- What is cyber threat intelligence?“Threat intelligence is evidence-based knowledge, including context, mechanisms, indicators, implications and action-oriented advice about an existing or emerging menace or hazard to assets. This intelligence can be used to inform decisions regarding the subject’s response to that menace or hazard.” — GartnerThreat, or cyber threat, intelligence is information that lets you to avert or alleviate cyberattacks. This information is used to prepare, avoid, and recognize cyber threats looking to benefit from valuable resources. Threat intelligence, which is ingrained in data, provides you background that allows you make well-informed decisions about cybersecurity. Threat intelligence analysis, on the contrary, help counter the activities of cyber criminals such as hackers and crackers. Threat intelligence software also plays an instrumental role as they offer companies information related to the latest forms of cyber threats. We often come across cyber-threat intelligence news that tend to affect millions of companies around the globe.Why is Threat Intelligence Important?
Cyber threat intelligence solutions collect raw data about developing or current threat actors and fears from several sources. This data is then examined and sifted to create threat intelligence feeds and management reports that cover information that mechanical security control solutions can use. The main objective of this type of security is to keep companies informed of the risks of advanced persistent threats, zero-day threats, malware, new threat vectors, and exploits, and how to defend against them. Executed effectively, threat intelligence can help ensure you stay relevant with the large number of threats, including approaches, susceptibilities, and goals. It can also allow you to become more hands-on about future cybersecurity threats, while keeping leaders, stakeholders and users informed about the latest threats and consequences they could have on the business.
Types of Threat Intelligence
Cyber security threat intelligence is often broken down into three subcategories:
- Strategic — Broader trends typically meant for a non-technical audience
- Tactical — Outlines of the tactics, techniques, and procedures of threat actors for a more technical audience
- Operational — Technical details about specific attacks and campaigns
- Strategic Threat Intelligence
This strategy provides a comprehensive summary of an organization’s threat landscape, and is intended to inform high-level decisions made by a company’s managers and executives. Effective tactical intelligence should provide understanding into domains like the risks related to certain lines of action, extensive designs in threat actor strategies and targets.
- Tactical Threat Intelligence
This type of intelligence plans the strategies, methods, and measures of threat actors. It should help protectors comprehend, in precise terms, how their company might be attacked and the best ways to protect against or alleviate those attacks. It typically includes technical setting, and is used by personnel directly involved in the security of a company.
- Operational Threat Intelligence
This type of intelligence is knowledge about cyber-attacks, events, or campaigns, giving specific understandings that help incident response teams comprehend the nature, intent, and timing of precise attacks. Since this typically comprises technical information, this kind of intelligence is also referred to as technical threat intelligence.
The Threat Intelligence Lifecycle
The importance of threat intelligence in today’s world can hardly be overlooked. The following are the phases of the threat intelligence lifecycle.
- Planning & Direction
This is the phase when goals are set for the threat intelligence program involving comprehension and articulation. Once advanced intelligence needs are found out, a company can frame questions that channel the need for information into separate requirements.
It is the method of collecting information to address the most significant intelligence requirements. Information collection can happen naturally through such means as pulling metadata and logs from inner networks and security devices; subscribing to threat data feeds from industry organizations and cybersecurity retailers; holding discussions and targeted interviews with well-informed sources; skimming open source news and blogs; and more.
This is the change of gathered information into a setup an organization employs. Nearly all raw data gathered ought to be handled in some way, whether by humans or machines. Various collection systems often need different means of dispensation, while human reports may need to be interrelated and graded, deconflicted, and checked.
“Solutions like SIEMs are a good place to start because they make it relatively easy to structure data with correlation rules that can be set up for a few different use cases, but they can only take in a limited number of data types.”
The next step is to make sense of the processed data. The goal of analysis is to search for potential security issues and notify the relevant teams in a format that fulfills the intelligence requirements outlined in the planning and direction stage. Based on the situations, the decisions might involve whether to probe a possible threat, what actions to take directly to block an attack, how to reinforce security controls, or how much investment in additional security resources is vindicated.
Dissemination involves having the complete intelligence productivity to the places it ought to go. A majority of cybersecurity organizations have at least six teams that can take advantage of threat intelligence. This type of intelligence entails you to ask what threat intelligence the audiences need, and how external information can support their activities.
It is the final phase of the lifecycle that is making it closely related to the initial planning and direction phase. After receiving the finished intelligence product, whoever makes the initial request reviews it and determines whether their questions were answered. You need steady feedback to ensure you appreciate the requirements of each group, and to make changes as their requirements and priorities vary.
Benefits of Cyber Threat Intelligence
Threat intelligence benefits abound, and virtually every big company employs threat intelligence to secure itself from hackers ad cyberthieves. Correctly applied, threat intelligence provides you the chance to proactively allay your most unrelenting threats, instead of just responding to attacks or a stream of incoming alerts. This occurs by comprehending your cyber risk and raising effectiveness and confidence in your security processes. Here are some key benefits of threat intelligence.
- Comprehending Your Cyber Risk
It’s not pragmatic to make a company 100 percent safe, so the only rational method to security is one based on risk. For the average SME, protecting against state-sponsored advanced persistent threat groups (APTs) is simply unthinkable. Given the small probability of such an attack, investing massively in its prevention defies logic.
Similarly, since organizations of all sizes across all industries are convinced to obtain malevolent email (phishing) attacks, investing in a fundamental content filtering solution does make sense. Obviously, prioritizing most threats isn’t quite easy. There is the likelihood that those responsible for making decisions on security investments will only react to marketing, industry catchwords, and newspaper headlines.
The worst consequence is that these organizations then apportion resources based on fear, rather than knowledge. This is where threat intelligence comes in. A powerful threat intelligence competence can help you recognize the particular threats your organization, your industry, or your architecture, is faced with.
- Performing Efficient Security Operations
Just adding new processes to your security strategy should not center around threat intelligence. The fact of the matter is that a powerful threat intelligence competence should be the core of your security processes. The blend of external intelligence combined with internal data is possibly a massive input for prevailing security procedures. Vulnerability management and incident response are predominantly good candidates, as they both demand a high degree of background and prioritization to be effective.
On a daily basis, most companies experience scores of security events, most of which are innocuous irregularities. Threat intelligence can provide the answer this question and enable you to perform a solid baseline for your organization to clearly identify the alerting security events and discard other unimportant regular anomalies
- Other Important Benefits
- Identify leaked credentials.
- Prioritize vulnerability remediation.
- Monitor for mentions of your brand online.
- Uncover emerging threats.
- Track hacktivist activity in your industry.
- Study threat actor tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs).
Threat Intelligence Resources
Here are the four key threat intelligence resources that could provide you data in one way or other.
Easy to understand, customized, and shared, dashboards are an assortment of widgets that give you a summary of the reports and metrics you should care about most. Threat intelligence dashboard provides information on threat activities. There are two types of dashboards organization-oriented (internal) and generic (external).
Organization Oriented Dashboard
This dashboard provides the report and information about specific threats and alerts that organization highly cares about.
Generic dashboards provide the information about global threat alerts and activities.
Cyber-threat Intelligence Tools
It’s a very important threat intelligence platform. The commercial tools generally happen to be very expensive. It is often hard to persuade upper management of the need of some of these types of tools, particularly with their annual upkeep fees. The benefit of these tools is that a lot of them accelerate the penetration test and SOC operations. Another advantage of using commercial tools is that they are highly automated and save a lot of time but this is also considered a drawback because the user cannot learn how to achieve the same procedure independently.
- FireEye iSIGHT Threat Intelligence
- IBM X-Force Exchange
Open Source Tools
This refers to a program or tool that carries out a very particular task, in which the source code is openly published for use and/or alteration from its unique design, absolutely free. Open-source intelligence tools generally gather data on Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT), which is one of the most popular feeding processes and techniques.
Community Platforms manage the procedure of producing and upholding a space for prolific debate among community members who can share their opinions, ideas, and worries. There are various types of community platforms that debate, discuss, and describe the latest and emerging threat actors and vectors that could help professionals to use this information as feed and get prepared for the underground ongoing and emerging threats.