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Posted by Rick Holland on February 11, 2014
We are now less than two weeks away from our annual sojourn to the RSA security conference. RSAC is a great time for learning, meeting and making friends. (Please hold cynical remarks; RSAC is what you make of it.) As the date grows near and my excitement grows, I am preparing my mind and patience for the ubiquitous silver bullet marketing that is predestined to appear.
One of these silver bullets will be the term "actionable intelligence." You will be surrounded by actionable intelligence. You will bask in the glory of actionable intelligence. In fact, the Moscone expo floor will have so much actionable intelligence per capita you will leave the conference feeling like the threat landscape challenge has been solved. Achievement unlocked, check that off the list. Woot!
Well not so fast. I frequently talk to vendors that espouse the greatness of their actionable intelligence. Whenever I hear the term actionable intelligence I want to introduce them to Terry Tate, Office Linebacker. Terry Tate first appeared in a 2003 Reebok Super Bowl commercial.
The SANS Institute was gracious enough to invite me back to speak at their annual Cyber Threat Intelligence Summit. On Monday, I presented a “Threat Intelligence Buyer’s Guide” to the attendees, and the topic of actionable intelligence was a key component. Some of you may know that I come from both a higher education incident response and military intelligence background. Now I am far removed from each discipline, but I do draw on my experiences when I discuss threat intelligence. In, “Five Steps To Build An Effective Threat Intelligence Capability,” we referenced the Army FM2-0 document. This document contain qualities of good intelligence. Building upon that, when I think about actionable intelligence, here are the characteristics I expect to see:
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