Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) is a topic we often discuss as critical for developing robust defense strategies. It is well documented that there is no one-size-fits-all method to effectively protect an organization from attack, but what we do know is that without understanding which attackers are targeting an industry, organizations will be fighting all of them, all of the time, and be left significantly outnumbered.
Focusing on the attacks that matter enables teams to provide early warnings for effective remediation efforts by providing as much detail and context surrounding the threats they face every day. For instance, threat intelligence can be used to identify actors that might employ exploits associated with a vulnerability. Providing greater context around threats associated with a vulnerability will allow vulnerability management teams to be better postured to apply the necessary mitigations to lessen threat exposure. This in turn influences security investment strategies and helps to improve an organization’s defenses.
Organizations that successfully implement an intelligence-led security program transform their security posture into a well-oiled, highly strategic suite of experts, armed with the technical insight and analysis needed to align their resources against the threats that matter most. However, not all CTI implementation programs are successful—impatience and the lack of a trusted framework to support the process are common causes for failure.
Implementing an Intelligence-Led Program
Throughout the years, FireEye experts have witnessed many CTI transformations and have developed a proven framework, as detailed in our Considerations for Evolving to Intelligence-led Security eBook, to ensure a smooth transition. The first stage in the process is to establish the foundations upon which the CTI program will be built, determining:
- The threats the organization is facing, including the threats to be prioritized
- The stakeholders who will need and use threat intelligence within the business
- The intelligence requirements that will best serve the stakeholders
Often, we see organizations neglecting the foundational stages as they speed towards the finish line. This tends to lead to inefficiencies in their CTI program, which then need to be addressed and resolved to truly optimize security performance.
With foundational blocks firmly in place, the next stage is to transition into implementation, incorporating aspects of training, data acquisition strategies and the installation of appropriate tools and technology. Following implementation, the final stage is to realize the CTI capability, absorbing all new processes into a day-to-day workflow.
Once operationalized, teams can start to apply the ongoing process of a CTI lifecycle to continuously plan, collect, analyze, produce and review not only the intelligence itself, but also the means by which it is gathered and applied throughout the business. As many security practitioners will attest, adopting an effective CTI program requires commitment to constantly evolve and consciously incorporate threat intelligence into business strategy, but the journey is well worth the effort.
So, if your organization is ready to adopt an intelligence-led security approach, learn more about it from our eBook.