What is Threat Intelligence and Why is it Important?

user working on a computer with cybersecurity symbols overlaid

Technology is at the heart of almost every business these days and, with it, come threats from bad actors. Luckily, there are a number of tools that organizations like yours can use to assess vulnerabilities and mitigate the risks of cyberattacks. Cyber threat intelligence is one helpful way to safeguard your business data. Threat intelligence comes from information about what cybersecurity threats an organization has, will, or is actively experiencing. Below, we answer the question “What is threat intelligence?” and what it means for businesses.

What Are The Benefits of Threat Intelligence?

Whether it’s malware, phishing, zero-day exploits, or another form of attack vector, understanding who your threat actors are and what data they might want is incredibly valuable. At its core, this threat data allows your security teams to prepare, prevent, and identify threats by providing actionable insights. For organizations, this means you can:

  • Stay up-to-date and proactive with changes to the threat landscape
  • Empower your decision-makers and stakeholders with risk information
  • Improve incident response processes
  • Give your security operations the information they need to make more informed decisions and combat threats

Like vulnerability management, this approach to understanding your risks can help you proactively manage your defenses and ward off external threats.

What are the Types of Threat Intelligence?

Many organizations do a disservice by focusing on only the most basic use cases. No doubt integrating your threat intelligence feeds into your existing firewalls, security information and event management (SIEM) tools, and other security solutions are important. However, taking things a step deeper can significantly improve your security controls. The following are the main types of threat intelligence:

  • Strategic: Strategic threat intelligence offers a high-level overview of the threat landscape. It’s less technical and designed for decision-makers who need to determine strategy.
  • Tactical: Tactical threat intelligence dives into threat actors’ tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). It unpacks vulnerabilities so that security teams can strengthen controls.
  • Operational: Going even deeper, operational threat intelligence gives more insight into the nature, motive, and timing of a potential attack. Often, this comes from intel from hacker chat rooms and other discussions on the dark web, so it’s more challenging to access.
  • Technical: Technical threat intelligence digs into more specific evidence and indicators of compromise (IOCs).

What are Common Indicators of Compromise?

IOCs include types of unusual behavior that indicate an attack. These can consist of IP addresses of C2 infrastructures, email content from a phishing campaign, increases in database read volumes, login anomalies, and file changes. Artificial intelligence is often used to scan and identify IOCs with information on the latest threats in cybersecurity.

What Kinds of Threat Intelligence Tools Exist?

Several different tools are available, depending on the type of intelligence gathering your organization needs. SIEMs, network traffic analysis tools, and communities that provide data collection on emerging threats are just a few of the options available. Of course, knowing what information your business needs and making sense of prevention and mitigation processes can get complex.

If your Ohio business is ready to prevent attacks before they happen, consider contacting Warwick Communications. We take a proactive approach to identifying gaps and curating cybersecurity solutions that make sense for your business. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services!