MITRE Releases D3FEND to Add Defensive Countermeasures to Its ATT&CK Framework

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MITRE, a non-profit organization, has recently released the D3FEND framework that works complementary with the ATT&CK framework. D3FEND aims to promote a standard framework that everyone can use to enhance their defensive measures. MITRE describes it as a research project to standardize the measures used by security practitioners to defend an IT environment. But before delving deep into the D3FEND framework, let’s get a glimpse of the MITRE ATT&CK framework.

What is MITRE ATT&CK Framework?

Standing for MITRE Adversarial Tactics, Techniques, and Common Knowledge, ATT&CK is a knowledge base framework used for exhibiting attack behavior through threat hunting. It also lists the entire attack cycle, phases, and the OS they are most likely to target. The knowledge detailed in the framework can help build kill chains and threat models that reflect on the attackers’ behavior and TTPs (Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures). It has become a widely used framework to help detect how many TTPs a cybersecurity solution can detect to prove its efficiency.

What is D3FEND Framework?

The D3FEND framework is developed to complement the ATT&CK framework. While the ATT&CK focuses on creating a common line of offense mechanism to detect and respond to TTPs, D3FEND focuses on standardizing the defense mechanism. It can prove useful for cybersecurity professionals to design and deploy defense solutions. The work on the framework is funded by the National Security Agency.

To deploy the D3FEND framework in your organization, you can now simply compare the capabilities of cybersecurity tools to evaluate the level of defense they can provide. This will eliminate all the different definitions of Next-gen solutions. Put simply, a security tool that can provide the maximum defense based on the D3FEND framework is the Next-gen security solution.

The ATT&CK framework is composed of Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures to define the kill chain. Similarly, the D3FEND framework comprises five broad categories—Harden, Detect, Isolate, Deceive, and Evict.


The harden category comprises measures to reduce the attack surface. It also somewhat reflects monitoring the access through authentication. The category focuses on restricting easy access to everything through an application, credential, message, and platform hardening.

It resembles the regulation and security protocol policies enforced by several primary compliances for restricting access without appropriate authentication. It also focuses on updating patches to reduce the chances of vulnerabilities. Hence, a comprehensive compliance service provider like SharkStriker can prove to be helpful here.

Moreover, our vast array of security and assessment services can enable you to identify weak or vulnerable configurations, applications, platforms. Thereafter, we also give our customers an in-depth report along with the essential guidelines to harden the attack parameters to defend against threats.

Through our VAPT services, we simulate real-world attacks to detect potentially vulnerable systems or processes and mitigate the risks. This helps our customers to identify all the loopholes and harden them to prevent attacks. It also helps educate employees who are the first line of defense against any attack. Similarly, our Audit and Assurance services for Firewall, Endpoints, Workstations, Servers, Cloud Infrastructure, and Network Devices also help find any unharden surface that can give easy access to attackers and help with the guidelines and security best to harden them.

We also help with host vulnerability assessment and CIS Benchmark-based baseline security audit with the help of our MDR platform and SIEM services. These services focus on identifying weak spots and implementing international standard defensive practices to mitigate the risks of attacks.


The detect category focuses majorly on analyzing the threats identified with the help of the MITRE ATT&CK framework. The columns in this category include:

  • File analysis
  • Identifier analysis
  • Message analysis
  • Network traffic analysis
  • Platform monitoring
  • Process analysis
  • User behavior analysis

MDR and SIEM services fit well into this category. All the triage data logged and gathered by the SIEM solution can help analyze defending against the potential threats. A robust SIEM solution with efficient correlation rules can also help with file, identifier, message, and behavior analysis. On the other hand, MDR services with XDR capabilities can come in handy with platform monitoring, network analysis, and process analysis.


As the name gives out, the isolate category focuses on isolating compromised or potentially vulnerable hosts. It lists two columns, namely execution isolation and network isolation, which are possible with the help of a 24/7 SOC and open-architecture-based MDR solution.

A 24/7 SOC will help with continuous monitoring, vital for traffic, IP, and DNS filtering. Filtering the vulnerable hosts can further help with a seamless and quick isolation process. An open-architecture-based MDR solution with in-built EDR (XDR) and SIEM capabilities, on the other hand, will integrate with all the existing security tools to help centralize all the data. It will also facilitate monitoring all the processes and devices quick defensive actions to isolate compromised hosts.


The deceive category focuses on decoying the entire environment or objects like files, network resources, persona, credentials, etc., on deceiving a cyber attacker from the actual environment and objects to a false one. This would require SOC services. A SOC comprises the people, processes, and products required to create a decoy. Cybersecurity experts from the SOC can conduct lab research to identify the latest tactics used by adversaries and use the information to create decoys.


The evict category lists credential and process eviction columns and focuses on ultimately terminating the vulnerable or compromised components to enhance defense. A robust MDR service and platform, like that of SharkStriker, can fit well in this category.

If a compromised or vulnerable process is found, our MDR service takes responsive action to evict (terminate) the process. Likewise, suppose any process is found to exhibit anomalous, unauthorized, or malicious behavior. In that case, our MDR service terminates the process as a defensive mechanism before it becomes a significant threat to the entire organization.

How SharkStriker can Help Deploy the D3FEND Framework

SharkStriker is a comprehensive cybersecurity services provider. We can be a one-stop solution for all your requirements to implement the D3FEND framework’s defensive measures. We have global SOCs that enable us to ensure 24/7 monitoring across your IT environment and filter any processes and traffic as and when required. Our cybersecurity experts can help you create decoys for deceiving attackers with our SOC and threat labs.

Our MDR services comprise EDR (XDR) and SIEM with all the required capabilities to help implement the D3FEND framework. The open-architecture-based MDR can integrate with the existing solutions to provide a single pane of glass. Moreover, our compliance services can strengthen access to your data, accounts, and network to harden the attack surface. All in all, we can help you deploy all the defensive measures enlisted in the D3FEND framework.


The D3FEND framework will provide a common defensive security vocabulary to every one of us. You can use the framework to evaluate the capabilities of a security solution or service. It will also help you select the right solution for your specific requirements. When brought together, the MITRE ATT&CK and D3FEND frameworks will provide cyber warriors with a standardized view of both offensive and defensive measures and best practices.


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