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Alerting: Getting Started with ESA

Document created by RSA Information Design and Development Employee on Sep 12, 2017Last modified by RSA Information Design and Development Employee on Sep 8, 2020
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This topic covers quick start topics for RSA NetWitness Platform Event Stream Analysis (ESA) to help you get started in using ESA. The following topics are designed to assist you in working with ESA Correlation Rules.

  • Best Practices helps you to understand how to best set up, deploy, and create rules.
  • Troubleshoot ESA helps you to troubleshoot different aspects of ESA, including rule writing and deployment.
  • View Memory Metrics for Rules helps you to work with memory metrics to understand memory usage for ESA services.

In NetWitness Platform version 11.5 and later, There are only two services that can run on an ESA host:

  • ESA Correlation (ESA Correlation rules): Creates alerts from ESA rules.
  • Contexthub Server (Context Hub): Runs only on an ESA primary host. Contexthub Server provides enrichment lookup capability in the Respond and Investigate views. For information, see the Context Hub Configuration Guide.

Note: The Event Stream Analytics Server (ESA Analytics) service is not supported in NetWitness Platform version 11.5 and later.

The first service is the ESA Correlation service that creates alerts from ESA rules, also known as ESA Correlation Rules, which you create manually or download from Live.

In NetWitness Platform 11.3 and later, the ESA Correlation service replaces the Event Stream Analysis service and is also known as ESA Correlation Server. The ESA Correlation service provides the same services as the Event Stream Analysis service with the added benefit of enabling you to specify different data sources for your ESA correlation rules. Like the Event Stream Analysis service, the ESA Correlation service installs on the ESA Primary and ESA Secondary host types.

The second service is the Contexthub Server service, which provides enrichment lookup capabilities in the Respond and Investigate views. It runs only on an ESA Primary host. For information, see the Context Hub Configuration Guide. Go to the Master Table of Contents to find all RSA NetWitness Platform 11.x documents.

IMPORTANT: The NetWitness server (Admin server), ESA primary host, and ESA secondary host must all be on the same NetWitness Platform version.

How ESA Generates Alerts

The ESA Correlation service runs rules that specify criteria for problem behavior or threatening events in your network. When ESA detects a threat that matches rule criteria, it generates an alert.

To generate alerts, ESA performs the following functions:

  1. Gathers data
  2. Runs ESA rules against the data
  3. Captures events that meet rule criteria
  4. Generates alerts for those captured events

Data Source Configuration Changes

In NetWitness Platform version 11.3 and later, the ESA Correlation service enables you to specify different data sources for different sets of rules. Instead of adding data sources, such as Concentrators, to the entire ESA Correlation service, you can specify different data sources for each ESA rule deployment. An ESA rule deployment includes an ESA Correlation service with its associated data sources and a set of ESA rules. For example, you may want to use Concentrators with HTTP packet data in one deployment and Concentrators with HTTP log data in another deployment. For more detailed information, see Deploy Rules to Run on ESA.

An Endpoint Risk Scoring Rules Bundle is available in NetWitness Platform

An Endpoint Risk Scoring Rules Bundle, which contains approximately 400 rules, comes with NetWitness Platform 11.3 and later. Endpoint risk scoring rules only apply to NetWitness Endpoint. You can add the Endpoint Risk Scoring Rules Bundle to an ESA rule deployment in the same way that you would add any ESA rule. However, you must specify endpoint data sources (Concentrators) in the ESA Rule Deployment.

The ESA Correlation service can process endpoint risk scoring rules, which generate alerts that are used in risk scoring calculations to identify suspicious files and hosts. To turn on risk scoring for NetWitness Endpoint, you must deploy endpoint risk scoring rules on ESA. For instructions, see "Deploy Endpoint Risk Scoring Rules on ESA" in the ESA Configuration Guide. For complete information on configuring NetWitness Endpoint, see the NetWitness Endpoint Configuration Guide.

Go to the Master Table of Contents to find all RSA NetWitness Platform 11.x documents.

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