A deep dive into cyber threat intelligence

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As companies continue to adopt cloud native technologies, nearly 60% have increased concerns about their security posture. The reality is that cyber threats are a constant risk for every organization, and these security risks can have an enormous impact on a company’s reputation and bottom line. Let’s take a closer look at what threat intelligence is and how organizations can use threat intelligence tools to keep their business safe.

What is threat intelligence

Threat intelligence is information that helps an organization understand the risks it faces on a daily basis. Businesses can use threat intelligence as a proactive approach to identify and prevent security issues before they occur. While threat intelligence is in the realm of security teams, it’s also invaluable for developers to know and understand the risks impacting their custom software and open source components.

More specifically, organizations can use multiple data sources to gain deeper insights into the threat landscape within the context of their business and industry. Threat intelligence tools can evaluate raw data to determine indicators of compromise, which are signs of potential intrusion attempts or malicious activity. Companies can then use this threat information to build an actionable defense strategy going forward.

Why threat intelligence is important

Cyber threat intelligence is crucial for preventing network breaches, data leaks, and other security issues. These types of security incidents can damage a company’s reputation, and in turn, have a negative impact on revenue. Since the cost of security incidents are too great for businesses to take a reactive approach, threat intelligence enables organizations to stay a step ahead of malicious actors.

In the world of AppSec, threat intelligence is a shift of security earlier in the development process through vulnerability detection and remediation. Scanning for potential security issues throughout every aspect of cloud native software —from custom code and third-party dependencies to containers and configuration files —enables organizations to proactively defend against cyber threats. By shifting security left, organizations can lower the cost of detecting and remediate application security threats.

What are the types of threat intelligence?

Threat intelligence involves collecting data from a variety of sources to form a more comprehensive understanding of the threats an organization faces. Here’s a breakdown of the four main types of cybersecurity threat intelligence information:

The 4 types of threat intelligence

Strategic threat intelligence is higher-level information for non-technical audiences about the broader security landscape. By understanding emerging security risks and other trends, organizations can make better decisions about technology investments to improve their overall security posture.

Tactical threat intelligence is specific information about how malicious actors execute attacks. Understanding the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) hackers frequently use is most useful for security teams responsible for protecting the organization. They can use this information to improve their existing security processes.

Technical threat intelligence is related to indicators of specific attacks organizations can look out for, especially when it comes to social engineering. This type of information needs to be updated frequently because cyber attacks are constantly evolving.

Operational threat intelligence is details of known security incidents or campaigns. Security teams can use information about the timing and nature of attacks to understand how malicious actors operate and better anticipate the ways attacks may evolve.

Open Source Threat Intelligence Tools For AppSec

Every company faces cyber threats, so it’s crucial to put the right processes and tooling in place to identify and mitigate any risks. By following security best practices based on threat intelligence, for example, development teams can dramatically improve the security posture of their applications. Here’s how organizations can minimize the risk of cyber threats related to application security using automated security scanning.

Detecting Issues

Organizations need the ability to collect and analyze information to understand the motives of threat actors and identify areas they may choose to target. The challenge is finding up-to-date vulnerability information when the techniques hackers use continue to evolve at a rapid pace. New vulnerabilities such as Log4Shell are disclosed regularly, highlighting the importance of timely threat intelligence.

Open source threat intelligence tools can provide comprehensive vulnerability data that comes from multiple data sources. Some tools can even allow AppSec teams to know about security issues as soon as they are discovered, and often before they’ve been added to public databases like the National Vulnerability Database (NVD). Besides offering timely and accurate information, open source threat intelligence tools can offer actionable intelligence for development teams as well.

Remediating Vulnerabilities

When it comes to operationalizing vulnerability data, open source threat intelligence tools can also offer automated solutions to detect and remediate security issues across the entire open source cloud native technology stack. By seamlessly integrating vulnerability scanning into existing developer workflows, organizations can reduce the friction for adoption and immediately gain visibility into the risk levels of their software and open source technologies.

Threat intelligence tools that not only detect issues and prioritize vulnerability remediation, but also automatically generate fixes can help developers quickly mitigate issues without any additional effort. These open source intelligence tools enable organizations to shift their security efforts left and proactively defend against the cyber threats their AppSec teams are facing. That’s why threat intelligence is crucial for the adoption of cloud native software.

Up Next

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Learn more about threat modeling and how to get security benefits without putting gates in front of the software development process. Take threat modeling a step further “left.”

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