Threat intelligence platforms collect, normalize, and distribute enriched intelligence throughout the cybersecurity ecosystem. They aggregate data from open-source and gated sources while offering smart visualization for easy threat intelligence consumption.
Threat intelligence platforms allow security teams to efficiently identify relevant IOCs on one central platform and rank threats according to severity while automating threat intelligence workflows for faster, last-mile operationalization.
Why Companies Need a Threat Intelligence Platform
Since cyberattacks are becoming more sophisticated and targeted, companies need a way to understand threats and defend against them. A threat intelligence platform provides this crucial service by collecting terabytes of data about threats from various sources and providing analysts with the context for protecting networks.
These platforms combine and normalize data from global feeds, open-source resources, existing security tools, and internal repositories into one manageable dataset. They also incorporate indicators, adversaries, and their methods as context to provide further context for analysts who can focus on detecting threats and taking appropriate actions against them instead of manually processing data themselves.
With its access to data collected over time, threat intelligence platforms can alert teams of risks and vulnerabilities they might otherwise overlook. When integrated with other security systems, threat intelligence helps prioritize and mitigate these threats more efficiently - helping security teams reduce the risk of ransomware attacks or other damaging cyberattacks by providing actionable insights that reduce cyber threats such as ransomware.
Companies can use this information to generate custom threat intelligence feeds for their networks, providing a clearer view of how attacks target them and helping strengthen cybersecurity defenses to stop attacks before they even occur.
Threat intelligence adoption is rapidly expanding. This trend will likely continue through 2022 as more organizations realize the value of threat intelligence solutions, particularly due to platforms' ability to integrate seamlessly with SIEM and other tools and continually updated data feeds that keep pace with threat developments.
Before selecting a threat intelligence platform, it is crucial to consider its capabilities for handling different data and actions. For instance, if your goal is to track and respond to incidents, look for one with ticketing systems and compatibility with existing security systems and customizable data filters so you can get just what information is necessary.
Make sure that the platform can assist in meeting regulatory and industry standards. For example, healthcare organizations may want a platform that meets HIPAA regulations; similarly, banks should find threat intelligence platforms that help meet PCI DSS.
Purpose of a Threat Intelligence Platform
Threat intelligence platforms gather external threats in the form of STIX and OSINT feeds and internal information from security tools like SIEMs, anti-virus solutions, and IPS/IDSs to create meaningful intelligence data sets. Once this intelligence data has been processed and normalized for analysis purposes, threat intelligence platforms enrich it further with actor and attack tactic context to help security operations teams assess how serious an event is.
Threat intelligence platforms can also be connected with security tools or cloud applications through an API for bi-directional information sharing. Threat feeds provide security teams with real-time alerts of cyberattacks taking place worldwide.
Organizations can use these platforms to establish a collaborative ecosystem with peers, ISAC/ISAO hubs, third-party vendors, and subsidiaries by exchanging enriched threat intelligence across platforms and sharing it to accelerate incident response times and gain visibility into their threat landscape. Furthermore, these platforms facilitate automated threat intel dissemination by setting rules so alerts can automatically flow between platforms and security tools.
Threat intelligence platforms offer security teams of any size to easily ingest and share threat intelligence through STIX-powered internal tools, speed up response times, and enable last-mile operationalization for quicker responses to threats. They do this by seamlessly integrating with SIEM, log management repository, and ticketing systems that quickly and efficiently convert artifacts into threat intelligence quickly and efficiently - providing teams with a quicker way of handling incidents.
As well as these features, certain threat intelligence platforms utilize machine learning (ML) algorithms to detect and prioritize active threats for action. The algorithms analyze, normalize and enrich threat intel to isolate the most serious threats while eliminating false positives - creating what some refer to as "cyber no-fly lists," similar to airport restrictions on accessing IP addresses or domains.
Some of the leading threat intelligence platforms also support MITRE ATT&CK Mapping, enabling security teams to visualize an attacker's tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) better to comprehend an event or incident and its potential repercussions. Furthermore, such platforms facilitate automated triage, phishing reporting, and more to increase team efficiency and speed up triage processes.
How Threat Intelligence Platforms Work
As cyberattacks continue to evolve and launch attacks around the globe, organizations must adopt a proactive stance. This means identifying malicious actors' attack patterns and disrupting them before a breach occurs.
Threat intelligence platforms (TIPs) provide organizations with an efficient means of doing just that by automating the process of analyzing and categorizing threat information so security analysts can focus on tasks requiring their skills instead. Tips typically collect large volumes of data from various sources before filtering, normalizing, curating, organizing, sending alerts, and taking other appropriate actions on this information.
So they combine internal and external threat intelligence, enabling teams to see patterns that may otherwise go undetected. Furthermore, they offer a "library of indicators" that streamlines prediction by highlighting relationships among threat actors, campaigns, and more - allowing security analysts to focus on day-to-day operations while prioritizing activities based on known threats.
A quality threat intelligence platform enables analysts to easily keep track of evidence, indicators, and rules by creating a central storage location for them. Furthermore, many platforms feature threat boards, geo-tagging, and analyst watchlist functionality so security team members can collaborate to search, identify and memorialize new indicators to the library. In addition, top platforms offer features allowing them to be automatically consumed by an organization's existing security systems, which then use alerting to initiate auto-remediation measures or raise automatic alerts as necessary.
Selecting the ideal threat intelligence platform requires understanding how each product operates. Some are standalone, while others belong to larger suites for endpoint and network security, offering more integration options. In contrast, suites tend to already feature pre-built integrations with various security solutions.
Consideration must also be given to what types of threat intelligence feeds a system supports, such as malware signatures, malicious websites, compromised hosts, IoCs, etc. The best platforms employ cognitive technologies to filter out noise and surface only high-priority information - some even feature MITRE's ATT&CK Navigator framework, which assists security analysts in visualizing attack pathways while tying threats and indicators together for analysis purposes.
Key Features of a Threat Intelligence Platform
Threat intelligence platforms collect, process and distribute threat intel. They integrate with IT security systems like SIEMs and endpoint management software so that IT teams can respond more effectively to cyber attacks. Their visualization options - maps, trend graphs, and timelines - allow IT teams to understand risks and make faster decisions quickly.
A comprehensive threat intelligence solution gathers information from various external sources, including commercial feed providers, ISAC/ISAO hubs, the dark web, and public sources. A platform then processes this data, filtering out irrelevant information while de-duplicating indicators to create a more complete picture of the attack landscape. In addition, most platforms support MITRE ATT&CK mapping so you can visualize threat actor tactics and identify trends within kill chains.
The platform then performs analyses of the data to generate reports and alerts that are then shared with stakeholders and IT security teams and integrated with organizational security systems to prevent cyberattacks before they happen. Advanced threat intelligence platforms also support case-by-case threat analysis to reduce internal workload while freeing security staff to focus on more severe threats.
When selecting a threat intelligence solution, seek one that can seamlessly integrate and export data directly to existing IT security tools, helping them operate more efficiently while decreasing false positives. Furthermore, flexible application programming interfaces (APIs) should enable integration with your infrastructure for bidirectional threat intel flow.
An effective threat intelligence solution should also help prioritize threats, automate workflows and orchestrate responses. Furthermore, such an infrastructure should provide your cybersecurity team with training on tracking, analyzing, and using threat intelligence they collect - speeding up response times for automated remediation actions and decreasing response times for automated remediation activities. These functions are available from numerous solutions like analyst1 that integrate with SIEM or SOAR products widely used today.