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IT Security

All About Threat Intelligence Platforms

By TechDogs

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Upholding business security (be it with respect to the company network, assets or data) is tough, right? Given the increase in attacks with respect to the digital landscape, it is one of the main worries of practically every IT administrator. Ensuring only the right people have access, only the right applications are downloaded and used as well as using only the right resources within and outside the organization is their life and blood. Yet, irrespective of how experienced an IT team is, maintaining IT security in a business environment and keeping threats at bay is NOT something you can do with your feet up and a cup of pina colada in your hand!

Unless you have the right assistance. Yes, we’re talking about Threat Intelligence Platforms, better known as TIPs. It keeps an eye out for data threats across the organization and keeps collecting information that can empower security teams with pre-emptive knowledge about breaches. This enables them to work effectively and make better decisions so that the organization’s security isn’t compromised. 

If you ask us, we feel TIPS are akin to Captain America’s shield! They help keep security threats away and are frankly really cool (as is Captain America!). Stick around with us as we unfold the core aspects of Threat Intelligence Platforms, including their working, history, benefits and more!
TechDogs-"All About Threat Intelligence Platforms" Tis Will Protect You From All Cyber Threats!
Houston, we have a problem!
Our systems have been breached by alien ransomware. 
Our team of data scientists was unable to predict this activity.
What should we do now? Call Captain America?

This is what happens when your cybersecurity team fails to defend your business from malicious activities. As cyber-attacks become more prevalent in today’s era, the need for efficient threat intelligence is increasing by the minute. Gathering threat intelligence involves the estimation of existing or emerging dangers for an organization by analyzing data from different sources using specialized tools and techniques. We know that sounds like a lot but it gets easier!

Businesses can pool their resources to overpower such threats with the effective use of threat intelligence. To implement all this with a proper actionable plan is tough. The vast amounts of business data generated by different internal and external resources (system logs, intelligence feeds, etc.) make the work of threat intelligence teams quite time-consuming. With this traditional approach, most large organizations can come up with a plan after working for several hours at a stretch and yet, it may not be enough. #Tragic

This is why it’s nearly impossible to tackle everyday malware threats and other cyber-attacks in IT organizations with the traditional cyber security approach. This is especially true of large organizations that are most vulnerable to cyber-attacks despite having large budgets and greater IT resources. 

Enter - Threat Intelligence Platforms! #HeaveASighOfRelief

Threat Intelligence Platforms (TIPs) aggregate threat data from across organizations to arm security teams with external (and pre-emptive) knowledge about threats, so they can work effectively and make better decisions. Rather than spending their time collecting and managing data, with the help of TIPs, threat analysts can focus only on identifying and investigating probable threats to their organization’s security. Automation for the win!

In short, Threat Intelligence Platforms are like the ultimate Avengers that come in to save your day from most kinds of threats the cyber world can throw at you. They’re the best way to enhance the capabilities of your IT security teams. 

So, What Is A Threat Intelligence Platforms Really?

A Threat Intelligence Platform is an automated technology that gathers, organizes and synthesizes threat intelligence data from multiple business sources and configurations. It provides security teams with comprehensive information and insights into known malware and other cyber threats.

Think of AI such as Jarvis and Friday created by Iron Man that helped him control his suits. Other than their basic functions, they used to provide Tony Stark with critical information about the world and the possible dangers he was facing, so that he could execute his plans quickly and effectively. Well, they’re probably not that advanced yet but TIPs provide almost the same assistance for threat intelligence analysts as work can be done expeditiously.

With the help of TIPs, IT security teams can identify, investigate and respond to threats more efficiently and accurately. Such platforms can be used by many sections of private or government organizations such as SOC teams, threat intelligence teams and even by business management and executive teams.

Ready to #nickname TIPs yet? Something cool like Jarvis and Friday?

But Before That – A Brief History Of Threat Intelligence Platforms

To take you down the memory lane, the 2000s was the time when the cyber security industry recognized the criticality of security tools such as SIEMs and firewalls. However, they were not advanced enough to identify the growing number and variety of data threats like malicious domains, IP attacks etc.

At the end of the decade, dark web activities and ransomware started to increase rapidly and to fight them off, organizations began to develop AI and Machine Learning capabilities in their cybersecurity systems to collect all the possible threat information. This movement led to the rise of Big Data tools for the analysis of vast business data cybersecurity complex threats. Somewhere in the middle of all this mayhem, the concept of threat intelligence was developed.

With time, cybersecurity professionals realized that the vast amount of data IT teams dealt with made the work of threat intelligence difficult. Several times, companies simply did not get a hold of the threat report before the situation was already out of hand! This happened because of the slow and traditional approach to threat intelligence.

TechDogs-"A Brief History Of Threat Intelligence Platforms"A Meme Showing A Scared Boy
Bearing all of this in mind, the focus of the cybersecurity industry shifted towards devising technology that could prioritize vulnerabilities for faster detection of cyber threats. That’s how the world came up with Threat Intelligence Platforms to help intelligence teams analyze large volumes of data quickly and suggest apt responses to possible dangers in real-time.

Over the past few years, literally every other company has adopted TIPs in their threat intelligence process. This has also fueled the improvement of the quality of algorithms that TIPs use from time to time, resulting in the making of modern solutions that allow IT admins to gain every potential insight of threat actors in and around organizations.

Yet, what you want to know is how TIPs work, right?

How Do TIPs Work?

A cyber threat intelligence management system can be deployed as a SaaS (software as a service) or on-premises solution to manage threat intelligence and related initiatives such as securing. It is able to perform four critical tasks:
  • Accumulation of intelligence from real-time data from business sources

  • Curation, normalization, enrichment and risk scoring of threats

  • Integration with current security systems for better security and workflow management

  • Central dashboard for analytics and sharing of threat intelligence information with different teams and stakeholders

The ability of TIPs to share threat intelligence with stakeholders helps threat analysts collaborate across panels and platforms. In short, a Threat Intelligence Platform is a whole package that integrates existing security tools to create a system that automates and streamlines threat analysis.

The bulk volume of data created in organizations is challenging to manage and allows hackers to identify vulnerable attack points. They can attack and exploit these systems while changing digital identities to avoid being detected in time. This is where TIPs come into the picture to help threat intelligence teams stay a step ahead of these attackers by carrying out coordinated analysis and detection. #CheckMate

Moreover, these tools are always active, pretty much like Captain America!

TechDogs-"How Do TIPs Work?"A GIF Showing Captain America  

Why Does Your Business Need A Threat Intelligence Platform?

Up until now, threat intelligence and security teams gathered and evaluated business data from a variety of sources. They would use multiple tools and processes to identify potential security risks and then distribute this risk intelligence to other parties (usually via email, spreadsheets or a web portal). 
This traditional approach (irrespective of its success rate!) no longer works because:
  • Today, companies collect huge portions of data from their customers or clients in a wide variety of different formats such as STIX/TAXII, JSON, XML, PDF, CSV, email, etc.

  • There is continuous development in the number and type of cyber security threats from malicious actors, malware, phishing, botnets, denial-of-service attacks, ransomware, etc.

  • Companies need a solution for countering probable security threats much faster than their existing strategy to avoid widespread damage.

  • There is a need to provide the most up-to-date intelligence threat report by overseeing other security-related activities, such as security monitoring, planning, feedback, etc.

Thanks to these shortcomings of traditional SIEMs (Security Information and Event Management) platforms, cyber attacks succeeded at a higher rate. Moreover, SIEMs were not very good at capturing and associating data that spanned through time and formats.

TIPs are the much-needed change in this whole scenario. They’re powered by speedy algorithms that offer threat analysts in real-time needed for real #PeaceOfMind

If you’re still not ready to use a TIPs for the betterment of your organization’s cyber security, your threat intelligence team is going to look like amateurs to malware attackers and security breachers, making them more likely to attack your business.

Future of Threat Intelligence Platforms

It’s a known fact that every year companies become more data driven. This alone is enough to establish that the scope of TIPs will only increase with time. Cyber security threats will always look to breach your database and to stay protected against them, the best option for organizations is to invest in TIPs. It’s in the name, after all – the most intelligent way to deal with future threats will be Threat Intelligence Platforms! 

To sustain this future, TIPs are continuously developing to provide the best assistance to threat intelligence teams. According to the analysis of Future Market Insights, the TIPs market was valued at 8.8 billion dollars and is expected to surpass 39.7 billion dollars by 2030, showing an impressive growth of 16.3% in ten years. Looks like a #BrightFuture

To Conclude

If you want your organization’s cyber security at its peak, investing in TIPs is a great idea – unless you personally know Captain America! Just adopt solutions that can handle threat intelligence via an automated workflow to provide alerts and collect threat intelligence data. With TIPs, you should be all set!

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