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.

Cloud

10/17/2018
10:30 AM
Todd Weller
Todd Weller
Commentary

The Three Dimensions of the Threat Intelligence Scale Problem

To succeed, organizations must be empowered to reduce their attack surface and staff overload so they can get more out of their existing firewall and threat intelligence investments.



There is no doubt that threat intelligence (TI) and information sharing have become critical requirements for successful security operations and cyber defense. Guidelines, like the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, promote the use of threat intelligence and information sharing beyond the domain of larger, more resource-rich organizations to include companies of all sizes. As the use of TI becomes more pervasive, it's also become clear that there is a multidimensional TI scale problem that needs to be addressed.

Dimension 1: Existing Network Security Controls Have a TI Scale Problem
With every cybersecurity technology vendor marketing "threat intelligence," it's not surprising that when you ask an organization if it is using TI, the common response is "yes, my firewall has TI." The problem here is that firewalls provide only limited TI because of performance limitations. The best firewalls can only handle a few hundred thousand threat indicators. This is dwarfed by the tens of millions of malicious IPs and domains that exist at any given moment. This leads many organizations to operate with a limited subset of TI with the hope that this subset provides the coverage needed. However, more security organizations are realizing this approach is inadequate and are turning to external TI to address the firewall TI scale problem.

Dimension 2: Operationalizing TI at Scale Is Challenging
There is a massive amount of external TI that organizations can access to improve cyber defense. While cost can be a constraint for expensive commercial threat feeds, there is plenty of lower-cost and even free threat feeds available, from open source, government, and industry sources. While access to external TI is not an issue, the scale problem lies in managing, maintaining, and making effective use of TI. Some of these challenges include:

  • Managing multiple threat feeds that come in different formats. 
  • Ensuring your threat feeds are constantly up to date.
  • Integrating TI into your security operations so that you can use it to improve security.

The process of integrating TI into security operations is particularly interesting because it directly leads into another dimension of the network security TI scale problem. While organizations can turn to external TI to make up for the lack of access that a next-generation firewall provides, this same limitation hits you on the other side by hindering your ability to take action based on external TI. It's like a double firewall TI whammy!

Dimension 3: The Cybersecurity Human Scale Problem
I don't need to belabor this point. You get it. The human factor is a problem. However, when it comes to tying this to TI, there are two dimensions to dissect. The first is that many small and midsize organizations don't even contemplate using external TI at scale because they believe one needs a cybersecurity army to manage, maintain, and operationalize TI. The second is that the workforce shortage problem is not only relegated to smaller companies — it is a major pressure point for larger organizations as well. In fact, this is the key factor that's driving cybersecurity innovation in areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation.

Conclusion
Earlier this year, IBM Security and Ponemon Institute published "The Third Annual Study on the Cyber Resilient Organization." The theme? Cyber resilience has gained momentum over the last few years as organizations realize that cyber-risk is not an IT risk but a broader business risk. The report defines cyber resilience as "the alignment of prevention, detection, and response capabilities to manage, mitigate, and move on from cyber-attacks."

The overarching message is that organizations continue to struggle with responding to cyber incidents due to a lack of formal incident response plans and lack of budget — essentially, the three dimensions I have outlined here are only a small factor of a much larger problem. To succeed, organizations must be empowered to reduce their attack surface and staff overload, so they can get more out of their existing firewall and TI investments.

Related Content:

 

Black Hat Europe returns to London Dec. 3-6, 2018, with hands-on technical Trainings, cutting-edge Briefings, Arsenal open-source tool demonstrations, top-tier security solutions, and service providers in the Business Hall. Click for information on the conference and to register.

Todd Weller, Chief Strategy Officer at Bandura Cyber, works with organizations of all sizes to improve their ability to use, operationalize, and take action with threat intelligence.  He brings over 20 years of cybersecurity industry experience with a unique blend ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
jonny312
50%
50%
jonny312,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2020 | 3:39:43 AM
Re: Pending Review
The issue here is that firewalls give just constrained TI in view of execution constraints. As well as can be expected just handle a couple hundred thousand risk markers. This is predominated by the a huge number of malignant IPs and spaces that exist at some random minute. Read More.
robster312
50%
50%
robster312,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/30/2020 | 2:22:07 AM
Re: Useful Post
To succeed, associations must be enabled to lessen their assault surface and staff over-burden so they can get progressively out of their current firewall and danger knowledge ventures. 
annawoods
50%
50%
annawoods,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/20/2020 | 2:41:17 AM
Useful One
I am happy to discover much useful information in the posts, writing sequence is amazing
romandavis
100%
0%
romandavis,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/13/2020 | 4:48:56 AM
Re: Useful Post
All intelligence Engcies are working for the safety of their countries. We can not understand its intelligence way.

 

 
REISEN1955
50%
50%
REISEN1955,
User Rank: Ninja
1/10/2019 | 9:30:24 AM
Managed services
When I moved to Georgia in 2014, I abandoned my sole - owner practice of IT support for small businesses (good business too, and profitable).  Georgia moved me to contract work and eventually to a firm that has a dedicated Malware forensics dept.  Now this is good info for an expanded and re-activated independent business here - malware and analaysis for the smaller business.  They cannot afford nor really have access to protocols and data for this area ---- but they CAN through me.  My issue is to replicate the tools used here (Carbon Black among many others) for their shops and try to get the same results.  Not easy. 
ankie99
50%
50%
ankie99,
User Rank: Apprentice
1/10/2019 | 6:24:00 AM
Re: Useful Post
This is really amazing for everyone. Thnaks a lot 
David Powers
50%
50%
David Powers,
User Rank: Apprentice
10/24/2018 | 8:32:00 AM
Useful Post
It is an exciting article and you can get a lot of information by going through the article. The article talks about the three dimensions of the threat intelligence scale problem. The blog post mentions that threat intelligence (TI) and information sharing have turned out to be critical requirements for successful security operations and cyber defense. The article also raises a concern, as the use of TI becomes more pervasive, it's also become obvious that there is a multidimensional TI scale problem that needs to be addressed.

 

Thanks,

 
Stop Defending Everything
Kevin Kurzawa, Senior Information Security Auditor,  2/12/2020
Small Business Security: 5 Tips on How and Where to Start
Mike Puglia, Chief Strategy Officer at Kaseya,  2/13/2020
5 Common Errors That Allow Attackers to Go Undetected
Matt Middleton-Leal, General Manager and Chief Security Strategist, Netwrix,  2/12/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
6 Emerging Cyber Threats That Enterprises Face in 2020
This Tech Digest gives an in-depth look at six emerging cyber threats that enterprises could face in 2020. Download your copy today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
How Enterprises Are Developing and Maintaining Secure Applications
The concept of application security is well known, but application security testing and remediation processes remain unbalanced. Most organizations are confident in their approach to AppSec, although others seem to have no approach at all. Read this report to find out more.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2015-7505
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-18
Stack-based buffer overflow in the gif_next_LZW function in libnsgif.c in Libnsgif 0.1.2 allows context-dependent attackers to cause a denial of service (application crash) or possibly execute arbitrary code via a crafted LZW stream in a GIF file.
CVE-2015-7567
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-18
SQL injection vulnerability in Yeager CMS 1.2.1 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary SQL commands via the "passwordreset&token" parameter.
CVE-2012-0718
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-18
IBM Tivoli Endpoint Manager 8 does not set the HttpOnly flag on cookies.
CVE-2019-10791
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-18
promise-probe before 0.10.0 allows remote attackers to perform a command injection attack. The file, outputFile and options functions can be controlled by users without any sanitization.
CVE-2009-5146
PUBLISHED: 2020-02-18
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: none. Reason: This candidate was withdrawn by its CNA. Further investigation showed that it was not a security issue. Notes: none.