Cyberthreat Intelligence is crucial for organisations. Critical infrastructure organisations, including those that rely on OT and face an increasing number of high-profile attacks, need to analyse the information in CTI to prepare their defences and understand their adversaries’ methods.
WannaCry: Analysis of a Cyber Attack
The personal data of millions of citizens worldwide was compromised when WannaCry ransomware infected computers across the globe in May 2017. Now, the increasing number of attacks on critical infrastructure are bringing the topic of cyber threat intelligence back to the forefront.
Many organisations are not well prepared for cyberattacks that can have devastating effects. These organisations have been aware of the dangers coming from the cyber world for some time, but many have not prioritised the need to prepare themselves.
What Is Cyber Threat Intelligence?
Cyber threat intelligence is the process of identifying current and emerging cyber threats by collecting and analysing data from a wide range of sources. Cyber threat intelligence provides context and insights into specific threats, providing the information needed to support decision-makers in various roles.
Cyber threat intelligence plays a role in detecting, preventing, and mitigating cyber threats. It supports operational decision-making by providing the knowledge, the context, and the insights required to understand the threat scenario, its implications, and the possible response options.
It also enables strategic decision-making by providing the information needed to make informed decisions about the risks and impact of attacks and by identifying the assets, services, and business processes that need to be protected.
What Are the Features of CTI?
Cyber threat intelligence should always be tactical and actionable, including:
- Threat intel: details about threats to an organisation’s systems, including type and origin
- Incident intel: details how a particular incident happened, how the attack was carried out, and how it was eventually stopped.
- Counterintel: details about the work that goes into identifying and ultimately stopping cyber threats, such as the specific methods used
- Vulnerability intel: details about the common vulnerabilities that hackers can exploit
Understand the Sources of CTI
Managed security providers, third-party providers, and subject matter experts can all help provide cyber threat intelligence.
The role of government agencies is to provide CTI, as well. The U.S. intelligence community—including the CIA, the NSA, and others—works to give the U.S. government with CTI. Another source of CTI is the financial industry, as it has become a target for cybercrime. These companies are interested in providing CTI, as they are often the victims of cyberattacks.
How Is CTI Used?
Understanding cyber threat intelligence sources is a crucial first step in determining their use. It is also essential to develop a strategy to manage the CTI and make it relevant to the organisation.
Typical uses of CTI include:
- Cyber threat modelling: the process of identifying, assessing, and reducing the risks associated with an organisation or asset
- Vulnerability assessments: the process of identifying security weaknesses and vulnerabilities in an organisation or asset
- At-risk assets: the process of identifying assets that pose a threat and are at risk of being compromised
- Threat modelling: the process of identifying, assessing, and reducing the risks associated with an organisation or asset
Cyber threat intelligence is essential for organisations to make informed decisions about their threats and possible actions. Understanding CTI and its uses can help organisations better prepare for cyber threats and mitigate their risks.
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