Threat Intelligence: It’s Not Just for IT Anymore
How can predicting a bad actor’s attempts to hack your business prevent a disaster?
By Justin Stokes
From SMBs to global enterprises, businesses with significant digital operations face significant challenges in keeping their infrastructure safe, particularly when handling the private data of consumers. Threat intelligence—being able to anticipate how a would-be cybercriminal might attack an organization—is a crucial competency for businesses of every size. Further, threat intelligence is no longer in the exclusive purview of the IT department. Protecting your business from threats both external and internal is now a key concern in C-suites around the world.
Threat intelligence explores what might happen.
Threat intelligence is a wide-ranging discipline encompassing knowledge of the capabilities, resources, motives, and goals of potential security threats to an organization and the application of this knowledge in protecting against security breaches and data theft.
Once gathered, this information is disseminated to networks via threat intelligence feeds, which map out these ever-changing trends detected as they attempt to compromise other systems. By aggregating this information, threat intelligence systems can provide specific counter-strategies to thwart cybercrime.
It’s not just what the bad actors are doing, but how they are doing it that should matter for those steering the efforts of a company’s IT systems. In late 2020, CIO Insight reported on the increasing sophistication of attacks against businesses, noting still scored low in areas critical to IT security and risk management. Just like doctors studying diseases in the human body, a company’s threat intelligence only works when helping a company pinpoint where the weak links are in infrastructure, and what can be done about them.
Threat intelligence works to protect the bottom line.
In the war against data breaches, having a look at the battle plans of the enemy can keep businesses a step ahead of those who seek to steal public information. This isn’t just about maintaining security, it’s also about protecting a business’s bottom line. In 2019, the Digital Guardian reported such data breaches cost businesses an average of $8 million.
Risk Based Security's Year End Data Breach Quickview Report paints an alarming picture of the impact of data breaches in 2020. Records exposed jumped 141% YoY to 37 billion, the largest number seen since 2005. More recently, data breaches were expected to cost businesses and individuals world wide more that $6 trillion by the end of 2021.
The situation may be even worse than reported. Not all data breaches are publicly disclosed, and different factors may play into breaches not getting reported to the general public. These factors include:
- Companies may not know that a data breach has occurred within the organization until long after it’s happened.
- Businesses might not be equipped to report data breaches in a timely or detailed fashion, which can skew reporting metrics.
- Businesses may intentionally cover up that they’ve experienced a data breach.
As the C-suite turns more attention to the importance of threat intelligence in protecting everything from IP and employee records to massive data sets, a coordinated approach to threat intelligence is crucial. Happily, the right threat intelligence platform empowers your team to identify, mitigate and remediate threats by combining robust threat intelligence feeds with advanced analytics to deliver actionable intelligence for detecting malicious activity aimed at your network and other IT assets.
Read More: Top Threat Intelligence Platforms for 2021
Keep current with threat intelligence’s rapid evolution.
Can your organization afford not to assess its vulnerabilities, and explore how cybercriminals might exploit them? For the CIO who needs news on the most current trends in threat intelligence and security solutions, sites like eSecurityPlanet are a must-read.
While security threats from outside grow more sophisticated by the week, security fundamentals for your employees still apply. For example, despite corporate policies and widespread awareness of password safety, the most used password in 2020 was “123456.” The user element of cybersecurity still has a long way to go.
Finally, it’s important to remember that the sophistication and strength of threat intelligence platforms and other tools increase by the day. Forbes shares that the booming industry saw roughly 800 cybersecurity startups receive combined funding of $10.73 billion and that, “New startups and established vendors are attracting record levels of investment."
Justin Stokes is a freelance journalist and professional writer based in Nashville, TN. He covers technology and business, along with being content creator for different industries, including the creative community and real estate.
This article was originally published on 02-27-2021