Cyber threat intelligence is data that is collected, analysed, and processed to understand a malicious actor’s attack behaviours, motives, and targets. Cyber threat intelligence allows IT security specialists to make quicker, more informed cybersecurity decisions and changes the response from reactive to proactive in the fight against cybercrime.
Why is Cyber Threat Intelligence Important?
In the ever evolving digital world, threat actors are constantly trying to outmanoeuvre the latest cybersecurity measures. Therefore, data on a malicious actor’s next move is key to tailoring your organisation’s defences and preventing future attacks.
However, many organisations today focus on only the most basic of measures, such as firewalls, IPS, security information and event management (SIEM), and integrating threat data feeds with an existing network — without making the most of the insights that cyber threat intelligence provides.
Organisations that rely on the most basic level of cyber threat intelligence are missing out on important cybersecurity steps that could help protect their business and save them money. Here is why cyber threat intelligence is important:
- Cyber threat intelligence shines a light on the unknown, allowing cybersecurity teams to make more informed decisions.
- Cyber threat intelligence empowers cybersecurity stakeholders by revealing threat actor’s tactics, motives, techniques, and procedures.
- Cyber threat intelligence helps cybersecurity professionals understand the malicious actor’s decision-making process.
- Cyber threat intelligence informs business stakeholders, such as boards, CIOs, CISOs, and CTOs; to make better decisions and invest wisely.
How to implement cyber threat intelligence?
There are many ways to integrate cyber threat intelligence into an organisation’s cybersecurity strategy. However, the three main areas to consider include ensuring that your organisation adopts a proactive approach to intelligence. Combine threat intelligence with existing security solutions. And finally, make sure that you minimize fatigue alert.
Types of Cyber Threat Intelligence Tools
Cyber threat intelligence tools provide businesses with data about the latest cyber threats, including new forms of malware, zero-day attacks, and exploits. Cyber threat intelligence tools improve cybersecurity performance by providing intelligence about the threats affecting infrastructure, networks, and endpoint devices.
Cyber security threat intelligence tools, such as vulnerability management software, security risk ratings, security testing tools, and SIEM, integrate with threat intelligence feeds or supply similar information to threat intelligence products.
To be considered a comprehensive threat intelligence product, information on new vulnerabilities and threats must be provided, along with detailed remediation instructions for common threats, and support analysis of specific threats discovered on endpoint devices, networks, or other IT systems.
Cyber Threat Intelligence Categories
Cyber threat intelligence can be divided into three categories:
Strategic intelligence provides an overview of an organisation’s threat landscape.
Tactical intelligence describes a malicious actor’s methods, tactics, and techniques.
Operational intelligence includes knowledge of an incident or activity, along with insights that can greatly help response teams.
How to build a cyber threat intelligence plan?
Building a cyber threat intelligence plan is no mean feat. There are six key principles to consider when building one: Planning and direction, collection, processing and application, analysis, dissemination and integration, and finally, evaluation and feedback. Unless you are a cybersecurity expert, consider hiring the services of an external security team to build one for you.
9 Effective Strategies for Leveraging Cyber Threat Intelligence
Learn how to use cyber threat intelligence tools to enhance your security posture and stay ahead of evolving cyber threats with these nine strategies.
1. Continuous Monitoring for Threat Detection
Continuous monitoring is key in threat detection. Continuously monitoring IT networks and systems allows cybersecurity teams to detect security threats, non-compliance problems, or performance issues in an automated manner. The aim is to identify potential threats and/or issues in real-time to address them quickly.
RiskXchange is the only platform that provides a complete 360-degree view of your attack surface, including that of your vendors. It will continuously monitor your complete attack surface, highlight any risk, and enable you to fix any issues before the attacker discovers them.
2. Vulnerability Scanning and Assessment
Vulnerability scanning and assessment is the process of pinpointing, analysing, and reporting on vulnerabilities and security flaws. Vulnerability scans are conducted using automated vulnerability scanning tools to identify potential attack vectors and risk exposures across an organisation’s software, hardware, networks, and systems.
3. Incident Response Planning and Execution
Incident response planning contains specific directions for different attack scenarios, reducing recovery time, avoiding further damages, and mitigating cybersecurity risk. Incident response procedures focus on being prepared for cybersecurity breaches and how a business will recover from them.
4. Proactive Threat Hunting
Proactive threat hunting is the process of proactively searching for threats that are lurking undetected in a network or system. Threat hunting is a deep dive into a network to locate threat actors in an organisation’s ecosystem that have managed to get past initial endpoint security defences.
5. Intelligence Sharing and Collaboration
Intelligence sharing and collaboration allows an organisation to access and share real-time threat information and cyber threat intelligence without revealing sensitive details about their own systems or networks. This allows businesses to share information and collaborate without compromising their own cybersecurity.
6. Threat Intelligence Feed Integration
A threat intelligence feed can be an important step in bolstering cybersecurity measures within any organisation. A threat intelligence feed provides a constant stream of data about potential attacks, aka threat intelligence, from an external source. Organisations can use threat intelligence feeds to ensure their cybersecurity defences are updated and ready for the latest attacks.
7. Cyber Threat Intelligence Training and Education
Cyber threat intelligence training and education is key to winning the war against hackers in today’s digital age. Training and education are fundamentally important to not only ensuring that cybersecurity professionals are up to date with the latest advancements, but their analytical skills are sharpened.
8. Contextualizing Intelligence for Effective Decision-Making
Contextualizing intelligence for effective decision-making is key. Understanding how best to incorporate the insights received is the most important part of building up defences. Cyber intelligence is a mixture of defence and physical espionage with modern information technology. With such complexities, effective decision-making can be blinded unless expert operational teams or external cybersecurity firms are brought in to help bolster cybersecurity measures. Cyber threat intelligence management is key in today’s complex cybersecurity landscape.
9. Automating Cyber Threat Intelligence Processes
Automating cyber threat intelligence processes allows for the detection and response to threats in real-time. Automating the process helps cybersecurity operations teams react to alerts quickly and more efficiently. The impact of AI on cybersecurity management has already had a profound effect and as the technology advances, malicious actors are finding that they just can’t match the pace of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
Get in touch with RiskXchange to find out more about the best ways to leverage cyber threat intelligence.