In today’s modern world, digital technologies are at the heart of almost every industry today. The greater connectedness and automation they provide have revolutionized the business world— but they’ve also created more risks in the form of cyberattacks. To prevent or reduce those attacks, solid cyber threat intelligence is a must. This article shares everything you need to know about cyber threat intelligence.
- Cyber Threat Intelligence: What Is It?
- The Importance of Cyber Threat Intelligence
- Who Can Benefit From a Cyber Threat Intelligence?
- 4 Types of Cyber Threat Intelligence
- The Cyber Threat Intelligence Lifecycle
Cyber Threat Intelligence: What Is It?
Cyber threat intelligence (or threat intelligence, in short) is simply the data that can help understand a threat or malicious actor’s targets, motives, and attack behaviors.
With threat intelligence, businesses can make more informed, data-backed security decisions faster. It also helps in changing an organization’s behavior from reactive to proactive to effectively fight against threats and malicious actors.
The Importance of Cyber Threat Intelligence
Whether it’s in a military or business context, intelligence is the information that provides an organization with decision support and strategic advantage. As a bigger part of a security intelligence strategy, threat intelligence includes information associated with protecting your business from inside and external threats, as well as the policies, processes, and tools used to obtain and analyze that information.
Cyber threat intelligence provides better insight into the threat actors and overall threat landscape along with the latest malicious procedures, techniques, and tactics. This allows organizations to be proactive in coming up with security strategies to detect and prevent even the most advanced attacks as well as zero-day threats.
Who Can Benefit From a Cyber Threat Intelligence?
Cyber threat intelligence can provide numerous benefits to organizations of any size and across a broad range of industries and disciplines.
This is because this kind of intelligence involves processing data and using it to obtain a stronger understanding of the attackers that a business may face or is currently facing. This holds true whatever type of threat intelligence your business and specialists use.
In terms of small- or medium-sized businesses, cyber threat intelligence can provide protection that would be otherwise unattainable since it avails them of a wide storehouse of the threats that could attack their network.
Meanwhile, for larger corporations, cyber threat intelligence can bring them information and a better understanding of bad actors, their tools, and how they attack. This gives them a better idea of the impact of a certain risk on their operations and how to effectively deal with them.
4 Types of Cyber Threat Intelligence
1. Strategic Cyber Threat Intelligence
Strategic threat intelligence can provide you with an overview of your business’s threat landscape. It offers high-level analysis but with less technical nature that’s suitable for board members, stakeholders, and other decision-makers.
It is based on a detailed analysis of the emerging trends and risks from around the world with the primary goal of helping you understand the current threat landscape. This type of intelligence is often presented in the form of reports, white papers, and presentations.
2. Tactical Cyber Threat Intelligence
As its name implies, tactical threat intelligence provides data and information about the tactics, procedures, and techniques that malicious and threat actors use. Thus, it is intended for those directly involved in protecting your IT infrastructure and data resources.
Tactical threat intelligence provides a detailed report on how your business might be attacked based on the current methods being used by malicious actors and the best strategies to mitigate or defend against the attacks.
3. Operational Cyber Threat Intelligence
An operational threat intelligence focuses more on information about the attacks. This provides you with detailed insights on factors such as motive, nature, timing, and how a cyber-attack is carried out.
With this approach, the information is collected from a variety of sources including social media, chat rooms, past events, and antivirus logs. In general, machine learning and data mining are often used to automate the processing of thousands of data points across numerous languages.
In addition, incident response teams and security specialists use operational threat intelligence to change the configuration of certain controls such as your firewall rules, access controls, and event detection rules. Also, it helps improve the response time during attacks since the information can provide a clearer idea of what exactly to look for.
4. Technical Cyber Threat Intelligence
This type of threat intelligence focuses more on signs which indicate that an attack is starting. These signs include weaponization, reconnaissance, and delivery such as social engineering, baiting, and spear phishing.
Technical threat intelligence is critical in blocking these attacks, particularly social engineering.
In general, this type of intelligence is usually grouped with operational threat intelligence. However, it can be adjusted quickly as hackers change or update their tactics to take advantage of new ruses and events.
The Cyber Threat Intelligence Lifecycle
Raw data isn’t the same thing as intelligence. Instead, it is the finished product that comes out of the 6-part cycle of data collection, processing, and thorough analysis.
These 6 parts include:
It is considered as a cycle since new gaps in knowledge and questions are identified during the course of producing intelligence, resulting in new collection requirements being set.
What is the difference between cyber threat intelligence and cyber security?
Cyber threat intelligence is the data that outlines threats to your business. Whereas cyber security is the activity that fights and prevents these threats.
What does a cyber threat intelligence analyst do?
They are experts at utilizing threat intelligence to prevent any potential data threats and defend enterprise data. Also, they help in compiling reports to identify ways for businesses to pinpoint and prepare for potential cyber threats.
What are use cases for cyber threat intelligence?
Some of the few use cases for cyber threat intelligence include incident response, vulnerability management, internet security operations, risk analysis, security leadership, and reducing 3rd party risks.
And there you have it!
As technology keeps on advancing, helping businesses to optimize operations and adapt to modern interconnectedness, it also leaves your organization to complex attacks that steal enterprise data. A cyber threat intelligence strategy shall make sure that your business stays protected against the ever-increasing cyber threats of this fast-paced modern world.