While many defenders spend much of their time analyzing tools and tactics of their adversaries, getting into the head of potential intruders and determining how they’re motivated can tip defenders off to an attack as surely as a tell will tip off the good hand of a gambler.
“You can’t defend against everything,” Gidi Cohen, CEO of Skybox Security, said in an interview. “The attack surface is like a balloon and as time goes on, the balloon is getting bigger and bigger because endpoints keep expanding.”
“Knowing your adversary allows you to narrow down your focus on the assets which are the likely target of an attack,” Cohen added.
In any adversarial situation, getting under an opponents’ hat is important to getting the upper hand, maintained Nick Levay, CSO of Bit9. “One of the most misunderstood words in the English language is empathy,” Levay said. “When people say it, they’re often talking about the warm, fuzzy feelings theirA’A loved ones are feeling.”
“In reality,” he continued, “empathy is one of the things that’s necessary in any adversarial engagement. You have to understand how your adversary thinks so you can figure out how they’re going to come at you.”