Leveraging Cyber Threat Intelligence for an Unassailable Cyberdefensive Strategy

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For starters, OSNIT or the Open-Source Intelligence is a step in the right direction but if we are to discuss leveraging the right cyber threat intelligence then we must dig deeper into the degree of resilience you may want to bring into your network, the level of preparedness you need to effectively deal with sophisticated attacks and the level of operational visibility you need to detect threats early. While these factors defer from one level of technological evolution and industry to another, it is easy to baseline these in order to standardize a cybersecurity program and intensify responses to the operational threat envelope. Sectrio has shortlisted effective ways in which one can leverage a comprehensive cyber threat intelligence feed or even a larger program to suite your org.

Understanding the Three A’s of Cyber Threat Intelligence:

  • Assess your environment: While you may be aware of the common threats and the mitigation measures required for each one of them, it does not necessarily mean you can use the same tactical measures to deal with a Zero Day. It is always imperative that you have ample visibility in your network and rigorously stress test the system to identify gaps and weaknesses.
  • Awareness surrounding your environment: while the first point focuses on the one’s own network, it is important to be aware of the threats that ail the global landscape. While it’s a common knowledge once a Zero Day has been exploited several times, it’s only a matter of time before patches and the updates are released to fix it. But are you aware of the attacks that slip through even before the patches are out? Yes, it happens and often is always too late to act upon. A good solution to this would be to stay up to date and nip the vulnerabilities in the bud.
  • Analyze for compatibility: While one must have a network that is actively flexible to incorporate changes being made today and the ones in future, most networks unfortunately are rigid. In complex networks associated with IoT, OT or ICS equipments, such as the ones seen in industrial shop floors and huge manufacturing assembly lines, most are set up for the operational availability and the integrity of the system but not crucially for security in the zones and conduits of the network that are usually the ones to allow a threat actor to breeze around laterally in your network by the ways they are set up. Compatibility of the connected equipment and the network is always complex to analyze but it’s the most necessary one. As this may bring in complexities and gaps into the network that one might not have thought of yet.

Now that you are aware of the three A’s, its often easy to remember these steps as an AAA battery that powers your awareness and the reason why leveraging cyber threat intelligence is vital. Coming to the part where you leverage the cyberthreat intelligence is the one where you take action and improve your overall strategic resilience.

What to Consider When Implementing a Cyber Threat Intelligence Program

Here are the 7 vital points that you can implement to effectively leverage and amplify the impact of a comprehensive cyber threat intelligence program:

  • IoT and OT cyber threat intelligence: In complex environments involving, IoT, OT, ICS and IIoT equipment, it is vital that your threat intelligence feeds are tailored to meet your requirements while ensuring they are contextually sound, actionable, and strengthen your threat hunting capabilities.
  • Availability in real time: While most cyber threat intelligence feeds have a delay or a lag, leveraging a threat intelligence that can provide you intelligence in real time has its own added advantages. To name a few, it can help educate your teams to get a head start with building response playbooks for threats that are yet to emerge. Discover unique IoC’s (Indicators of Compromise) that can help you detect vulnerabilities much quicker than your peers or others.
  • Leveraging credible cyber threat intelligence vendor: While most vendors are likely push feeds that are generally outdated or even too late to act upon, get yourself a credible threat intelligence vendor that you can trust. You can identify a credible treat intelligence vendor from their ability to source intelligence from native Honey Pots and data from externally sourced legitimate feeds that can tailor your needs.
  • Get Ahead of the compliance game: Compliance roll outs are often time consuming, exhausting and often dealing with global advisories or standards which might not apply to you. With the right cyber threat intelligence feeds, you can stay ahead of the game by documenting, discovering, and detecting emerging new threats. This will help you strategically put a road map to stay compliant ahead of the game.
  • Quantifiable and qualitative RoI: Justifying the RoI for a cybersecurity program is one of the toughest challenges out there and unfortunately, often not realized easily. Leveraging cyber threat intelligence will be at its effective best when it comes to justifying the investments in your cybersecurity team. It can also help showcase your ability to detect and eliminate threats, building a much ethical and highly educated workforce.
  • Set industrial standards and build trust: With the ability to detect emerging threats in real time in complex environment, you can leverage the cyber threat intelligence to set industrial standards, help other organizations in your industry, but most importantly build credible trust with your prospects. Leverage this added benefit as a competitive advantage that sets you apart.
  • Flexible to integrate: Leverage your cyber threat intelligence ability to integrate with your existing set up of your SOC, SIEM or SOAR systems without having to go about a hassle your way around complicated set up. If it’s worth the trouble, just recollect the ‘3rd A’ form the triple A’s of leveraging cyber threat intelligence feeds. This will help you on the long run!

The right cyber threat intelligence feeds always set up an organization for hyper cyber resilience in the long run and effectively proven to be vital in every organization, which is why we at Sectrio are offering a 15-day free access to our IoT and OT tailored cyber threat feeds that is organically obtained from a network that houses what is arguably the world’s largest IoT and OT threat intelligence gathering network.

In addition to the above-mentioned points, do keep in mind that it is highly flexible in integrating with your SIEMs and multi-tier IT, OT and IoT cybersecurity programs. Get started with Sectrio’s free cyber threat intelligence feeds for 15 days.

About the author


Abhay Kottur

Abhay Kottur, Marketing at Sectrio. Abhay is a part of the organization and in the field of cybersecurity for quite some time and has been on the frontlines of cybersecurity on niche segments of the market like IoT, OT, ICS, IACS, and converged network protection.