How Threat Intelligence Can Help Organizations Overcome Cyber Attacks

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With all the cyber attacks in existence today, it's important to have all the help you can get. This is where threat intelligence can be very beneficial.

What High-Level Threat Intelligence Is

When you hear this terminology being used you probably immediately think about those elite security analysts who are employed by secretive government agencies or huge corporations. However, since today’s cybercriminals are bolder, highly equipped, and more organized than ever before, your business can’t afford to be without these sophisticated tools too. With how well refined today’s new attack techniques and malware are, you have no choice but to be both reactive and defensive here.

Arming your business with high-level threat intelligence is the best way to take back initiative from the attackers because you can identify potential malicious activity before it happens. This is done by gathering information from various open sources and hidden channels (e.g. the dark web) – something that doesn’t have to be too expensive or complicated for even small businesses to manage. Today’s threat intelligence industry has rapidly grown, making itself much more accessible in recent years. Now your business can appreciate having clear, relevant intelligence provided to it in real time so you can deal with daily threats and make strategic decisions about your leadership.

Supercharging Your Security Operation Center (SOC)

Regardless of whether you run your own SOC in-house or you hire a third-party to take care of this for you, it’s important to realize that this is your company’s nerve center when it comes to security activity. This is why you must ensure that your entire security team is receiving and responding to security alerts from various tools.

Obviously, this can be quite challenging when you get a lot of information given to you at once. This is especially true when you stop to consider that these reports will oftentimes contain both false positives and false negatives that your team will need to disentangle. In the midst of all this, it’s easy to overlook any data that points to a serious threat. To help them with these things you’ll want to make sure you filter all the security alerts you receive so they can keep up with everything that’s going on. Make sure your team only receives relevant data, presented in context, and then enriched with additional information, all of which is easy to understand for your team to act on it.

Combating Emerging Threats

There’s no way to guarantee complete protection against cyber attacks, especially considering how previous unknown zero-day vulnerabilities can be easily exploited. As such, one of the most important parts of your security strategy is your incident report. It can make a big difference between a small incident and an expensive disaster. Unfortunately, without the right information, even the most thorough incident response playbook can become ineffective. You don’t want disjointed technology, fragmented data streams, lack of skill, or not enough professionals to cost you time since the longer the attack progresses, the more damage it’ll cause.

Make sure your response team can access threat intelligence tools that break sources into relevant and usable items. This will enable them to quickly come to grips with the situation because they can quickly and efficiently utilize their resources to make quick decisions when time matters most.

Zero-Day Vulnerability

Combating emerging threats in real time makes a huge difference in whether you can mitigate the damage criminals are attempting to inflict. Something else that’s equally important here is identifying and managing these vulnerabilities before attackers can discover and exploit them. Unfortunately, this isn’t easy to do so most companies prioritize remediation efforts based on the amount of risk that’s involved. In this case, it’s imperative to incorporate threat intelligence into the risk assessment process. Doing so will help you have a better grasp of the wider security landscape instead of just your own internal operations. This is because you may be able to notice when certain software is the focus of a major attack campaign then update and patch it now even though it wouldn’t have been such a priority otherwise.

By equipping your business with its own threat intelligence stream you’ll have a better opportunity to stay ahead of your attackers. You can use the National Vulnerability Database (NVD) to help you with this. They publish any new vulnerabilities they discover, but unfortunately, it usually takes them 7 days to do so. During this time cybercriminals who are more advanced and organized can exploit your vulnerabilities. This is why you should also have your own intelligence in place instead of relying heavily on other sources. Doing so will allow you to be proactive when it comes to taking control of your own security.

Empowering Your Company’s Leadership

Genuine intelligence will help you be proactive in taking a stance against any incoming attacks. Nevertheless, there are still many challenges standing in your way like the amount of capital and resources this requires. This is because a heavy financial investment is required to acquire the personnel and technology you’ll need here.

However, once you see this as an essential business priority you’ll be willing to devote more capital to it. Even when you do reach this point it can still be difficult to prioritize effectively due to the expansive, fast-moving nature of today’s cyber landscape. This leads many companies to invest in advanced new security tools instead of really pausing to take a moment to understand what your real priorities are. You’ll definitely want to do this here instead of getting caught up in following what your peers are doing because what works for them may not work for you. This is why it’s so important to invest in a security strategy that’s optimized to meet your specific needs. Obviously, this will also help you get your board of directors on board with making this type of a decision.



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