Cyber Threat Intelligence is a critical component within the cybersecurity domain, equipping practitioners with the knowledge required to understand the threats their networks and systems face. This intelligence encompasses technical information, such as indicators of compromise (IoCs), tactical insights like tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) used by attackers, strategic trends in the threat landscape, and operational data about specific attacks.
Gathering CTI involves using a variety of sources, ranging from technical data collected from past security incidents, open-source intelligence (OSINT), information shared between industry partners, dark web monitoring, to reports from commercial threat intelligence services. Organisations utilise CTI to anticipate and mitigate cyberattacks, adapt their security posture, train their staff, and align their security strategy with the risk profile and capabilities of potential threat actors.
By integrating Cyber Threat Intelligence into their security operations center (SOC), incident response, and defense strategy, organisations can prioritise their security efforts, allocate resources more effectively, and improve their resilience against cyberattacks.
- Provides actionable information on current and emerging threats
- Involves analysis of data on attackers’ methodology and capabilities
- Aids in strategising and operationalising cybersecurity defenses
- Gathers from multiple sources, including open-source, industry sharing, and proprietary intelligence services
- Real-World Example: After a widespread ransomware attack targeting numerous companies, a cybersecurity firm published CTI that included information about the malware used, the infection vectors, and the cybercriminals’ bitcoin wallet addresses. Organisations used this intelligence to strengthen their defenses and monitor for signs of compromise.
- Hypothetical Scenario: An organisation employs CTI to monitor and analyse chatter from hacker forums on the dark web. This intelligence reveals a planned attack on the financial sector, allowing the organisation to pre-emptively strengthen its defenses.
- Indicator of Compromise (IoC): Artifacts observed on a network or in an operating system that, with high confidence, suggest a possible system intrusion.
- Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs): The behavior or modus operandi of cyber threat actors, which CTI aims to understand and counteract.
- Open Source Intelligence (OSINT): Data collected from publicly available sources to be used in an intelligence context, a key component of CTI.
- Dark Web Monitoring: The practice of searching for and analysing threat-related data from the dark web, an activity often included within the broader CTI processes.
Learn better by watching a video? Here is a YouTube video from Blackberry explaining the concept.