Rethinking the Threat Intelligence Strategy

Phil Wheeler
Phil Wheeler
November 4, 2022 • 3 min read
Advanced Cyber Analytics - Protect Intellectual Property

As COVID-19 reshaped the work environment, the corporate world began to find their cybersecurity infrastructure was inadequate for the new vulnerabilities resulting from remote work initiatives. In 2021, there was a 68 percent increase in data breaches from 2020 and a similar increase by the end of 2022 is anticipated as well.

To understand where the threat intelligence industry is coming up short, we need to understand the intelligence procurement process.  Traditionally, the industry has been centered around strategic intelligence reports that enable customers to understand the various cyber threats around the globe. Cyber threats are prioritized based on historical data, which enables companies to optimize the time and effort of SOC analysts to focus only on the most probable threat vectors.

Yet, companies are still getting breached after spending thousands of dollars on intelligence subscriptions. This is because the threat intelligence industry has followed a reactive strategy: as threats are identified, notify the customers. This results in customers permanently being one step behind the adversary. This type of threat intelligence does decrease the workload and operational strain on the SOC; however, it doesn’t fully mitigate these threats. In 2022, the average time it took to identify and contain a data breach was 277 days. This is a consequence of the reactive mindset that cybersecurity strategy has centered around over the past decade.

This blog post is not to argue the importance of understanding the large-scale threat environment but to point out that, by proactively targeting and illuminating the hacker ecosystem, cyber analysts will be able to identify, in near-real time, new threat vectors around the globe. This enables threat intelligence companies to have direct and immediate impact for their customers.

By understanding the global threats and employing technology that can successfully analyze data in real time to identify malicious activity, customers will be able to optimize threat identification efforts. Additionally, the cybersecurity experts will be able to implement a layer of protection to minimize exposure to pre-existing threats and patterns. But do not forget, historically, this has not prevented the 277-day unknown exposure. The threat intelligence industry needs to understand the importance of proactive threat hunting and begin posturing towards active targeting and hunting for both known and unknown threat vectors.  

Employing a proactive methodology will enable companies to bring the fight back to the cyber actors. An advanced cyber analytics capability allows the threat intelligence industry to create real-time identification of threat vectors transmitting through the customer’s private infrastructure. This provides real-time understanding of what data is being transmitted, both wittingly and unwittingly, throughout the network.

By illuminating the hacker ecosystem, customers will be able to understand what threat vectors are actively, in near-real time, attempting to or have gained access to their infrastructure. The traditional threat intelligence product is unable to provide these results. Yes, it is needed to ensure the cybersecurity foundation is developed; but a proactive approach is required to identify the real cyber threats that are directly targeting your network.

The growing number of enterprise breaches is a significant threat to the intellectual property of businesses, universities, and research institutions. To learn more about the threats that enterprise IP faces and how proactive cyber intelligence can help ward off attacks, download our new white paper: IP Theft and the Evolution of Threat Intelligence.

Phil Wheeler
Phil Wheeler
Telos ACA Product Management Team
Phil Wheeler assists with strategy and direction for the Telos Advanced Cyber Analytics threat intelligence offering.
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