What is Threat Intelligence?
Threat intelligence is often the primary factor in making sound investments, negotiating a good deal, defeating a competitor, or heading off an attack. As part of cybersecurity consulting services, cyber threat intelligence (CTI) provides meaningful insights about known and unknown risks, industry and organizational IT security challenges, and more. It arms businesses with proactive, actionable intelligence to make informed decisions, and is a significant competitive advantage.
Why is Threat Intelligence Important?
The lack of cyber threat intelligence leaves companies adrift. Organizations make poor cybersecurity decisions (typically from a lack of information) that are not often realized until disaster strikes. They are hit with ransomware, burdened with massive regulatory fines, or pushed out of the market space by a competitor. Fortunately, many cybersecurity attacks are preventable with the right actionable cyber intelligence.
The Threat Intelligence Lifecycle
A cyber intelligence report is compiled through information-gathering within a six-step process. The threat intelligence lifecycle consists of:
- Planning & Current-State Analysis
- Raw Data Collection
- Data Processing
- Data Analysis
- Data Dissemination
- Feedback Collection
Different Types of Cyber Threat Intelligence
Although almost all threat intelligence is gathered using the six steps above, the information can typically be categorized into three types of threat intelligence. Each type has a different use case, is relevant to different audiences, and varies in both the amount of time and money needed to collect and analyze.
- Tactical Intelligence
- Operational Intelligence
- Strategic Intelligence
Become More Secure with Cyber Threat Intelligence Reports
Combining the three types of intelligence with the threat intelligence lifecycle, we offer two tailored reports —Advanced Threat Targeting and Mergers and Acquisition Cyber Risk Analysis. Each threat intelligence report contains a custom analysis of the threats and risk factors facing an organization, industry-based information and metrics for comparison and consideration.
The Advanced Threat Targeting Report
The Advanced Threat Targeting report will contain all the reconnaissance and research a sophisticated attacker would conduct and gather before attacking your organization. This threat intel report is a combination of open and closed source cyber threat intelligence, human intelligence, and other sources. The cyber threat report contains an in-depth analysis to inform you of the tactics, tools, methods, malware, and chains of attack hackers are most likely to use against your organization. This knowledge will equip you to identify problems and shore up, modify or change technology and process before the hackers can strike. Advanced threat intelligence determines how vulnerable your organization is to an advanced hacker who wants to steal your data or disrupt your operations.
Cyber criminals are raking in $1.5 trillion every year, which is three times the $514 billion Walmart makes annually.
Hackers have been known to sell stolen data to the victim’s competitor or to the highest bidder, making the stolen data becomes publicly accessible. Hackers not only steal the revenue your business already earned; they seek to siphon revenue out of the organization over the long term. Similar to how a bank robber cases a bank, they use the information they acquire to launch successful attacks against the institution, as well as target senior executive leadership, and owners. This puts your organization in a vulnerable position to potentially pay hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in ransom and potentially more to remove threats from your network to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
Examples of threat intelligence contained in a Withum Advanced Threat Targeting report are:
- Sensitive documents and other information exposed to the internet.
- Risks of esoteric attacks like supply chain, watering hole, doppelganger, subdomain takeover and more.
- Effectiveness of phishing and social engineering.
Mergers and Acquisitions Cyber Risk Analysis
Do you need a bargaining chip to raise your acquisition price or to acquire at a discount?
Buying and selling companies is already a risky prospect, but in the digital age, a new risk factor complicates the deal – cyber risk. Cyber risks in Mergers and Acquisitions is the stalker lurking in unknown vulnerabilities, the depths of shadow IT, frightening web application configurations and undetected breaches, siphoning off valuable intellectual property. You cannot establish the real risk and value of a company without understanding its information security process, infrastructure and status.
TheM&A Cyber Risk Analysisthreat intel report will detail the cyber risk factors inherent in purchasing or selling a specific organization. Risk will be quantified based on a variety of influencing factors. The following are just a few factors:
- Current Compliance Status: Being noncompliant may bring hefty fines along with the deal.
- Past Breaches: Past breaches may bring legal burden, and if the underlying issues were never resolved, a high risk of another breach might still exist.
- State of Information Security Technology:The company may need an expensive information security technology refresh that will overwrite any perceived savings in the deal. Existing technology may be incompatible with the purchasing company’s technology stack, rendering the old technology unmanageable or useless.
- Undetected Breaches: A company with poor cybersecurity may already be suffering from an undetected breach that is degrading operations or stealing intellectual property.
- Mission-Critical Legacy Systems:Mission-critical legacy systems are often difficult to patch and update. They could require significant effort and resources to ensure they are functional and not a significant security risk.
For more information or to discuss your business needs, contact Withum’s Cybersecurity Services Team.
Due to some concerns with our former IT consultants, we began searching for a new provider. We chose Withum's Cybersecurity team, as their services range from providing IT Consulting and IT Security, to incident response and forensics. Before officially hiring them, Withum performed an extensive assessment of our entire environment and recommended changes and enhancements. I was very impressed by their analysis and immediately understood how sophisticated their security is compared to where we were at the time. We made the change and although change is always difficult, Withum made it as seamless as possible.
Cyber Real Estate Development Company, President