Organizations often miss out on their own internal data when they’re trying to gain insights into cyber threats. They only make use of the threat intelligence that’s collected from external sources. They don’t realize the significance of their organization’s historical data, such as incident reports, network logs, and suspicious emails. All of the data captured over a period of time reveals patterns and insights unique to an organization. Internal threat intelligence is imperative but often ignored by most security teams.
What is Internal Threat Intelligence?
Internal cyber threat intelligence gives deeper insights to what’s happening within an organization. It focuses on discoveries about an incident, malware samples, or other suspicious activities taking place in the internal network. This type of intelligence helps in detecting cyber threats that may lurk in an organization’s network and focusing on identifying cybercriminals, events, and vulnerabilities that could lead to major cyber incidents.
Security teams can gain a better understanding of the complex threat landscape impacting their organizations by using intelligence generated from internally-deployed tools, such as SIEMs, EDR/NDR, asset management tools, UEBA, etc. They can monitor these tools for cyber threats, fraud, performance issues, and security breaches. By monitoring these systems for cyber threats early on and identifying the loopholes, security teams can prevent illicit activity from occurring in the first place. This helps them identify who to alert and what to look for.
Why do Organizations Ignore it?
In many security teams, there is a tendency to overlook the value of their own internal cyber threat intelligence data. This is because most of the existing threat intelligence solutions focus on collecting external threat intelligence, which can be useful but should not be the only source for real-time actionable intelligence.
Furthermore, the deployment of security controls, firewalls, intrusion detection systems (IDS), intrusion prevention systems (IPS), etc. is ineffectual if the threat intelligence generated by these solutions is ignored. Organizations of all sizes are constantly attacked because they make the same mistake: they try to protect themselves with the tools they have at their disposal but fail to use their own historical data as part of that protection strategy.
Many companies are understaffed and have few employees trained in threat intelligence analysis. This can lead to missed opportunities for attacks on an organization’s infrastructure or other critical assets.
They also rely on legacy tools, which should be replaced with modern threat intelligence platforms that can help them gain access to all available threat intelligence across their organization, and also making it available to decision makers and security teams.
Weak Understanding of Internal Threat Intelligence
There is a lack of understanding about internal threat intelligence among organizations because there is no dedicated team that gathers, analyzes, and shares the data with the right people at the right time. Additionally, they do not have access to relevant data sources and tools that can help with the analysis process, including those that are available externally.
Inability to Connect the Dots
A challenge faced by many organizations is how to connect the dots between disparate pieces of threat intelligence. Many security teams don’t have the tools or processes necessary to pull threat intel from their networks, which makes it difficult for them to interpret this data and provide actionable information during incident response. There are some processes security teams use to pull threat intel from their network, but unless they create relationships between these pieces of information, there will always be missing key pieces of information about threats that are targeting their environment.
Internal threat intelligence is becoming an essential component of modern-day security operations. Therefore, organizations must focus on harnessing internal threat intelligence to evaluate the complex threat landscape, enable incident response, and design effective countermeasures.