The Defender’s Advantage

We help defenders design lean, effective strategies around their strengths so they can feel empowered against attackers and achieve more of their goals faster.

Stop Trying to Do Everything, and Start Doing What Matters for You.

Many cyber defenders today believe they’re fighting a losing battle. They’re under constant pressure to anticipate a growing number of threats, while attackers seem to have the upperhand. This situation has left them financially and emotionally drained. 

We believe defenders shouldn’t have to resign themselves to defeat. Borrowing strategies from traditional warfare, defenders can gain a deeper understanding of their attackers and themselves. This way, they can maximize the advantages they do have and focus on the safeguards that really matter for them.

Companies are spending more and more on cybersecurity and insurance premiums, while data breaches continue to rise. There’s a clear need for a better, smarter approach to security that eliminates waste and aligns more closely with business goals.

We’re moving the industry beyond alarmism and prescriptivism. The Defender’s Advantage approach is both inherently functional and profoundly hopeful, giving agency and dignity back to defenders.

Learn to See Cybersecurity as a Business Enabler, Not an Expense.

Typically, cybersecurity is perceived as more or less a cost center, diverting valuable time and energy away from the real work of the business. This can create tension between security practitioners and an organization’s leadership, who may feel those resources would be better spent elsewhere. 

The Defender’s Advantage solves this problem by encouraging teams to transcend the traditional “us” and “them” dichotomy and avoid process for process’s sake. Reframing cybersecurity as a value-generating arm of the business, rather than a necessary evil, can result in better outcomes and happier teams.

Know Your Attacker. Know Yourself.

The first step to developing a Defender’s Advantage is gaining a better understanding of who you are as a defender and who your attackers are most likely to be.

If you’re an arts & crafts manufacturer, for example, you probably won’t need to worry about attacks in the form of terrorism or espionage. You’re more likely to face a threat from an independent cybercriminal or a bad actor within your organization.

By knowing your attacker, and knowing yourself, you can better position your organization in the event of an attack.

Know Your Attacker
  1. Familiarize yourself with the IT landscape of your attacker
  2. Identify your attacker’s potential blindspots and how to leverage them
  3. Acknowledge your adversary’s strengths and find ways to diminish them
  4. Consider how deception might enter into your attacker’s strategy so you can prepare
Know Yourself
  1. Familiarize yourself with the IT landscape of your organization
  2. Identify your potential blindspots and how to compensate for them
  3. Acknowledge your strengths and find ways to maximize them
  4. Consider how deception might enter into your strategy so you can proactively thwart an attack

The Home Field Advantage

Defenders have many advantages over attackers in a cybersecurity context. These differ from one organization to the next depending on several factors, such as the size of the organization, the industry, and the maturity level of the security systems in place. 

Here are some examples of advantages that cyber defenders naturally have over their adversaries:

We make the rules
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Attackers may be able to break the rules, but defenders are the ones who create them. The attacker often doesn’t know what the rules are, and by violating them, they risk detection and expulsion.

We are free from detection
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The defender can miss a lot of alerts and still catch the attack, but the attacker has to evade all detection to be successful. Attackers must be very, very careful whenever they make contact with our territory.

We have ample time and resources to prepare
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Defenders have time and opportunity to prepare for attacks, if we so choose. There is a massive industry that innovates on behalf of defenders. We also have the freedom to innovate openly, while attackers do not.

We are dropping dwell times through innovation
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Dwell time is the interval that the attacker has in your environment before they are detected. Thanks to improvements in tooling and cyber tradecraft, the long-term trend of dwell times is downward.

We have the moral high ground
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Law enforcement isn’t out to get us, and we have the benefit of a clear conscience. Since cybercrime is morally reprehensible to most people, the talent pool for attackers is also much smaller than the one that defenders draw upon.

We have the home field advantage
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We know our own system, or at least we have the opportunity to. Building maps takes time, but time is one of the advantages we do have. Defenders can scan and catalog their environment as aggressively and often as they want.

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Managed Security Services

Expand the depth and breadth of your security team while reducing the risk of employee turnover, all at a fraction of the cost of hiring and managing internal staff.

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Splunk Solutions

Spunk up your Splunk and extract more value from your data! Alchemy Security is an industry-leading Splunk Partner with a deep understanding of what it takes to drive operational success.

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Professional Services

Need to better understand your current cybersecurity readiness, test your defenses, or develop new ones? We conduct a variety of reviews and assessments for our clients, along with senior-level strategy support through our virtual CISO services.

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