Threat Intel

What is a Threat Intelligence Platform?

what is a threat intelligence platform

Did you know that there are a lot of different types of cybersecurity threats that companies have to deal with? It’s true! To stay ahead of the constantly changing cyber threat landscape, security operations and protection need to be proactive. Basically, it’s important to try and anticipate future attacks by cybercriminals and other bad actors, and stop them before they happen.

When there’s a sign that an attack campaigns on an institution is planned or imminent, it’s really important to have clear intelligence. This means having a good idea of what might be coming, so you can prepare for it. That’s where a Cyber threat intelligence platform comes in. This type of tool is designed to gather information on adversaries and their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPS) & identify potential security threats, so you can stay one step ahead of the bad guys.

Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) Defined

A Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) is responsible for identifying, automatically gathering, aggregating, organizing, and analyzing threat intelligence from various sources & industry, including the clear web, deep web, and dark web. By using advanced algorithms and machine learning, it analyzes the collected data to find signs of compromise (IOCs).

It also helps threat intelligence teams in sharing threat intelligence data with security systems & stakeholders via reports, dashboards, etc.

Additionally, TIPs also leverage human intelligence obtained from cybersecurity experts who interact with threat actors that learn, plan attacks and trade stolen and leaked data.

Cybersecurity teams can use the information provided by a TIP to uncover new risks from malware attack types and upcoming assaults. This knowledge can be used to proactively search, manage and remediate risks, powering threat detection, investigation and response.

How Does a Threat Intelligence Platform Work?

A diagram showing the work process of the Threat Intelligence Platform

Recognizing and communicating cybersecurity threats in a complex global system is challenging. Understanding the various phases of developing successful threat intelligence is crucial for appreciating the value of technologies that automate and streamline this process.

  • Phase 1: Collection

Raw data for threat intelligence is gathered from various sources & user bases, such as internal and external logs, open-source intelligence (OSINT), and proprietary data from first or third parties, and then processed in a central platform.

IP addresses, domains, file hashes, and vulnerability information are all critical threat data. This data includes identifiable information of users, raw code from paste sites, and text from news sources or social media platforms. It is a collection of general information, business data, and technical and non-technical documentation.

  • Phase 2: Processing

Processing raw data is an essential step in making it accessible for analysis. This involves sorting, categorizing using metadata tags, and screening out extraneous data, false positives, and false negatives.

For businesses dealing with a high volume of data, the ability to process it quickly and accurately is crucial. The processing stage must be fast and efficient to enable timely analysis. With the right processing tools in place, large businesses can generate insights that lead to better decision-making.

  • Phase 3: Analysis

Any organization can benefit from using threat intelligence due to its multiple applications, such as supporting software development by creating more secure code, helping network and system administrators establish application firewalls, and assisting platform abuse response teams in identifying and removing harmful hosts. To meet the needs of different audiences, the analysis stage must produce a variety of analyses.

Evaluating threat data requires high-performance pattern recognition, triage, and predictive analysis, which can be achieved with the help of machine learning.

  • Phase 4: Dissemination

To make threat intel effective, it is crucial to share and use it. The first step is to identify the appropriate users for the intelligence. After that, determine the frequency or latency of the updates. It is essential to consider the delay in your security operations, especially if you do not have access to real-time data. Based on your threat intelligence capability, you need to adjust your security operations. Finally, consider the best format for each platform or audience where you will share the intelligence.

Why Do Companies Need a Threat Intelligence Platform?

According to an article published on Government Technology, Joshua Bartolomie, VP of Global Threat Services, predicts increased reliance on threat intel to uncover unknown cybersecurity risks.

Threat intelligence is a valuable tool that can help improve your security infrastructure and benefit your business goals, to power up your existing security investments. It provides better visibility into ongoing threats and new breaches across the threat environment, which can help reduce the risk of data loss, prevent or minimize disruptions to business operations, and contribute to the prevention of potential attacks.

Threat intelligence also enables you to take prompt, well-informed actions to avoid system outages, prevent the theft of private information, protect your intellectual property, and maintain the goodwill and loyalty of your customers.

However, verifying and correlating threat intelligence events manually can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Automated threat intelligence systems can help your security team work more efficiently and avoid alert fatigue.

Factors to Consider While Choosing the Right TIP Solution for Your Business

1. Threat Intelligence Lifecycle Automation

Automating routine tasks such as threat intelligence ingestion, enrichment, analysis, sharing and actioning is crucial for a modern cyber threat intelligence platform. Such a platform should utilize cognitive technologies like machine learning (ML) to efficiently filter out irrelevant data and generate valuable insights that require immediate action from security teams.

2. Intelligence Collection and Standardization From Multiple Sources

A top-notch threat intel platform collects data from multiple sources, supports various file types, and standardizes all threat data into a single language. With the advancements in technology, threat intelligence solutions can now gather both structured and unstructured threat data in diverse formats such as STIX 1.x/2.0, XML, JSON, MAEC, MISP, CSV, YARA, PDF, Email, OpenIOC, and CybOX.

3. Internal Threat Data Utilization to Jam malicious Actors

A threat intel platform that can collect and improve data from internal sources such as firewalls, SIEM, antivirus software, EDR/NDR tools, etc. is deemed sufficient. The platform should provide your company with context-rich, actionable intelligence that is more relevant to your business.

4. STIX/TAXII Support

It is important to select a threat intelligence solution that can support the latest STIX releases as they become available. STIX allows companies to share threat intelligence in a format that can be read by machines, which broadens the scope for exchanging threat intelligence, balances proactive detection with rapid response, and fosters a methodical approach to threat intelligence.

5. Enhance. Correlate. Evaluate

Security teams can enhance their ability to detect and respond to threats by using a top-notch threat intelligence system. This threat intelligence platform automates the entire threat intelligence lifecycle, allowing security teams to augment and correlate indicators of compromise (IOCs) from various intelligence sources. By doing so, they can remove false alarms and add more context to threat records.

Moreover, security teams can prioritize their actions by calculating the confidence scores of IOCs. They can then analyze the threat intelligence and block IOCs based on the risk score.

6. Threat Intelligence Sharing for Collaboration

Sharing threat knowledge between internal teams and external companies is crucial for promoting security collaboration, enhancing situational awareness, and facilitating organizational learning. To achieve this, the control center of your threat intelligence platform should be capable of bi-directional communication of intelligence with all linked members or entities.

7. Centralized Visibility

It is essential to have a comprehensive understanding of your overall security with the help of a threat intelligence platform. This solution should enable you to manage your threat intelligence using centralized visibility and tracking, eliminating any security vulnerabilities.

8. Integration With Other Security Tools

Most companies have some sort of legacy system. Some threat intelligence platforms require a lot of maintenance and modification to accept past data feeds, while others have options to easily integrate with existing security systems & other technologies. It’s best to choose the latter. When selecting a threat intelligence platform, opt for one that can work with other tools in your company’s arsenal for detecting and responding to an existing threat, like firewalls, endpoint detection and response (EDR), SIEM, IDS/IPS, and SOAR.

9. Pre-Loaded Intelligence Feeds and Enrichment Sources

Security analysts often rely on threat intelligence feeds from multiple security solutions vendors. However, managing and processing data from various sources can be a challenging and exhausting task. To avoid vendor burnout, it is recommended to consider threat intelligence solutions that offer enrichment sources and a variety of threat intelligence channels. This can help simplify the process and allow your security team to focus on launching effective threat intelligence activities without being burdened by multiple providers.

10. Data Storage Capability for Longer Periods

A threat intelligence platform is a system designed to collect a large amount of high-quality data that can be used as a centralized source of intelligence. Security teams require larger storage units to store this information after analysis, as numerous sources such as CERTs, social media, commercial TI providers, and many others share enormous amounts of information. A threat intelligence platform should allow data storage for an extended period of time, as historical analysis helps to better understand the objectives of a threat actor. Therefore, it is important to have ample data storage for TI platforms.

11. Flexible Deployment Options

One of the key features of the best threat intelligence platform is its flexible deployment options. For users with specific needs, the on-premise implementation allows for better control, consistent data access, and easier interoperability with existing on-premise tools.

Alternatively, cloud-deployed threat intelligence solutions are less expensive, quicker to implement, and easier to update to the latest versions. A hybrid deployment is also available for security teams whose infrastructure is spread across both cloud and on-premise settings.

To create cross-environment orchestrations that blend threat intelligence platforms with other security technologies, a sophisticated decoupled security orchestration is required.

Roles using TIP

  • Security analyst – (use cases: integrations of threat intelligence feeds with other products and blocking of IP’s , URL’s, Domains)
  • Security Operations Center (SOC) – (use cases: Taking care of linking, enriched alerts and more)
  • Computer Security Incident Response Team (CSIRT) – (use cases: investigation of the root cause to determine the scope of incidents and more)
  • Executive management – (use cases: enables alert triage, incident response & more)

How Is NewEvol Different From Other Threat Intelligence Platforms?

The NewEvol Cyber Threat Intelligence Platform collects information from both public and private sectors all over the world and then converts it into actionable insights in real-time. Our platform offers proactive threat indicators on active directories, IP addresses, hacking attempts, and other spam attacks. We use AI and advanced automation to provide end-to-end cyber security intelligence and threat hunting.

By analyzing cyber threat intelligence, we can reduce the time required for incident response and enhance your overall threat intelligence management. Additionally, our platform gives you a comprehensive view of all current threat activity, providing a 360-degree perspective.

Krunal Medapara

Krunal Mendapara is the Chief Technology Officer, responsible for creating product roadmaps from conception to launch, driving the product vision, defining go-to-market strategy, and leading design discussions.

December 2, 2022

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