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

6/23/2017
11:00 AM
Danelle Au
Danelle Au
Commentary
Connect Directly
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail vvv
50%
50%

Threat Intelligence Sharing: The New Normal?

The spirit of cooperation seems to be taking hold as demonstrated by the growing number of thriving services and organizations whose sole purpose is to analyze specific threats against specific communities.

"When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle" – Edmund Burke.

This quote from Edmund Burke in Thoughts on the Cause of Present Discontents, was meant to be a political statement in 18th century England, when the Whigs and Tories were dominant. But many centuries later, it’s an appropriate call-to-action for those of us in the cybersecurity industry to collaborate and share.

The kind of sharing I mean is when you give the IT security community information about the attacks you’re seeing against your own organization. When you do that, that data becomes useful to everyone as threat intelligence.

Gartner describes threat intelligence as "evidence-based knowledge, including context, mechanisms, indicators, implications and actionable advice, about an existing or emerging menace or hazard to assets that can be used to inform decisions regarding the subject's response to that menace or hazard." In other words, threat intelligence is the stuff that informs the good guys about how the bad guys operate. It helps the IT security community learn how the hackers operate, and how they might attack a given organization. 

If all an organization knows about their adversary is what it has learned from its own experience, the organization will remain on the defensive. But if attack data from the collective experience of thousands of companies, associations, industries and governments is collected and aggregated, that creates a far richer tapestry, and allows companies to prepare for attacks in such a way as to anticipate and prevent them, rather than discover and react.

When you get your hands on the opposition’s game plan — the hacker’s playbook — it gives you an advantage. You can test your defenses and shore up weaknesses and you can take steps to disrupt the kill chain the hacker must follow to get to his or her objective. Such capabilities are only possible when threats, attack methods and industry-specific targets most likely to put your organization at risk are known.

The spirit of cooperation and sharing is what makes that possible and the reason why threat intelligence services and threat sharing are becoming vital to IT security. Using threat intelligence feeds to constantly inform a dynamic data protection strategy continuously tests the strength of your cybersecurity and challenges convention. The result: your organization gets up on its toes and the hackers are put back on their heels. That is a big advantage.

Share and Share Alike
The spirit of cooperation seems to be taking hold. Not only are threat intelligence services thriving, but there are organizations now that exist for the sole purpose of analyzing threats specific to specific communities.

VirusTotal is one of the legacy collaborative platforms, enabling security users and vendors alike to upload files and determine if a specific malware has been detected. By changing its business model, VirusTotal now ensures that all security vendors that are taking advantage of its data are also contributing data.

At a national level, CyberUSA is a nonprofit aiming to foster American leadership in cybersecurity by shaping education, innovation and policy at both the state and federal levels. Launching with seven charter members from California, Colorado, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, South Carolina and Texas, CyberUSA hopes to extend the value of shared intelligence to businesses that might not have resources on their own.

There’s also ample evidence of collaboration in the private sector. For example, the National Credit Union Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (NCU-ISAO) was recently founded to collect, analyze and disseminate threat intelligence targeting Credit Unions. NCU-ISAO is the first operational and threat intelligence sharing organization dedicated wholly to credit unions, NCU-ISAO executive director Gene Fredriksen told Credit Union Times, noting the group's support for "innovative, member-driven initiatives around benchmarking, process improvement, and regulatory strategies.” It’s the latest addition to the parent Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO), which tracks other organizations that have industry-focused threat intel sharing operations.

Each day millions of security events hammer away at the defenses of U.S. companies. Individual organizations in high-risk sectors such as financial services, high tech, or government may endure hundreds of thousands of attacks. While the volume and persistence may be frustrating, each attack results in a greater understanding of the adversary — but only when it is shared and added to threat intelligence feeds, hacker playbooks and breach simulations.

When bad men combine, the good must associate. Together, we’re moving in the right direction.  

Black Hat USA returns to the fabulous Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, July 22-27, 2017. Click for information on the conference schedule and to register.

Related Content:

Danelle is vice president of strategy at SafeBreach. She has more than 15 years of experience bringing new technologies to market. Prior to SafeBreach, Danelle led strategy and marketing at Adallom, a cloud security company acquired by Microsoft. She was also responsible for ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Oldest First  |  Newest First  |  Threaded View
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
cybersavior
50%
50%
cybersavior,
User Rank: Strategist
6/23/2017 | 11:38:43 AM
Comment:
The hardship in "crowdsourcing" threat intelligence is this.  On one hand, a corporation doesn't want to share intimate details of attacks and vectors it has seen (and perhaps suffered from).  It's not something you advertise.  On the other hand, it's natural to want similar data from other companies to use to advantage. 

Until a dedicated exchange or forum exists (besides the existing tools that mesh subscriber detections today) that anonymizes the reporting entity sources, we won't see any real open collaboration.  The fundamental problem in this interchange model is that the closer you get to anonymity the farther you get from assurance and authenticity.  Meaning, the reliability of threat articulation from an anonymous source is less than a vetted representative from "MegaCorp, LLC" proper.  This could be overcome by a intermediate, sanctioned broker to ensure the reporting entity is genuine.

Until the exchange mechanism is sexy and "now" it won't work either.  The threat intelligence collaboration and sharing service needs to solidly be edgy social media.  Think "HackedIn" and not some cold, corporate or government offering that reads like RFC's and NIST documentation.

Until the threat intelligence interchange is highly automated, it won't be accepted.  MegaCorp is not going to dedicate service agents or ongoing labor to the contributions nor consuming content.  If the end-all solution doesn't facilitate fast-flux transactions in both directions and provide actionable output that itself can be automated, it won't be widely adopted.
RetiredUser
100%
0%
RetiredUser,
User Rank: Ninja
6/24/2017 | 6:20:43 PM
Re: Comment:
I have to agree.  Coming from the healthcare industry (currently) we see great value in partnerships with other medical organizations, from pharmacy to radiology to hospitals.  By setting up "health information exchanges" (HIE) with vetted partners, we feel confident the data we exchange is mostly clean, true and of interest.  This is key for me especially since the data I share and receive is tech-related.

A similar model for threat intelligence is really crucial.  Where HIEs are trying to save lives by increasing access to health data, corporations could be saving millions/billions/trillions of dollars for their customers by keeping major corps up-to-date with exploits as they are discovered - immediate and before any other groups outside the initial penetrator(s) are aware.     
Dr.T
50%
50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
6/26/2017 | 2:38:02 PM
Threat Intelligence Sharing: The New Normal
I would like it not to be a new normal but given the situation, threat intelligence sharing would be quite helpful for the communities.
Dr.T
50%
50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
6/26/2017 | 2:39:55 PM
Re: Comment:
"a corporation doesn't want to share intimate details of attacks and vectors"

That makes sense, it is going to be hard to share the threats that the company encountered and  what they did about it. 
Dr.T
50%
50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
6/26/2017 | 2:42:27 PM
Re: Comment:
"MegaCorp is not going to dedicate service agents or ongoing labor to the contributions nor consuming content."

That makes sense. At the same time, if thread management is already done sharing information would not be taking that much time. I see your point tough.
Dr.T
50%
50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
6/26/2017 | 2:45:45 PM
Re: Comment:
"health information exchanges"

I see your point. Health organization would want to do this since it reduces workload for the organization itself, and it is just sensitive information not anything related to threats.
Dr.T
50%
50%
Dr.T,
User Rank: Ninja
6/26/2017 | 2:48:02 PM
Re: Comment:
"A similar model for threat intelligence is really crucial"

I agree, automation would really help. I am not sure if any organization would bear the initial setup cost, unless there is sum subsidy it is most likely not going to happen.
Joe Stanganelli
100%
0%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
6/26/2017 | 6:34:10 PM
Fin Svcs
To be sure, the financial-services sector in particular has -- after an all too long period of siloed silence -- been heartily embracing threat sharing. These days, in fact, the talk seems to be less about "old-style" threat sharing and more about an elevated approach they dub "collaborative defense" -- with organizations working together on problems.

Of course, this is usually evangelized by and conducted through "non-profit" organizations that charge mega-large annual fees for membership. Threat sharing is big business.
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Ninja
6/26/2017 | 6:36:08 PM
Re: Comment:
Of course, there is an economic cost and economic value to everything, monetary or not -- consumer privacy included. At the end of the day, those interests still need to be balanced appropriately lest there be significant customer backlash.
HardenStance
50%
50%
HardenStance,
User Rank: Strategist
6/28/2017 | 5:27:58 AM
Nice piece, couple of remarks
Couple of remarks.

First, thanks for a nice piece on a REALLY important area. 

We're at the foot of a mountain relative to where we need to be on threat intel sharing.

We need a lot more of it, although there's a significant risk that if the number of organizations facilitating it continues to proliferate we could end up with a sharing infrastructure that is too complex and unwieldy.

Thanks too for drawing attention to ISAO. I hadn't heard of that organization but they seem to be performing a useful function in recording and tracking the many threat sharing organizations.

Last, I've had an opportunity to meet with some of the leaders of the Cyber Threat Alliance in recent weeks. They seem to me to be pretty advanced in what they're doing and where they're going with the support of many of the big beasts of the cyber security vendor community.

Over time the market needs to evolve from one in which actors can differentiate according to what they know to one in which what's known is an increasingly level playing field and actors instead compete around how quickly, how universally and how effectively they are able to respond before, during and after an attack.

 

 

  
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Where Businesses Waste Endpoint Security Budgets
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/15/2019
US Mayors Commit to Just Saying No to Ransomware
Robert Lemos, Contributing Writer,  7/16/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Building and Managing an IT Security Operations Program
As cyber threats grow, many organizations are building security operations centers (SOCs) to improve their defenses. In this Tech Digest you will learn tips on how to get the most out of a SOC in your organization - and what to do if you can't afford to build one.
Flash Poll
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
The State of IT Operations and Cybersecurity Operations
Your enterprise's cyber risk may depend upon the relationship between the IT team and the security team. Heres some insight on what's working and what isn't in the data center.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2002-0390
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-21
** REJECT ** DO NOT USE THIS CANDIDATE NUMBER. ConsultIDs: CVE-2002-0639. Reason: This candidate is a reservation duplicate of CVE-2002-0639. Notes: All CVE users should reference CVE-2002-0639 instead of this candidate. All references and descriptions in this candidate have been removed to prevent ...
CVE-2018-17210
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-20
An issue was discovered in PrinterOn Central Print Services (CPS) through 4.1.4. The core components that create and launch a print job do not perform complete verification of the session cookie that is supplied to them. As a result, an attacker with guest/pseudo-guest level permissions can bypass t...
CVE-2019-12934
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-20
An issue was discovered in the wp-code-highlightjs plugin through 0.6.2 for WordPress. wp-admin/options-general.php?page=wp-code-highlight-js allows CSRF, as demonstrated by an XSS payload in the hljs_additional_css parameter.
CVE-2019-9229
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-20
An issue was discovered on AudioCodes Mediant 500L-MSBR, 500-MBSR, M800B-MSBR and 800C-MSBR devices with firmware versions F7.20A to F7.20A.251. An internal interface exposed to the link-local address 169.254.254.253 allows attackers in the local network to access multiple quagga VTYs. Attackers can...
CVE-2019-12815
PUBLISHED: 2019-07-19
An arbitrary file copy vulnerability in mod_copy in ProFTPD up to 1.3.5b allows for remote code execution and information disclosure without authentication, a related issue to CVE-2015-3306.