Threat intelligence tools: Identify, prioritize and act

Cybersecurity threats are often described in military terms. This is not an accident.

Like an army tasked with defending territory, a cybersecurity team needs to understand the threats it faces. Their responses must be quick and meaningful. Otherwise, they may face defeat.

Recent events have given us a better idea of what cyber defeat looks like, and it’s not pretty. Whether it’s a data breach that costs millions of dollars to remediate, a political leader targeted by hacking or government data being compromised, the stakes are high. Cybersecurity teams need to understand what malicious actors and hacking techniques are headed their way and what to do about them.

We are starting to get a much better idea of what a cyber defeat looks like, and it’s not pretty.

In response, the cybersecurity field has developed threat intelligence, which focuses on identifying threats before they become breaches.

What is threat intelligence?

According to Gartner, “Threat intelligence is evidence-based knowledge, including context, mechanisms, indicators, implications and actionable advice, about an existing or emerging menace or hazard to assets that can be used to inform decisions regarding the subject’s response to that menace or hazard.”Threats are coming.

Benefits of threat intelligence tools

Threat intelligence tools help security organizations get out ahead of threats. These tools can analyze inputs from multiple data streams, such as device logs and external threat intelligence sources, and then report on potential threats including:

  • Possible malware in the network, like infections targeting internal hosts that seem to be communicating with external malicious actors.
  • Email attacks from attachments and links to malicious domains.
  • Host-based malware that target filenames, registry keys, etc.

Threat intelligence tools are necessary because it is simply impossible for a security analyst to assimilate and interpret the vast volumes of alert data produced by SIEMs, intrusion detection tools and related systems without assistance.

Using threat intelligence tools to improve security operations

The big question, of course, is what to do with threat intelligence? A key phrase to note in the Gartner definition is, “…inform decisions regarding the subject’s response to that menace or hazard.”

Not all threats are serious enough to warrant a response that taxes resources. Without robust threat assessment processes, it’s possible to become overextended and, as a result, ineffective in mitigating risks. As Sun Tzu said in “The Art of War,” “if a commander sends reinforcements everywhere, he will everywhere be weak.” So it goes with cybersecurity.

Security automation and orchestration

Security automation and orchestration (SAO) solutions help organizations allocate their limited resources more efficiently. SAO makes security analysts smarter consumers of threat intelligence. The tools enable cybersecurity teams to automate and utilize threat intelligence while improving their ability to respond. This is why SAO is a critical part of your threat intelligence tool set.

How Swimlane can help

Swimlane provides a cohesive system to achieve greater situational awareness of threats, both in the present and the future. It also speeds up and improves the efficacy of the detect-assess-respond threat intelligence cycle by:

  • Helping teams react faster and more intelligently to threats
  • Reducing manual efforts
  • Moving security responses to earlier in the kill chain
  • Integrating threat intelligence into the incident response and remediation process

Swimlane consolidates data like security events, incidents, alerts, and cases from SIEM solutions and other security tools. It then correlates that data with threat intelligence feeds to identify activity from malicious IP addresses, domains, and email addresses to automatically initiate an incident response process and terminate threats at machine speeds.

Analysts use Swimlane to prioritize and triage events. When a suspicious item (e.g. a binary) correlates to a known threat, it can be highlighted for further investigation. Swimlane executes preset incident response playbooks that are largely automated, saving the time analysts might spend on repetitive manual processes like opening tickets, sending emails and cutting and pasting information into other applications.

Swimlane executes custom incident response playbooks that are largely automated, saving the time analysts might spend on repetitive, manual processes.

Do you have the threat intelligence tools your team needs?

Even if you do, it can be tough to manage so many different tools. Integrating SAO with threat intelligence tools enables a stronger defense by offering analysts greater context for threat discovery and response and providing insight into threats that may be missed with disparate systems. At the same time, SAO increases the value and ROI of existing threat intelligence tools.

To learn more about Swimlane’s solutions around threat intelligence, read our Automating Incident Response eBook.

*** This is a Security Bloggers Network syndicated blog from Swimlane (en-US) authored by Sydni Williams-Shaw. Read the original post at: