Cyber Threat Intelligence: A Useful Tactic To Reduce Cyber Risks


Organizations must embrace continuous security monitoring in order to ensure critical assets remain protected as they digitize their business offerings. Here, SecurityScorecard’s CISO Mike Wilkes details how businesses can gain the insights needed to ensure security monitoring across the entire ecosystem of partners, vendors, and suppliers with cyber threat intelligence. 

As more businesses digitize their offerings and make the transition to cloud-based platforms and services, the need for comprehensive cybersecurity strategies has grown substantially. Organizations across industries are placing an increased emphasis on security operations to defend against complex and simple cyber threats. The key to an effective information security program is having access to systems that allow you to continuously monitor cybersecurity events. This enhances an organization’s ability to identify threats and helps them optimize their available resources by prioritizing those threats within a business context. Observability is key. 

To build systems that continuously monitor security, you need up-to-date insights into the cyber threat landscape. This is where cyber threat intelligence comes into play. Cyber threat intelligence provides security teams with the vital information they can use to better understand the threats and vulnerabilities they are currently facing. Coupled with existing security solutions, threat intelligence provides the necessary insight and context required to stay ahead of threat actors and continuously monitor security.

Importance of Continuous Security Monitoring of Enterprise Networks

In digital business environments, organizations of all sizes leverage different technologies to conduct day-to-day operations. In addition, many companies turn to third-party vendors to help manage different aspects of their business. If it’s not a core competency for the business, the trend is to outsource it to a third party. Email is one such business function that is increasingly being handed over to dedicated platforms and providers. As a result, enterprise organizations have a greater number of devices and users with access to their networks and data than ever before. The danger with this shift is that increased device access can decentralize network operations, limiting IT teams’ visibility into 100% of user behaviors and activity. Without visibility into network events and access patterns, organizations expose themselves to significant cyber risks that, if left unaddressed, can lead to considerable financial and reputational losses.

As ecosystems of connected networks grow in complexity, organizations need security solutions that allow them to continually monitor threats. With continuous security monitoring systems, organizations gain visibility into their networks’ threats, helping inform the steps they take to manage risk. This streamlines the threat remediation process by enhancing the IT team’s ability to accurately identify threats and network misconfigurations or integration mistakes. With regard to third-party risk management, continuous security monitoring systems provide valuable insight into vendor network operations, allowing organizations to actively mitigate vendor risk as it arises, even if those third-party networks are not directly connected to your enterprise environments.

Learn More: 5 Ways SOAR Helps Protect Remote Workers from Emerging Cyber Threats

Cyber Threat Intelligence Supports Continuous Security Monitoring

An essential component of successful security programs is the ability to proactively identify threats before they become a problem. Using threat intelligence data, IT teams gain a greater understanding of cyber adversaries’ motives, capabilities, and actively exploited vulnerabilities, which can be used to bolster your own network security. With a real-time feed of threats facing your business, continuous security monitoring can be achieved across your entire organization. Here are three ways cyber intelligence can support continuous security monitoring.

1. Automates controls

Pairing cyber threat intelligence with automation has a variety of benefits for organizations. To begin with, it eliminates the need to undergo manual cybersecurity processes, giving time back to security teams. Using automation also eliminates any possibility for human error, thereby improving the accuracy of your threat intelligence. With regard to continuous monitoring, automated threat intelligence ensures that security teams receive relevant threat updates regularly. This streamlines the continuous monitoring process as it limits false positives and improves threat prioritization efforts.

2. Improves incident response

One of the most challenging aspects of continuous security monitoring is incident response. It can be difficult and time consuming for security teams to sort through large amounts of data when assessing an attack, leading to diminished response times. Also, the manual nature of the incident response process leads to high levels of false positives when monitoring a network. With comprehensive threat intelligence, analysts gain context into various attacks, helping them more accurately identify false positives. This translates to expedited response times across a network and improves resource management. Integrating threat intelligence into incident response enables a Security Operations Center (SOC) to discard noise faster and zero in on the interesting events more quickly.

3. Enhances continuous monitoring strategies

The insights gained from cyber threat intelligence are extremely valuable when creating continuous security monitoring strategies. By providing visibility into potential vulnerabilities on the enterprise network and connected third-party networks, security leaders can use threat intelligence to build more informed security strategies that actively monitor threats. Threat intelligence can be used in discussions with the board of directors as well, as the information shared can help guide discussions around budgets and investments for continuous monitoring programs.

Learn More: 8 Step Guide to Defeating Cyber Threats in High Risk Environment

Final Thoughts

It is evident that businesses must take steps to ensure that vital assets and customer data are protected from the expanding cyber threat landscape. Continuous security monitoring coupled with cyber threat intelligence provides organizations the visibility and actionable intelligence they need to quickly identify and respond to vulnerabilities or attacks. As businesses continue to adopt digital solutions, improved security monitoring must be embraced to maintain the mission of keeping the business safe from harm.

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