In a world, where a single day rarely passes without a cyber attack, it is essential to look over the threat landscape, types of attacks happening, and investigation of cyber incidents. Not all threats are equal and organizations should not overlook a single threat, therefore, there should have a global viewpoint while considering threat landscape. With cyber security intelligence, an organization can build up real deep perception into the attacks and consider advanced analytics to handle the huge amount of data collected from different platforms.
Cyber Security Intelligence:
Cyber Security Intelligence plays a critical role in understanding the threat landscape by analyzing, anticipating, and tracking the evolving threats. It is a combination of physical surveillance and defensive parameters using modern technology concept. The ultimate goal of an organization is to avoid the emerging threats but the more realistic way to beat them is to build a robust plan for incident response. Many organizations know this but always remain defensive against strategic incident response plan.
To put into practice intelligence potential, it is necessary to go through Intelligence life cycle model. Cyber Intelligence cycle consist four functions: Direction, Collection, Analysis, and Dissemination.
In this step, a senior officer allocates task to the intelligence team, including data collection and make the organization aware by spreading cognizance. At this stage, the team tries to understand the requirements of customers, which could fall into categories like critical information requirements, priority information requirements, and requests for information. After receiving the information, the team management evaluates the information before doing any working process on it. The team should accept the request from a client after evaluating the information.
After direction, the team collects raw information for later analysis. As it is a critical part, any error made during data collection level can also fail the whole intelligence cycle and the whole team will fail to fulfill intelligence requirements. Data appears from a range of sources that obviously breaks into small basic categories along with their own characteristics and related risks.
Analysis is a vital step of the investigation for the intelligence team. Organizational traditions, formation, and process play a vital role in providing effectual intelligence analysis. This part focuses on a cognitive process that enables effectual analysis, which helps to take firm decision-making. The team performs technical and non-technical methods to know about generalize patterns, sequences of raw data.
Dissemination is the final step of an intelligence cycle as it creates a final product for the customer. The intelligence product handed over to customers must contain intelligence gaps, uniform product line, approachable to any customer and executive summaries with key facts. When customers receive a single product, it typically encourages additional intelligence task.
Elements to be considered:
Before integrating cyber security intelligence, four elements should be considered like undertaking the business context for mitigation threats, Lifecycle of threats, Impact of accuracy for intelligence reporting, and a requirement of threat response strategy.
Undertaking the context for mitigation threats:
Many security threats need an immediate action while few threats can be solved later instead of immediate action. Here, context or set of actions exists; it is necessary to look into the evolution of a threat and its influence on the business environment. The probability of attack and impact of a threat should be analyzed. Few companies seem ripe fruit for hackers like financial service, healthcare companies, and the retail companies. While deciding the overall risk and the impact of cyber attack, companies need to assess the cost of data and losses of the system arise through cyber attack.
Threat lifecycle is another element, which focuses on reporting the validity and reliability of exploit code via robust testing in a business virtual environment. On finding any high-visibility threat, vendors release patch immediately and believes that the threat would never affect in a near future. It is not true because currently, many malware remain silent and activate for a long time to attack the system. It is essential to know what the worm was functioning and when it would do in the future. Rigorous testing can provide recommendations to mitigate threats, and signatures for additional threat protection.
Timely recommendations always come with an intelligence accuracy, which is a part of thorough validation of threats and vulnerabilities. To bring accuracy in security intelligence, it requires a detailed process that helps to assure:
- Does the vulnerability pose a risk to the current business environment or not?
- Exploits of vulnerabilities are complicated to implement or poses a low risk.
- In a case of high profile incidents, it is wise to take help of other cyber security professionals, hacking communities to reveal their opinion about the situation.
Threat incidents are inevitable and companies aim to remove the threat instantly to restore the system. However, a realistic approach to incident response requires a combination of strategic mitigation plan and prevention of threats. Incident response strategy includes forensic process, key personnel responsibility, and contingency plan to restore a system along with a dedicated expert team to incident response. Incidence response strategy should include continuous system monitoring, availability of breach response team, ongoing access to incident response tools, real-time analysis, and thoroughly perceptiveness of incidence implications.
Intelligence is not just a data supply nor is it only information, but it focuses on data assessment. Many organizations believe that it is difficult to recognize and analyze all data that will help them in making smarter decisions about cyber security. Intelligence helps customers in their decision making with proper insightful products. To make threat management successful, an integration of cyber threat intelligence is helpful to mitigate risk and recommends effective measures.