What is Cyber Threat Intelligence?

Introduction

Table of Contents

Cyber attacks occur every 39 seconds and affect 1 in 3 Americans per year.

Basic cybersecurity tips like encrypting data and using unique passwords aren’t enough. Your organization needs something more powerful to stay safe, think cyber threat intelligence

Threat intelligence involves collecting and analyzing information about past, current, and future cybersecurity threats. Your SOC, CSIRT, and other partners can use this data to prevent and respond to attacks.

Read our comprehensive guide to threat intelligence to learn what it does, who it benefits, and how to do it.

 

What Threat Intelligence Does

Threat intelligence, or cyber threat intelligence, involves analyzing any and all threats to an organization.

The process begins with gathering as much information as possible in order to have the knowledge that allows your organization to prevent or mitigate potential attacks.

Threat intelligence feeds are continuous data streams that provide information about threats. They gather lists of IoCs like malicious URLs or emails, malware hashes, and suspicious IP addresses.  They use several sources to gather data. These include open-source intelligence feeds, network and application logs, or third-party feeds.

There’s a difference between threat information vs. intelligence. Threat information is general data without context. Threat intelligence involves analyzing this information to decide what steps to take.

Hackers use a range of methods to access computer networks. Common types of attacks include zero-day threats, exploits, and APT.

A zero-day threat occurs during a vulnerability window. It lasts from the time of the attack to the time it’s fixed. Most companies take 6 months to detect a data breach, so this period can be long.

An exploit is a more general term. It refers to all methods used by hackers to gain unauthorized access to a computer.

There also are more sophisticated attacks. An APT or advanced persistent threat is a multi-method process. It can take months to launch and is often driven by nation-states in an effort to compromise other countries and governments. APT Hackers use viruses, worms, rootkits, or even members of the organization.

 

The Importance of Threat Intelligence 

Threat intelligence helps you sort through mountains of data. It’s the fastest way to find information about potential threats and also allows you to track events and monitor software in real-time.

The data you collect can help develop patterns that are used to detect future attacks. It’s both a proactive and responsive security measure.

Threat intelligence can even save you money. The average cost of a breach is $3.9 million, and the number rises to $116 million for publicly traded companies.

Data-Driven Threat Intelligence
Learn about the common challenges and solutions to threat intelligence.

The Benefits of Threat Intelligence

Everyone in your organization can benefit from threat intelligence.

Your Sec/IT analyst will be able to provide better prevention and detection and strengthen your existing defenses.Your intel analyst will be able to better identify and track threats to your organization.Your SOC or security operations center is a facility that fights cyberattacks for you. They use monitoring, threat analysis, and other processes. Threat intelligence allows them to prioritize which incidents to focus on.

A CSIRT or Computer Security Incident Response Team responds to security incidents as they occur. Threat intelligence allows them to investigate, manage, and prioritize incidents more efficiently.

Threat intelligence will also allow your executive management team to understand cybersecurity risks. They’ll be better equipped to choose the right options to prevent them.

 

Uses of Threat Intelligence

Your Sec/IT Analyst can integrate threat intelligence feeds with other security products. They can also block security threats like compromised IPs, URLs, domains, and files.

Threat intelligence will help your SOC create better alerts that are linked to incidents. It will also allow them to create new security controls.

Your CSIRT can use threat information to analyze the root cause and scope of an incident.

Your intel analyst will look for intrusion evidence and review threat reports to detect and prevent them.

Your executive management team can assess the organization’s overall threat level and develop a general security roadmap.

 

The Threat Intelligence Lifecycle

The threat intelligence lifecycle is made up of 6 steps.

Step 1 – Planning: Planning and direction is where organizations decide how they’ll perform threat intelligence. It involves developing goals and requirements.

Step 2 – Collection: Collection involves deciding what data to gather and which source to gather it from.

Step 3 – Processing: Processing puts all the information into the right format, converting it if necessary. It also involves categorizing the data for future use.

Step 4 – Analysis: Analysis is arguably the most vital. It involves identifying security issues and answering questions from the planning phase.

Step 5 – Dissemination: Dissemination is where data gets presented in a usable, understandable way.

Step 6 – Feedback: Feedback is where reports about the data get evaluated and adjustments are made if necessary.

 

Types of Threat Intelligence

Despite its clearly defined lifecycle, there is more than one way to perform threat intelligence. The most important aspect is having your organization identify threats in order to mitigate and prevent them.

There are three main types of threat intelligence that all work together to keep your organization safe. They are strategic, operational, and tactical.

Strategic

Strategic threat intelligence involves looking at long-term, non-technical issues. It involves creating an overview of the threat environment.

Operational

Operational threat intelligence is more technical. It focuses on the nature, timing, motive, and intent of an attack. This data helps detect and prepare for future threats.

Tactical

Tactical threat intelligence gives a detailed analysis of the tactics, techniques, and procedures related to a threat. That information helps develop defense policies that prevent attacks and improve security systems.

 

SentinelOne’s Threat intelligence Tools

Cybersecurity remains a major issue as hackers get more sophisticated. Gone are the days of simple exploits. Large organizations now have to worry about carefully planned APT attacks.

Every business needs to enact threat intelligence. It’s the best way to identify cybersecurity issues before they can be exploited. It’s a 6-step process that benefits every member of your organization.

Put an end to passive security. SentinelOne proactively protects your business at every stage of the threat lifecycle. See for yourself – Schedule a demo.

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