In many ways, cybersecurity is an information war, and not just because many cyber criminals are trying to steal it.
Bad actors are constantly searching for information about their targets — they want to know about your vulnerabilities, what data you have, and how they can get at it. Meanwhile organizations’ security teams are shoring up their defenses and repelling attacks based on information about the attackers, the weapons those attackers are using, and the motivation behind breaches.
It’s no surprise that one of the greatest weapons in this information war is threat intelligence.
What is threat intelligence?
Gartner defines threat intelligence as “evidence-based knowledge, including context, mechanisms, indicators, implications and actionable advice, about an existing or emerging menace or hazard to assets that can be used to inform decisions regarding the subject’s response to that menace or hazard.”
In plain language, threat intelligence is any information that lets an organization prevent or mitigate cyberattacks. It could come in the form of anything from chatter on the dark web to knowledge of a new kind of attack that’s been targeting an organization.
Good threat intelligence is critical to a company’s cybersecurity strategy. The Ponemon Institute found threat intelligence sharing to be a mitigating factor in the overall cost of a data breach, and according to SANS, “consuming and analyzing accurate and timely threat intelligence should be a key input for optimizing security processes, updating playbooks and making security resource decisions.”
Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to separate the good intelligence from the signal noise, especially when cybersecurity teams are trying to do so manually.
Why? Threat intelligence can come from disparate sources — various places on the web, from a series of attacks your organization is experiencing, or from other sources — and there’s often a lot of data. Finding the right information in a firehose of intelligence means that sometimes, relevant threat intelligence can be difficult to identify.
The benefits of automated threat intelligence
Because there’s so much data generated by so many sources, automated threat intelligence is an important part of a security strategy. Here are five reasons an automated threat intelligence platform should be part of your security stack:
1. It takes repetitive, time-consuming tasks out of the hands of humans
You didn’t hire your security team to sift through data and engage in repetitive tasks — you hired them to make decisions, understand actionable threats, and respond to those threats. That’s because while humans are great at creativity and adaptability, we’re not so good at repetitive tasks, like looking through data.
Machines, on the other hand, are excellent at finding patterns in large amounts of data and never tire. By automating the tedious parts of your threat intelligence, you can free up analysts to look at the information your automated solution is serving up and decide which threats are most relevant to your organization.
2. It increases the accuracy of your threat intelligence
One of the reasons human beings aren’t good at repetitive manual tasks is because, at a certain point, our eyes glaze over. We get tired, we get bored, and ultimately, we make mistakes. By automating threat intelligence collection, you can reduce the number of mistakes in your threat intelligence collection.
3. It helps you find your own vulnerabilities
Often security teams are most concerned with external threats. But what about internal problems? An automated threat intelligence platform can scan for vulnerabilities and alert your team to weaknesses in your own IT infrastructure and third-party ecosystem, helping you to proactively to eliminate the weakness and harden your infrastructure to attackers.
4. It works more quickly than human analysts
Manual processes — especially boring ones — take time. That can be a problem during an attack, when your team will need to move quickly to contain a breach. Automated processes, however, are much faster, and ensure your team will get the information they need as soon as possible.
5. It ensures a more consistent response to threats
An automated platform serves relevant security information to team members across an entire company. This means that your entire team is getting the information they need at the same time, ensuring that your security strategy and processes will be consistent across an entire organization. This is especially important during an attack, when you may need to coordinate with team members quickly in order to repel or mitigate a breach.
How SecurityScorecard can help
SecurityScorecard’s platform helps your team identify both external threats and vulnerabilities in your own infrastructure.
Our threat intelligence capabilities and attribution engine deliver actionable security intelligence to your team that enables security and risk management teams to reduce vulnerabilities before attackers can exploit them.
How does it work? SecurityScorecard’s platform unobtrusively scans the web for vulnerabilities and risk signals. We also utilize commercial and open source threat intelligence feeds, so that we’re delivering the best possible information to your team.