How to Choose a Threat Intelligence Provider

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Today’s cyber threats are causing more damage than ever. Cyberattacks inflicted the highest amount of monetary damage history last year, and the toll seems to be mounting this year as well. Enterprises around the world are falling victim to advanced attacks that specifically target vulnerabilities. As a result, companies implement numerous cybersecurity solutions to secure their networks.

Unfortunately, most cybersecurity platforms lack proper threat intelligence. While your typical security solution will alert you to potential vulnerabilities and tell you if data has been compromised, they tell you little the about how the threat is known to attack a system like yours.

A proactive approach to cybersecurity provides deep insights into threats that can be used throughout the incident management process to better defend and contain attacks. A threat intelligence provider helps you to understand and defend your weaknesses and to level up your cybersecurity ecosystem.

Now, many external threat intelligence providers offer services to meet the evolving needs of your organizations. It can be hard to decide which solution is right for your business, so we’ve laid out a few tips to help you find a threat intelligence provider that checks all your boxes.

Why choose a threat intelligence provider?

The number one challenge organizations face is knowing whether they have already been compromised. In 2001, cyber criminals caused $17.8 million in damage globally. Last year, the amount of monetary damage from cybercrime exceeded $4.2 billion.

Many large enterprises choose to build security solutions in-house to meet their specific business needs. Another popular approach is to layer numerous cybersecurity tools to close any gaps that could lead to a data breach. But without external threat intelligence, these tools are doomed to start from Square #1 in defending against newer threats, without the benefit of timely and rich intelligence from seasoned security players with more analysis resources and enhanced visibility on the global threat landscape.

Today’s cybercriminals are savvy. In addition to clever phishing and social engineering schemes, they are adept at taking advantage of zero-day vulnerabilities. When open-source or closed-source software releases patches and updates, anyone running the outdated versions is automatically at risk for a targeted attack.

The attack surface for organizations is vast. When cybercriminals use social engineering to trick users into interacting with malicious content, customers also take a hit. Digital thieves are increasingly impersonating popular crypto wallet services. Today’s threat actors use advanced techniques that take months of planning and information gathering on their targets before they strike. Attackers find other ways to circumvent perimeter and software defenses without being detected for months before they finally launch a devastating attack.

A browser-in-the-back attack is another up-and-coming method that fraudsters can use to phish for personal information.

Threat intelligence providers are not another cybersecurity tool. And large organizations have more to lose than money. In addition to data protection, threat intelligence is an integral part of a good reputation management strategy.

Instead of just mitigating incidents and suggesting improvements for vulnerabilities, threat intelligence providers offer enterprises meaningful insights that add value to cybersecurity teams seeking to prevent issues now and in the future.

Tips for choosing a threat intelligence provider

Now you know why threat intelligence is crucial for enterprises, but how do you choose a provider that meets your needs? Here are a few tips to help you decide:

1. Consider the variety and amount of threat data sources.

Threat intelligence should come with a variety of indicators such as files, web domains, IP addresses that are packed conveniently as APIs or feeds served from a secured threat intelligence platform. A good threat intelligence provider will collect threat information from a multitude of sources such as honeypots, active endpoints, IoT, mobile and distributed cloud resources. It’s vital to tap a wide variety of sources of data to ensure the threat intelligence provider has a broad coverage of threat indicators to integrate into your cybersecurity ecosystem.

2. Look for data processing and management capabilities.

In addition to collecting meaningful data, a threat intelligence provider should deliver instant value by codifying and contextualizing it so it can be used right away. The difference between threat intelligence and threat information is that threat information offers no context or insight while threat intelligence seeks to make sense of numerous connected data points. Look for a threat intelligence provider that uses processing features such as standardization, normalization, labeling, deduplication and categorizing.

3. Opt for enhanced analytics.

Knowing where and how your network is threatened is not enough to move forward. Threat intelligence should be enhanced with advanced threat analysis for certain attack types and potential attackers. For large enterprises and organizations that collect large amounts of personal or financial data, analysis can help safeguard assets, design effective countermeasures, and prevent targeted attacks in the future.

4. Identify providers that use automatic distribution.

Threat intelligence is no good unless it’s put to work. That’s why you should find threat intelligence providers that do more than just provide intel. Today’s enterprises need threat intelligence providers to update and distribute threat indicators automatically to limit the time frame that vulnerabilities are present. Organizations should identify providers that offer integrations for automatic remediation actions.

Bitdefender Threat Intelligence

Free is sometimes too good to be true and using several fragmented security tools can do more harm than good. When it comes to choosing an external threat intelligence provider, make sure you find one that meets your industry needs as well as the needs of your organization.

The ever-expanding cloud, IoT and 5G connections call for a better way to secure your network perimeter. Complex environments such as large enterprises and specialized industries are often riddled with vulnerabilities throughout their expansive attack surface.

In-house solutions and open-source tools can easily be circumvented by today’s experienced attackers. Cyberattacks are increasing in sophistication and inflicting greater monetary losses on businesses, and this will only get worse.

With so many variables at play and so much to lose, organizations need a threat intelligence provider to dive deep into the business ecosystem to discover existing and emerging threats, indicate vulnerabilities, and automatically orchestrate remediation protocols in the event of a cyber incident.

Supported by 20 years of experience and fed by hundreds of millions of sensors, Bitdefender’s Threat Intelligence eliminate long-standing blind spots for security operations teams. Our solutions offer insight into evasive malware, APTs, zero-days, and C&Cs that security analysts often lack visibility into.

Bitdefender’s intelligence is built from hundreds of millions of systems protected in more than 170 countries. With our Threat Intelligence solution, you can grow your customers’ trust and defend them against attacks from day one, as well as augment your existing capabilities with end-to-end visibility into complex IOCs.

Contact our consultants to learn how our solution can help your organization better defend against sophisticated attacks and become cyber resilient.