3 Threat Intelligence Benefits That Are Important for Business

Digital technologies have transformed the face of the business landscape—but they also come with a dark side. Malicious actors take advantage of security flaws to infiltrate company networks and endpoints, using these intrusions to conduct data breaches or to perform surveillance undetected.

Cyber attacks are one of the biggest threats to businesses, and companies need to leverage a powerful threat intelligence platform that will gather information about new and existing risks and dangers. So what is threat intelligence exactly, and what are the most important threat intelligence benefits? Below, we’ll answer all of these questions and more.

What is threat intelligence?

Threat intelligence is the use of data to make informed decisions about threats and dangers to an individual or organization. In the context of the cyber security threat landscape, threat intelligence refers to raw data (such as IP addresses, network accesses, software application activity, etc.) that helps organizations assess their level of threat from malicious cyber attackers.

The IT research and advisory firm Gartner defines threat intelligence as “evidence-based knowledge, including context, mechanisms, indicators, implications and actionable advice, about an existing or emerging menace or hazard to assets.” Having this information at hand helps businesses make smarter security decisions and enact robust security solutions that keep them protected now and into the future.

Practically, threat intelligence is implemented using many different IT security applications and platforms. These may include MDR or XDR software, network discovery tools, as well as XDR or SIEM systems that capture network and log data.

What types of threat intelligence are there?

Not all threat intelligence is created equal. There are three main cyber threat intelligence types:

  • Tactical threat intelligence is the most technical, and most short-term, type of threat intelligence. It focuses on specific anomalies and indicators of compromise (IoC) that often reveal an attack has occurred (or is in progress), such as malicious IP addresses or domains. Tactical data is frequently displayed in a threat intelligence feed in real-time, and its analysis can easily be automated.
  • Operational threat intelligence takes a more high-level and more long-term view of cyber threats. This data often pertains to the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of a specific threat actor. Operational threat intelligence attempts to answer questions such as “who” is responsible for an attack, “why” the entity is attacking, and “how” the attack is performed.
  • Strategic threat intelligence is the most abstract and high-level form of threat intelligence. It looks at how trends, events, and even geopolitical conditions can influence the cyber security threat landscape.

Why do we need threat intelligence?

There are several types of threat intelligence, but why do we need to have threat information in the first place? The reasons and use cases for using threat intelligence include:

  • Risk analysis and management: Threat intelligence helps organizations identify the hazards and security vulnerabilities that are most dangerous to them, so that they can prioritize actions to take and make smarter judgments and decisions.
  • Security operations: With threat intelligence solutions, security operations teams can triage alerts based on their priority, using knowledge that has previously been collected about your IT environment.
  • Incident response: Threat intelligence helps you filter out false positives while enriching your notifications and alerts with valuable data and context, so that security teams can respond to threats faster and more effectively.

What are the benefits of threat intelligence?

The benefits of cyber threat intelligence include:

  • Lower risks: Most obviously, a properly implemented threat intelligence program will help lower your risk of suffering a data breach, ransomware, or other cyber attack.
  • Proactiveness: Unlike other cyber security techniques focused on responding after an attack, proactively collecting threat intelligence will help you detect attacks before and while they occur.
  • Cost-efficiency: With the average cost of a data breach now in the millions of dollars, the money you spend on threat intelligence is well worth the investment—and could even save your business from bankruptcy.

How to get started with threat intelligence

Looking to get started with threat intelligence, but don’t have an in-house cyber security team? There’s no shortage of threat intelligence platforms on the market for you to implement. However, technology alone is a weak defense against cyber threats. To get the most out of your IT security software, you’ll need a skilled team of cyber security professionals.

Unfortunately, many businesses lack the in-house knowledge or budget to maintain their own security team. That’s why there are cyber security managed services partners who can help you implement threat intelligence platforms and offer a variety of advanced IT security services.

UncommonX is an IT-managed detection and response provider that helps businesses perform cyber risk management and protect themselves against cyber threat actors. Our BOSS XDR platform offers incisive cyber security data and insights to help with everything from protecting against threats to responding and recovering after a security incident.

Looking for the right threat intelligence solution? We can help. Contact our team of cyber security experts today to discuss your business situation, receive a security assessment, or schedule a demo of the BOSS XDR platform.

About the Author

At the center of our U.S.-based Security Operations Center (SOC) is a distinctly skilled team of security architects, engineers, analysts, and data scientists. Each is an expert in their respective field and dedicated to protecting our customers 24/7.