How to Investigate Unusual Activities on Your Network – NIST Cybersecurity

How to Investigate Unusual Activities on Your Network – NIST Cybersecurity

Spotting unusual activities in your system is crucial for preventing a cyber attack or at least stopping it from causing too much damage. However, it takes an experienced eye to spot a change in the system that might be caused by an external or even internal threat. Without proper plans and strategies for detecting strange activities on your network, your business will be exposed to numerous cybersecurity risks. Luckily, you can avoid this by following the NIST framework’s guidelines for investigating unusual activities and responding to security threats.

The Benefit of NIST Framework in Threat Detection and Types of Threats

The NIST framework consists of five core values: protection, detection, prevention, response, and recovery. The main aspect of the framework that we want to focus on is detection. In order to protect your system from a potential cyber attack, the threat first needs to be detected. It is important to detect a change in the system as quickly as possible before the attack advances and creates more damage. Recovering from a cybersecurity attack takes time and money, as the recovery expenses can go way over a small company’s budget.

Therefore, you need to set up a proper monitoring system and detection strategy that will allow you to spot threats or notice a change as soon as data gets compromised. Following the NIST framework guidelines and safety measures will help you stay on track with all activities within your network. The first step to detecting a potential threat is learning more about the types of cybersecurity risks. Business owners and employees must be familiar with where cybersecurity threats can come from.

In most cases, hackers are responsible for cyber attacks on small and large businesses. However, these attacks can come from different sources, including organized crime groups, terrorists, foreign governments, inside threats, or even the competitors in your industry. As a business owner or employee, you should familiarize yourself with the potential sources of cyber attacks, as well as reasons why people decide to execute these threats. On a more important note, pay attention to different types of security threats. Here’s a list of some of the most common types of cyber threats:

  • Phishing – an act of using fake websites and email addresses to pose as an authority/celebrity in order to convince people to submit their data.
  • Malware threats – threats that come in form of downloads of malicious programs from suspicious sources.
  • Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS) – a type of attack where hackers overwhelm your system by sending requests from different sources. This causes your system to crash.
  • Ransomware attacks – a type of attack where hackers lock down your system and take control. They ask for a large amount of money in order to give you back the access to your system.


The NIST framework contains all the necessary guidelines that will help you establish a proper detection and protection system for your business. Once you familiarize yourself with the types of threats, we recommend using technologies and programs that will help you monitor the system. Monitoring the system will allow you to collect crucial data, which can later be analyzed and used to improve your cybersecurity measures.

Make sure to use an advanced security program on your network, as well as advise all employees to stay off public networks when dealing with company’s data. In order to properly investigate unusual activities and spot threats in your network, you need to use proper security programs and follow the NIST guidelines for further assistance in keeping your business safe!