5 Ways Cyber Threat Intelligence Improves Supply Chain Visibility

7 minute read

Today’s global supply chains are handling more data than ever before. They require a network of trust and visibility, but unfortunately, greater complexity also creates more opportunities for cybercriminals and threat actors to strike. Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) solutions allow key players in supply chains to improve supply chain visibility by mapping their attack surface, identifying risks early, and putting the right cybersecurity solutions in place ahead of time. 

With improved supply chain visibility, businesses will enjoy fewer delays, improved customer satisfaction, less inventory loss, better compliance, improved profits, and more. Learn more about cyber threat intelligence and how it can help you attain end-to-end supply chain visibility. 

What is Cyber Threat Intelligence?  

Cybercriminals and threat actors are continually becoming more coordinated and more sophisticated. Organizations that want to keep their data safe must have a vigorous, innovative, and dynamic approach to cyber security. This is why you need managed cyber threat intelligence.

CTI is an adaptive and flexible technology that leverages large-scale data collection and analysis to block and mitigate the risks of cyber attacks on a network. It is a crucial component of a business’s security architecture. 

Identifying threats using a combination of AI and human intelligence is critical to maximizing the security of a network. To prioritize threats, external threat experts review, triage and escalate incidents using AI tools. The experts will then send advanced threat analysis to the administrators. The routine threat reporting process and executive briefings from dedicated threat analysts ensure reduced risks. 

With a CTI system, you will have firm and actionable threat data collection on who or what is attacking your network, what systems have been compromised, and how to mitigate the threat. An expert CTI provider will address the unique needs of your business and help you implement ideal automated universal actions to mitigate cybersecurity risks and ensure supply chain security. 

How Does Cyber Threat Intelligence Improve Supply Chain Visibility?

The increasing complexity of supply chains means that manufacturers, shippers, warehouses, and distributors have to juggle a lot of data from different sources concurrently. They also have to coordinate key players in the chain and ensure that the goods are shipped and delivered on time. There’s little margin for error. 

Since Artificial Intelligence (AI) can handle large volumes of data and find patterns, it is a welcome addition to supply chains. AI makes data analysis from different endpoints faster and more efficient. When AI is combined with human expertise in the form of analysts and Dark Web Operatives, it allows CTI to quickly detect threats and vulnerabilities before an attack is executed. 

Here’s how CTI can help improve supply chain visibility. 

1. Manage Third Party Visibility

Supply chain management involves work with global third-party vendors. With such a vast network, organizations need real-time data that will allow them to understand where there might be a ‘weak link’ in their vendor ecosystem that threat actors could potentially exploit.

Third Party Intelligence prepares your organization to anticipate threats before they strike and take proactive measures to mitigate those threats. Third Party Intelligence allows organizations to counter emerging attack plans that could be targeting third-party organizations in your supply chain by conducting periodic risk assessments and monitoring networks where cybercriminals are known to plot. 

2. Anticipate Disruptions

Cyber threats are emerging and evolving every day, but Geopolitical Intelligence can help security teams stay ahead of the latest developments around the world that have the potential to affect the vendors and bottom line. Geopolitical intelligence allows businesses to quickly assess the latest political, economic, digital, societal and legal factors that could impact your business’s risk. If any piece of your supply chain is operating in a hot spot for cybercriminal activity, early detection is critical to helping your business proactively counter potential threats.

3. Reduce Risk

The Deep and Dark Web are often early staging grounds for cyber criminals and threat actors attempting to launch phishing and impersonation campaigns, or to exchange stolen data or credentials that could pose a threat to your business’s supply chain data. Dark web monitoring and vulnerability intelligence can help identify Indicators of Compromise (IoCs) at the right time to protect the people and infrastructure that comprise your vendor network. 

4. Streamline Compliance 

One of the main challenges in supply chain visibility is generating real-time intelligence on all of the vendors, devices, applications, and software connected to the network. Taken collectively, these all represent your supply chain’s attack surface. CTI allows system managers to gather valuable intel on your IT infrastructure and critical software applications. In this way, CTI not only helps mitigate your risk, it also allows you to stay up to date with the latest data safety regulations and compliance requirements in your industry. 

5. Maximize Efficiency 

Automation helps streamline supply chain operations. By reducing manual operations, there will be fewer mistakes, which can be a gateway to cyber threats. Automating security data collection and reporting will increase operational efficiency and allow immediate visibility and updates on goods throughout the delivery lifecycle in your supply chain.

How Does Cyber Threat Intelligence Work?

Cybersecurity tools or solutions are powerless if they do not know which threats to look out for or cannot produce the right procedures that power operational intelligence. A strong cyber threat intelligence team gives system administrators the knowledge they need to come up with a plan of attack that will proactively protect their network, people, and data. 

Threat intelligence experts differentiate between three levels of threat intelligence: strategic intelligence, which deals with high-level information about an organization’s cyber threat landscape, operational intelligence, which focuses on understanding the procedures, techniques, and tactics used by cybercriminals, and tactical intelligence, which identifies Indicators of Compromise (IOCs). 

Each level provides unique perspectives on threat intelligence and can help organizations improve their cybersecurity solutions. Tactical threat intelligence consists of more than just collecting information about cyber threats. It is a six phase process of producing and distributing high-quality and actionable information: 

  • Planning and Direction: In this phase expert threat analysts create a range of intelligence gathering activities. They identify and prioritize business processes and data that must be protected. They also identify weaknesses in the existing network and processes to know which gaps to address. 
  • Data Collection: In this second phase, analysts gather threat data from different sources across the private and public attack surface. This can include the dark web, external threat intelligence feeds, network event logs, and more.
  • Data Processing: Before analyzing data, the experts will clean, transform and process it. Analysts can use AI-based threat intelligence platforms such as ZeroFox to normalize, structure, and deduplicate threat data. This allows data to be analyzed to produce valuable insights. 
  • Data Analysis: A combination of human and AI-based analysis is used during this phase to transform information and threat data into actionable intelligence. The right tools will help deliver accurate and relevant threat intelligence. 
  • Data Production: In this phase, the intelligence is validated, sorted, and arranged into relevant dashboards and visualizations that cybersecurity experts can easily digest so that they can draw meaningful deductions and take fast and appropriate actions to mitigate threats. 
  • Distribution and Feedback: In this final phase, analysts compile the completed threat intelligence into reports and provide them to relevant administrators of stakeholders. This can include incident response teams, SecOps, and CSOs. The analysts collect feedback on the reports and continuously implement the feedback to improve their threat intelligence procedures.

It is important to note that effective threat intelligence should be accurate, complete, relevant, easy to use, and timely.  

ZeroFox External Cybersecurity Can Improve Supply Chain Security for Your Business

Complete internal and external supply chain visibility is critical to driving growth and delivering value to your clients. To increase supply chain security, your business must be fully aware of the cyber threats you are exposed to and have a clear plan of action on how to mitigate them. 
ZeroFox produces intelligence tailored to your security requirements. We combine dark ops agents, deep learning tools, and AI processing to comb through massive amounts of data and deliver relevant and timely intelligence. Contact us today and request a demo to learn how our solutions can help your business.

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