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Apache Metron Overview

Apache Metron is a cyber security application framework that provides organizations the ability to ingest, process and store diverse security data feeds at scale in order to detect cyber anomalies and enable organizations to rapidly respond to them.

As the diagram above indicates, the Metron framework provides 4 key capabilities:

  1. Security Data Lake / Vault - Platform provides cost effective way to store enriched telemetry data for long periods of time. This data lake provides the corpus of data required to do feature engineering that powers discovery analytics and provides a mechanism to search and query for operational analytics.
  2. Pluggable Framework - Platform provides not only a rich set of parsers for common security data sources (pcap, netflow, bro, snort, fireye, sourcefire) but also provides a pluggable framework to add new custom parsers for new data sources, add new enrichment services to provide more contextual info to the raw streaming data, pluggable extensions for threat intel feeds, and the ability to customize the security dashboards.
  3. Security Application - Metron provides standard SIEM like capabilities (alerting, threat intel framework, agents to ingest data sources) but also has packet replay utilities, evidence store and hunting services commonly used by SOC analysts. 
  4. Threat Intelligence Platform - Metron will provide next generation defense techniques that consists of using a class of anomaly detection and machine learning algorithms that can be applied in real-time as events are streaming in.

Metron integrates a variety of open source big data technologies in order to offer a centralized tool for security monitoring and analysis. Metron provides capabilities for log aggregation, full packet capture indexing, storage, advanced behavioral analytics and data enrichment, while applying the most current threat-intelligence information to security telemetry within a single platform.  

Metron can be divided into 4 areas:  

  1. A mechanism to capture, store, and normalize any type of security telemetry at extremely high rates. Because security telemetry is constantly being generated, it requires a method for ingesting the data at high speeds and pushing it to various processing units for advanced computation and analytics. 

  2. Real time processing and application of enrichments such as threat intelligence, geolocation, and DNS information to telemetry being collected. The immediate application of this information to incoming telemetry provides the context and situational awareness, as well as the “who” and “where” information that is critical for investigation. 

  3. Efficient information storage based on how the information will be used: 

    1. Logs and telemetry are stored such that they can be efficiently mined and analyzed for concise security visibility 
    2. The ability to extract and reconstruct full packets helps an analyst answer questions such as who the true attacker was, what data was leaked, and where that data was sent 
    3. Long-term storage not only increases visibility over time, but also enables advanced analytics such as machine learning techniques to be used to create models on the information. Incoming data can then be scored against these stored models for advanced anomaly detection. 
  4. An interface that gives a security investigator a centralized view of data and alerts passed through the system. Metron’s interface presents alert summaries with threat intelligence and enrichment data specific to that alert on one single page. Furthermore, advanced search capabilities and full packet extraction tools are presented to the analyst for investigation without the need to pivot into additional tools.  

Big data is a natural fit for powerful security analytics. The Metron framework integrates a number of elements from the Hadoop ecosystem to provide a scalable platform for security analytics, incorporating such functionality as full-packet capture, stream processing, batch processing, real-time search, and telemetry aggregation. With Metron, our goal is to tie big data into security analytics and drive towards an extensible centralized platform to effectively enable rapid detection and rapid response for advanced security threats.

 

See Metron Proposal for more details

See Metron Architecture for more details

See Metron Community for more details 

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