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Posted by Rick Holland on October 30, 2013
The hype surrounding threat intelligence has continued to build since I wrote the blog "My Threat Intel Can Beat Up Your Threat Intel” in mid-2012. S&R pros are responding to both the hope and promise of threat intelligence. According to our Forrsights survey data, 75% of security decision-makers report that establishing or improving threat intelligence capabilities is a top priority for their organization.
One of the most significant challenges in leveraging threat intelligence is operationalizing it. Today, there are two broad categories of organizations that leverage threat intelligence. I’ll use an analogy to describe them. The US television show “Sons of Anarchy” follows the lives of an outlaw motorcycle club. The Sons of Anarchy refer to themselves as “1%ers”: They have the power, resources, and means to accomplish anything they desire. This is in contrast with the 99% who are merely motorcycle enthusiasts without these capabilities. Some of these early adopters include financial services, technology, and manufacturing companies.
The 99%ers, on the other hand, are challenged by a lack of staff, skill sets, and budget. Many of the 99%ers don’t even have an incident response capability. The exact percentages obviously differ in reality, but we certainly have a “haves” versus “have-nots” situation, and the way these two groups operate is vastly different. It is important to not make the assumption that the 1%ers have solved the threat intelligence problem. Operationalizing intelligence is a problem for both 1%ers and 99%ers alike, but the 1%ers have more resources at their disposal to address the challenges. For threat intelligence to be effective, S&R pros must be able to:
I wrap up the research discussing how you must fuse internally derived intelligence with relevant external intelligence to truly understand the risks to your organization. One is greatly diminished without the other. I also reiterate that we don't perform intelligence for the sake of intelligence; it must support the achievement of business outcomes. Your defensive posture should be adjusted based on this business context. I hope you enjoy the research and I welcome any feedback. Stay tuned for more research on the intelligence space.
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