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Introducing Cisco XDR Playbooks: Discovering the steadiness in automating and guiding incident response


Safety Operations is the beating coronary heart of any group, a united staff vigilantly standing guard in opposition to cyber threats. To outsmart their adversaries, they have to delve deep into the intricate world of expertise and human conduct. As they navigate these advanced landscapes, they have to additionally transition from counting on tribal information and ad-hoc maneuvers to a mature, high-performing operation. The important thing? Embracing consistency and cultivating efficient procedures.

With this in thoughts, enter the world of Cisco XDR. At its inception, it launched a static default playbook with 19 duties. Nonetheless, let’s face it, “I wish to do all of the duties” is a phrase no analyst has ever uttered with enthusiasm. That’s why we automated duties, placing advanced integrations within the background and bringing safety operation duties to the forefront, all with the facility of automation.

Now, we’re excited to introduce you to the following stage: Cisco XDR Playbooks. They’re not simply process builders, they’re a mix of process documentation and automation. Let’s dive into the small print of those thrilling, progressive Playbooks.

What are Playbooks in Cisco XDR?

In Cisco XDR, “Playbooks” are the strategic guides for sturdy incident response, designed to streamline the determine, include, and eradicate processes for cyber threats. In addition they pave the way in which for a swift restoration, restoring techniques to full performance post-attack. These Playbooks are structured as a sequence of “Phases,” every housing a set of “Duties” that present clear route for safety analysts and incident responders. These phases are thoughtfully aligned with the SANS Institute’s PICERL methodology, guaranteeing a complete response technique. Moreover, to reinforce effectivity, every process inside a Playbook will be coupled with an Automation Workflow. The mixture of Playbooks and workflows , but in addition accelerates the response by automating varied steps within the course of permitting for autonomous safety operations to begin with Synthetic Intelligence or expedited process execution with larger consistency and effectiveness.

New Workflow template: Incident Response

Whenever you create a brand new Automation Workflow in Cisco XDR, now you can select a selected sort or “Intent”. As a part of the brand new Playbook characteristic, we now have launched a brand new Intent known as “Incident Response” workflow. These Workflows can be utilized for Playbook Duties and Incident Automation Guidelines. They reference the Incident properties in the identical method, which can appear like a boring characteristic till you understand this makes them reusable, shareable, and environment friendly

The Playbook Editor

Whenever you open the Editor for the primary time, solely the Cisco Managed Incident Playbook is displayed and is designated because the “Default” Playbook. This default Playbook is assigned to all new Incidents till a brand new default playbook is designated, or “Project Guidelines” are created that assign a distinct playbook to new Incidents (extra on that later). This playbook can also be marked as “Learn-only”, which implies you can’t modify or delete it, as this can be a playbook that’s Cisco Managed. Nonetheless, you possibly can duplicate it to make use of as a template to create altered variations of this playbook. Clearly, you too can create a brand-new playbook from scratch. 

To summarize: with the Playbook Editor, you possibly can view the playbook particulars, create a brand new playbook, edit a playbook, duplicate a playbook and customise it, specify which playbook is utilized by default, and delete a playbook (besides, after all, for the Cisco Managed Incident Playbook which can’t be deleted). 

The Playbook Project Guidelines

Now let’s dive into the beforehand talked about “Project Guidelines”: this characteristic means that you can create particular guidelines to assign playbooks to new Incidents. When an Incident is created that matches the circumstances of an task rule related to a playbook, that playbook is displayed on the Response web page in Incidents. For instance, if an Incident incorporates sure MITRE ways, and a rule incorporates these as circumstances, the related playbook can be assigned to that Incident. You can, for instance, have a Ransomware Restoration Playbook, and an Project Rule that makes use of MITRE Approach T1486 (Knowledge Encrypted for Affect) and Tactic TA112 (Affect) as circumstances to assign that Playbook to these Incidents.  

If the Incident doesn’t match any guidelines assigned to playbooks, the default playbook is assigned to the Incident. As soon as a playbook is assigned to an Incident, the task Incident can’t be modified, even when the playbook is edited. A replica of the playbook because it was when assigned to the Incident is saved for auditing functions. The task guidelines work in a top-down precedence order, and so they cease processing on the primary match.  

On this weblog publish, we now have mentioned the evolution and significance of Cisco XDR in standardizing the incident response course of, enhancing effectiveness, and for constant incident response. Cisco XDR’s new Playbooks are customizable, strategic guides for sturdy Incident response, designed to extend the maturity of any safety operations staff. 

You will need to be aware that that is simply the beginning of our Playbook journey. There may be way more in improvement proper now, which we’ll cowl in subsequent weblog posts. How will Cisco AI Assistant for Safety use these Playbooks? Keep tuned… We aren’t simply your dad’s networking firm, we’re Cisco – constructing the bridge to innovation. 


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