Key Steps to Achieving Robust Threat Intelligence

Threat intelligence involves collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data about malicious actors, their behavior, and their methods. This information is then used to strengthen an organization’s defenses, expose vulnerabilities, and protect against security threats.

Threat Intelligence is an increasingly vital part of the corporate security landscape. To best protect your company or organization, you need to implement a robust threat intelligence operation. 

What Is Threat Intelligence — and Why Is It Important?

Unfortunately, malicious actors continuously develop new ways to target your valuable data. Take ransomware as an example. Ten years ago, it wasn’t on anyone’s radar screens — but by 2020, according to Sophos, half of all private sector businesses had fallen victim to ransomware attacks. 

The cost of cyber attacks is also increasing. According to IBM’s annual Cost of a Data Breach Report, the average cost of a data breach increased 10% since 2014, hitting a high of $3.86 million in 2020. 

The threats you guarded against just a year or two ago aren’t as dangerous as the newer threats you’ll face in the coming year. Your cybersecurity can’t rest on its laurels. You have to keep evolving your defense just as the bad guys keep evolving their attacks. 

This is where cyber threat intelligence comes in. 

Cyber threat intelligence prioritizes gathering data about possible cyber threats. This data can come from a variety of sources, including published information, social media, private email exchanges, public forums, and more. The gathered data is then analyzed to determine cybersecurity trends and potential cyber threats.

This intelligence gathering will prepare your company for developing threats against your digital assets. Without threat intelligence, you can only prepare against threats you’ve previously encountered, leaving you vulnerable to new ones. With robust threat intelligence, you can adjust your cyber defenses to better guard against constantly emerging threats — especially those that directly affect your own unique assets. 

Threat intelligence creates actionable analysis. It collects timely data, provides real-world context, and helps management make informed cybersecurity decisions. 

Five Steps to Effective Threat Intelligence

How do you implement effective cyber threat intelligence? The process has five basic steps, starting with consolidation of information and ending with constantly updating and enhancing the process.

1. Consolidate 

The first step in cyber threat intelligence to gather as much relevant data as possible about the current and emerging threat landscape. This data can come from any number of sources, internal or external. You can find important data in industry publications and reports, social media, tips from others in the field, personal observations, and more. After you identify and consolidate this raw data, you can proceed with your threat intelligence operation.

2. Contextualize 

You next need to comb through this raw data and put it into perspective. Identify specific risks and the threats they pose to your company or organization. Analyze the data in context to make better decisions about potential threats.

3. Prioritize 

Just possessing large amounts of intelligence isn’t terribly useful. What you need to do next is prioritize the intelligence you’ve gathered so that you can focus on the potential threats that warrant the most attention. No organization has unlimited resources, which means you can’t give equal attention to all potential threats. You need to separate the real and specific threats from the rest of the noise and direct your cybersecurity efforts toward those threats. 

4. Utilize

Possessing intelligence is only valuable if you act on what you’ve learned. Focus on concrete actions that can mitigate the risk of your prioritized threats. This is how threat intelligence protects your organization and your valuable data — by utilizing the data you’ve gathered and analyzed to improve your cybersecurity efforts.

5. Enhance

Finally, know that threat intelligence is an ongoing effort. Learn from the intelligence you’ve gathered, not just to beef up your cybersecurity, but also to gather more effective threat intelligence — and to do so more efficiently. Continually enhance your threat intelligence to keep your cyber defenses current. You must constantly feed your threat intelligence to stay abreast of the ever-evolving threat environment — and make increasingly better cybersecurity decisions.

Consider Wickr’s Secure Communications Platform in Your Threat Intelligence 

You need to evaluate the security of your organization’s communications in your ongoing threat intelligence. To proactively guard against potential cyber attacks, consider employing a secure communications solution, such as Wickr. 

Wickr is a communication platform that provides secure text messaging, voice calling, video conferencing, file sharing, and collaboration tools. The Wickr platform uses military-grade end-to-end encryption to minimize the risk of communications interception and cyber attacks. Contact us to learn how you can incorporate Wickr in your threat assessment to reduce your organization’s cybersecurity risk. 

Contact us today to learn more about Wickr’s secure communication platform.