The simple understanding of “threat intelligence” is the collection of data that then undergoes processing and analysis. It is done to assess the motives of the cyber attacker and understand their specific attack behaviors.
With the implementation of threat intelligence, organizations have the feasibility of making faster decisions with adequate information and data-backed security. Thus, your business system will become proactive in fighting against cyber attackers.
It is more like evidence-based knowledge, which uses mechanisms, indicators, action-oriented advice, implications, context, and other indicators. All this and more are used upon implementing threat intelligence to determine the existing or budding security penetrations into your business assets.
Let’s look closer at how threat intelligence empowers organizations to combat cyber threats.
Importance of Threat Intelligence for the Business Systems
When running a business, you are automatically part of the cybersecurity world. Every piece of data you have online is vulnerable to cyberattacks. Therefore, the defenders and the cyber attackers are in constant pursuit of outsmarting one another. The security of your organization’s data is important, and to beat the attacker’s attempts, it is important to have insight into their next move.
It will help you tailor your next move after strengthening your defenses and preparing yourself for future attack attempts. Organizations now understand the potential of threat intelligence and are outsourcing the need for managed security services. But most organizations are yet to understand the importance of core threat intelligence and prevention.
It is because recognizing the need for protection from cyber threats and working to ensure that security are two different things. If you are sticking to saving costs by hiring a small in-house defense team, then your security approaches will be limited. You can focus only on the most basic use cases, such as IPS, firewalls, SIEMs, and threat data feed integration. You will miss out on the perks of core threat intelligence!
Therefore, hiring managed security service providers is advised to get an all-around threat intelligence, prevention, and defense system. Sticking to the basics will keep your business in a vulnerable state. Adapting threat intelligence allows you to:
- Be aware of the unknown threats, and enable dedicated teams to decide better on the next approach.
- Helps the team members understand the decision-making process of the cyber attackers.
- Empowers the business stakeholders for wise investments, risk mitigation, and efficient decisions.
Threat Intelligence of Different Types Offered by Managed Security Service Providers
Professional cyberattack defenders use advanced algorithms to gather and analyze cybersecurity data from multiple sources. With such measures, they derive useful insights to help the clients detect and be prepared for possible cyber threats.
Different organizations need various threat intelligence approaches, starting from detecting low-level malware variants to making high-level security investments. Considering this aspect, there are three types of threat intelligence services offered by professional service providers, which include:
- Operational Intelligence
The operational analysis under the threat intelligence approach drives its focus toward the tools and techniques that cyber attackers may use to fulfill their goals. Such an understanding helps the threat hunters detect and understand the various cyberattack campaigns.
- Tactical Intelligence
Under the threat intelligence approach, tactical analysis drives its focus toward detecting specific types of malware or attacks with the use of compromise indicators (IoCs). It is the type of intelligence recommended for identifying and blocking any potential incoming or existing cyber attacks.
- Strategic Intelligence
Strategic analysis, under the threat intelligence approach, drives its focus towards understanding the various trends within the cyber threat landscape. It is especially important for organizations with executives that are unaware of cybersecurity technicalities. Such a threat intelligence approach will help your organization understand and consider cyber risk in overall operational planning.
The Life Cycle of Threat Intelligence for Combating the Cyber Threats
The cyber security professionals working under managed security services follow a threat intelligence lifecycle. Every stage within this cycle is adequately responsible for achieving the end goal of combating cyber threats. The stages within this lifecycle are as follows:
- Direction- This stage intends to set goals and a working roadmap for the overall threat intelligence program. It will help the team understand which areas of an organization are vulnerable and need utmost protection on priority. Following that, it will determine what kind of threat intelligence the organization needs and what might be the possible impact on the business system due to a breach.
- Collection- In this second stage, the threat intelligence team will gather data to support the set goals. Both quality and quantity of data are important to ensure that no threat events go unnoticed. There’s no room for being misled through the false positives associated with cyber security. The professionals will collect metadata from security devices and internal networks. Following that, they will also collect threat data feeds from credible sources.
- Processing- The data collected in the previous stage will then be processed and formatted in a manner, in a way to make it understandable for the organization. Different methods of collecting data will need varying processing approaches. For instance, if the data is collected through human interviews, then there is a need for thorough fact-checking upon it.
- Analysis- After processing, the cyber threat data will be analyzed to derive intelligence. It will help the organization make fruitful decisions upon securing its system. Some of the decisions as an outcome of this stage might be, increasing investment in security resources, investigation of specific threat(s), and necessary actions for blocking any threat. Upon completing this stage, the professionals will also determine the intelligence tools your organization might need.
- Dissemination- After the analysis, recommendations will be imposed within the organizations, and the conclusions will be shared with stakeholders. For disseminating the threat intelligence results optimally, it is important to cater to the needs of different teams and departments of the organization. Professionals will offer varying intelligence to different teams accordingly to ensure it is being implemented effectively.
- Feedback- Consistent feedback from the cyber security stakeholders of an organization will help improve the overall threat intelligence approach. It ensures that the current approach reflects the objectives and requirements of every group within the firm.
Different Use Cases of Threat Intelligence
Upon deriving the threat intelligence results from the managed security service providers, a set of use cases can be implemented. These use cases will determine whether the system is protected against any existing or upcoming cyber threat. The use cases include:
- Integration of threat intelligence feeds with all of the other security products.
- Blocking of the bad URLs, files, IPs, and domains.
- Use of threat intelligence for enriching the alerts.
- Linking the alerts altogether to determine the incidents better.
- Optimization of the new security solutions that are deployed upon threat intelligence.
- Look for complete threat information to determine who, what, when, why, and how an incident might occur.
- Analyzing the root cause of any possible incident.
- Keep looking deeper into the system to derive evidence of the intrusion.
- Collect and review reports on the cyber attackers, to be able to detect them better.
- Run an assessment of the overall threat levels for the business.
- Building a proper security roadmap based on the insights collected through threat intelligence.
An efficiently managed security service provider will offer tailored threat management, accessibility to investigations, and real-time solutions. The digital landscape within the business environment is evolving gradually, as is the risk of a cyber breach. Therefore, getting skilled threat intelligence solutions is important to keep up with the changes and continue detecting and neutralizing upcoming threats.
Cyber threat intelligence analyst(s) will be responsible for gathering data, sorting it out, monitoring the threats, recommending solutions, and presenting intelligence reports. With such assistance, you will be able to keep the infrastructure, assets, and personnel within your organization safe from all forms of breaches.
Hiring professionally managed security service providers will enable you to experience the benefits of threat intelligence, such as:
● Optimal detection & monitoring
● Immediate threat responses
● Efficient decision making
● Enhanced efficiency of the security team
● Develop collaborative knowledge
The security teams within the organizations use threat intelligence and valuable insights to detect the potential characteristics and behavior of specific threats. Following that, they also integrate enhanced granular security efficiency through their respective policies. Threat intelligence helps them identify upcoming attacks and prevent them.