Threat Intelligence: A Different Approach to Meet Cyber Security Needs by Jonathan Zhang

IT-related security threats increase as time goes, and business owners and managers have to accept that fact. Any company is prone to cybersecurity risks that can lead to disastrous financial or business loss.

There are a number of reasons why this is happening worldwide. More coding is done each day, making the digital world more complex. Resource sharing often occurs between companies to minimize costs. Addition of devices and network entry points also poses security vulnerabilities.

As much as digital infrastructures are vital in cutting processes and multiplying efficiencies within organizations nowadays, situations exist where businesses end up trapped in an IT security crisis — caused by hacking, spoofing, or phishing among others.

Companies, however, can generally lay appropriate measures to contain these risks. Threat intelligence tools offer one such approach that begins with examining the basic infrastructure behind websites and other online assets. From there, the information collected is organized and analyzed in light of potential and current attacks that threaten an organization from within, outside, and the deep dark Web.

Threat intelligence (TI) is a proactive measure that allows companies to accurately spot and immediately reinforce defenses thereby being one step ahead of cybercriminals. Here are three ways TI plays a major relevance in today’s cybersecurity systems.

Deploying a Context-Based Cybersecurity System

Businesses today vary in their approach of operating data and information systems. With that considered, evaluating IT infrastructure according to standardized auditing routines for cybersecurity isn’t enough, and many aspects must be born in mind including industry, size, and system-specific configurations.

Instead of taking a one-size-fits-all direction, TI analysts are able to explore risks proactively and future-proof systems from attacks and accidents. They do so by checking the computing infrastructure in a risk-based method across various parameters and recommending what needs to be done.

Companies can thus make the overall process cost-effective, investigate all conceivable situations within a given context, and confirm or negate assumptions regarding risks and threats with precision.

Monitoring Third-Party Reliability and Safety

Many business processes today involve different forms of third-party functionalities such as data exchange, cloud storage, collaborative working platforms, and software outsourcing. Despite the benefits, this close collaboration is giving cybercriminals the opportunity to gain access to companies through partners and suppliers with more lenient security practices.

Meanwhile, there is a tendency that as a business grows and becomes more successful, it also likely increases its reliance on third-party tools and services being used. TI examines the connections to third parties with which sensitive information is frequently shared. The investigation assesses the reliability and safety of third-party providers’ systems, both before their selection and throughout contract’s implementation.  

Efficient Resource Allocation

Risks surface in IT systems because of users’ unsafe practices — e.g., opening malicious files, responding to spoofed email addresses, etc. And while the consequences can seem benign at first, they can quickly escalate to data breaches, and the resulting PR disaster, worried customers, and lost sales.

With TI, analysts can act where it matters the most and optimize the allocation of their security budgets — establishing more secure systems, upgrading security protocols, and correcting system anomalies. Additionally, on the security awareness side, management and users involved will be advised on what they can do to protect their data and systems, reduce human errors, and at times even change their cybersecurity roadmap.

In times where reliance on the digital world is increasing for businesses, cybercriminals keep on finding new ways to exploit countless online assets and deceive users into committing errors. Threat intelligence provides a framework to avoid this, combining context-based cybersecurity, third-party monitoring, and optimized resource allocation.


About the Author: 

Jonathan Zhang is the founder and CEO of Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) — a data, tool, and API provider that specializes in automated threat detection, security analysis and threat intelligence solutions for Fortune 1000 and cyber-security companies. TIP is part of the Whois API Inc. family which is a trusted intelligence vendor by over 50,000 clients.

 

November 5, 2018

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