As the networks of organizations and companies become increasingly complex, the cyber threat landscape has evolved in many ways and has opened doors to much more advanced lapses and threats.
As a result, cyber threat intelligence has rapidly become an integral part of many organizations’ cybersecurity programs. The data and insights extracted from threat intelligence can help with the detection of loopholes and vulnerabilities and aid in the remediation at the level of enterprise and third-party networks.
Having said the above, many companies do not truly value threat intelligence and do not employ controls to truly leverage intelligence from various sources. To take advantage of threat intelligence to its full potential, organizations must develop an understanding of the best practices for collecting, managing, and applying the gathered information.
Explaining Threat Intelligence and Its Importance
Threat Intelligence is collected information that can aid businesses and organizations identify and defend against cyber attacks. It provides a context in the view and explains the attack vectors and the potential risks that an organization is facing by monitoring activities such as conversions on the dark web and the trends of cybersecurity in your industry.
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.” — Gartner
The threat of cyber-attacks is rapidly evolving and increasing in size as adversaries find ways to break current practices in place. Threat Intelligence galvanizes the IT teams to gain an understanding of the motives of the attacker and tries to gain insight that can be used to make informed decisions in the future.
Some organizations try to incorporate threat data feeds into their existing network but are unable to utilize that extra data, adding to the woes of analysts who might not have the necessary tools to decide what to give more importance and what to ignore.
A cyber threat intelligence solution will address these issues. The best solutions make use of machine learning to automate the process of data collection and processing, integration with existing solutions, absorb unstructured data from various sources, and then use context and anomaly detection to look for loopholes and indicators of compromise.
Threat intelligence is actionable. It provides context well in time and is easily understandable by the people in charge of making decisions.
Five Best Practices for Reaping Maximum Benefit out of Threat Intelligence
With a huge influx of information, collecting data might feel like a tedious task, especially once the organization begins to consider how to use the insights that have been extracted. Let us look into five best practices for making maximum use of security data and applying threat intelligence to meet business needs.
Monitoring The Activities that Might Be a Threat
One of the most integral components of making the best use of threat intelligence is continuous monitoring. Like conventional and legacy systems, the collection of threat intelligence should not be an occasional activity. A tool must be used in this regard that can continuously monitor risks, make your IT team up to date with the threat potential, and lead to an approach that is more proactive rather than reactive.
Integration of Risk Management and Intelligence
Implementation of threat intelligence into the risk management program of the company should not lead to the creation of more manual and time-consuming tasks. It should work as an agent to relieve the IT teams of pressure and create a more comprehensive strategy for cybersecurity.
This is why it is essential that the threat intelligence solution you choose can be integrated with the existing technologies that are already being used in your company and become a part of the risk management program. Otherwise, there is a risk of creating additional processes that will be dependent upon human resources.
Creation of an Incident Response Plan
How does your business plan on responding to a threat once it has been declared as one? This is a critical question that every company must consider as a part of its threat intelligence plan. When you build a program, an incident response plan needs to be the top priority. The order of operations will need to be defined and lay out next steps that will be applied to mitigate the threat.
Automation of Threat Intelligence Implementation
There is a sea of data being generated by countless sources making it virtually impossible for humans to efficiently go through all of it and determine the risks accurately.
Automation of this process allows you to take the workload off of your shoulders so that the Information Technology team can focus on tasks of urgent nature and high priority. This also reduces human error leading to decreased risks and better output and overall performance.
Demonstrate the Importance to the Stakeholders
The return on investment can be difficult to track when monitoring and analyzing threat intelligence. Your team must be able to demonstrate the business value of your efforts and investments in the domain of cybersecurity when reporting to the board or other stakeholders, to gain executive buy-in and convince them that the spending is justified.
A key factor to consider when doing so is the level of technical expertise of your board so that you can facilitate a productive conversation about your organization’s cybersecurity posture.
Having threat intelligence integrated into your network is an incredibly important aspect of providing proactive security and ensuring your organization is kept safe from all existing and potential threats.
In the current age, it is inevitable. So, all organizations must develop a comprehensive plan with full backing from the stakeholders that are not only able to preemptively determine potential threats but also mitigate them once they arise.
In the modern day and age, with increased reliance on the internet and other online platforms, this is the only solution to go forward. Currently, many players are in this domain and providing their services to the users.