Picture this: Mad-Eye Moody is on the patrol in the halls of Hogwarts. With one of his magical eyes, he sees Death Eaters and Dementors scouting Professor Dumbledore’s office. Thanks to the surprising range of capabilities of his Mad-Eye, he can scan through anything. He escalates this incident of intrusion to Professor Dumbledore for further action. Moody’s eye is akin to a threat intelligence platform (TIP) that helps detect threats before an environment is harmed. Unlike the magical eye, a t
hreat intelligence platform not only detects threats but can also be used to block them using security automation (SOAR) capabilities.
In today’s complex threat landscape, a threat intelligence platform plays an imperative role in addressing undetected attackers, malicious insiders, and other risks. Though there is no “one-and-done” security solution, a threat intelligence platform goes a long way when it comes to understanding the gravity of the threat.
What is a Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP)?
Threat intelligence platforms are software solutions that enable security teams to collect, organize, and manage threat data and intelligence. More advanced threat intelligence platforms provide the ability to share and receive intelligence from multiple peers, TI providers, ISAC members, regulators, partner organizations, and subsidiary companies. An advanced t
hreat intelligence platform like this can also automate the normalization, enrichment, and analysis of threat intelligence to help security teams more quickly identify, manage, and take action on cyber threats. When leveraged properly a smart, bi-directional threat intelligence platform provides security teams with the ability to more accurately predict and prevent attacks as well as mitigate and respond to threats with faster, smarter actions.
Threat intelligence platforms have the capability to coordinate with existing
security information and event management (SIEM) tools and specify a value to the alerts while focusing on them as per their degree of priority. One benefit of the platform is that it allows security teams to securely share threat intelligence with other significant
teams and external cybersecurity experts. It gathers and investigates threat information,
coordinating the activities and tactics between the
stakeholders. Every stakeholder in an organization has responsibilities in the execution of an incident response plan. When a security team recognizes a threat, it includes all other relevant teams in the investigation. In such situations, threat
intelligence platforms prove to be useful.
Who Uses a Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP)?
A Threat Intelligence Platform is useful to several parties within an organization such as SOC (security operations center), threat intelligence, and executive management teams. By automating regular activities such as ingestion, enrichment, analysis, and scoring, a threat intelligence platform helps security teams focus on their daily operational tasks and threat response. It equips threat intelligence teams with a “library” of information that streamlines the prediction-making process based on connections between threat actors, campaigns, and more. To the management and executive teams, a threat intelligence platform provides the ability to view and manage reports at technical and high levels on a single platform, enabling them to get a bird’s eye view of the security threat environment.
Types of Threat Intelligence Platform
While some organizations leverage a threat intelligence platform (TIP) for intel aggregation, enrichment, and analysis, some prefer it for sharing threat intelligence with key stakeholders and security tools as well. A threat intelligence platform serves different functions for different industries. Based on the industry an organization caters to, the types of threat intelligence platforms vary.
Enterprise Threat Intelligence Platform
With the rising threats and the complexity of the threat landscape, every enterprise, no matter which industry they serve, is looking forward to delivering top-class threat intelligence analysis, security automation, and threat response. The next-generation security needs of enterprises can be only met by a TIP (threat intelligence platform) that focuses on intel ingestion, threat analysis, IOC correlation, and actioning on threats. An enterprise TIP allows enterprises to gather technical threat intelligence from multiple sources which is automatically ingested, normalized, enriched, and analyzed in a format-agnostic manner and actioned in other security technologies such as SIEM, IPS/IDS, UEBA, firewall, etc..
ISAC/ISAO Threat Intelligence Platform
The role of information sharing communities such as ISACs and ISAOs is to collect, analyze and bidirectionally share information related to security threats and incidents. Their job is to facilitate threat intel sharing among trusted organizations in an industry and across sectors, helping them to protect themselves from threats. This critical task requires a TIP that supports bidirectional threat sharing, IOC scoring, and analysis of threat data.
The threat intelligence sharing platforms built for ISACs/ISAOs leverage a ”hub and spoke” model of information sharing that fosters closer collaboration between ISACs/ISAOs and their member organizations. A best-of-breed ISAC/ISAO TIP enables multi-source threat intelligence collection, enrichment, and bi-directional sharing between the member organizations. They use a client-server model to facilitate security collaboration between sharing organizations.
Mid-Market Threat Intelligence Platform
Mid-sized security teams struggle to reap the benefits of advanced TIPs due to budget constraints. Specifically designed for such teams, the mid-market TIP comes with threat intel feeds, along with enrichment and automation capabilities that boosts proactive defense at an affordable price compared to other TIPs.
Using TIP, smaller and growing security teams can ingest threat data from multiple sources, share threat intel with ISACs/ISAOs in a bi-directional manner, and automate rules for STIX-based sharing, enabling faster and last-mile threat intel operationalization.
With advanced TIP features, they can detect and analyze threats faster, automate threat intel workflows for improved security operations, and increase their overall efficiency through easy-to-use automation.
Benefits of a Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP)
The current cybersecurity ecosystem is set apart by stumbling blocks such as gigantic volumes of data, the absence of security analysts, and progressively complex ill-disposed attacks. Today’s modern-day security organizations offer numerous tools to deal with this data, however, there’s little or no integration between them. This means a baffling measure of manual efforts to manage systems and misuse of resources and time. To battle these issues, many organizations are embracing threat intelligence platforms.
Deployed as a SaaS or on-premise solution, t
hreat intelligence platforms facilitate the management of threat intelligence
and connected entities such as incidents, campaigns, actors, and their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs)
. A threat intelligence platform gathers all the information from disparate sources and enriches it to determine the gravity of the threat, automatically screening the threat alerts.
Use Cases of a Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP)
Threat intelligence platforms are known for their capabilities to perform the key functions mentioned below:
Automated Threat Intel Collection
Threat intelligence platforms offer the capability to collect both tactical and technical intel from various external sources including commercial feed providers, threat intel providers, dark web, ISAC/ISAO hubs, peer organizations, and subsidiaries. Such threat intelligence comes in the form of micro feeds including threat actor TTPs, indicators of compromise (IOCs), exploit alerts, exploitability mapping, threat intel enrichment, ATT&CK mapping, and more. In addition, a t
hreat intelligence platform also ingests threat intel from internally deployed security tools including SIEMs, Antivirus, IDS/IPS, and others. All these sources and collections can be regulated in one place, allowing organizations to collect, manage, and share threat intelligence with partners, clients, vendors, ISACs/ISAOs, regulatory bodies, and others in a highly collaborative ecosystem.
A true threat intelligence platform ingests and normalizes threat data from internal and external sources to create meaningful intel. This is usually done for both the structured and unstructured threat intelligence that is converted into STIX format for streamlining analysis, enrichment, correlation, and dissemination/sharing activities of the threat intelligence lifecycle.
Correlation, Enrichment, and Analysis
By using an advanced threat intelligence platform, security teams can correlate and enrich hundreds of IOCs from several internal and external trusted intel sources. Subsequently, they can calculate the final risk score of the IOCs and prioritize the actioning on relevant intel. Based on a customizable confidence score and security automation mechanism, a TIP filters out threat intelligence, blocks indicators on Firewall, EDR, and other tools as a preventive measure, and adds them to the watchlist of a SIEM solution. Furthermore, threat intelligence validation is made easier with a t
hreat intelligence platform that allows cross-correlations with threat sightings by affiliates, peers, and subsidiaries in an automated manner. Last but not the least, a TIP automates mundane actions, speeds up triage management, and enables analysts to focus on relevant tasks.
Intel Dissemination and Actioning
TIPs automate intel dissemination by delivering enriched intelligence to the internal security operations center (SOC), incident response, threat hunting, and red teams for rapid analysis and actioning. Besides internal teams, organizations can build a cyber secure and collaborative ecosystem with external entities, such as peers, ISACs, third-party vendors, subsidiaries, and others by cross-sharing enriched intel. Based on IOC (indicators of compromise) fidelity and customized rules, threat intelligence platforms automate intel actioning by automatically blocking malicious indicators in firewalls deployed in an organization. Security teams are equipped with rule-based advanced alerting and real-time notifications that reduce the mean time to detection and resolution.
Analyst Workbench Tools
Advanced threat intelligence platforms nowadays support the MITRE ATT&CK Navigator framework that helps security teams visualize threat actor TTPs to identify trends across the cyber kill chain and relate them to reported intel. Some of the other features of a TIP include a threat board, geo-tagging, analyst watchlist, and IP and domain lookup. A threat board allows security analysts to search object and indicator types and hidden connections between different attributes extricated from multiple threat intel feeds. The geo-tagging feature lets security teams map and examine the threat intel automatically ingested from various sources to determine the geographical trends for their discrete business units. Moreover, triggers can be set in intelligence feeds for a brand, an organization, or industry-related keywords to monitor the relevant threats and IP and domain-related information collected from premium sources can be easily accessed with a single click.
Centralized Governance and Management
By employing a best-of-breed TIP, security teams can govern intel-driven operations in their organizations. Modern-day threat intelligence platforms provide a multi-level intel view with a centralized dashboard.
From identifying relevant IOCs and addressing them to responding to events and improving security operations, a TIP provides contextual data needed to quickly and effectively prevent and tackle threats. In a nutshell, it automates the process of combining and analyzing threat information in a way that delivers actionable threat intelligence, accelerating and streamlining the entire security lifecycle.
Cyware Threat Intelligence eXchange (CTIX)
CTIX Lite is a comprehensive TIP solution designed for mid-market and growing security teams. This complete, all-in-one solution comes preloaded with industry-popular threat intel feeds, enrichment sources, and automation capabilities that enable security teams to collaborate better and accelerate their security operations. Click here to find out more about CTIX Lite!