Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Threat Intelligence Platform

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What is a Threat Intelligence Platform and Why do You Need it?

Criteria for Choosing the Best Threat Intelligence Platform

Cyware Threat Intelligence Platform: The Best in the Market

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Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Threat Intelligence Platform

  • Cyber Threat Intelligence

Posted on: June 07, 2021

Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Threat Intelligence Platform
Just imagine yourself looking for a home. You want your dream house to have a front porch and you start thinking about the number of rooms you want, the colors of your walls, and the flowers and veggies you’ll grow in your kitchen garden. The realtor shows you a condo and a bungalow. Which one would you choose? There’s more to a home purchase than just choosing the decor elements for your dwelling. You need to check on the roof condition, signs of any foundational damage, and most importantly the upfront down payments, interest rates, and other hidden costs when buying a house. The same goes for choosing a threat intelligence platform.

The first step to selecting a threat intelligence platform—no matter open source or commercial—should not be about picking out the salient features, but understanding the job of a threat intelligence platform.

What is a Threat Intelligence Platform and Why do You Need it?

Every organization wants something unique from its threat intelligence platform. However, for most of them, the main purpose of a threat intelligence platform involves aggregation, analysis, and action. The job of advanced threat intelligence platforms is to collect threat information from various internal and external sources and offer the capabilities to share and receive intelligence from multiple TI providers, ISAC members, peers, partners, and subsidiary organizations. Threat intelligence platforms have become the need of the hour as they can automate the aggregation, normalization, correlation, enrichment, analysis, and actioning of threat intelligence. This allows security teams to quickly identify, manage, and respond to threats. A threat intelligence platform allows for sharing of intel in a bidirectional manner. Moreover, threat intelligence platforms facilitate the management of threat intelligence and related aspects such as incidents, campaigns, threat actors, and their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). 

Criteria for Choosing the Best Threat Intelligence Platform

Your first step toward choosing the right threat intelligence platform should be determining the use cases that are driving your need for the platform. While choosing an appropriate threat intelligence platform, organizations can look into the below-mentioned use cases or key considerations, and if the threat intelligence platform is capable of performing the following functions, they must consider picking it for their security teams. 

Capability to automate threat intelligence lifecycle

If you are looking to manage disparate threat sources and collections in one place, you might have to deal with multiple threat feeds with different formats. Orchestrating all the threat data in a common and standard language requires a threat intelligence platform that can acclimatize to a diverse range of formats. Such a feature can be found in today’s advanced, commercial threat intelligence platforms that collect threat intel from various internal and external sources. These threat intelligence platforms collect both structured and unstructured threat data and convert it to multiple formats, including STIX 1.x/2.0, MAEC, MISP, XML, YARA, CSV, OpenIOC, PDF, JSON, CybOX, Email, and others. They centralize all the sources and collections in one place, allowing organizations to collect, manage, and share threat intelligence with ISACs/ISAOs, partners, vendors, regulatory bodies, clients, and others in a collaborative ecosystem. This is known as the hub and spoke sharing model.

Choose a modern-day threat intelligence platform that can ingest and normalize threat data from both internal and external sources to create actionable intel. Such a platform offers the ability to normalize structured as well as unstructured threat intelligence, which can be further converted into STIX format for easier threat data interoperability. If your threat intelligence platform can normalize threat data, chances are it can correlate that data too. Pick a threat intelligence platform that can organize the normalized data and filter out redundant information. Most importantly, it should be able to compare that data with curated information, determining correlations and connecting the dots to detect threat patterns.

Using a threat intelligence platform to perform threat analysis and determine relevant threats can be tricky. The tremendous noise that comes with volumes of indicators feeding in everyday demands for a threat intelligence platform that can identify relevant threats. Choose a threat intelligence platform that can enrich heaps of IOCs from trusted internal and external intel sources and eliminate false positives to create contextualized threat data. With enriched intelligence in hand, incident response, security operations center (SOC), and red teams can drive faster analysis and action. You know you are on the right path to choosing your threat intelligence platform if it can calculate the risk score of the IOCs and prioritize the action on relevant intel. Based on the confidence score, the threat intelligence platform should be able to analyze threat intelligence, block IOCs, and add them to the SIEM watchlist. 

An ideal threat intelligence platform has the capability to automate threat intel dissemination. It allows security teams to cross-share the enriched and analyzed threat intel among third-party vendors, ISACs/ISAOs, subsidiaries, peers, and others, enabling them all to engage in real-time, bidirectional threat intelligence sharing.

Intelligence to leverage the MITRE ATT&CK framework

With cybercriminals constantly evolving their tricks and tactics to compromise an entity, security teams are always on the lookout for top-notch tools that can help them visualize threat actor TTPs and identify trends across the cyber kill chain. Nowadays, advanced TIPs that leverage the MITRE ATT&CK framework come to the rescue of security teams. The framework is an organized representation of known threat actors’ behaviors collated into tactics and techniques, and presented in different matrices and STIX/TAXII formats. A threat intelligence platform supporting the MITRE ATT&CK framework helps security teams keep pace with the attackers and identify their new techniques.

Ability to automate and orchestrate

If you are looking to automate tasks to obtain quick and more actionable insights, adopt a threat intelligence platform that offers security, orchestration, automation, and response (SOAR) capabilities. SOAR will enable you to automate security workflows by bringing together people, processes, and technologies in one place. Integrated with SOAR technology, threat intelligence platforms allow organizations to detect incidents, delineate the solutions, and automate the response. A best-of-breed threat intelligence platform is infused with SOAR that enables organizations to improve efficiency, building a robust security posture. 

Power to integrate with legacy systems

Every organization faces the challenge of handling legacy systems. If you are dealing with legacy feeds with different formats and protocols, it’s high time you consider an advanced threat intelligence platform. While some threat intelligence platforms involve several modification and maintenance costs to ingest legacy feeds, others come with integration options and distinguished abilities to ingest different kinds of data presented in multiple formats. Select the latter one.

Capacity to create centralized governance

If you are dealing with information overload then you should look for an effective threat intel platform that offers a centralized data management structure. This kind of threat intelligence platform will help you manage synchronized activities and governance workflows through the streamlined distribution of actionable threat intelligence with SOC, incident response, threat hunting, and vulnerability assessment and penetration testing (VAPT) teams.

Why not go for a threat intelligence platform that would enable you to create a multi-level intel view and a centralized threat dashboard tailored for different roles within your organization—security analysts, SOC and incident response teams, CISO, and threat sharing communities—to align governance with security operations?  

Ability to facilitate collaboration

With all that data being aggregated and handled by disparate security teams, it’s difficult to figure out who’s managing what. Hence, authenticating the data and coordinating with your peers is critical. For instance, if an indicator is identified, security teams won’t know how to deal with it but with collaboration and threat intelligence sharing, they can understand what the indicator relates to. 

Opt for a threat intelligence platform that will help you share enriched and anonymized threat intelligence, including TTPs and IOCs with your partners via a coherent hub and spoke model. Such a threat intelligence platform will allow you to collaborate with your partners to calculate threat potency via real-time validation, scoring, and blocking of threats using machine-to-machine indicator correlation of a trusted threat data pool. In a nutshell, choose a threat intelligence platform powered by cyber fusion that promotes collaboration between organizations via coordinated threat response and intelligence sharing.

Every team has a leader or external stakeholder (in the case of trusted information sharing communities) who needs to be updated and notified about the relevant security incidents or threats. If you are facing challenges in sharing threat information with your management, you need a robust threat intelligence platform that can centralize data and provide an easy way to share it with others, saving valuable hours on gathering and collating threat information. 

Potential to customize

With time, the threats your organization faces will change and so will your information requirements. Though this is reality, replacing your threat intelligence platform every time is not possible. However, you can choose a threat intelligence platform that is customizable to your organization’s growing and changing needs. A customizable threat intel platform will allow you to choose the elements you need and discard the rest. For instance, in a modern threat intelligence platform, you can customize rules to automate response workflows such as blocking malicious indicators in your deployed security architecture. 

Whether it’s the costs involved, customization features, integration with legacy systems, or automation and orchestration capabilities, you can have a lot going on in your head while choosing the right threat intelligence platform for your organization. Don’t pin your hopes on a list of features, count on the job you want the threat intelligence platform to do. Consider making a checklist of what you need the threat intel platform to do and for each entry on the list, note how the job is done now. For every threat intelligence platform you’re assessing, learn how that threat intelligence platform fulfills the items on your checklist. 

Cyware Threat Intelligence Platform: The Best in the Market

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, 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 know more about Cyware’s Threat Intelligence Platform!

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