Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Analytics

11/17/2015
08:00 AM
Connect Directly
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

5 Reasons Enterprises Don't Get Enough Value From Threat Intelligence

Maturity levels still keeping threat intelligence efficacy stunted.

The last couple of weeks have seen some interesting studies and observations surface on the state of threat intelligence today. Consensus shows that while many organizations are at very least recognizing the value of threat intelligence as a way to speed up incident response time, there are still plenty of impediments stunting the efficacy of enterprise threat intel programs.

1. They Don't Know What It Is

One thing that the surveys and reports on threat intelligence have made clear over the past year is that like any buzzworthy category, threat intelligence's definition has been well- and truly mucked by the marketers. At this point, every vendor with any kind of aggregation of real-time information has slapped the label of threat intel on it, thereby confusing the heck out of buyers.

A report out by IDC on behalf of SecureData last week illustrates the confusion. About 90% of respondents said they were familiar with the term threat intelligence. Digging further, though, while 77% equated SIEM to threat intel, only 35% understood threat intelligence to be shared information provided within the security community. Just 11% connected behavior analysis to threat intelligence activities.

“Threat intelligence is not simply information,” wrote Duncan Brown, research director for IDC and author of the report. “It is a service delivering a collated and correlated range of data feeds and sources to provide actionable advice to security operations. Our study suggests firms are taking a somewhat traditional view of intelligence that discounts more innovative developments.”

2. The Data's Not Actionable

According to a report out from the Ponemon Institute earlier this month, only about a third of IT security leaders say the threat intelligence they receive has a high level of effectiveness.

As Rick Holland of Forrester advised recently, organizations need to pick threat intelligence feeds based on relevancy to their business and start ignoring vendors that try to distract with bright and shiny claims of having large networks of sensors.

"If a vendor's collection capabilities don't produce threat intelligence that is relevant to your organization and threat model, then it's nothing more than window dressing," he writes. "When it comes to actionable intelligence, relevancy matters."

3. They're Fixated On External Feeds

Organizations may not be able to determine how to pick a relevant feed from an irrelevant feed because in many instances they're not looking in the mirror first before they seek out third-party threat intelligence solutions.

"Nothing will be as relevant to you as intelligence gathered from your own environment, your own intrusions. Before you invest six figures or more in third party threat intelligence, make sure you are investing in your internal capabilities," Holland says.

4. They're Not Contextualizing Data

The truth is that even with increased usage of SIEM for event correlation, IDC finds that organizations simply are not doing the work of turning internal incident information into contextual clues about threat behavior. Just over a third of organizations marry up external threat intelligence with internal data feeds.

And even internally, the contextualization of attack patterns is not very robust--under 60% of organizations fold in data from firewalls and UTM devices, just 38% pull in application security data, and only about a quarter of organizations use physical security information.

5. Nobody's In Charge

Perhaps a big part of the problem is that organizations aren't putting their backs into it yet. Ponemon found that only about 35% of organizations today have a dedicated team that centrally manages threat intelligence. To be fair, that number jumped up by seven percentage points over the past year, so things are getting better.

But the fact is that threat intelligence is hard.

"The range of data feeds, both within an organization and externally, can be vast, and security operations often risk being overwhelmed with data from events and alerts," writes Brown, and"digesting threat information can be a slow and painful process."

That's why it takes a mature, programmatic approach to yield meaningful benefits.

 

Ericka Chickowski specializes in coverage of information technology and business innovation. She has focused on information security for the better part of a decade and regularly writes about the security industry as a contributor to Dark Reading.  View Full Bio

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Mobile Banking Malware Up 50% in First Half of 2019
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/17/2020
7 Tips for Infosec Pros Considering A Lateral Career Move
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/21/2020
For Mismanaged SOCs, The Price Is Not Right
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  1/22/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Write a Caption, Win a Starbucks Card! Click Here
Latest Comment:   It's a PEN test of our cloud security.
Current Issue
The Year in Security: 2019
This Tech Digest provides a wrap up and overview of the year's top cybersecurity news stories. It was a year of new twists on old threats, with fears of another WannaCry-type worm and of a possible botnet army of Wi-Fi routers. But 2019 also underscored the risk of firmware and trusted security tools harboring dangerous holes that cybercriminals and nation-state hackers could readily abuse. Read more.
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
How Enterprises are Attacking the Cybersecurity Problem
Organizations have invested in a sweeping array of security technologies to address challenges associated with the growing number of cybersecurity attacks. However, the complexity involved in managing these technologies is emerging as a major problem. Read this report to find out what your peers biggest security challenges are and the technologies they are using to address them.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-7220
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-23
HashiCorp Vault Enterprise 0.11.0 through 1.3.1 fails, in certain circumstances, to revoke dynamic secrets for a mount in a deleted namespace. Fixed in 1.3.2.
CVE-2019-15707
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-23
An improper access control vulnerability in FortiMail admin webUI 6.2.0, 6.0.0 to 6.0.6, 5.4.10 and below may allow administrators to perform system backup config download they should not be authorized for.
CVE-2019-15712
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-23
An improper access control vulnerability in FortiMail admin webUI 6.2.0, 6.0.0 to 6.0.6, 5.4.10 and below may allow administrators to access web console they should not be authorized for.
CVE-2019-16512
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-23
An issue was discovered in ConnectWise Control (formerly known as ScreenConnect) 19.3.25270.7185. There is stored XSS in the Appearance modifier.
CVE-2019-16513
PUBLISHED: 2020-01-23
An issue was discovered in ConnectWise Control (formerly known as ScreenConnect) 19.3.25270.7185. CSRF can be used to send API requests.