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.

Threat Intelligence

11/22/2017
10:00 PM
Martin Dion
Martin Dion
Commentary
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail vvv
100%
0%

3 Pillars of Cyberthreat Intelligence

Strong enterprise cybersecurity programs must be a built on a framework that incorporates strategic, operational, and tactical leadership and goals.

As an enterprise, you used to worry about your competitors and your goal was to outpace them, to outservice them, and to outsmart them. Today, you can be the smartest and the fastest and have the best service and solutions, but it doesn't matter anymore because to "them" you are just another giant with feet of clay.

"Them" are your cyber opponents. They are referred to as hackers, state-sponsored attackers, corporate spies, hacktivists.…  It doesn't really matter what you call them or what their motivations are. The fact is that you — more specifically, your business assets — are their targets. Simply put, it's about good guys vs. bad guys, both trying to make money in cyberspace. In that context, the Internet is analogous to a very bad neighborhood and, within part of it, an open war is waging where criminal organizations are trying to seize their fair share of the profits in a very unstable terrain and time period. 

What can you do to protect your assets and investments? Part of the answer is that you must know your enemy, their tactics, your strengths, your weaknesses, and the battleground. In short, you need cyber intelligence. But for most organizations, intelligence is a complex concept to grasp. It is not about spies or "infiltrating" the Darknet, which, in reality, is only a tool and a tactic to generate intelligence.

In the enterprise, the purpose of intelligence is to provide security teams with information that leads to smart decisions and avoids decision-making cognitive biases. For example, a bias such as "trusting your gut" may be natural when you negotiate one on one. But gut-trusting in the context of a nation-to-nation negotiation with an individual who represents the complex interest of a country would not bear fruit. The same logic applies to the military, because without a profound understanding of one's own and of its enemy capabilities, and of the operation theater, lives can be endangered unnecessarily. 

In the private sector, intelligence serves as a similar process and tool, particularly the current environment of massive digital transformation. Here, the role of intelligence is to collect, analyze, and produce complete, accurate, timely, and relevant threat assessments that inform decision makers as they act on the information. 

Strong enterprise Intelligence programs are built on three pillars: strategic, operational, and tactical. The table below summarizes the three major pillars, who bears responsibility, and the goal.

Table 1: Pillars of Intelligence
Intelligence Type Who's in Charge Goal
Strategic Senior leadership (CXO & board) To provide upper management with information to effectively assess, quantify the risk to the business, and explain it to senior management. This will help determine objectives and guidance based on what is known of potential adversaries, adverse terrain, and the current security posture of the organization in order to successfully mitigate threats. The ultimate goal is to reach a common understanding of the cyberthreat landscape and its impact on the business in order to drive the organization's cybersecurity strategy and investments.
Operational Risk, technology & security leadership This bridges the broad, nontechnical nature of strategic cyber intelligence and the narrow, technical nature of tactical intelligence. It supports the organization's executive managers in the development of strategy-based plans and policies to protect the organization against potential adversaries. In short, it helps operationalize the mitigations to defend against adversaries and difficulties of the operational theater.
Tactical SOC & NOC people, hunters Tactical intel is directed at efforts to detect and respond to adversaries already operating at the perimeter and within the organization's network by facilitating predictive analysis of specific threat actors before they gain access to an organization's network. It provides context and relevance to a tremendous amount of data and empowers organizations to develop a proactive cybersecurity posture and bolster its overall risk management policies. It supports better decision making during and following the detection of a cyber intrusion and drives momentum toward a cybersecurity posture that is predictive, not just reactive.

The good news is that many organizations already have much of this framework in place. By borrowing and learning from it, security leaders will be better able to successfully deliver and grow their business in today's complex threat landscape.

Related Content:

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two days of practical cyber defense discussions. Learn from the industry's most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the INsecurity agenda here.

Originally from Montreal, Martin has been navigating the tormented water of cybersecurity for over 20 years. He was the founder and CTO at Above Security Canada where he worked locally and in the Caribbean's. Twelve years ago, he moved to Switzerland to launch SecureIT, ... View Full Bio
 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
News
Inside the Ransomware Campaigns Targeting Exchange Servers
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  4/2/2021
Commentary
Beyond MITRE ATT&CK: The Case for a New Cyber Kill Chain
Rik Turner, Principal Analyst, Infrastructure Solutions, Omdia,  3/30/2021
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
2021 Top Enterprise IT Trends
We've identified the key trends that are poised to impact the IT landscape in 2021. Find out why they're important and how they will affect you today!
Flash Poll
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
How Enterprises are Developing Secure Applications
Recent breaches of third-party apps are driving many organizations to think harder about the security of their off-the-shelf software as they continue to move left in secure software development practices.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2021-20020
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-10
A command execution vulnerability in SonicWall GMS 9.3 allows a remote unauthenticated attacker to locally escalate privilege to root.
CVE-2021-30480
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-09
Zoom Chat through 2021-04-09 on Windows and macOS allows certain remote authenticated attackers to execute arbitrary code without user interaction. An attacker must be within the same organization, or an external party who has been accepted as a contact. NOTE: this is specific to the Zoom Chat softw...
CVE-2021-21194
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-09
Use after free in screen sharing in Google Chrome prior to 89.0.4389.114 allowed a remote attacker to potentially exploit heap corruption via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2021-21195
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-09
Use after free in V8 in Google Chrome prior to 89.0.4389.114 allowed a remote attacker to potentially exploit heap corruption via a crafted HTML page.
CVE-2021-21196
PUBLISHED: 2021-04-09
Heap buffer overflow in TabStrip in Google Chrome on Windows prior to 89.0.4389.114 allowed a remote attacker to potentially exploit heap corruption via a crafted HTML page.