Cyber threat intelligence has become more and more a necessity for every business, no matter how large or small. There are a number of different methods you can implement in order to combat cyber threats, including cyber intelligence. This method involves learning about the various cyber-risks that could affect your business. By making use of cyber threat intelligence, you can be prepared for what’s coming and know how to avoid these attacks.
Why Do You Need to be Concerned?
Many small business owners feel that as long as they have a virus scanner, a firewall, and other tools, they’re protected. They don’t feel like hackers would target their small business. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case. In 2015, around 43 percent of cyber-attacks were aimed at small businesses. That means small businesses are definitely not too small of a target for hackers! No matter how small your business is, you can’t simply assume hackers won’t notice you. You’ve got to be prepared, and that means you need to have a cyber intelligence policy in place.
The first thing to do is to define your threats. If you don’t know what’s going to cause your organization harm, you can’t be prepared to fight against it. That’s where threat intelligence comes in. By looking at all of the different things that can cause your business harm, you’ll gain useful information that you can harness to protect against these threats. The more information you have, the better.
Note that hackers may not be the only threat your business faces. While preparing to combat cyber attacks is certainly the main goal of threat intelligence, it doesn’t have to be the only goal. You can also use this opportunity to state some other potential threats your business may face, including social, political, and even personal threats.
Threat Intelligence Defined
Threat intelligence is defined as evidence-based information that includes the implications, mechanism, context, indicators, and all other information related to a threat or hazard. This information can be used to determine your response to these threats. This term became very relevant in 2013 and has only been growing since. Today, we have cyber threat experts who understand how to gather this information, analyze it, and categorize it so that it’s useful information.
Business owners have come to see threat intelligence as a necessity. They realize that by gathering this information, they’re in a much better position to protect themselves from attacks. In fact, a survey done in 2016 indicated that less than six percent of surveyed businesses said they didn’t have a threat intelligence program. Most (40.5%) stated that their threat intelligence program was “maturing” – they had a program structure in place and had begun growing it, but it wasn’t complete.
The Benefits of Threat Intelligence
There are many different reasons why making use of threat intelligence is beneficial for companies.
Here are six of these benefits:
Prevent Loss of Data
Your cyber threat intelligence system can be used to monitor when suspicious domains or IPs are trying to communicate with your network and gather information about these IPs. This allows you to block those addresses, preventing them from successfully infiltrating your network and stealing data.
The faster you can detect a security breach, the faster you can respond to it and the smaller the amount of damage to your business will be.
By using threat intelligence, you can gather information that will be very helpful in crafting your responses to these threats. A well-researched, reasoned, and prepared response will make it much easier to handle future breaches. It also helps you identify when your system has been compromised.
Using threat intelligence will help you learn the Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) of hacker and other cyber-criminals. By analyzing these cyber security threats, you’ll be able to determine if your defense systems will block most of these TTPs or if you have glaring holes in your shields.
Likewise, analyzing all of the data may help you determine if there’s something you’ve overlooked regarding all of the threats your company faces. This includes the motivation of the hacker and what assets they may be using.
Threat intelligence sharing
Finally, you need to remember that it’s okay to share any threat intelligence you get with others in your industry. By sharing information on hackers, everyone except the cyber-criminal wins. The more organizations that can defeat these attacks, the less the hackers get.
Where Does Threat Intelligence Come From?
Your threat intelligence comes from several different places. First, there’s your internal threat intelligence. This is all of the data you’ve gathered yourself. It includes your system logs, virus scanner logs, and all of the other information about attacks on your system. You can use it to create your business’s environment profile, determine the patterns of attacks on your system, and look at where your weakest points are.
Then there’s the external intelligence you gather from others. This is the information that others in the industry share with you as well as information shared from cyber-security companies, experts, organizations. Crowdsourced platforms, and the government. This information can alert you to threats you didn’t know existed and provide you with information on how to combat them. By implementing this information, you’ll be able to head off some attacks before they even occur.
Creating Your Cyber Threat Intelligence Program
If you don’t have a threat intelligence program in place yet, you need to make it a priority. Creating a threat intelligence program first requires you to determine who will oversee your threat intelligence. Most often, it falls into your IT department’s purview, but you may want to consider bringing in a cyber-security expert.
Next, determine what tools you need to collect data and analyze it. Determine where your data will come from.
Finally, set the goals for your threat intelligence program and determine how you will measure progress. Once that’s done, you can begin gathering information and using it to protect your network.
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