[Excerpted from "Threat Intelligence: What You Really Need to Know," a new report posted this week on Dark Reading's Threat Intelligence Tech Center.]
If you’re tasked with safeguarding systems or data that must be protected at any and all costs, you need to consider taking responsibility for your own threat intelligence. This means building and managing a program in-house, prioritizing the program and staffing it properly, and investing in the right tools to do the job at hand.
Threat intelligence means different things to different organizations, so it’s important to first define what threat intelligence means to yours.
From the security vendor side, threat intelligence may mean the methodology by which new code samples are analyzed for intent, threats are determined, and protection is deployed to customers. When it comes to Web security, threat intelligence may mean deep inspection of Web content to determine how and where new zero-day threats may be being exploited, as well as analysis of Web traffic patterns to identify client-server command-and-control traffic. On the firewall side, threat intelligence can be broadly defined as the entire suite of Layer 2-7 security features intended to detect and block known exploits.
When you think about your program in an organizational context, you need to decide which of these threat intelligence models—or which combination of models—makes sense. Antivirus systems, Web security appliances, enterprise-grade firewalls, application proxies, security information and event management (SIEM), and data loss prevention (DLP) applications—all of these systems are potential tools that can be combined to help your organization accomplish a larger and more complex task.
One of the biggest benefits of taking control of your own threat intelligence is that it forces you to develop a deep understanding of how your systems are used and how your data is accessed. It forces you to recognize traffic and usage patterns. It forces you to pay attention to log data and to correlate that data with a known baseline of how your users interact with your data, applications, and servers.
Perhaps most importantly, it forces you to consolidate and manage your log sources. With all of this data at your fingertips, you can recognize the subtle anomalies that may indicate an attack—the main goal of your threat intelligence effort.
Want to find out more about designing and implementing your own threat intelligence program, including costs and staffing? Download the free report on threat intelligence.
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