As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, it is up to businesses to invest in advanced cybersecurity to ensure that they stay protected. However, just as important as technology is information – understanding the kinds of attacks that criminals are likely to perpetrate and how.
Government agencies have been set up specifically to offer businesses advice and information regarding common cybercrimes and what you can do to protect yourself against them. But this is not the only threat intelligence available.
It is first important to look at the concept of open source threat intelligence. This is available to everyone, and it can be an extremely important tool in keeping your business secure.
Open source threat intelligence
Quite simply, open source threat intelligence is information and data that is available to anyone that provides details on potential cyber threats and attacks. It is undoubtedly one of the most powerful weapons utilised by cybersecurity professionals in terms of proactive cybersecurity that seeks out threats before they can turn into attacks.
The Malware Information Sharing Platform (MISP) plays a vital role in open source threat intelligence. On its own website it is described as a threat intelligence platform for gathering, sharing, storing and correlating Indicators of compromise of targeted attacks, threat intelligence, financial fraud information, vulnerability information or even counter-terrorism information.
Funded by the European Union, MISP is available to use by anyone, and it can provide information on indicators of compromise as well as other useful threat intelligence.
Your own staff
Let’s not forget that a company’s staff are always likely to be the first line of defence. They are also highly likely to be targeted with attacks. Good cybersecurity policy should be to provide all staff with the training they need to notice a potential cyberattack (for example, a phishing email) and either ignore it, or report it. However, it should also be pointed out that as staff are seeing new potential attacks in real time, they can provide very useful insight.
Getting information from staff about the nature of the attacks that they are seeing is a great to help you plan your defences, and understanding where further training needs to be provided to other staff members.
Another important, but perhaps somewhat surprising source of useful threat intelligence is Twitter. Many cybersecurity professionals maintain very active Twitter profiles and often share extremely useful information that can be used by businesses. Once again this is a form of open source threat intelligence as it can be utilised by anyone.
Proactive cybersecurity software
One of the most valuable aspects of threat intelligence can come from your own proactive cybersecurity measures. For example, SIEM software can be used to aggregate and analyse log data from devices, infrastructure, systems and applications and generating alerts for security teams to review and respond to.
The important thing to note here is this intelligence comes directly from monitoring your system and establishing what normal behaviour looks like. When the SIEM system then sees something that doesn’t constitute normal behaviour, it can be flagged.
Google is always looking to provide the best possible service to its customers – returning the optimum search query results and constantly improving. Perhaps it is no surprise, then, that Google is set against every pushing its users knowingly towards sites that are known to contain or potentially contain threats.
Safe Browsing is Google’s resource that provides a list of URLs that contain either malware and phishing content. Users can check URLs against the list in order to check whether a specific resource that they are interested in is safe to use.
Working with professionals
It is also worth pointing out that threat intelligence doesn’t necessarily need to come from purely external sources. If you want to have your cybersecurity as up-to-date as possible, and using the best threat intelligence it can be best to work with outsourced cybersecurity specialists. The kind of threat intelligence that is useful for your business is their bread and butter.
It is a great idea to find cybersecurity specialists who have experience working with businesses similar to yours.
Having the right threat intelligence can make you capable of defending your business against powerful cyber threats. Putting strong defences in place that will keep you protected against relevant attacks is extremely important, and ultimately be the difference between your business suffering a catastrophic cyberattack or remaining secure.