Investments in security solutions continue to increase as organizations seek to combat growing numbers of threats. Every device, application and connection to the network represents a potential entry point for a malicious actor, and today’s hackers can exploit vulnerabilities before organizations even know they exist.
However, many organizations lack the skilled security professionals needed to derive full value from cybersecurity investments and respond quickly to attacks. According to CyberSeek, there are more than 700,000 unfilled cybersecurity positions in the U.S. alone.
These are key reasons why more organizations are utilizing threat intelligence solutions that facilitate the tracking of malicious actors and provide insight into their behavior. According to Fortune Business Insights, the global threat intelligence market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 20.4 percent through 2030.
What Is Threat Intelligence?
Gartner defines threat intelligence as “evidence-based knowledge, including context, mechanisms, indicators, implications and actionable advice about an existing or emerging menace or hazard to assets that can be used to inform decisions regarding the subject’s response to that menace or hazard.” In simple terms, threat intelligence tells organizations who is targeting them, what tactics are being used, and what systems or data are being targeted so they can take action.
Rather than dumping raw data that hasn’t been analyzed or vetted onto your security team’s lap, true threat intelligence is processed and evaluated by both human beings and technology in the proper context. Sophisticated tools are used for ongoing research and monitoring, which make it possible to assess tactics, data and technical indicators related to various threats.
That is what separates unfiltered information from reliable intelligence. Threat intelligence should be accurate, current and actionable, enabling security teams to respond to threats quickly and effectively.
Types of Threat Intelligence
There are three broad types of threat intelligence:
- Tactical threat intelligence focuses on the techniques and tactics used by hackers, how the organization might be targeted, and the defenses needed to reduce the risk of attack. It also includes system and network-level indicators that humans and machines use to detect and respond to attacks.
- Operational threat intelligence captures information from active attacks, including domain names, URLs, file names and IP addresses. It is used to shut down attacks, eliminate known threats and minimize damage.
- Strategic threat intelligence includes higher level reports on cybercriminals, their capabilities, activities and motivations for attacking the organization or its industry. It is designed for presentation to executives to use for planning and decision-making.
There are also managed threat intelligence services that combine aspects of the other types along with security consulting and threat assessments. Threat intelligence specialists provide more actional data and the context IT teams need to protect systems and data, and facilitate the injection of data into security devices.
Threat Intelligence Challenges
Threat intelligence has become an essential to cybersecurity but it remains underutilized. Although many organizations recognize the value of threat intelligence, few have effective processes for using threat intelligence data.
Data quality is another problem. Free services from the SANS Internet Storm Center and CERT are simple data feeds that can become stale within minutes. Fee-based services aggregate and correlate multiple data feeds and provide customer-specific threat analysis, prioritization and alerts. The ability to apply threat intelligence and assess the trustworthiness of the source in real time is a valuable component of a threat intelligence solution.
Despite these challenges, threat intelligence is receiving a lot of attention as organizations seek to stem the tide of cyberattacks. Technologent can help you explore the various options and develop strategies for taking maximum advantage of the data they provide. Contact us to discuss how threat intelligence can augment your security processes and help you rapidly detect and thwart cyberattacks.
March 20, 2023