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Why Threat Intelligence Matters for CISOs?

Why Threat Intelligence Matters for CISOs?

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In times when threat intelligence (TI) has assumed a critical role in cybersecurity, it is essential that CISOs make the most out of this to manage security risks in their organizations effectively. When it comes to TI, the general understanding is that it can only be useful for security analysts. However, this is not true. TI can equally help CISOs in bringing out better measures for security incidents, as well as help them create a strong security posture for the company.

With so many new technologies and tools influencing the cybersecurity ecosystem, CISOs may find it overwhelming to focus on information that specifically helps them with taking key security decisions or appraising the board and other senior management of the security scenario. This is where TI can assist them to understand the overall security picture without much fuss. It presents a comprehensive view of elements such as recent threats, events or industry trends.

CISOs need to focus on the following aspects in order to benefit the most from TI.

Establishing Context

While TI (both external & internal) can furnish vast amount of information, CISOs should use it to correlate this with the security overview of their organizations. All this information can enable them to realize the external threat landscape and internal security posturing which will greatly assist in making risk-based decisions more accurately.

Moreover, internal TI cannot act as a sole measure for long-term improvement in various areas. By fusing it with external TI, advanced solutions can be devised to effectively remediate critical vulnerabilities, analyze attack vectors as well as determine which security events are actually a danger to the organization.

Benefiting from Automated Actions

CISOs can channelize resources towards automated actioning in security tools such as Firewalls, IDS/IPS, Antivirus, etc thus reducing the overall response time and more importantly switching gears from reactionary to proactive threat hunting based on predictive intelligence. The response actioning can be automated by leveraging Threat Intelligence Platforms for ingesting, enriching and updating the confidence score of the Intel. Consequently, Intel sharing with external trusted sources induces cyber resilience against threats by bringing in the element of collaboration. Ultimately, having a security solution that analyzes different stages of a threat and which makes its own decision can be very helpful in the long run.

TI platforms can also be helpful in other ways. If the dashboards featured in the platform provide a role-based vantage point, it helps in ensuring that the concerned personnel at different hierarchical echelons know the actual security position. This is more so important for the position of a CISO from where every security initiative trickles down through the organization. If CISOs invest in these platforms, they can also look at improving ROI by developing essential metrics and key performance indicators (KPI). To give an example, a KPI could be the reliability of threat intel sources. Determining which sources give accurate information on time, can go a long way in contributing to the success of the company’s security program.

Value Addition

The most important aspect of TI is its ability to bring in value for security processes followed in the organization. For example, along with expediting threat detection and response, TI can capture more details post the incident. This can make the organization more resilient to attacks.

The Strategic aspect of threat intelligence which generally covers factors such as risks and their possible outcomes is also beneficial in value addition. It can help CISOs to specifically oversee strategic concerns related to the security structure of the company.

CISOs can also leverage TI to increase situational awareness not just at the company’s SOC but also at the leadership level. For example, while security analysts and incident response teams make informed decisions from TI to counter potential threats or attacks, CISOs can use the high-level picture to inform the board about the business risks posed by cyber threats. In sectors like Finance and Banking, security is not an incentive but one of the critical product feature that a business can offer its customers.

Apart from this, TI also assists CISOs with cybersecurity decisions. How so? With every company having its own particular risk profile, CISOs can utilize TI to focus on the riskiest threats that bug the company. Based on this, they can augment their security posturing and make critical investments for optimal security solutions.

With all these advantages, CISOs can make better and quicker decisions. They can effectively manage risks that trouble the cybersecurity infrastructure, with a sharpened perspective.


threat intelligence
chief information security officer

Posted on: May 16, 2019

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