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As the digital world evolves, so do the cyber risks that come with it. Cybersecurity threats come in many forms and can cause so much damage to businesses that it can be hard to comprehend. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: businesses need to stay ahead of these threats by adopting proactive measures. Cyber threat intelligence is one of them. 

Threat intelligence is the practice of gathering, analyzing and sharing information about cyber threats that target organizations regardless of size, service or style. This information helps businesses make informed decisions about how specifically to protect their data (and sometimes their customers’ confidential information) from these threats. 

In this blog post, we’ll dive into the world of threat intelligence and how it can keep your organization safe. 

Breaking Down Cyber Threat Intelligence … To Build Up Your Defenses

Cyber threat intelligence (CTI) can come from a variety of sources, including open-source intelligence (OSINT), social media, hacker forums and dark web marketplaces. CTI can also come from threat intelligence feeds, which are data streams that provide real-time information about emerging threats. 

Professional managed cybersecurity firms like Acme Business go a step further with cyber threat intelligence, partnering with POWERHOUSE cybersecurity software providers like SentinelOne. Such connections supercharge our capacities for intelligence gathering, while ALSO adding many other layers of security for clients as a condition of service.  

Once CTI is collected, it’s analyzed to identify patterns, trends and indicators of compromise (IOCs). IOCs are clues that suggest that an attack is imminent or has already occurred. They include IP addresses, email addresses, domain names, file hashes and other types of data associated with malicious activity. 

Types of Cyber Threat Intelligence

The goal of threat intelligence is to provide businesses with actionable information to improve their cybersecurity posture. This information can help them identify vulnerabilities, block attacks, and mitigate the impact of successful attacks. It’s helpful to “reverse engineer” cyber attacks. Understanding the actor’s motives, attack targets and behaviors helps to build proactive defenses to stop them from infiltrating in the first place.

There are several types of CTI that organizations can use, depending on needs. These include: 

1. Strategic Threat Intelligence

Focused on long-term planning and helps businesses to understand the cyber threat landscape. It provides information on emerging trends and tactics attackers are using to target businesses and organizations.

2. Tactical Threat Intelligence

Focused on the short-term and provides real-time information about active threats. It includes information about IOCs, threat actors, and the tools and techniques they’re using to stop attacks in very specific ways. 

3. Operational Threat Intelligence

Focused on the day-to-day activities of a business and helps to identify potential threats that may arise from routine operations. (Like an employee inadvertently falling victim to a phishing scam.) It includes information about vulnerabilities, misconfigurations and other issues that could be exploited by attackers. 

Benefits of Cyber Threat Intelligence 

The average cyber attack is present in business systems for 191 days before being detected. 191 DAYS! That’s more than half-a-year to steal data, money and otherwise cause damage. That’s why it’s so important to use cyber threat intelligence as a tool to prevent cyber attacks from happening in the first place.

The benefits include: 

1. Proactive Threat Detection

Threat intelligence allows businesses to identify threats before they can cause damage. By collecting and analyzing information about potential threats, we can take proactive steps to prevent attacks from occurring. 

2. Improved Incident Response

In the event of a successful cyber attack, threat intelligence can help businesses respond promptly and effectively. Time is most certainly of the essence. CTI provides valuable information that can help to contain the damage and prevent the attacker from causing further harm. 

3. Better Risk Management

Threat intelligence provides businesses with a better understanding of their risk profile. This allows them to prioritize their cybersecurity efforts and allocate resources more effectively. For instance, organizations may take insights gathered through CTI to strategize and plan the most appropriate staff training. Furthermore, they may also choose to invest in additional tech staff, or to purchase the latest and greatest cybersecurity software available. 

4. Compliance

Many industries are subject to regulatory requirements that mandate the use of threat intelligence. By adopting threat intelligence, businesses can ensure that they are meeting these requirements and avoiding potential penalties. 

Let’s Build an Effective Threat Intelligence Strategy for Your Business Today

Cyber threat intelligence is a critical component of any effective cybersecurity strategy. By collecting and analyzing information about potential threats, businesses can stay ahead of the ever-evolving threat landscape. This information allows them to take proactive measures to prevent attacks, improve their incident response, and better manage their risk profile. If you haven’t already, consider adopting CTI as part of your cybersecurity strategy to help protect your business from cyber threats. 

At Acme Business, we are aware of what these threats mean to your business, and we are well-equipped to deal with them. Call Acme Business at (716) 372-1325, visit our website for expert guidance, and connect with us on LinkedIn.