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Updated: Feb 8, 2024   |   Tuval Chesler

UEBA tools: What to look for in user and entity behavior analytics software solutions

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User and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) software offers organizations an effective tool for identifying suspicious or abnormal behavior and activities in an IT environment. UEBA tools can be instrumental in protecting companies from internal and external threats to their systems, applications, and data resources. 

The software offers insights into anomalous user activities so they can be investigated by security personnel and potentially neutralized before causing damage.

In this article, we’ll discuss the important features and capabilities you should look for when implementing UEBA software to protect your environment. Making the right choice can spell the difference between an effective solution and one that could leave your environment open to attack.

Ty‎pes of UEBA software solutions

‎Many different types of UEBA software solutions are available that address varying aspects of threat detection and security monitoring. The first step in selecting a UEBA solution is choosing a tool that aligns with your business and cybersecurity objectives. 

The solution should be capable of handling the range of potential threats the organization hopes to prevent.

Following are some of the common types of UEBA tools.

  • User-centric UEBA - User-centric monitoring tools focus on monitoring and analyzing the activities of individual users. They are useful for identifying compromised accounts and insider threats.
  • Entity-centric UEBA - This type of solution concentrates on the behavior of entities, such as devices and network components, to identify abnormalities that may indicate cybersecurity incidents.
  • Endpoint-based UEBA - These tools focus on endpoints like servers, laptops, and mobile devices. They look for abnormal user activities and file access requests that identify potentially malicious behavior.
  • Cloud-based UEBA - Tools in this category specialize in monitoring user and entity behavior in cloud environments for enhanced security.
  • Network-based UEBA - This tool monitors network activities such as traffic patterns, data access activity, and lateral movement through the environment. This software can be used to mitigate data exfiltration and identify suspicious users.
  • Insider threat detection UEBA - Insider threat software monitors and searches for suspicious or abnormal patterns in user behavior. The anomalous activities may be signs of threats posed by malicious insiders.

A company may choose to implement a specific type of UEBA solution or a combination to attain its desired level of security. Advanced UEBA platforms may consolidate the capabilities of multiple solution types.

Im‎portant features to look for in a UEBA software solution

Security professionals reviewing user entity and behavior analytics data

‎The following features should be considered once the decision is made regarding which type of UEBA solution best meets business objectives. Decision-makers need to ensure the tool has the capabilities they need to secure the IT environment.

  • Operating system compatibility is a critical feature of an effective UEBA solution. It has to support the types of systems and endpoints you want to monitor to be of any use.
  • SaaS integration is vital when considering a UEBA solution because it ensures compatibility, visibility and data sharing of user activity across various cloud-based applications, enhancing the solution's ability to analyze and detect anomalous user behaviors effectively in a comprehensive, cloud-centric environment.
  • Data collection capabilities are crucial to the solution’s effectiveness. Ensure that the tool can monitor and collect data from the kinds of sources you need to protect your environment.
  • Integration with existing security solutions, such as security information and event management (SIEM) tools, is important when developing a comprehensive cybersecurity posture. Leveraging the symbiosis of multiple tools can significantly enhance organizational security.
  • Scalability and flexibility are important characteristics for organizations intent on protecting a growing and evolving IT environment. The chosen solution should be capable of scaling to meet changing business needs.
  • Behavioral analytics performance is one of the central features of a UEBA solution. The tool must be able to effectively baseline normal behavior and efficiently detect anomalies. Advanced technology such as machine learning should be used by the tool to identify suspicious activities.
  • Real-time monitoring and alerts enable the UEBA solution to detect suspicious activities when they occur. Alerts can be generated for security personnel and, in some cases, the tool can take measures to protect the IT environment.
  • Ease of use and simple installation are important for getting the most out of your investment in UEBA software. The tool should present a user-friendly interface to encourage its use and install seamlessly across the devices you want to monitor.
  • Privacy and confidentiality are important considerations when monitoring user behavior. The tool should have the ability to minimize or anonymize data to preserve confidentiality while mitigating threats.

Making an informed decision by considering these features will help identify the best UEBA solution for your organization.

De‎ploying Reveal as a UEBA software solution

The Reveal Platform by Next is a data loss prevention (DLP) platform that serves as a UEBA solution for your IT environment. The tool is proficient at detecting insider threats and enforcing an organization’s data handling policy. This automated enforcement prevents data loss by restricting and prohibiting activities that violate data handling guidelines.

Reveal has multiple features that make it an excellent choice in UEBA software. The most impactful features include:

  • A lightweight endpoint agent powered by machine learning
  • OS supports for Windows, Linux, and Mac systems
  • Cloud connector support for the most popular SaaS business applications
  • Real-time data inspection and classification
  • An intuitive user interface
  • Maintaining user confidentiality with pseudonymization and anonymization
  • Integration with tools like Slack and GSuite to improve data protection

Talk to our experts to set up a demo of Reveal. See the tool in action and understand for yourself how it can perform user and entity behavioral analysis to effectively protect your business.

Fr‎equently asked questions

Security analyst reviewing UEBA data

How do UEBA software solutions determine whether an activity is abnormal or suspicious?

UEBA software solutions determine if activities are suspicious or abnormal by comparing them with a baseline of typical and permitted behavior. The software may have default baselines that are active when the tool is installed. Machine learning technology allows tools like Reveal to continuously refine the baseline and the comparisons that identify anomalous behavior.

Why is the ease of use important in a UEBA software tool?

The ease of use of the UEBA tool selected makes it more likely that it will be used productively throughout the organization. Tools that require complex installation procedures or are difficult to navigate are not warmly welcomed by the user community. A UEBA tool that has minimal impact on the monitored systems and has a friendly interface will typically be very effective.

How does privacy fit in with UEBA software?

User confidentiality must be maintained while monitoring systems and conducting investigations. Of course, at some point, suspicious activity will be associated with a specific individual, but during the course of normal monitoring, user identities should remain confidential through masking or other technological solutions.

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