Organizations often struggle with threat intelligence management. They are overwhelmed by voluminous data and often rely on manual processes that make threat data correlation difficult and create challenges in producing actionable intelligence and sharing it further. To help alleviate these problems, organizations turn to a threat intelligence platform. Moreover, to stay ahead of threats, security teams need the best threat intelligence platforms that can provide comprehensive threat visibility into an extended attack surface and process massive volumes of threat data to find hidden threat patterns.
If you want to know what type of threat intelligence platform can be a good match for your security team, then this guide is for you.
Challenges that Legacy Threat Intelligence Platforms Fail to Solve
Security teams need to analyze data from a variety of internal and external sources to stay on top of rising threats. These include open source and commercial intelligence feeds, regulatory advisories, social media, websites, and the dark web, and internal telemetry sources like IDS, IPS, firewalls, SOAR, SIEM, EDR/XDR, and more. All this needs to be analyzed for effective security. Legacy threat intelligence platforms fail to overcome these challenges because of their limited scalability challenges when it comes to supporting integrations with other security technologies or offering support for structured and unstructured data from multiple sources.
For effective use of threat intelligence, threat intelligence platforms need to ingest data from and push high confidence, analyzed threat intelligence into multiple detection and monitoring tools in real time. Legacy threat intelligence platforms do not solve these challenges as they are more focused on ingesting and enriching threat intelligence from a limited number of sources.
Features of the Best Threat Intelligence Platforms
Every cybersecurity team needs a threat intelligence platform, but often they are not sure about how to choose the best one for their company. You have the best threat intelligence platform in place if it has the capability to:
Threat Intelligence Lifecycle Automation
threat intelligence platform should provide flexibility for automation at multiple levels across the threat intelligence lifecycle, including threat intel ingestion, enrichment, analysis, sharing, and actioning. The platform should have support for the advanced rules engines to help security teams automate routine activities such as
ingestion, enrichment, and analysis without requiring human intervention. It must integrate with cyber incident management systems to automatically action threat data and kickstart the auto-remediation process. The threat intelligence platform should use cognitive technologies such as Machine Learning (ML) to automatically filter out the noise and derive high-priority intelligence that requires action from the security teams.
Collect Intelligence from Multiple Sources. Also, Standardize it.
The best threat intelligence platform collects threat data from multiple sources and supports a wide range of formats, standardizing all the threat information into a common language such as STIX. This feature allows threat intelligence platforms to gather structured and unstructured threat information in various formats such as STIX 1.x/2.0, XML, JSON, MAEC, MISP, CSV, YARA, PDF, Email, OpenIOC, and CybOX.
Harness Internal Threat Data to Jam Bad Actors
Collecting information from external sources is important, but some of the most valuable threat intelligence resides right within your organization. Enterprises tend to ignore internal threat intelligence and rather focus on intelligence collected from external sources only. One of the reasons for neglecting internal threat intel is the lack of capability to harness that. Legacy threat intelligence platforms don't offer the capability to analyze threat intel coming from internal sources like firewalls, SIEM, antivirus, EDR/NDR tools etc. But an effective threat intelligence platform is the one that can ingest and enrich threat intel from multiple sources, including internally deployed tools of an organization.
Your threat intelligence platform is good enough if it harnesses the threat data inside your organization to create actionable intelligence with context that is more relevant to your organization. Your internal threat intelligence can help you fine-tune your cybersecurity efforts, detect threats and attackers, and defend your organization against them.
Provide STIX Support
The best threat intelligence platform is the one that supports newer versions of STIX as and when they are released. STIX allows organizations to share threat intelligence in a machine-readable format in an automated manner, extending the capabilities of threat intelligence sharing, balancing proactive detection with response, and promoting a holistic approach to threat intelligence. If your threat intelligence platform doesn’t cover support for different STIX versions, then it’s time for you to consider buying a new threat intelligence platform.
Enrich. Correlate. Analyze
The increasing volumes of threat data from multiple sources is making the threat landscape more complex than before. All this raw threat information needs to be contextualized and correlated to eliminate false positives and address the complexity in security operations centers (SOCs).
Share Threat Intelligence to Ensure Collaboration
Threat intelligence must be shared across internal teams and external organizations in a bidirectional manner. This fosters security collaboration and helps organizations gain situational awareness and learn from each other. For bidirectional sharing, your threat intelligence platform must work on the hub-and-spoke model, where a central hub controls the platform and bidirectionally shares intelligence with all connected entities or members (the “spokes” in the hub-and-spoke model). For example, a large organization may act as a “hub” when using a threat intelligence platform and share relevant intelligence to all its connected business units while also ingesting information from each unit.
Deliver Centralized Visibility
Do you hop between different consoles to configure your security policies, manage threat data, and perform in-depth investigations? If yes, then your threat intelligence platform doesn’t provide you a holistic view of your security posture. You need a threat intelligence platform that can help you manage your threat intel from a central console with continuous monitoring and centralized visibility, eliminating security gaps.
Ability to Integrate with Other Security Tools
Every organization has some form of a legacy system. When it comes to threat intelligence platforms, some of them involve huge modification and maintenance costs to ingest legacy feeds, while others come with integration options to ingest data from different tools. Go for the latter one.
Choose a threat intelligence platform that has the capability to integrate with other tools in your organization’s toolstack, such as Firewalls, EDR, SIEM, IDS/IPS, and SOAR for father threat detection and response.
Pre-Loaded Intelligence Feeds and Enrichment Sources
Collecting threat intelligence from feeds provided by different vendors can be a laborious task for security analysts and leads to vendor fatigue. A smarter choice would be to prefer threat intelligence platforms that come with pre-bundled threat intelligence feeds and enrichment sources that can help your security team to kickstart their threat intel operations without having to deal with multiple vendors.
Offer Flexible Deployment Options
One of the many capabilities of a best threat intelligence platform is that it offers flexible deployment options, such as cloud, on-premise, and hybrid, to support an organization’s existing infrastructure. The on-premise deployment of the threat intelligence platform offers easier integration with existing on-premise tool sets of customers, regular access to data, and better control for those with unique requirements. However, on-premise platforms involve high upfront costs for installations and integrations with the infrastructure and local designs. To avoid such scenarios, go for cloud-deployed threat intelligence platforms which are more affordable, can be operationalized in a relatively shorter period of time, and are easier to upgrade to the latest versions. For security teams with security infrastructure spread on both cloud and on-premise environments, hybrid deployment creates an alternative path. But this may result in complex use cases involving integrations across multiple environments. However, an advanced decoupled security orchestration solution can easily solve such challenges for enterprise security teams by building cross-environment orchestrations connecting threat intelligence platforms with other security technologies.
Store Data for a Longer Period of Time
Being a centralized hub of intelligence, a threat intelligence platform is expected to accumulate massive volumes of quality data for operationalization. As multiple sources, such as CERTs, social media, commercial TI providers, etc. keep sharing vast amounts of information, the security teams require larger storage units to store this information after analysis. Thus, storage is another major consideration when choosing the best threat intelligence platform. To perform historical analysis, the need for data storage for a longer time frame is imminent and important. The historical analysis provides better context to a threat actor’s goals and therefore, a threat intelligence platform, in addition to large data storage, should allow data storage for a longer period of time.
Cyware CTIX: The Best Threat Intelligence Platform
Cyware Threat Intelligence eXchange (CTIX) is a next-generation connected threat intelligence platform that automates the ingestion, enrichment, analysis, and dissemination of threat data to internal security tools, teams, and stakeholders, and a trusted external network. It ingests data in all formats (PDF, CSV, JSON, STIX/TAXII) from a multitude of internal and external sources; normalizes, deduplicates, analyzes, correlates, and enriches this data; continually pushes finished TI into other security and IT technologies in the organization; and shares relevant intel with security teams and other stakeholders based on their specific roles and needs. CTIX also enables the exchange of relevant threat information with trusted third-parties (both public and private). CTIX follows the hub-and-spoke model for bidirectional threat data exchange, with a central server or a central organization or team disseminating relevant intel to all connected tools or entities while also ingesting data from these systems. By integrating with security tools across an organization’s internal network, the platform enables threat intelligence delivery to detection sensors in real time, significantly improving the speed of detection and response. Book a free demo to learn more about CTIX, the best threat intelligence platform!