What is Threat Intelligence?

Digital technology is at the core of every modern business across industries. And while the internet, cloud solutions, and advanced software yield numerous benefits – such as efficiency and scalability – they also open the door for digital risks, like cyber attacks.

Threat intelligence is the knowledge businesses have to prevent and/or mitigate the severity and frequency of cyber attacks. Threat intelligence is heavily rooted in data and proprietary algorithms, but provides simple insights that businesses can use to make informed decisions about security.

What is Threat Intelligence

Threat intelligence sifts through mounds of data and uses contextual learning and knowledge to identify problems – intuitively separating false alarms from actual threats – so that the proper solutions can be deployed to neutralize the attack.


Why Does Threat Intelligence Matter?

Threat intelligence is one component of a larger cyber security ecosystem. It’s best to think of threat intelligence as one of the foundational layers in a stack of security mechanisms and solutions. It can help:

  • Prevent sensitive data loss. Hackers don’t target businesses for fun. In most cases, they do so as a way of collecting valuable data that they can harvest, sell, and/or expose for monetary benefit. Threat intelligence plays a key role in identifying threats early on so that data breaches can be prevented.
  • Inform decision-making. A business may have the right tools, technologies, and capabilities to fight off threats, but these solutions are useless without clear direction on precisely how to proceed.
  • Prioritize threats. Depending on their size, businesses may be exposed to hundreds or thousands of cyber threats each year. Many of these threats end up posing little risk, yet they still bog the company down. Threat intelligence prioritizes and filters threats, alerting people to the ones that matter most.
  • Bridge the divide. Today’s computers and machines are incredibly sophisticated. And while they may possess more technical “knowledge” than humans, people still have more intuition. Threat intelligence helps bridge this divide and combines the best of both worlds. Computers run the analysis and identify the trends, which allow humans to work smarter (not harder).


Finding the Right Threat Intelligence Solution

The majority of businesses already have some sort of threat intelligence system in place. However, many feel like their current system is lacking in some way. If this is the case, it’s important that businesses keep their options open and continually reevaluate their stance.

When looking for a system, it’s smart to consider:

  • Customized threat management. No two threats are the same. Likewise, no two companies are the same. This creates the possibility for hundreds of thousands of unique cyber attack combinations. The right system will identify threats through the context of your business.
  • Real-time data. Yesterday’s data might be interesting to study, but it’s not going to do you any good in preventing an attack that’s already happened. You need a real-time feed of data on a minute-by-minute basis. Find a system that provides this access.
  • Supportive insights. Good threat intelligence companies will provide you with access to information and trends they’re seeing in the larger marketplace (as well as within your own industry). This arms you with the information needed to make informed and strategic decisions.
  • Actual solutions. It’s not enough for a system to identify threats. You also need a way of neutralizing these cyber attacks before they compromise your business. Look for a solution that can identify problems and offer solutions.
  • Transparency. What does your gut tell you? Look for a service that you can trust. They should be open, transparent, and honest in everything they say and do.

At the end of the day, the right system accomplishes two things: (1) it helps businesses identify threats so that they can be properly and efficiently neutralized; and (2) it provides peace of mind in the midst of a hostile cyber landscape.

If you don’t have the right solution in place, you’re missing the mark.


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