In IT, active threat management means working proactively to defend networks and systems against active threats. The term creates confusion because it is so commonly used in the field of physical security against an active threat, such as an active shooter. In IT, active threat management can mean managing an active threat, or taking an approach to threat management that is active.
Here are examples of both of these meanings. Managing active threats means identifying a threat to the system, be it a worm, virus or piece of malware, that is currently active in a system, and mitigating risk and damage by controlling and containing it.
An example of active threat management would be proactive systems that go beyond simple perimeter security to root out emerging or impending threats. By working pre-emptively, companies can decrease risk and protect systems more effectively.
As a security philosophy, active threat management is highly useful. People will talk about threat management in general as a discipline for network admins and others with skin in the game, or the “security wars,” where white hat hackers strive to keep up with the black hats.
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