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4 Reasons to do a Threat Assessment Now

Security | Jan 5, 2017

To close 2016, Yahoo made headlines after announcing the largest data breach in history, potentially affecting 1 billion accounts. This was on the heels of the companies earlier announcement of the theft of at least 500 million user accounts. The sheer size of the breaches makes them significant, but the story continues to produce news coverage because it comes only months after Verizon agreed to purchase Yahoo for $4.38 billion.

The final impact of these breaches remains to be seen, but they shed light on one of the core truths in cybersecurity – attacks are extremely complex and often go undetected for long periods of time. Hackers behind the leak of thousands of emails from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) spent more than a year gathering information before being detected. The first Yahoo breach was not detected until stolen user information hit the black market.

According to the Ponemon Institute, the average time to identify a breach is 201 days. That’s an average of more than six months. Too long. Organization need a fast, reliable way to identify potential threats on their networks, so they can act to prevent attacks like those listed above. There are many reasons to conduct a threat assessment, but listed below are four of the best.

  1. A threat assessment can help guarantee a clean slate: If your organization is preparing for a new install or doing diligence in advance of a merger, a threat assessment can give you the peace of mind that your network (or theirs) does not have any lingering issues that could cause trouble down the line.
  2. An external team brings a fresh set of eyes and technology: Sometimes, it can be hard to see what’s right in front of us. An external team brings a new perspective and can help find issues that may have been missed.
  3. Someone is trying to hack you right now: Cyberattacks are constant, and no perimeter technology can stop every attempted breach. A threat assessment will help you identify any malicious actors that made it past your prevention and detection solutions, allowing your security team to act before data loss can occur
  4. A threat assessment is a great way to “test-drive” new tech: Cybersecurity solutions are always evolving. A threat assessment allows you to test new options, as well as stress test your existing security strategy.

For all these reasons and more, Guidance Software unveiled our new 360-degree Threat Assessment Service this week. Our best-in-breed solution combines three transformational technologies to provide a cost-effective solution, with the shortest detection and response time in the industry.

Typical analytics approaches to threat assessment can take a month, or longer, to provide results. The 360-degree Threat Assessment Service from Guidance begins detecting anomalies on day one.

We provide the fastest results in the industry by leveraging a cloud-based, agentless architecture with deep forensic visibility and advanced analytics. 

  • Cloud-Based Architecture – Cloud-based delivery eliminates installations, change management delays, and agent deployments so collections can begin on day one. This allows Guidance service teams to be up and running faster than anyone else.
  • Deep Forensic Visibility – Guidance created the category of forensic digital investigations and we provide complete forensic-level visibility to ensure that no threat goes undetected
  • Advanced Analytics – A guidance assessment uses analytics, machine learning, and behavioural analysis and delivers a simple unified threat score that clearly identifies malware, rogue user accounts, and unauthorized lateral movement.

With a comprehensive assessment from Guidance, you can ensure adversaries are not active in your network, sanitize your organization before major deployments, and/or augiment existing capabilities with new analytics, artificial intelligence, and forensic visibility.

Guidance is the global leader in digital forensics and our services are field-tested and court proven. 

If your planning for any of the scenarios above, or if you just want to be certain about the health of your network, click here or email us at to connect with a Guidance Services specialist.

Paul Shomo is a senior technical manager at Guidance Software. A veteran of R&D, Paul currently manages EnCase® platform integrations, develops partner opportunities, and submits regular contributions to Dark Reading and other industry media platforms.


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