Any qualified cybersecurity professional knows about the concept of layered cybersecurity – the approach that uses multiple layers of cybersecurity technology to ensure an organization is protected against threats.
However, what many cybersecurity professionals might overlook is how to optimize their cybersecurity layers to ensure more robust and efficient protection. Think of it like building a wooden bookshelf – using pieces of wood that are weak and unbalanced during construction will damage the stability of the whole unit.
Your cybersecurity layers cannot operate successfully if they are always under attack and running at full capacity. To be as secure as possible, we as an industry need to pivot from thinking of multilayer cybersecurity as a static goal. Instead, we must adopt a holistic mindset that seeks complimentary solutions that work together to optimize each layer to improve cybersecurity overall.
All the layers of a security stack are useful and important in different ways. However, when thinking of how to optimize the layers, it’s sometimes easier to think about it in terms of right of boom and left of boom technologies. Balancing each of these allows different layers of technologies to work as intended. This leads to more robust and secure protection for your technology stack than if your stack was always running at an overloaded capacity.
Right of Boom vs. Left of Boom Cybersecurity
Before we go any further, let’s get on the same page about right of boom and left of boom technologies.
Left of boom technologies are the protections and security layers that focus on preventing a threat actor from successfully perpetrating a breach against your system. Some examples of these technologies include:
- Multi-factor authentication
- Anti-malware software
Right of boom technologies are any protections and processes that are engaged after an attack. They help get the threat actor out and minimize the damage they can inflict. Some examples of right of boom technologies include:
- Detection and response tools (MDR, EDR, XDR, etc.)
- Security information and event management (SIEM) tools
- Security orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) tools
A great metaphor that illustrates the importance of balancing right of boom and left of boom protections is home security. When you leave your home, you’ll likely use more than one method to protect your house. You’ll lock your doors, set an alarm system, and you may even have a doorman or an extra gate in front of the building.
These are all left of boom solutions. They exist to repel intruders from your home.
However, if someone does enter your home, you need a whole new set of tools and procedures to get them out as quickly as possible, minimize and repair the damage, and identify the intruder so you can ensure they never get in again. These are all issues that right of boom solutions can handle.
How These Layers Protect Your Network
Both right of boom and left of boom technologies protect networks in different ways. And, like home security, each business will have a different setup dependent on its needs. For example, most people don’t have a doorman at their single-family residence. However, all homes and networks need different layers of both right of boom and left of boom protections that overlap to provide multi-layered security.
While left of boom technologies like firewalls and Threater are critical, right of boom solutions are equally important and are pivotal once an incident occurs. The right of boom disaster recovery technologies are what you’ll need to recover your data and get your organization back on track.
Multi-Layer Security Lacks Left of Boom Technologies
One of the most significant flaws in many organizations’ cybersecurity setups is that they rely too heavily on a single left of boom technology – the firewall. Having a firewall as your primary (if not your only!) left of boom protection creates a domino effect of vulnerabilities for the following reasons.
- Traffic encryption: Almost all traffic arrives encrypted because the technologies threat actors have developed allow them to send large amounts of encrypted traffic to networks. Firewalls must then decrypt it and perform deep packet inspections (DPIs), which require massive amounts of bandwidth and can cause network latency.
- Lack of processing power: Firewalls cannot process large amounts of threat intelligence. While threat intelligence platforms (TIPs) are wonderful tools, they are really only serving those right of boom technologies and do not integrate well into the firewall because firewalls are physically limited to the amount of IP addresses they can block.
- Firewalls struggle to block outbound traffic: This outgoing information has become one of the most significant vulnerabilities in security stacks.
In addition to not diversifying left of boom, many organizations also rely too heavily on right of boom technologies.
The Impact of an Over-Reliance on Right of Boom
The biggest flaw in modern security stacks is the disproportionate emphasis on right of boom technologies. Right now, almost every cybersecurity technology focuses on what happens after a threat actor has gotten in — since they assume that their firewall can otherwise keep them safe.
Unfortunately, this strategy isn’t working, as we’ve seen with breaches across almost every industry. Every single breach has happened because a bad actor has gotten past a firewall. Until now, firewalls have essentially been the only left of boom technology companies have truly invested in.
Right now, security stacks are running under a constant stress test. A continuous deluge of encrypted traffic hits the security stack every minute of every day, filled with encrypted packages. The firewall cannot process all this traffic, nor does it leverage enough threat intelligence to block threat actors effectively.
This means security stacks are relying on their right of boom technologies to catch what the firewall allows through, and the number of alerts and responses that security teams are managing are overwhelming. There are so many alerts and pings at all hours of the day that it’s hard to know what’s a real threat for the security teams tasked with monitoring the network.
Threater Fills the Left of Boom Gap
One of the defining features of a blind spot is that you don’t know it exists until you’re aware of it. Allowing in a constant barrage of known threat actors and hoping the current security stack can handle it is one of the biggest blind spots in a security stack today.
There is a better way. Threater is the only cybersecurity solution that leverages massive amounts of threat intelligence left of boom to block the traffic from known threat actors.
If we know who threat actors are – and we do, because we can leverage threat intelligence with up-to-the-minute information – we can simply stop letting them hit the security stack in the first place. We can stop the constant stress test by reducing the traffic hitting the firewall by 30-50%.
Here is what this does for the rest of the security stack:
- Optimizes network performance. Since 30-50% of the traffic hitting an organization’s network is from known threat actors, we can eliminate this traffic with zero impact on network performance. This allows the firewall more capacity to decrypt and inspect the remaining traffic without network latency.
- Causes fewer alerts. When known threat actors are hitting the network, the tools in place should be giving alerts. However, constantly monitoring large numbers of alerts is overwhelming, time-consuming, and unnecessary. By taking away traffic from known threat actors, alerts automatically decrease.
- Optimizes threat intelligence. While Threater is certainly a left of boom solution, we also integrate with all the other technologies, feeding into SIEMs, SOARs, and TIPs.
Enlist Threater as a New Left of Boom Cybersecurity Layer
An active cybersecurity approach will also be better than a reactive one. Threater is the definition of that proactive defense. It can integrate into any configuration and security stack, whether on-prem, in the cloud, or managed. It can also integrate and play well with other tools in the security stack through the API.
Want to see how it works for yourself? Get in touch today for a free risk assessment, and to learn more about our approach to maximizing multilayered security.