External Threat Intelligence Services

What are External Threat Intelligence Services?

An external threat intelligence service is a subscription-based service where a third-party cybersecurity firm provides timely, actionable, and contextually relevant threat intelligence to public and private sector clients.

External threat intelligence service providers tap into data from a variety of sources to provide enterprises with critical visibility and insight into cybersecurity threats that originate on social media and across the world wide web.

While internal threat intelligence sources and analyzes data from a company’s own networks and systems, external threat intelligence involves collecting data from outside the organization and across the public attack surface to identify cyber threat actors, uncover emerging cyber threats, and prepare recommendations for preventing and mitigating cyber attacks.

Why Leverage External Threat Intelligence Services?

External threat intelligence services can help enterprise organizations enhance their security posture and prevent data breaches or fraudulent cyber attacks that lead to financial losses. 

As data breaches grow increasingly common and more costly, enterprise and public sector organizations are increasing their investments in cybersecurity and external threat intelligence services that can help prevent and mitigate these attacks.

Enterprise organizations do have the option of establishing in-house capabilities for external threat intelligence, but this is only practical for large organizations with massive resources to invest in hiring threat analysts and developing the technological capabilities they need to efficiently monitor and identify threats across the public attack surface

For most private businesses and public agencies, external threat intelligence services provide a more cost-effective, convenient, and reliable means of accessing relevant details on the newest digital adversaries and recommendations for preventing their attacks.

7 Essential Capabilities for External Threat Intelligence Services

External threat intelligence services offer a range of features that help their enterprise clients stay informed on the newest emerging cyber threats and respond proactively to cyber attacks.

Below, we highlight seven essential capabilities for external threat intelligence services.

Full Spectrum Threat Intelligence

The most effective external threat intelligence services take a comprehensive, full spectrum approach, gathering data from a rich variety of public and private sources, including social media, the surface, deep, and dark web, public government data, commercial data, partner telemetry, covert operatives, academic research publications, and more. 

By leaving no stone unturned in the data collection process, external threat intelligence services capture more relevant threat indicators that can help their clients prevent attacks.

Real-Time Threat Feeds

Real-time threat feeds deliver timely and actionable threat intelligence directly to enterprise SecOps teams who can use it to inform strategic decision-making and resource allocation. Threat intelligence feeds can give SecOps teams access to both raw threat data and enriched intelligence with curated recommendations for preventing and mitigating emerging cyber threats. 

Threat Intelligence Reporting

In addition to real-time feeds, external threat intelligence services distribute threat intelligence reports to keep their customers informed of the latest cyber threats and emerging trends. Threat intelligence reporting includes everything from daily intelligence briefing to quarterly trend reports. Strategic intelligence reports can address global threats, industry-specific threats, or geopolitical threats affecting a specific region or country.

Proactive Threat Hunting

External threat intelligence services deliver proactive threat hunting capabilities by leveraging artificial intelligence to monitor the public attack surface at scale for cyber threat indicators. This capability means that enterprise organizations are more likely to detect and disrupt fake social media accounts or fraudulent domains before they can be used in a successful attack.

Threat Alerting and Incident Response

External threat intelligence services are now providing incident response management as a service and managing cyber threats from detection and identification to response and resolution. 

In addition to alerting on threat indicators across the public attack space, threat intelligence services provide access to human threat intelligence experts who analyze, triage, and escalate alerts to help enterprise security teams prioritize the most important actions to protect their networks.

Threat Analysis and Investigations

External threat intelligence services can provide threat investigations and tailored intelligence on an on-demand basis, giving their customers valuable access to expert analysis and research from experienced threat intelligence experts.

Adversary Disruption and Takedowns-as-a-Service

In addition to identifying and detecting cyber threats, external threat intelligence services also support their enterprise clients with adversary disruption and takedown-as-a-service capabilities.

When cyber adversaries deploy fraudulent domains or fake social media profiles to impersonate a public or private organization, external threat intelligence service providers can leverage their relationships with web hosts and social media to accelerate the removal of the fraudulent infrastructure and disrupt the attack.

Enhance Your Cybersecurity Readiness with ZeroFOX External Threat Intelligence Services

ZeroFOX provides protection, external threat intelligence, and disruption services to dismantle external threats across the web.

Want to learn more?

Check out The Forrester Wave™: External Threat Intelligence Services to learn more about external threat intelligence and discover why ZeroFOX was rated best-in-class for brand threat intelligence use cases and takedown service.