What Is Behaviour Monitoring in Cyber Security?

what is behaviour monitoring in cyber security

Also known as network behaviour analysis, behaviour monitoring is paramount if you want to understand modern cyber security. As marketing experts will know, the origin of this deceptively simple term harks back to psychological theory. Marketing psychologists observe the behaviour of customers and mine it to reveal certain patterns of behaviour. Some products sell well, some don’t – it’s simple enough.

What behaviour monitoring does is to go deep into why some products do better than others. Once a reasonable amount of data has been gathered, companies can adapt their services to customer behaviour – hence maximising profits.

But how does this all translate into cyber security? In IT, behaviour monitoring is a process by which we check and control the patterns of conduct of end-users, devices and networks. The monitoring solution builds a model behavioural profile for users and devices which we call the baseline.

Each user, device or app will then have an established baseline. Once this baseline is established, it becomes easier to detect any irregularities or anomalies.

What are the benefits of behaviour monitoring?

Now that we have defined behaviour monitoring, let’s see how your business can benefit from it.

Active security processes

While certain cyber security services are based on reactive processes, behaviour monitoring is active by definition. Rather than reacting to a threat or minimising its effect, you are working towards preventing it altogether. This is why behaviour-based security solutions work particularly well with what we call zero-day exploits.

Let’s put it this way. The average security software works off a list of known threats it has encountered in the past. If there is any activity that resembles that associated with previous cyber-attacks, it will flag it as a likely threat.

However, that reliance on past attacks can expose your company to new forms of cyber-crime not registered in your software. From cryptojacking to IoT attacks, criminals are finding new ways of harming your business every day. By implementing an active solution like behaviour monitoring, any suspicious activity outside normal parameters will be flagged and dealt with.

Holistic defence systems

When it comes to cyber-attacks, one hole in the system usually leads to another. That sequential nature of IT security makes it hard to discern which part of your defences is at fault. Because behaviour monitoring focuses on the whole picture instead of individual patterns of behaviour, it goes a long way towards building up an all-encompassing shield.

Reduce false alerts

At this point, you might be wondering whether behaviour monitoring can lead to a high number of false alerts. Thankfully, that’s not the case. Behaviour monitoring solutions benefit from applied mathematics, machine learning and advanced statistic to eliminate false positives.

To put it crudely, they’re a lot smarter than us. Moreover, a behaviour monitoring solution will usually work alongside a Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) service. A SIEM solution will collate access data and end-user actions and analyse it all through cross-referencing in order to diminish false alarms.

Start building a strong baseline today

Protect your business by implementing an active security process that flags abnormal activity and limits zero-day exploits. With our SIEM management services, you will receive a complete package of cyber security solutions including expert behaviour monitoring.

Explore Managed SIEM