As enterprises pursue digital transformation, they face increasing danger from cybersecurity threats. COVID-19 has caused a massive increase in the number of vulnerable endpoints for remote workers.
Employees, partners, suppliers and customers access company resources on multiple devices from virtually anywhere, further raising vulnerability. And the penalties and bad publicity from data breaches can set back any business.
Such issues were recently on the mind of Tran Phu Nghia, Cybersecurity Director at NovaGroup, parent company of the Novaland real estate investment and development firm in Vietnam.
“Enterprises have to maintain a good reputation, yet cyberattacks are on the rise because criminals can use the internet to attack without limit,” Nghia says. “Users are subject to phishing attacks from cybercriminals. They scan systems every day and at all times are trying to gain customer lists and intellectual property. And security teams must be vigilant against insider threats.”
Adding to the challenges, enterprise systems may be siloed and security log data unintegrated. This makes it difficult to analyze the data and proactively plan for cyberattacks. Plus, security tools often generate false positives, making it hard to prioritize serious threats and resolve them quickly.
In assessing these challenges and Novaland’s security posture, the security group resolved to add a centralized Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) solution, a foundational tool for cybersecurity management. But which one to choose? To make the selection, the security teams evaluated leading security solutions. They chose the IBM Security® QRadar® SIEM platform.
Intelligent analytics built into the QRadar platform significantly reduce the investigative workload
The QRadar platform is cost effective for Novaland because it boosts the security team’s productivity
The IBM Security QRadar SIEM platform accelerates cyberthreat detection and response
In evaluating the SIEM solution landscape, Novaland’s cyber group considered research from Gartner, Inc. and Forrester, comparing a range of offerings among the leading brands. “Gartner rates IBM Security QRadar particularly high for hundreds of use cases and it supports the largest information security ecosystem,” says Nghia.
The evaluation team liked QRadar’s ability to automate security information analysis to quickly detect threats; its stability and extensibility; and its integration of a variety of components such as extensions, APIs and the IBM QRadar Pulse operational dashboard, which streamlines monitoring and administration. The team also liked that QRadar is open and scalable, and that it offers features in line with Novaland’s operational requirements to ensure business resiliency, data security and privacy.
“We decided that IBM QRadar was a highly suitable solution because of its features and its scalability,” explains Nghia. “And the threat detection rules are adaptable to our needs.”
Assisted by IBM Security Services, Novaland’s cyberteam deployed the QRadar SIEM platform. Then, the team used the tool to perfect incident response procedures and scenarios, optimize rule sets to identify attack signs, and develop playbooks for security incident response.
Novaland also uses the QRadar platform to strengthen the IT environment against future threats. Separated into Red, Blue and Purple teams, the cyber group meets weekly to review past threats, note the teams’ responses and use the results to customize QRadar incident response playbooks. In addition, the Red team uses tools and their own scripts to conduct Breach and Attack Simulation (BAS) to verify the Blue team’s efficiency.
“We need to understand how fast the Blue team can respond—does it take 15 minutes or 50 minutes?” Nghia says. He is pleased with typical responses in the 15–30 minute range. “It’s just faster with QRadar.”
Accelerated threat detection and fast response are clear advantages of the IBM SIEM solution. But its intelligent analytics also save time by lessening the number of false positives for investigation. Novaland’s Blue team uses it to optimize the rules that detect cyberattacks. This reduces the number of incidents detected from as many as 1,000 per day to less than 100, and the prioritization lessens the team’s workload by pinpointing the most dangerous threats.
These capabilities help Novaland better protect its systems, customer information and intellectual property—thereby strengthening the trust of investors and customers. And the solution is cost effective due to the security team’s higher productivity. “Without using QRadar, we would have to expend more human resources to protect our siloed systems,” Nghia says. Another plus is that free training from IBM Security Services has raised the security team’s skillset.
Looking ahead, Novaland’s security group is exploring an upgrade to the IBM Security QRadar SOAR Platform. Standing for Security Orchestration and Response, SOAR provides more intelligent threat detection, faster incident response and continuous improvement of response processes.
Integrated data, faster threat detection, more productive analyses and faster responses all come from IBM’s cost-effective security ecosystem. “Multiple tech vendors have come to us to promote their cybersecurity capabilities,” says Nghia. “IBM is the priority choice for now.”
Based on his experience at Novaland, what advice does Nghia have for enterprises that want to improve their cybersecurity capabilities? “The quickest way to boost cybersecurity capabilities is to ensure the cybersecurity teams keep listening, observing, analyzing, troubleshooting and cooperating,” he says. “This way, an enterprise can develop teams and procedures to enhance cyber resilience together.”
With over 10,600 hectares of land bank, Novaland (link resides outside of ibm.com) focuses on developing three key product lines: Residential Real Estate, Hospitality Real Estate and Industrial Real Estate. Through a journey of 30 years of establishment and development, Novaland currently owns a portfolio of more than 50 projects with trend-leading projects and products in Residential Real Estate and large-scale Residential Hospitality Real Estate. Novaland is one of the 30 largest listed companies by market cap on HOSE (VN30 Index), and also has international convertible bonds listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX).
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