What is Threat Intelligence?

A Brief History

Threat intelligence has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a shared blacklist of malicious IP addresses and URLs.
Today, security analysts and technicians can access curated, real-time, and targeted threat information from around the world, helping fend off attacks before any damage is done.

What is Threat Intelligence?

Threat intelligence refers to the collection and analysis of information about potential or current threats to an organization's security. It can include information about known or potential vulnerabilities, cyber-attack tactics and techniques, and information about specific threat actors or groups. The goal of threat intelligence is to provide organizations with the information they need to understand and mitigate the risks they face, and to improve their overall security posture.

Threat Intelligence can be gathered from a variety of tools and sources including OSINT (open-sourced intelligence), vulnerability databases, proprietary research, dark web monitoring, indicators of compromise, log analysis, and more. Threat intelligence is now a budding industry, estimated at $15 billion and growing. Here’s a little bit about how we got here.

How has threat intelligence evolved over time?

Back in the dinosaur era of the internet (i.e., the early 2000s), threat intelligence was mainly composed of blacklists of malicious IP addresses, URLs, as well as Indicators of Compromise (IoCs). These lists were often managed by the government and designed to be fed into security software such as SIEMs and firewalls. This was all part of a coordinated effort by governments and private industry to counter a wave of malware attacks that had been sweeping the globe.

Did it work? Well, partially. Like every arms race, these early defensive efforts forced the hackers to develop more sophisticated and powerful tools.

Throughout the 2000s and 2010s, intelligence tools continued to add more data categories and sources to their arsenal. Software and hardware sensors were deployed across the attack surface allowing organizations to monitor important application, network, IoT, and cloud indicators for the first time. Furthermore, the way in which threat data was shared was continuing to change as well. While in the past, sharing of threat intelligence was limited and ad-hoc, many communities and organizations began to develop solely dedicated to sharing threat intelligence. Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) and Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) allow organizations to pool information regarding threats and collaborate on responses.

But with all this new data flowing in, a new challenge was created. How can organizations process all their threat intelligence so that critical information is identifiable, actionable, and timely? With information now pouring in from all sides – OSINT, next-gen firewalls, log monitors, dark web scanners, and SIEMs to name just a few – organizations were searching for ways to cut through the static, automate as much as possible, and identify attacks as early as possible.

One of the ways in which this was done was through next-gen intelligence software, such as Quantum Armor, which combines all your intelligence feeds (what is known as Intelligence Fusion) and correlates these against your company’s assets. Alerts are automatically prioritized by risk level and mitigation roadmaps are custom generated. Furthermore, rather than threat intelligence being used to identify and respond to specific threats, modern threat intelligence also informs long-term security strategy, decision-making, and incident response.

To learn more about how Threat Intelligence can help keep your company safe, visit us at https://silentbreach.com/qam-intelligence.php

Schedule a Quantum Armor demo and receive a free threat intelligence report (includes a Dark Web scan, key vulnerabilities, and leaked credentials).

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About Silent Breach: Silent Breach is an award-winning provider of cyber security services. Our global team provides cutting-edge insights and expertise across the Data Center, Enterprise, SME, Retail, Government, Finance, Education, Automotive, Hospitality, Healthcare and IoT industries.