Effective Anomaly Detection With Scarce Training Data

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Executive Summary

Learning-based anomaly detection has proven to be an effective black-box technique for detecting unknown attacks. However, the effectiveness of this technique crucially depends upon both the quality and the completeness of the training data. Unfortunately, in most cases, the traffic to the system (e.g., a web application or daemon process) protected by an anomaly detector is not uniformly distributed. Therefore, some components (e.g., authentication, payments, or content publishing) might not be exercised enough to train an anomaly detection system in a reasonable time frame. This is of particular importance in real-world settings, where anomaly detection systems are deployed with little or no manual configuration, and they are expected to automatically learn the normal behavior of a system to detect or block attacks.

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