5 Key Ways In Which Threat Intelligence Can Be Used

Threat intelligence enables organizations to fight back against looming cyber threats, it is the practice of collecting, processing and analyzing data in the hope of understanding a threat actor's motives, targets and attack behaviors.

In our previous blogs we talked about what is threat intelligence, and why sharing threat intelligence between companies benefits everyone. In this blog, we look at actionable threat intelligence - i.e. diving into several other critical uses for threat intelligence.

Five key ways in which actionable threat intelligence can be leveraged:

Threat Intelligence can be used during Incident response 

With cyber attacks and data breaches becoming regular occurrences, the amount of pressure an employee who is responsible for Incident response is under can be immense.  In the event of a security incident the amount of data security personnel need to manually go through to identify the problem can be overwhelming, this is where threat intelligence can prove to be helpful. For example, threat intelligence can eliminate the chance of false positives, help with prioritising incident alerts based on risk and provide comparison of data between internal and external sources. 

Threat Intelligence can be used during security operations

Organizations that have security operation centres tend to deal with numerous network alerts and analysts can tend to suffer from ‘alert fatigue’, which can lead to them taking alerts lightly. Threat Intelligence provides SOC teams with assistance in this area, providing help with triaging alerts, gathering information on potential threats ahead of time, eliminating false positives and making overall incident analysis easier. 

Threat Intelligence assists with management of vulnerabilities

A typical approach to vulnerability management that organizations adopt is, they look to patch every single vulnerability identified. This is extremely time-consuming and can prove to be quite counterproductive as it isn’t a realistic goal to achieve, a better approach would be to deal with vulnerabilities based on risk. Threat Intelligence helps in this domain, by effectively combining internal vulnerability scans and the data produced with external data, while also providing context via intelligence on attacker techniques, tactics and procedures. 

Threat Intelligence helps with effective risk analysis 

A risk model is a mathematical representation of a system, commonly incorporating probability distributions. Risk modeling is utilised by organizations to help decide which areas need investing in. However the issue with risk models is that they suffer from non specific, non-quantified results that are hastily compiled, based on little information, based on unfounded assumptions, or are difficult to take action on. 

Threat Intelligence can help organizations with effective risk analysis, by providing valuable context to assist with defining risk measurements more accurately. For example, Threat Intelligence can help provide answers to questions like; which threat actors are responsible for a type of attack, what type of industry do they target, how many similar attacks have occurred recently, which vulnerabilities do these attacks look to exploit and what kind of damage is likely to occur if the attack was successful. These are a few questions that Threat Intelligence can provide answers to, hence providing more context and accuracy to risk models created by organizations during risk analysis. 

Threat Intelligence helps prevent fraud

Detection and responding to threats that are already exploiting networks and systems is one avenue of protecting an organization, however organizations need to also look out for fraudulent use of their data or brand. Threat Intelligence can help with this by providing knowledge on the motivations and methods of criminals especially when it is correlated to data appearing on threads. 

For example an organization may fall prey to; cyber criminals impersonating their brand in the hopes to attack unsuspected customers via a phishing attack, threat intelligence can help provide real-time alerts on the latest phishing trends, which can enable an organization to preemptively detect potential threats.  Another example of fraudulent use of data or brand is when criminals post compromised data to the dark web, threat intelligence can help organizations monitor the dark web for any of their compromised data, so quick action can be taken. 

Does your company currently have any form of shared threat intelligence in place? If yes, awesome! If not, our expert team can help audit your systems and processes and establish cyber threat intelligence mechanisms to secure your business.

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