Is Your Cyber Threat Intelligence Program Effective?
A cyber threat intelligence (CTI) program is effective if it provides in-depth insights and visibility into the evolving cybersecurity landscape. It must allow organizations to understand historical and current threats, and predict them, enabling quick triaging and processing of multi-source threat data, and prioritizing their resources.
An organization’s CTI program can be successful if it focuses on the following key areas:
Internal Threat Intelligence
A security team’s ability to analyze threat intelligence is hampered by their lack of access to internal tools, including firewalls, antivirus, EDR/NDR, and SIEM solutions that generate log files and incident response reports. CTI programs are ineffective if they do not allow security teams to make use of the threat intel generated by these internal tools. The threat intel derived from these tools can be used to seek answers to the “who”, “what”, and “when” of the cyber threats.
Threat correlation is an essential part of the threat intelligence lifecycle. It involves putting context to threat information so that analysts can make better decisions about potential threats and their likelihood of occurrence. A CTI program should focus on the use of connected threat intelligence platforms that make it easy for security teams to correlate indicators and incidents, establish relationships between them, and organize data to get a clear picture of threats.
A comprehensive threat intelligence program provides security teams with complete threat visibility, enabling them to centralize multi-source ingestion, perform correlation of indicators of compromise (IOCs), and leverage actionable and contextualized threat intelligence.
Security collaboration is becoming more common due to its effectiveness in defending against cyberattacks. By collaborating with private and public entities that face similar cyber threats, organizations can benefit from the collective intelligence and work together as trusted advisers in defending against complex threats. An effective CTI program is one that fosters bi-directional cyber threat intelligence sharing and real-time collaboration, empowering organizations to collectively defend against advanced threats while protecting their individual environments.
Threat Intelligence Operationalization
A comprehensive threat intelligence program focuses on combining the aggregation, analysis and dissemination of threat intelligence, as well as integration with other tools. The use of connected threat intelligence platforms enables automated correlation and analysis of millions of threat indicators quickly.
Automated Threat Intelligence Lifecycle
Thousands of IOCs are collected on a daily basis, but manually enriching them is not possible. Connected threat intelligence platforms can dramatically increase the speed and accuracy of threat intelligence lifecycle processes by automating the process of adding context to IOCs. Such platforms propel automated threat intel ingestion, enrichment and analysis, driving successful CTI programs.
Integrates with Internal Tools
To improve their efficiency, organizations employ a variety of security tools today. However, they become overwhelmed by the volume and complexity of the generated data. One of the major goals of a successful CTI program is to integrate all different tools to increase security teams’ productivity instead of forcing them to add more tools in their arsenal.
In order to protect an organization from cyberattacks, identifying threat actors and their TTPs should be the objective of any CTI program. For successful threat detection, organizations must know how many of these actors they are monitoring as well as why. Having a complete understanding of “who” and “why” an attacker is targeting an organization should be the focus of any CTI program.
A mature CTI program is a security team’s best weapon for collecting, enriching, correlating, and analyzing threat data. An effective CTI program requires years of focus on developing robust cyber strategies and integration of the best threat intelligence solutions.