Cyberthreat intelligence analysis services provide benefits to any company that relies on IT security infrastructure for its operations. After all, cyberthreats are continuously evolving and malicious agents are always seeking to catch companies off guard. By partnering with a managed security services provider (MSSP) that offers threat intelligence services, you can keep up-to-date on the latest intrusion methods, monitor and evaluate your own security, and conduct analysis following a breach.
What are Threat Intelligence Analysis Services?
MSSPs offer threat intelligence analysis as a service to their partner organizations to bolster their IT security via education, monitoring, and investigation. Threat intelligence analysis services include:
- Data collection and assessment used to minimize potential cybersecurity threats and vulnerabilities
- Education to update organizations on known malware, viruses, and exploits that malicious agents commonly utilize to gain entry into networks
- Forensic cybersecurity analysis to identify data breaches, how an intruder gained access, and what occurred during the breach
While most organizations will enhance their cybersecurity with threat intelligence analysis, those subject to industry regulations that require strict protections for sensitive data may view it as a necessity.
Cyberthreat Intelligence Evolves Alongside IT Developments
Traditional notions of cybersecurity revolve around a perimeter or the “firewall.” While your firewall protections remain an essential component to your overall cybersecurity, how users, networks, systems, applications, and data interact with each other has fundamentally changed. Today, these different entities and elements continually exchange data, whereas various IT environments once operated in isolation.
While information technology developments—such as cloud computing—create new opportunities and efficiencies, cybercriminals will seek to exploit potential vulnerabilities before protections and common user knowledge minimize them. Cyberthreat intelligence keeps pace with cybercriminals, and companies that leverage this analysis can better protect themselves as information technology continually evolves.
You can think of your security infrastructure as a walled city opening itself to others around it and needing to adapt security accordingly. Without knowing what cybercriminal methods to expect, you can’t prepare for the threats they pose to your now-open city.
Protecting Your Open City—A Cyberthreat Intelligence Analogy
Consider your network as a medieval city protected by a strong wall surrounding its perimeter. Your city will benefit from ending its isolation and engaging in information, economic, and cultural exchanges with those around it. Doing so, however, also creates the risk that criminals and other malicious intruders will be able to bypass your perimeter more easily.
In conjunction with your exterior protections, you need to monitor your security efforts for vulnerabilities and interior activity for potential threats in disguise. This proves to be a difficult challenge without knowing the methods criminals employ to breach your walls and hide among the citizens.
To bolster your protections, you hire experienced professionals (i.e., an MSSP) to evaluate your wall’s construction, improve the screening processes visitors must pass before entering, and inform you of the latest methods criminals use. This is the basis for cyberthreat intelligence analysis. The team relies on its knowledge gathered from working with various cities experiencing the same challenges to help ensure your safety.
Cyberthreat Intelligence Analysis—Proactive and Reactive
Cyberthreat intelligence adds a proactive element to IT security. Of course, you still require robust firewalls and a quick response to address any attacks, but utilizing expert knowledge allows you to update your security, procedures, and policies to minimize vulnerabilities.
If a company within your industry experiences a cyberbreach, receiving incident analysis lets you anticipate how cybercriminals might attack yours. Organizations that leverage cyberthreat intelligence stay up-to-date on the interactions others have with cybercriminals.
Compliance and the Need for Cyberthreat Intelligence Services
All companies that suffer from a data breach experience some reputational losses. However, organizations subject to various industry regulations that necessitate data security likely consider cyberthreat intelligence services a much higher priority, as there are also significant financial penalties resulting from regulatory non-compliance and having sensitive data exposed.
For example, any organization that handles individuals’ health information must protect it according to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This data is referred to as protected health information (PHI). HIPAA requires that companies secure PHI accordingly:
- Ensure confidentiality, availability, and integrity for all PHI that an organization or professional handles
- Anticipate, identify, and protect against threats to PHI
- Prevent procedural HIPAA violations (e.g., improper PHI disclosures)
- Ensure employees comply with the regulation
Failing to comply with these regulatory requirements may result in financial or criminal penalties, depending on the scope of non-compliance.
Organizations can employ cyberthreat intelligence services to anticipate where IT security, procedures, and processes may result in compliance violations and preemptively correct them. Companies can also perform active compliance monitoring—which may also help mitigate penalties should a data breach occur.
Penetration Testing—One Cyberthreat Intelligence Method
One method MSSPs use to provide organizations with cyberthreat intelligence is penetration testing (pen-testing). This service simulates an active cyberthreat to determine any IT security vulnerabilities. Pen-testing may focus exclusively on your firewall and perimeter protections, or it may evaluate the response to a malicious agent who has already gained access to your network and systems.
Penetration testing relies upon the concept of “ethical hacking,” meaning the system or network in question is “hacked” in a controlled manner to understand where there are security gaps. Once these gaps are identified, the MSSP analyzes your system’s response to the cyberattack and then suggests methods of improvement.
Information Sharing—Open Source Cyberthreat Intelligence
The IT security community spreads information about how to protect yourself from cyberthreats. Open source threat intelligence serves as a centralizing hub for the latest cybercriminal information and response tactics. Various open source platforms will aggregate security information and help your organization keep up with the latest protections.
However, one drawback to open source cyberthreat intelligence is that the information is based on public knowledge. Organizations that suffer a data breach incident may choose to limit knowledge about the incident in their efforts to mitigate reputational losses. Additionally, exclusive reliance on open source information likely requires that you hire an in-house professional who must stay on top of the latest threats.
MSSP—Cyberthreat Intelligence Specialists
MSSPs providing cyberthreat intelligence services work with companies on their security efforts daily. As a result, they have first-hand knowledge regarding the IT security, procedures, and policies that organizations commonly utilize. They also have the pen-testing experience to assess protections accurately, simulate an attack, and offer recommendations for improvement.
Should your company suffer a data breach, a cyberthreat intelligence specialist can conduct a forensic analysis to determine how it occurred, the intruder’s activity, and how to prevent a recurrence.
RSI Security and Cyberthreat Intelligence Analysis Services
To stay up-to-date on the latest cybercriminal methods, your company needs cyberthreat intelligence services. With these services, you can stay informed of potential threats and then pit your cyberdefenses against them using penetrating testing methods. Should any gaps be identified, you can patch these vulnerabilities before a cybercriminal even attempts a breach.
As a managed security services provider, RSI Security offers these cybersecurity services alongside extensive compliance advisory services for federal and industry regulations. If your organization needs to implement controls and frameworks for adherence or report on your measures, RSI Security has the expertise to help you demonstrate compliance with the fewest headaches. To get started, contact RSI Security today!