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HEMLOCK methodology - Identify security threats faster

‎12-10-2013 03:25 PM - edited ‎06-09-2015 11:37 AM

The security analytics framework and how it makes analysts more methodical in their approach leading to better/faster threat identification. 


It seems that cyber threats are everywhere these days, and protection from these threats relies upon more than just the collection of data—it depends on the collection, correlation, and interpretation of data from numerous sources. With threats that utilize multiple attack surfaces over longer periods of time, it’s especially true. We need a security analytics framework that allows better and faster threat identification.


Jim Goddard, Managing Principal, Security Intelligence and Operations Consulting, HP Enterprise Security, created a new whitepaper, to explain how HP uses a method of analysis termed the HEMLOCK framework. This is modeled from Richard J. Heuer’s seminal paper titled, “Psychology of Intelligence Analysis” and is used to train analysts on how to properly interpret notable security events. The framework relies upon a hypothesis-driven approach and allows organizations to achieve a higher degree of assurance that they are able to pinpoint true security breaches.


“SIEM technology is great at detecting potential threats, but at the end of the day, analysts still need to interpret the output and understand the extent of a compromise.  There is no substitute for effective human analytics, ” states Goddard. “We have used the HEMLOCK process to train analysts across numerous SOCs.  I like to think of HEMLOCK as a framework for creative analysis, but with enough boundaries to force logic and get to a consistent result.  The framework also helps eliminate human cognitive bias.”


To learn more about HEMLOCK, read the whitepaper, “Identify Threats Faster.”

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