for organizing resources. ATP sets up systems to automatically delegate tasks and pool resources when data breaches occur.
Identifying areas for improvement: A substantial haystack of security data is usually accumulated in the process of implementing ATP. This data helps organizations to recognize the most significant opportunities to enhance security.

Leading ATP Products

The broad range of objectives that ATP seeks to solve has led to the introduction of a diverse variety of products that help organizations to achieve their security goals. Active monitoring software is available that can help to detect threats at the hardware, software, and application layers. Threat protection software is available for end users, servers, and systems used by administrators.

Threat dashboards are also key products to use when implementing advanced threat protection. Dashboards help to organize threat information in real time so that security specialists can focus on the most significant threats. When dashboards are designed properly, they can also help system administrators to better recognize security threats.

When implementing ATP, network devices and email gateways are also crucial tools for hardening a system. These products help to safeguard systems against threats that require penetrating an organization’s network. Advanced email gateways can also help to flag emails that contain malware and suspicious files. Some ATP dashboards come with built-in sandboxing software that lets security specialists test suspicious email attachments in an end user’s environment.

Choosing and Implementing an ATP Solution

There are many different ATP solutions available in today’s marketplace because organizations vary drastically in terms of the solutions that are right in their unique situation. Large enterprises need to find solutions that match the manpower of their data security organizations and the value of data that needs to be protected. Organizations that have extremely valuable data need to implement sophisticated ATP solutions that minimize the chances of a data breach occurring. On the other hand, organizations with minimal data assets can get by with more cost-effective options.

When you choose an ATP solution, it is crucial to ensure that your organization will be able to utilize it to its full potential. Sophisticated dashboards can only help your organization if you have the talent to manage these tools effectively. In some cases, you may need to hire additional security specialists to properly implement ATP. However, once your organization has fully implemented ATP, your organization can be made impervious to data breaches.

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