Table of Content:
What is Cyber Threat Intelligence?
Threat intelligence is a critical component of any proactive cyber defense strategy. It is "the actionable knowledge of current and future adversary threats derived from indicators and analysis of adversary behavior." In other words, threat intelligence allows organizations to anticipate and defend against cyber threats before they happen.
This is accomplished by identifying, analyzing, and tracking specific cyber threats. To be effective, threat intelligence must be tailored to the organization's specific needs. It must also be timely, accurate, and actionable.
Organizations nowadays have to implement proactive cyber defense strategies, in order to protect themselves against the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape. This guide provides an overview of threat intelligence and proactive cyber defense for organizations.
Types of Cyber Threat Intelligence
Operational Threat Intelligence: This type of intelligence focuses on hackers' tools and techniques to achieve their goals. This type of intelligence helps analysts and threat hunters identify, detect and understand different attack campaigns.
Strategic Threat Intelligence: This intelligence is high-level and focuses on general trends in the cyber threat landscape. This type of threat intelligence is geared toward upper management that needs to understand their organization's cyber risk at a high level for strategic planning.
Tactical Threat Intelligence: This intelligence identifies specific types of malware or other cyberattacks using compromise (IoCs) indicators. This type of threat intelligence can be ingested by cybersecurity solutions and used to detect and block incoming or ongoing attacks proactively.
What Can You Learn From Cyber Threat Intelligence?
Indicators of Compromise
An indicator of compromise (IOC) is evidence suggesting that a system or network has been compromised. This evidence can be in the form of a file, network traffic, registry changes, or any other type of data that can be gathered from a system.
IOCs are important because they can help security professionals detect and investigate incidents of compromise. By knowing what to look for, they can more quickly identify which systems have been affected and take appropriate steps to remediate the situation.
There are many different types of IOCs, and each one can provide valuable information about a compromise. Some common IOCs include:
- IP addresses
- Domain names
- File hashes
- Registry keys
- Process names
Indicators of Attack
An Indicator of Attack (IOA) is a piece of information or behavior that suggests that an attack is underway or about to occur. Various sources, including network activity, user behavior, and system logs, can generate IOAs.
IOAs can be used to detect attacks in progress and to prevent future attacks. By identifying IOAs, security professionals can take steps to mitigate the risk of an attack.
There are many different types of IOAs, and each one can provide valuable insights into potential attacks. Some common IOAs include:
-Unusual network activity
-Suspicious user behavior
-Anomalous system logs
Malicious Emails Addresses
A malicious email address is an email address that is used to send spam or phishing emails. Cybercriminals often create these email addresses for the sole purpose of sending out illegitimate emails. In many cases, these email addresses are created using fake names and fake personal information.
Currently Exploited Vulnerabilities
Threat intelligence can provide you with information on vulnerabilities that hackers are currently exploiting in the wild. This gives you time to take action and fix those vulnerabilities in your environment before hackers can target your organization.
Some of the most common vulnerabilities include:
- Unpatched software vulnerabilities
- Insecure network configurations
- Lack of security controls
Good threat intelligence typically provides you with recommended actions to protect against any threats or vulnerabilities it identifies. The goal here is to implement a fix or defense against these threats before they become a problem for your organization.
Sources of Cyber Threat Intelligence
Open Source Threat Intelligence
Open source threat intelligence (OSINT) collects, analyzes, and uses public information to assess security risks. This information can come from various sources, including social media, websites, news reports, and more.
Community Threat Intelligence Group
A community threat intelligence group (CTIG) is a collaborative effort between organizations to share information about security threats. CTIGs typically use a variety of channels to communicate, including mailing lists, web forums, and dedicated chat servers. The goal of a CTIG is to allow organizations to quickly and effectively share threat information so that everyone can avoid or mitigate potential attacks. CTIGs are often industry-specific, such as an information security group focused on financial industry threats. However, CTIGs can also be specific to a region or even a city.
Commercial Threat Intelligence Platforms
A commercial threat intelligence platform gathers data from various sources, including news articles, social media, and government reports. This data is then analyzed to identify trends and patterns. This information is then used to create reports that businesses can use to make decisions about the threats they face.
Device Log Files
Device logs are a critical data source for organizations defending against sophisticated cyberattacks. They provide a wealth of information that can be used to understand an adversary's tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) and attribute attacks to specific threat actors.
Proactive cyber defense is an important part of protecting your organization from attacks. Threat intelligence can help you identify potential threats and take steps to defend against them.
Organizations that are serious about their cyber security need to invest in a solution that can collect, normalize, and enrich device logs from various devices and data sources. A good cyber threat intelligence platform will include a device log management solution that can help organizations make the most of this valuable data source.