Threat intelligence is the process of identifying and analyzing threats related to information security and technology. It consists of reviewing the data, examining it in context to detect problems and implementing specific solutions. In turn, it encourages proactive, rather than reactive, actions in the fight against cyberattacks.
What exactly is threat intelligence?
Threat intelligence, also called “cyber threat intelligence” (CTI), is data with detailed insights into cybersecurity threats directed at an organization. Threat intelligence helps security teams be more proactive, allowing them to take effective data-driven measures to prevent cyberattacks before they occur. It can also help an organization better detect and respond to ongoing attacks.
Analysts create intelligence by collecting raw security-related threat information from multiple sources to correlate and analyze the data to discover trends, patterns, and relationships that reveal actual or potential threats. The resulting intelligence is:
- Organization-specific: focused not on generalities but on specific vulnerabilities in the attack surface.
- Detailed and contextual: covering not only the threats directed at the company, but also the perpetrators of the attacks, the tactics, techniques, procedures they use, and indicators of compromise that can point to a specific cyberattack.
- Practical: Because it provides security teams with information they can use to address vulnerabilities, prioritize and remediate threats, and even evaluate new or existing cybersecurity tools.
Why is CTI (Cyber Threat Intelligence) crucial for organizations?
- Prevent data loss: With a well-structured CTI program, organizations can detect cyber threats and prevent data breaches with sensitive information.
- Provide guidance on security measures: By identifying and analyzing threats, the CTI program detects the patterns hackers use and helps organizations implement security measures to protect against future attacks.
- Inform other people: hackers are getting smarter. To stay informed, cybersecurity experts share the tactics they know with others in their community to create a collective knowledge base and fight cybercrime.
- Reduce risks: Hackers are always looking for new ways to penetrate company networks. Threat intelligence allows businesses to identify new vulnerabilities as they emerge, thereby reducing the risk of data loss or disruption to daily operations.
- Prevent data breaches: A cyber threat intelligence solution must prevent data breaches. This is accomplished by monitoring suspicious domains or IP addresses that are attempting to communicate with an organization’s systems. A good CTI system blocks suspicious IP addresses from the network, which could steal your data. Without this system active, hackers could flood the network with fake traffic to conduct a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack.
- Reduce costs: Data breaches are costly. In 2021, the global average cost of a data breach was $4.24 million. These costs include items such as legal fees and fines, as well as restoration costs after the incident. By reducing the risk of data breaches, cyber threat intelligence can save you money.