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Everything You Need to Know About a Threat Intelligence Platform
- Cyber Threat Intelligence
Posted on: June 07, 2021
Due to the incessant increase in cyberattacks, the security teams are in a dire need of a robust platform that can help them in threat analysis and incident response. The need of the hour is a mature threat intelligence platform (TIP) that can facilitate the complete intelligence lifecycle management.
What is a Threat Intelligence Platform?
While detecting a threat, TIPs come in handy, bringing all the security teams together in the investigation. By using an advanced TIP, security teams can collect and analyze threat information, taking a collective defense approach against critical threats. A TIP equips security teams with critical information on known malware and other threats, driving efficient threat identification, analysis, and response.
A TIP is a software solution that detects, blocks, and eliminates cyber threats. It combines different threat intelligence feeds, tallies them with past security incidents, and creates alerts for the security team. TIPs have the capability to integrate with other security functions and tools such as security information and event management (SIEM) and EDR solutions. The integration of disparate security functions via cyber fusion benefits from the threat intelligence collected through a TIP. The collected threat intelligence can be shared with other team members, organizations, ISACs/ISAOs, communities, vendors, clients, and subsidiaries in a bi-directional manner.
The Need for a TIP in Cybersecurity
TIP is a vital tool that allows proactive threat information sharing between different communities and organizations. By exchanging threat information within a community, organizations can employ the collective knowledge and capabilities of the sharing community to have a better understanding of the threats they may face. With this knowledge, they can make informed decisions, and by correlating and analyzing threat information from different sources, they can enrich the data and make it more actionable. Furthermore, TIPs enable organizations to better detect threats that target particular sectors, entities, or institutions.
Sharing threat information with other organizations via TIPs exposes you to greater expertise and resources. By sharing cyber threat information and collaborating with other organizations and teams, you can gain more visibility into emerging threats, determine the suitable security controls for your organization, and learn more about alleviating those threats effectively. Needless to say, a TIP should be one of the most pressing priorities of your threat intelligence program.
How Does a TIP Work?
A TIP comes with several functions that allow organizations to adopt a threat-centric approach to handle their security operations. This helps security teams understand the threats facing their organization, make informed decisions, and quickly take further actions. The core features of a TIP include the following capabilities:
TIPs aggregate threat data from various feeds, including STIX/TAXII, XML, JSON, CybOX, MAEC, and others. Moreover, TIPs ingest information from internal sources such as SIEMs, IDS/IPS, Antivirus, and external sources such as commercial feed providers, dark web, ISAC/ISAO hubs, and peer organizations. The feeds include indicators of compromise (IOCs), threat actor TTPs, exploit alerts, ATT&CK mapping, and much more. The better the feeds, the more effective the TIP. Most importantly, TIPs allow organizations to collect and share threat intelligence with clients, partners, vendors, regulatory bodies, and ISACs/ISAOs in a highly collaborative ecosystem.
After collecting threat data from various internal and external sources, a TIP normalizes that data to a standardized format such as STIX. Typically, this is done for structured as well as unstructured threat data that is converted into STIX format for further processes of the threat intelligence lifecycle.
A TIP sorts the normalized data, organizes it with metadata tags, and filters out irrelevant or redundant information. Subsequently, it compares the information with curated data, identifying correlations and connecting the dots to detect threats.
Enrichment and Analysis
By using a true TIP, security teams can enrich numerous IOCs from various internal and external trusted intel sources. In the enrichment process, a TIP removes false positives and adds context to the threat data which is essential for organizations to deduce contextual and relevant actionable intelligence. By using the actionable intelligence created from the real-time analysis of heaps of threat data at machine speed, security teams can improve threat prediction, prevention, and response operations.
Dissemination and Actioning
TIPs offer the capability to automate threat intel dissemination by equipping internal security operations center (SOC), incident response, and red teams with enriched intelligence for faster analysis and actioning. This enriched intel can be cross-shared among ISACs, third-party vendors, peers, subsidiaries, and others. The final risk score of the IOCs can be calculated and the actioning on relevant intel can be prioritized. Based on the confidence score, a TIP analyzes threat intelligence, blocks IOCs, and adds them to the watchlist of a SIEM solution.
How Can a TIP Help Your Organization?
Every organization has different levels of potential and maturity to effectively leverage threat intelligence. This is where TIPs play a significant role. By using a TIP, you can share threat information such as how threat actors plan cyberattacks, what TTPs they use, and other relevant data that provides a broader picture of cyber threat analysis, helping you prevent similar attacks from taking place. Furthermore, threat intelligence sharing enhances cyber threat analysis by providing deeper visibility into emerging security threats, reducing the risk of information loss, obstructing interruption in business operations, and improving regulatory compliance. Moreover, TIPs help lower response and dwell detection times, enabling an organization’s security teams to identify and contain threats in the early phases of the cyber kill chain and allowing them to focus on necessary tasks, thereby improving their efficiency.
A TIP automates the process of combining internal and external threat data in a way that delivers actionable threat intelligence, accelerating and streamlining your security posture. Whether you are identifying relevant IOCs and addressing them, detecting and responding to threats, or simplifying your security operations, a TIP comes to your rescue with the required contextual data to quickly and effectively tackle threats.