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Subject: Re: [cacao] Preventative Action

Very good point.

A Prevention playbook should be considered a pro-active mechanism.

Mitigation for me is retroactive, But we can talk about risk mitigation which in this case would be considered a proactive mechanism. On the other hand, risk mitigation can be defined as a preventive mechanism as long as the playbook can control potential side-effects ( such as loss of data ). So even though that you cannot patch a machine (for a, b reason) you have still control over your machines and your networks, such as the case that the machine is isolated. 

Maybe we can just include one extra word in the description of each terms (proactive vs retroactive)


On 4 Feb 2020, at 23:06, Andrew Storms <storms@newcontext.com> wrote:

Hey Bret

I read those in the doc and was the source of my question. I read that definition of Preventative Action and asked myself what is the difference between prevention and mitigation. Harking back to my CISSP days, we typically used risk management terms of: accept, mitigate or remediate.

So I attempted to find the uniqueness of Preventative by making a quick matrix which used the examples in the docs. I was hoping it would help to better define Preventative.

I just want to be more clear with Preventative Action and see if we can provide some clarification. I think an example would be helpful. If we say that Mitigative and Remediative essentially happen after we learn of a potential attack method. And Preventative is more like a hygiene/best practice/configuration change/pro active steps? Is that inline with what you are thinking?

On Tue, Feb 4, 2020 at 11:40 AM Bret Jordan <bret.jordan@broadcom.com> wrote:

I think it is important that we all use the same definitions for things.  I have called these out the documents to help in this regards.  I have heard many seasoned security analysts and security architects use these terms incorrectly.  

From the requirements document:
Investigative Action - This is an action that is used to gather information relevant to the construction or modification of cyber security playbooks. This includes gathering of information about a possible incident, problem, attack, or compromise. In some cases, an investigative action could require changes to the systems, networks or application behaviors in order to facilitate a deeper understanding of the investigation and resultant potential response.

Mitigative Action - This is an action that is used to respond to problems that can occur from an incident, problem, attack, or compromise. This is often done when a remediative action is not currently possible. For example, when a system patch is not yet available, one might deploy compensating controls such as moving the system into a sandbox virtual lan (vlan) or deploying more stringent firewall rules. 

Remediative Action - This is an action that is often used with a goal of eradicating an issue, problem, attack, or compromise on one or more systems that have been determined to be compromised or involved in the particular event.

Preventative Action - This is an action that is used to help ensure that an issue, problem, attack, or compromise does not happen in the first place. In some cases, preventative actions may overlap with certain mitigative and remediation actions.

So a preventative action could be like deploying the CIS Top20 security controls.  Or could be deploying a block on the firewall for the next HeartBleed before you get compromised. 

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On Feb 4, 2020, at 10:46 AM, Andrew Storms <storms@newcontext.com> wrote:

I'd like some help in better understanding the Preventative action type.

What is unique to a Preventative action that is different from Remediative or Mitigative? I recognize that there is some overlap, however it would be great to have 1 example to demonstrate the uniqueness of Preventative that would qualify it as needing its own action type.

In order to try and get my head around this, I did a quick matrix of the current examples and mapped them to each action type. What I'm not seeing is a use case where Preventative would not have already been categorized as either mitigative or preventative.

Does anyone have a good and unique example for Preventative?

Known Threat Blocking Rules Affect Policies Blackhole Sinkhole Blacklist Patch
Investigative Maybe N N N N N N
Mitigative Y Y Y Y Y Y Y
Remediative Y Y Y Y
Preventative Y Y Y Y Y Y Y


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