Cybersecurity Threat Intelligence

What is Cybersecurity Threat Intelligence?

Cybersecurity threat intelligence is the strategic process of collecting and analyzing data from across the digital attack surface to detect, identify, and mitigate against cybersecurity risks to brands, people, assets, and data. 

A successful cybersecurity threat intelligence program generates information about cyber adversaries and their motivations, behaviors, targets, and TTPs that can be used to inform incident response protocols or prevent and mitigate future attacks.

How Does Cybersecurity Threat Intelligence Work?

The first step to developing cybersecurity threat intelligence is to capture threat data from across the digital attack surface. 

The raw data is analyzed by machine learning and AI-driven applications that provide additional context and extract the most relevant information about imminent cybersecurity threats. This information is analyzed and curated by human threat intelligence experts, then delivered to enterprise SecOps teams as finished cybersecurity intelligence. 

SecOps teams consume this intelligence in feeds or in a report format, using it to inform their approach to securing enterprise networks.

6 Types of Cybersecurity Threat Intelligence You Need

Cybersecurity threat intelligence provides valuable insight into threat actors and cyber attacks that originate from a variety of sources. Below are six types of cybersecurity threat intelligence that can help enterprise organizations detect, identify, and mitigate cyber attacks:

  • Dark Web Threat Intelligence - The dark web is a collection of websites that can only be accessed using specialized browsers, and where data encryption ensures that users remain anonymous. The anonymity provided by the dark web makes it a common venue for cyber attackers to exchange malware, techniques, and stolen data. Dark web threat intelligence analyzes raw data from the dark web to discover cybersecurity threats.
  • Brand Intelligence - Brand intelligence deals with the detection, identification, and disruption of fraudulent domains, executive impersonations, and phishing attacks that fraudulent misappropriate brand assets to scam users. 
  • Fraud Intelligence - Fraud is defined as any act of intentional deception for personal or financial gain, or to deprive someone of their lawful rights. Fraud intelligence focuses on cybersecurity threats that use deception to steal data, access credentials, or financial resources. These threats include phishing attacks, email and domain spoofing, executive impersonation attacks, various forms of brand abuse, and many more.
  • Internet Infrastructure Intelligence - Internet infrastructure intelligence uses telemetry data, web server logs, domain blacklists, and other information sources to distinguish between legitimate domain providers, hosts, and VPS infrastructure, and those used by cyber criminals to carry out attacks.
  • Malware and Ransomware Intelligence - Malware and ransomware intelligence offers enterprises insight into cyber adversaries who deploy malware and ransomware attacks, along with their motivations, targets, and TTPs.
  • Vulnerability Intelligence - Vulnerability intelligence involves the collection and analysis of information regarding newly discovered software vulnerabilities that could be exploited in a cybersecurity attack against a target organization.

Why is Cybersecurity Threat Intelligence Important?

Cybersecurity threat intelligence gives enterprise organizations the ability to identify, detect, and proactively mitigate cyber attacks before they can cause additional damage. Here’s why a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity threat intelligence is important for modern organizations:

Avoiding Data Theft and Financial Losses

Cyber attacks frequently attempt to steal sensitive data from public and private organizations, with the average cost of a data breach estimated at over $4 million in 2021. Cybersecurity threat intelligence helps enterprises avoid the financial and reputational losses that invariably result from having their sensitive or proprietary data stolen by cyber adversaries.

Avoiding Unplanned Downtime

For business models from eCommerce to SaaS, unplanned downtime means unhappy customers and lost revenue - and cyber attacks are a leading cause of unplanned service outages. One report found that ransomware attacks led to an average of 21 days of unplanned downtime for targeted organizations.

By helping to prevent and mitigate cyber attacks, cybersecurity threat intelligence helps enterprises avoid unplanned downtime.

Avoiding Penalties and Liability

A successful data theft attack can leave enterprises on the hook for regulatory penalties and litigation costs. In addition to being fined by regulators for insufficiently securing sensitive data, organizations have been successfully sued in class-action for security failures that exposed customer data.

Preventing and mitigating cyber attacks with cybersecurity threat intelligence helps enterprises avoid the painful costs associated with remediating a data breach.

Getting Started with Cybersecurity Threat Intelligence

Here’s how your organization can start detecting and mitigating digital threats with cybersecurity threat intelligence:

Open Source Threat Intelligence

Open source intelligence is cybersecurity threat intelligence gathered from publicly available sources, including social media and the surface, deep, and dark web. Monitoring these sources for relevant information about new and emerging cybersecurity threats helps enterprises identify the proper steps to prevent and mitigate cyber attacks.

Threat Intelligence Feeds

Threat intelligence feeds provide a continuous stream of information related to cyber adversaries and emerging threats. Some threat intelligence feeds are available to the public, while others are offered commercially or accessed privately by cooperating cybersecurity organizations. Threat intelligence feeds can also be diverse, with some delivering raw threat data from multiple sources and others delivering curated finished intelligence.

Threat Intelligence Software Platforms

Threat intelligence software platforms like ZeroFox collect and analyze threat data from both public and proprietary sources, providing enterprises with finished cybersecurity intelligence that supports the fight against digital adversaries.

The ZeroFox Platform uses artificial intelligence to monitor the public attack surface at scale, identifying and protecting enterprises against impersonation attacks, brand and domain abuse, and other cybersecurity threats.

Protect Your Cybersecurity Posture with ZeroFox Global Threat Intelligence

ZeroFox provides protection, cybersecurity threat intelligence, and disruption to dismantle external threats across the web.

Want to learn more?

Check out our free webinar Offensive Security Strategies: Combating the Cyber Agitators of the World to discover why cybersecurity threat intelligence is becoming a top priority for both private businesses and government agencies in 2021.