Two years of remote working and the explosion of digital transformation have widened the attack surface for businesses. Threat intelligence offers an opportunity to restore balance.
Threat Intelligence or Threat Intelligence is the use of data processed as information and then queried to tell a story that improves decision making. Instead of directly answering simple questions, it provides insights that analysts use to answer more complex questions. Organizations today have tons of data from multiple protocols, traditional security controls (firewalls, antivirus, email and web access gateways, etc.), technical information (threat lists, spam and malware), social media, industry forums, dark sites and media. But without context, all of these streams of information overwhelm security teams, even when incorporated directly into security tools and workflows. This leads to fatigue coupled with alerts that expose you to poor results or even burnout. To counteract this, threat intelligence platforms are able to process these vast sources of threat data to produce only relevant and actionable information, thus supporting proactive security decisions.
The three pillars of a threat intelligence strategy
An organization rarely has the expertise, time, or resources to define its threat intelligence strategy and support proactive intelligence analysis. However, collecting and monitoring various sources of information makes it possible to identify relevant threat indicators. This can include things like leaking company credentials, mentions of its products on the dark web, or looking up typosquats of its brands in domain name registries. This type of information helps inform IT about password resets and phishing email campaigns targeting employees, and expedites the investigation of potential security incidents.
Integrating threat intelligence with existing security monitoring technologies reduces alert fatigue, automatically enriches metrics, and accelerates incident response. Good information helps prioritize important alerts faster, enrich indicators from internal sources from outside, and add context to understand tactical, operational, and strategic viewpoints. This implies that the intelligence can be contextualized, provided in real-time via an API, and read by an engine that allows the APIs to work.
Analysis is then required to proactively identify emerging threats and further investigate the risks to the organization, its industry and its suppliers. CISOs must be able to go beyond detecting new threats and delivering strategic value. They then shift from an always-reactive mode when fighting fires to a quieter proactivity when identifying, hunting, and repelling threats. This equips them to stop threats before they impact the business.
An effective threat intelligence strategy integrates and enhances existing security controls. It relies on collecting and analyzing technical sources on the open web and dark web, and even converting foreign language content into a usable format. Additionally, engaging a technology partner expert in threat intelligence helps enrich an initial strategy over time by identifying new business-critical use cases. This is how the implementation of proactive measures is built to confuse attackers and ensure the security of people, systems and infrastructure.
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