What is cyber threat intelligence, and why do I need it?

Posted by Taylor Cheetham on Sep 23, 2020 9:55:40 PM
Taylor Cheetham

What is cyber threat intelligence, and why do I need it?

Threat intelligence is a rather timely topic, as more employees are working remotely, accessing online systems, and communicating over online platforms. There are also organisations that might be particularly vulnerable as a target during these times.

However, while there is a current emphasis on cyber security, there has long been a consensus that good business (and government) requires strong threat intelligence. It is a central component of strategy and management and is vital to the protection and success of a business. With effective cyber threat intelligence, you can assess threats and protect against cyber-attacks.


What is threat intelligence?

Cyber threat intelligence refers to the process of identifying, gathering, and analysing information relating to cyber security risks and threats. All intelligence is processed and analysed to protect and defend computer networks, servers, and data.

Data can be taken from multiple sources such as government sources, public sources, and private sources as well as human intelligence or intelligence from the dark web.


Benefits of threat intelligence management

The main objective of cyber threat intelligence is to provide organisations with a deeper understanding of what’s happening and to offer better visibility of possible cyber threats. You can then identify any threats that bring the risk to your infrastructure.

Having strong cyber security processes means you can:

  • Identify “unseen risk” when it comes to the large volume of threats, vulnerabilities, targets and bad actors.
  • Keep leaders, stakeholders and users informed about the latest threats and repercussions they could have on the business.
  • Help security professionals better understand the threat actor’s decision-making process.
  • Plan for proactive strategy and policy, rather than just reactive responses.

Organisations of all shapes and sizes need to have some level of threat intelligence management. In order to manage security vulnerabilities, we must understand that the threat landscape is constantly evolving.


Knowing your enemy

Cyber-attacks are unwanted, obviously. But what if you could understand who is responsible and why they are doing it? Being able to gather info about your adversary is priceless. Physically, the attack will come via the use of computers, software and networks. But what is the human element behind it all?

To build an effective defence, you need to know which assets must be protected, where they reside, who wants them, and how they could be accessed. This process typically takes form in three distinct areas:

  • Strategic threat intelligence
    This is focused on the bigger picture. A deeper look at the overarching risks associated with cyber threats, and a commitment to build cyber intelligence management into all aspects of the overall organisational strategy.
  • Operational threat intelligence
    Now we get into the specifics about how and where: how will the organisation deal with cyber threats as a policy and where will security be developed? Operational intelligence also looks at specific incidents and provides insights that can guide and support response operations.
  • Tactical threat intelligence
    A way of identifying and recording the actual tools, tactics and systems used. Technical defenders (e.g. system architects and security personnel) will need to know and manage this intelligence.

Smart threat intelligence management will give valuable information to an organisation. Moreover, this information (data) can then be utilised for mitigating security risks, being more proactive about future threats, and making better business decisions.

Get in touch with one of our security experts today to see the unseen, and improve your threat intelligence management.


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Taylor Cheetham

Marketing Assistant


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