Browse Definitions :
Definition

active defense

An active defense is the use of offensive actions to outmaneuver an adversary and make an attack more difficult to carry out. Slowing down or derailing the attacker so they cannot advance or complete their attack increases the probability that they will make a mistake and expose their presence or reveal their attack vector.

While the term active defense is often associated with military applications and protecting critical infrastructure and key resources (CIKR), it also applies to information technology (IT) security. In cybersecurity, an active defense raises the financial cost of an attack in terms of wasting the attacker's processing power and time. Applying offense-driven strategies is critical to being able to detect and stop not only external threat actors, but also insiders and attackers with varying motivations including ransomware, extortion and cryptojacking .

An active defense complements offense-driven actions and allows an organization to proactively detect and derail attacks early and gather the threat intelligence required to understand the attack and prevent a similar recurrence. Sometimes active defense includes striking back at an attacker, but this is normally reserved for military and law enforcement that have the resources and authority to confirm attribution and take appropriate action.

Deception technology can be used to detect an attacker early on in the attack cycle by obfuscating the attack surface with realistic device decoys and attractive digital bait. Misdirection can trick the attacker into engaging and lead them to believe they are escalating their attack, when in fact, they are wasting their time and processing power and providing the defender with counterintelligence. The forensic information gathered through an active defense can then be applied to defense strategies and stop a live attack, identify forensic artifacts and expedite incident response to prevent the attack from resurfacing.

This was last updated in May 2018

Continue Reading About active defense

Networking
  • SD-WAN security

    SD-WAN security refers to the practices, protocols and technologies protecting data and resources transmitted across ...

  • net neutrality

    Net neutrality is the concept of an open, equal internet for everyone, regardless of content consumed or the device, application ...

  • network scanning

    Network scanning is a procedure for identifying active devices on a network by employing a feature or features in the network ...

Security
  • virtual firewall

    A virtual firewall is a firewall device or service that provides network traffic filtering and monitoring for virtual machines (...

  • cloud penetration testing

    Cloud penetration testing is a tactic an organization uses to assess its cloud security effectiveness by attempting to evade its ...

  • cloud workload protection platform (CWPP)

    A cloud workload protection platform (CWPP) is a security tool designed to protect workloads that run on premises, in the cloud ...

CIO
  • Regulation SCI (Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity)

    Regulation SCI (Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity) is a set of rules adopted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange ...

  • strategic management

    Strategic management is the ongoing planning, monitoring, analysis and assessment of all necessities an organization needs to ...

  • IT budget

    IT budget is the amount of money spent on an organization's information technology systems and services. It includes compensation...

HRSoftware
  • ADP Mobile Solutions

    ADP Mobile Solutions is a self-service mobile app that enables employees to access work records such as pay, schedules, timecards...

  • director of employee engagement

    Director of employee engagement is one of the job titles for a human resources (HR) manager who is responsible for an ...

  • digital HR

    Digital HR is the digital transformation of HR services and processes through the use of social, mobile, analytics and cloud (...

Customer Experience
  • chatbot

    A chatbot is a software or computer program that simulates human conversation or "chatter" through text or voice interactions.

  • martech (marketing technology)

    Martech (marketing technology) refers to the integration of software tools, platforms, and applications designed to streamline ...

  • transactional marketing

    Transactional marketing is a business strategy that focuses on single, point-of-sale transactions.

Close