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How Does Threat Intelligence Benefit Your Organization?

Posted on June 13, 2018

As a technology professional, you understand the need to keep your company protected from cyber-attacks. In fact, many would argue that there is no greater priority for IT departments than to keep their organization secure. However, most security measures that are implemented are based on blanket strategies that only hope to catch intruders before they cause any damage. With the threat of a security breach being ever-present, threat intelligence is necessary in order to gain information on potential threats and confidently protect against any strikes.

What is Threat Intelligence?

To put it simply, it is having the necessary knowledge to make informed decisions about an organization’s potential security threats. With threat intelligence, you can better protect your organization from intruder. Using threat intelligence tools, you can gain evidence-based knowledge of the details of a threat including its capabilities, goals and motives. The more you know about your enemy, the better you can defend yourself against them.

Why is Threat Intelligence Important?

The perpetrators behind cyber-security threats are more sophisticated than ever. Today’s bad actors are often organized or state-sponsored groups that have access to tools and resources that rival that of major security firms. Hacking attempts aren’t one-time efforts anymore. Instead, they’re using multi-year engagements to target sensitive and valuable information in your organization. As a result, using traditional, disparate security mechanisms isn’t going to get the job done. Only reacting to security incidents is also going to miss the mark when it comes to having an appropriate level of protection. In today’s environment, you must be proactive in harvesting information about the threats, including the actors behind them, in order to discover potential threats before they arrive and decreasing their chances of success.

How Can You Get Threat Intelligence?

You can obtain threat intelligence from both internal and external sources. From internal systems, you can obtain network data such as incident response reports and log files. Also, keeping track of information from historical incidents and leveraging them to gain a better understanding of the enemy. You can also use external sources to a certain extent. Whether it’s vendor blogs or publicly available information from trusted sites, you can use this information to identify patterns that can help illuminate potential threats and their actors.

Best Practices for Threat Intelligence

Here are some ways you can start to put threat intelligence into practice using threat intelligence tools. While this isn’t a complete solution, it’s a good place to start.

  • Maintain a list of blacklisted and whitelisted applications to prevent malicious applications from executing on your network.
  • Check logs after a security incident to determine if it was isolated or due to a continued network vulnerability that needs to be patched.
  • After an attack, determine what, if anything, changed and address them immediately. Keep track of these incidents, comparing them to each other to identify any patterns.

To ensure proper network security in today’s environment requires a different approach to security. While existing tools and processes are not to be discarded, using them independently will leave your organization unprepared to take on the level of sophistication that comes with modern-day attacks. You must have the necessary, modernized tools in place to better analyze security data and limit the number, and effect, of incidents.

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