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On the Path to a Mature Cybersecurity Program: How a Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform Helps

On the Path to a Mature Cybersecurity Program: How a Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform Helps

Every established enterprise aspires for its threat intelligence program to reach a certain maturity level. However, in assessing current capabilities, they often discover a few stumbling blocks, which include:

  • Lack of know-how: Some have no idea about their security posture and the imminent threats surrounding them.
  • Fragmented systems and workflows: Security operations centers (SOCs) deal with a lot of bottlenecks due to silted teams and security solutions. As a report says, companies, on average, incorporate 80 different security products from 40 vendors in their operations.
  • Overwhelming stream of threat data: Security teams don’t always know what to do with the vast amount of information they receive from multiple sources. Stuck in their ways, they dedicate a chunk of their time on investigating event-based alerts rather than proactively hunting down or analyzing unknown threats. They also fail to share threat intelligence with appropriate teams or departments promptly.
  • Resource constraints: The brunt of threat research and analysis usually rests on the shoulders of a lone analyst or a couple of members from the IT team. As a majority of the alerts they receive remain unparsed, they end up wasting time on sorting raw data.

So, how can an organization immediately know where it stands? Let’s examine how a cyber threat intelligence platform can help organizations achieve security maturity.

How to Start Building a Threat Intelligence Program

Maturity models differ depending on the cybersecurity company or subject-matter expert that designed them. Therefore, there isn’t a clear-cut way to get a threat intelligence program off the ground. However, experts would agree that it all starts with defining threat sources. Only with a better overview of your security needs can you begin consolidating indicators from your network and verify them against internal and external threat intelligence feeds.

As tempted as you may be to build your own database, it’s often more practical to rely on third-party information services. Open-source intelligence (OSINT) such as that from WHOIS records can provide invaluable information for further inspection. For instance, WHOIS records alone can contain insights on a potential adversary’s identity and domain infrastructure. Monitoring your own records, meanwhile, helps ensure your domain’s integrity.

Where a Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform Fits In

Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) is one example of a solution stack that can streamline your cybersecurity initiatives. It has several components that can augment the effectiveness of your existing solutions and increase your security architecture’s resilience to cyberattacks. The platform collates expert-vetted threat intelligence feeds from multiple trusted sources and parses data into human-readable entries.

Let’s take a closer look at TIP’s WHOIS record check to illustrate how users can benefit from the platform. With a domain or an IP address, they can efficiently run a hosting configuration analysis, including the domain’s WHOIS record, which gives the following data points:

  • The date when the domain was created and last updated, along with its expiration date and its registrant details. TIP also allows users to view the registration location, registrar, technical, and abuse contacts of a given domain.
  • The WHOIS record check also yields the domain’s name servers and whether it “passed” or “failed” verification. The validation test determines if the name servers in the record match the ones specified by the root name servers.

Unlike most WHOIS lookup tools, TIP already does half the work for analysts as its results show warnings whenever indicators of compromise (IoCs) are present. You can learn more about the platform’s output by reading its documentation.

Going Above and Beyond a WHOIS Record Check

Apart from providing users with much-needed registrant information to start in-depth investigations, TIP beefs up any organization’s security maturity by:

  • Furthering staff members’ cybersecurity know-how: TIP arms both seasoned and non-tech savvy users with knowledge on security issues they may have overlooked. It breaks down reports into well-defined segments, complete with detailed explanations. TIP also features a library of resources, including how-to guides and white papers.
  • Serving as an all-encompassing tool: TIP’s threat detection and analysis features identify the risks organizations are facing. It also checks if resource settings are correct and also tags dangerous domains as unsafe to visit. Its API version can also be integrated into existing solutions to provide useful intel.
  • Prioritizing vulnerability resolution: TIP can show which aspects need prioritization, such as if a malware resides on a host or if a domain pertains to a blacklist, among others.

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A cyber threat intelligence platform is not necessarily the be-all and end-all of cybersecurity maturity; however, it substantially aids organizations in ascending to the next stage. While it may take years for companies to become threat-resilient, establishing a sound threat intelligence program allows them to get off on the right foot.

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