What is Cyber Threat Intelligence and how to implement it?

What is Cyber Threat Intelligence and how to implement it?


Threat intelligence is data that is collected, processed and analyzed to understand the motives, objectives and attack behaviors of a threat actor. Is data that is collected, processed and analyzed to understand a threat actor’s motives, targets and attack behaviors. This practice allows us to make faster, more sustainable and data-backed security decisions in the fight against threat actors. It is based on evidence (e.g., context, mechanisms, indications, implications and action-oriented advice) about existing or emerging threats or threats to assets. - Gartner.

In the world of cybersecurity, advanced persistent threats (APTs) and cybersecurity solutions we are constantly trying to outperform each other. Data that informs the next move of a threat is critical to proactively adapt enterprise defenses and prevent future attacks. This is where threat intelligence becomes extremely important for enterprises. Some of the examples are:

  • Allow light into the unknown, enabling security teams to make better decisions.
  • Empower the security team by revealing tactics, techniques and procedures (TTP).
  • Help security professionals better understand the threat decision-making process.
  • Enable enterprise stakeholders – such as executive boards, CISOs, CIOs and CTOs; to invest with knowledge, mitigate risk, become more efficient and make faster decisions.

The threat intelligence lifecycle is a process that goes from transforming “raw” data into “finished intelligence” for decision making. You may see different versions of the intelligence cycle in your research, but the goal is the same: to guide a security team through the development and execution of an effective threat intelligence program.

The intelligence cycle provides a framework that allows teams to optimize their resources and respond effectively to the modern threat landscape. Let’s explore the 6 steps:

1) Requirements

The requirements stage is crucial to the threat intelligence lifecycle because it establishes the roadmap for a specific threat intelligence operation. During this planning stage, the team will agree on the objectives and methodology for its intelligence program based on stakeholder needs. The team can set out to discover

  • who the attackers are and their motivations.
  • what the attack surface is.
  • what specific actions need to be taken to strengthen their defenses against a future attack.

2) Collection

Once the requirements are defined, the team is set up to gather the information needed to meet those objectives. Depending on the objectives, the team will look for traffic logs, publicly available data sources, relevant forums, social networks, industry or subject matter experts.

3) Processing

After the “raw” data has been collected, it is processed into a format suitable for analysis. Most of the time it will involve organizing data points into spreadsheets, deciphering files, translating information from foreign sources, and evaluating the data for relevance and reliability.

4) Analysis

Once the data set has been processed, the team must perform a complete analysis to find answers to the questions posed in the requirements phase. During the analysis phase, the team also works to decipher the data set.

5) Communication

The dissemination phase requires the threat intelligence team to translate its analysis into a digestible format and present the results to the team. How the analysis is presented depends on the audience. In most cases, recommendations should be presented concisely, without confusing technical jargon, whether in a one-page report or a short platform.

6) Comments

The final stage of the threat intelligence lifecycle is to receive feedback on the report provided to determine if adjustments need to be made for future threat intelligence operations. The team can make changes based on their priorities, the cadence at which they wish to receive intelligence reports or how the data should be disseminated or presented.

The given diagram presents you with a path to elevate your threat intelligence capabilities in a step-by-step manner. That’s why it advises you to take the time to settle on all the key points of the company.

The redborder solution offers security teams the complete tools for comprehensive visibility, actionable intelligence and response to protect against known and emerging threats.

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