Boosting cyber-security with a threat intelligence program

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Boosting cyber-security with a threat intelligence program (1)

IT security leaders should consider building an in-house threat intelligence program, to encourage predictive and proactive responses instead of reactive cyber-security measures

As part of enhancing the current cyber-security measures, organizations should build in-house cyber threat intelligence (CTI) platform. CIOs can take advantage of shifting the security measures from reactive to a predictive approach. The security team can then better identify threats and security breaches, and be able to avoid security incidents and cyber intrusions.

IT leaders can benefit by the exchange of threat intelligence with other organizations, the
collaboration will encourage better preparedness. CIOs need to realize that in all scenarios, cyber-security is not directly proportional to the threat intelligence data collected. The data can be of use to the organization only when it is analyzed and digested efficiently with rapid operations and countermeasures deployed.

IT security departments need to provide data to the CIOs on the current and potential threat to the organization, threat actors, the data they seek and possible methods to gain access, the extraction process, and the potential timeline of the attack. While the above process is predictive, it is useful only when the required infrastructure to analyze the large volume of data is in place, and then the organization can decide on countermeasures and protect its data.

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How to set up a threat intelligence program

CIOs need to assess the current risk tolerance level and set the priorities early on when establishing a CTI platform. They need to be aware that the prevention of all zero-day attacks is not possible. The critical data needs to be prioritized along with the staff and workload to ensure data security. The IT team needs to be consulted on the internal and external assets that are already deployed by the organization. Once the inventory is ready, it would be smart to opt for automation of security processes wherever possible. This enables the security team to focus their attention on the more critical areas.

Explaining the risk to C-suite and board members

The biggest challenge to a CIO for implementing the CTI platform is to gain approval from C-suite executives. Giving them a contextualized and complete explanation of the risk along with possible damage to data and assets will make it easier to gain approval.

It is also pertinent for the CIOs to build a working relationship with the IT team and business managers to ensure better collaboration.

Prevent burnout of the SOC team

Security Operation Centers (SOC) analysts are under tremendous pressure to identify the threats and prevent attacks. CIOs need to ensure that the workload and stress do not result in burnout of these employees. They should encourage the SOC team members to adopt the OODA methodology (Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act) to manage stress.

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