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Megan SHAW Dec 27, 2022 8:46:00 PM 4 min read

Overview of MITRE ATT&CK and how it relates to SIEM

MITRE ATT&CK is a widely-used framework for understanding and detecting cyber threats. Developed by the not-for-profit organization MITRE, this framework offers a comprehensive and customizable approach to identifying and responding to potential cyber attacks. In this blog post, we will provide an overview of MITRE ATT&CK and explain how it relates to SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) systems.

First, let's define what MITRE ATT&CK is and how it works. MITRE ATT&CK is a knowledge base of adversarial tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) that can be used to understand the behavior of an attacker in a network. This framework is organized into different "matrices" that focus on specific platforms (e.g. cloud, mobile, endpoint) and adversary groups (e.g. nation-state, criminal, hacktivist). Each matrix includes detailed descriptions of the various TTPs that can be used by attackers on that platform or belonging to that group, along with indicators of compromise (IOCs) and other relevant information.

One of the key features of MITRE ATT&CK is that it is openly available and continuously updated. This means that security professionals can access the latest information on known threats and use it to improve their defense strategies. In addition, MITRE ATT&CK is designed to be modular and customizable, allowing organizations to create their own matrices based on their specific needs and threat profiles.

So, how does MITRE ATT&CK relate to SIEM systems? In short, MITRE ATT&CK can be used as a reference and a guideline for configuring and prioritizing alerts in a SIEM system. By mapping the TTPs and IOCs from MITRE ATT&CK to the alerts generated by a SIEM system, security analysts can gain a better understanding of the potential threats facing their organization and respond accordingly.

For example, if a SIEM system generates an alert for a specific TTP (e.g. spearphishing) that is known to be used by a particular adversary group (e.g. nation-state), the security analyst can use the information from MITRE ATT&CK to prioritize that alert and take appropriate action. This can help the analyst to quickly identify and respond to high-risk threats, and to avoid wasting time on false positives or low-priority alerts.

In addition to providing a reference for analyzing alerts, MITRE ATT&CK can also be used to improve the overall effectiveness of a SIEM system. By incorporating the knowledge and insights from MITRE ATT&CK, security teams can create more effective rules and filters for their SIEM system, and can configure it to focus on the most relevant and important threats. This can help to reduce false positives and improve the overall efficiency of the SIEM system.

In conclusion, MITRE ATT&CK is a valuable resource for security professionals who want to stay on top of the latest threats and tactics used by attackers. By using MITRE ATT&CK in conjunction with a SIEM system, organizations can improve their ability to detect and respond to potential cyber attacks, and to protect their networks and assets.


Megan SHAW

Product advocate to current customers, I am old school with a varied set of experiences.