In today’s hyper-connected world, threat intelligence sharing is more critical than ever for effective cybersecurity defense. However, many organizations still struggle to implement efficient threat intelligence-sharing practices. Recent surveys indicate over 68% of businesses experience barriers in leveraging threat intelligence, leading to huge gaps in security coverage.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right strategies and tools, your organization can unlock the immense power of threat intelligence sharing.
Here are 5 compelling reasons why you should make threat intelligence sharing a top priority right now:
- Accelerate Detection of Emerging Threats
- Pinpoint Adversaries Faster
- Gain a Competitive Advantage
- Prevent Future Cyber Attacks
- Make Smarter Security Decisions
By integrating threat intelligence into your security operations, you can proactively identify indicators of compromise and new attack vectors. Robust threat intelligence sharing enables you to keep up with the latest tactics, techniques, and procedures used by bad actors. You can preemptively harden defenses and close security gaps before attackers can exploit them.
Prioritize Contextual Threat Intelligence
– Context transforms generic threat data into actionable intelligence. Prioritize contextual threat intelligence that is relevant to your industry, region, technologies, and security posture.
– Focus on collecting threat intelligence with essential context – industry/sector targeting, motives, infrastructure profiles, victim demographics, timing, etc.
– Contextual threat intelligence enables accurate risk analysis and targeted defenses. For example, insights into adversaries’ TTPs in your sector.
– Utilize threat intelligence platforms to ingest, enrich and contextualize raw threat data from diverse sources.
– Regularly update context to ensure threat intelligence remains relevant as the threat landscape evolves.
Leverage Threat Intelligence Platforms
– Threat intel platforms centralize threat data collection, analysis workflows, collaboration capabilities, and integration with security controls.
– Platforms provide faster indexing, normalization, and consolidation of threat data from disparate sources.
– Options include commercial and open-source platforms – MISP, Soltra, Anomali, ThreatConnect, etc.
– Platforms enable the automation of repetitive tasks like IOC enrichment and correlation.
– Platforms streamline sharing of threat intelligence internally and with trusted external communities.
Foster Collaboration Between Teams
– Break down silos. Ensure seamless collaboration between security ops, incident response, fraud teams, IT, legal and other stakeholders.
– Implement centralized and accessible threat intelligence workflows. Provide wider visibility into threats across the organization.
– Develop protocols for bidirectional threat data sharing between security operations and lower levels like network monitoring teams.
– Cross-team collaboration enables continuous improvement of threat detection, investigation and mitigation leveraging collective knowledge.
– Shared understanding of threats helps align security priorities and focus defenses on the biggest risks.
Automate the Process
– Automating threat intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination to improve efficiency.
– Script repetitive tasks like data collection, IOC extraction, file analysis, report generation, etc. to save analyst time.
– Leverage APIs, integrations, and automation features provided by threat intelligence platforms.
– Automate dissemination of intelligence to security controls like firewalls, endpoint detection, etc. to rapidly bolster defenses.
– Automating manual processes reduces errors and frees up staff to focus on high-value analysis.
Enrich Intelligence with External Feeds
– Ingest threat feeds from trusted sources to expand visibility beyond internal telemetry.
– Leverage sector-specific threat intelligence feeds, commercial feeds, open-source feeds, and dark web sources.
– Prioritize feeds relevant to your industry – financial services, healthcare, retail, etc.
– Enrichment with external threat data provides a broader context and improves the detection of emerging threats.
– Evaluate feed quality, coverage gaps, and integration requirements to determine which feeds provide the highest value.
Centralize Threat Intelligence Workflows
– Consolidate threat detection, analysis, and mitigation workflows within a centralized intelligence platform.
– Eliminates siloed efforts across disparate tools. Provides a unified view of threats.
– Enables standardization of threat intelligence handling processes.
– Central platform facilitates real-time collaboration, work-tracking, and skill sharing.
– Integrate associated systems like SIEMs, ticketing systems, and malware sandboxes into the platform.
Measure the Impact and ROI
– Define KPIs to tangibly measure the impact of threat intelligence on security outcomes.
– KPIs may include time-to-detection, time-to-respond, threats detected, attacks prevented, losses avoided, etc.
– Compare threat detection, investigation, and response metrics before and after implementing threat intelligence.
– Calculate associated costs like platform expenses, and analyst time and measure against benefits like damages avoided.
– Quantifiable metrics demonstrate the ROI of threat intelligence investments and guide budget allocation.
Create Threat Intelligence Feeds
– Generate customized threat intelligence feeds tailored to your organization’s specific needs.
– Develop indicator feeds for IOCs detected within your environment, including contexts like associated campaigns, and tactics.
– Create strategic intelligence feeds focused on threats relevant to your industry, technologies, and geography.
– Share feeds internally via threat intelligence platforms and externally with trusted partners through STIX/TAXII exchanges.
– Custom feeds provide immediately actionable threat intelligence not available in commercial feeds.
Integrate With Existing Security Tools
– Integrate threat intelligence into security technologies like firewalls, SIEMs, endpoint detection, etc.
– Platform APIs and standard formats like STIX enable bi-directional integration with the surrounding security ecosystem.
– Share threat intelligence to augment defenses across security infrastructure.
– Ingest telemetry from security tools to enrich threat intelligence.
– Integration automates threat blocking, detects IOC matches, and enhances correlations.
Provide Role-based Access to Intelligence
– Implement access controls in the threat intelligence platform to allow role-based access to sensitive data.
– Restrict access to contextual threat data like security vulnerabilities based on the principle of least privilege.
– Read-only access to analysts. Full administrative access is restricted to platform administrators.
-Granular access controls safeguard sensitive threat intelligence while enabling information sharing.
-Manage permissions, user roles, and access tiers to share threat intelligence securely on a need-to-know basis.
Develop Data Sharing Agreements
– Create data-sharing agreements clearly defining what, how and with whom threat intelligence will be shared externally.
– Include details on types of data shared, security controls, privacy protections, liability, usage restrictions, etc.
– Consult legal counsel to ensure sharing agreements comply with all applicable laws and regulations.
– Review plans against existing contracts and third-party relationships that may restrict sharing.
– Well-defined agreements build trust and enable the controlled exchange of threat intelligence between organizations.
Start Small and Scale Up
– Begin with limited threat intelligence ingestion and sharing workflows. Expand gradually.
– Start internally sharing threat intelligence between IT/security teams before expanding externally.
– When starting out, focus on collecting threat data that can be immediately actionable rather than long-term strategic intelligence.
– Crawl first, walk next – build up threat analysis skills and platform proficiency before running at scale.
– The goal is to eventually implement automated enterprise-wide threat intelligence leveraging both internal and external data.
Designate Threat Intelligence Analysts
– Designate staff with relevant skills as threat intelligence analysts or form a dedicated threat intel team.
– Analysts should possess knowledge of adversaries, and cyber threats, and skill in using threat intelligence platforms.
– Provide training to analysts on cyber threat intelligence tradecraft and best practices.
– Analysts centralize control of threat data curation, analysis, and sharing activities.
– Well-trained analysts add critical human expertise to transform threat data into actionable intelligence.
Continuously Evaluate the Quality of Intelligence
– Objectively evaluate the relevance, accuracy, and actionability of collected threat intelligence.
– Work to minimize intelligence gaps, inaccuracies, redundancies, and outdated indicators.
– Leverage threat intelligence platforms to quantify usage, monitor for stale indicators, and validate data.
– Solicit feedback from security operations teams consuming the intelligence to guide improvements.
– Ongoing intelligence quality evaluation ensures optimal value delivery to security programs.
Join Trusted Threat Intelligence Sharing Communities
– Participate in industry-specific threat intelligence sharing communities like FS-ISAC, MSSP exchanges, etc.
– Leverage platforms facilitating automated exchange of cyber threat intelligence like STIX/TAXII.
– Develop connections with CERTs, law enforcement cybercrime units, and other trusted entities.
– Carefully vet participants and employ access controls to share intelligence securely.
– Communities multiply the reach of threat visibility and early warning threat detection.
Implement Standard Threat Intelligence Formats
– Adopt industry standards like STIX, CybOX, and TAXII for structuring and sharing cyber threat intelligence.
– Standard formats optimize automation, reduce integration costs, and simplify exchanges between parties.
– For machine readability, express threat intelligence as JSON/XML schemas instead of prose reports.
– Validate incoming and outgoing intelligence adheres to standard format specifications.
– Standards avoid ambiguity, enhance interoperability and streamline consumption by security controls.
10 Powerful Benefits of Threat Intelligence Sharing You Must Know
- Accelerates awareness and detection of emerging threats
- Provides broader visibility into the threat landscape
- Improves security of partners through collective knowledge
- Early warning to preemptively fortify defenses
- Helps benchmark security program against peers
- Fosters connections with trusted security professionals
- Reduces costs by distributing expenses across the community
- Stimulates innovation of new cybersecurity techniques
- Develops best practices through shared experiences
- Builds organizational reputation as a security thought leader
Correlate Threat Data from Multiple Sources
- Aggregate threat data from all internal and external sources into threat intelligence platforms.
- Advanced analytics uncover non-obvious relationships between disparate threat data sets.
- Link threat behaviors, patterns, and indicators across sources to derive enhanced insights.
- Correlating telemetry from multiple vantage points provides a unified threat perspective.
- Multi-source correlations strengthen threat models, improve probability scoring, and feed machine learning.
Maintain Up-to-date Contextual Threat Intelligence Library
- Centralize storage of continually updated threat profiles, adversary dossiers, and attack patterns.
- Context arms defenders with insights beyond mere technical indicators – adversary TTPs, targets, etc.
- Keep the library current by continuously contributing intelligence from new incidents, feeds, and sources.
- Maintain revision logs and confidence scores to keep pace with a dynamic threat landscape.
- The updated library equips analysts with current, contextual threat knowledge needed for robust defenses.
Quickly Distribute Actionable Intelligence to Defenders
- Automate dissemination of tactical threat intelligence to security monitoring and control systems.
- Instant distribution of IOCs, malicious URLs/IP blocks via APIs, and standard formats like STIX.
- Ensure intelligence is promptly actionable by frontline defenders – networks, endpoints, firewalls, etc.
- Speedy intelligence distribution enables rapid blocking, detection, and containment of threats.
- Prioritize only high-fidelity, contextual threat data to maximize value for defenders.
Archive Threat Data for Future Analysis
– Retain historical threat data for trend analysis, machine learning model training, and forensic investigations.
– Archived data equips analysts to study adversary TTP evolution and predict future activity.
– Tag and catalog archives based on campaigns, malware families, industries, etc. for easy retrieval.
– Employ access controls and immutable storage like blockchain to secure archived threat repositories.
– Well-organized threat archives serve as institutional memory to augment future defenses.
Keep pace with the threat landscape through collaborative threat intelligence sharing
– No organization can have 100% internal visibility into the global threat landscape.
– Collaborative sharing of threat intelligence expands visibility and complements internal telemetry.
– Participate in sharing communities to exchange threat indicators, adversary TTPs, and vulnerability data.
– Cross-organization collaboration builds a participatory sensor grid tuned to detect emerging threats faster.
– Shared intelligence enables continuously aligning defenses to match the constant evolution of cyber threats.
Make better risk-based security decisions leveraging shared threat intelligence
– Supplement internal threat visibility with shared intelligence for superior risk awareness.
– Combine global threat insights with internal vulnerability assessments and business impact data.
– Holistic viewpoint of threats, vulnerabilities, and priorities enables optimal risk-driven decisions.
– Allocate resources to counter top risks based on the likelihood, and impact of threats identified through collaborative intelligence.
– Collective threat insights provide an information advantage to make smarter security investments.
Effective threat intelligence sharing provides the foundation for a robust cyber defense strategy. By prioritizing contextual and actionable threat data, centralizing workflows, integrating with security controls, and participating in sharing communities, organizations can achieve superior threat visibility. Ultimately, well-implemented collaborative threat intelligence strengthens situational awareness, accelerates threat detection, and enables rapid coordinated response for threat intelligence sharing.
With cyber threats growing in sophistication, businesses must leverage the collective power of threat intelligence to make better security decisions that safeguard critical assets and maintain a competitive advantage. The time for siloed security is over. Threat intelligence sharing is the force multiplier needed to protect against adversaries of today and tomorrow.
Q: What is threat intelligence sharing?
A: Threat intelligence sharing refers to the practice of proactively collecting and distributing information about cybersecurity threats between trusted organizations. This collaborative exchange aims to improve defenses against sophisticated cyber attacks for threat intelligence sharing.
Q: Why is threat intelligence sharing important?
A: Sharing threat intelligence provides broader visibility beyond what any single organization can achieve alone. This arms participants with collective insights to enhance security postures for threat intelligence sharing.
Q: What can be shared as threat intelligence?
A: Technical IoCs like IP addresses, domains, and hashes as well as strategic intelligence covering adversary TTPs, active campaigns, and vulnerabilities can be shared for threat intelligence sharing.
Q: What are the benefits of participating in threat sharing?
A: Participants get early warnings of threats, and access contextual threat knowledge and best practices that strengthen defenses. Sharing also fosters connections with trusted security professionals.
Q: What mechanisms enable sharing threat intelligence?
A: Sector-specific sharing communities, threat intelligence platforms, STIX/TAXII standards, closed forums, and secure APIs facilitate collaboration between organizations for threat intelligence sharing.
Golden Quotes for threat intelligence sharing:
“Sharing threat intelligence is like having your entire security team expanded with the knowledge of trusted partners.”