Threat Intelligence: Security Beyond Vulnerability Scanners
With the ongoing threat against our online data, organizations scramble daily to protect themselves. When it comes to vulnerability management, sadly, most organizations rely on vulnerability scanners. They fix as many issues revealed as they can following these scans, then run additional scans to ensure the issues are all dealt with. If they do this, they’re covered, right?
Vulnerability Scanners Aren’t Enough
While vulnerability scanners are valuable and manageable by most businesses, they aren’t foolproof and come with additional issues for those who use them.
Overkill: Some vulnerability scanners are so sophisticated that they can find scores of weaknesses in a given organization’s system. The problem is, often scanners don’t prioritize the threats nor advise which pose the biggest immediate problems. Users are left to do their best with the data they’re given.
Not the Complete Picture: National Vulnerability Database only
Not the Complete Picture: According to the National Vulnerability Database, up to 75 percent of all vulnerabilities actually show up an average of 7 days before being identified by the NVD. The threats have to be identified and then programmed into the vulnerability scanners before they can ever identify them. So using only the vulnerability scanners leaves the organization open to new threats for a period of time.
What Are You Dealing With Exactly? Vulnerability scanners are good at identifying any number of threats. Most don’t, however, help the end user understand what exactly the threat is, how likely it is to be exploited, and how it should best be handled.
Where Threat Intelligence Comes In
Following this line of thought, an organization might be asking what could be used instead of the vulnerability scanners. The better question would be: What can we use in addition to the vulnerability scanners to provide the best protection possible for our data?
Threat intelligence gives context to those scan results to an organization’s security team can prioritize and effectively deal with any weaknesses. It also helps them to determine what current weaknesses are out there, which are currently being exploited, and what, if any, impact it would have on their organization.
Good threat intelligence also offers updates from an all-inclusive group of sources, taking into account any time lag between the emergence of new threats and their inclusion on any security management tools. With this type of information, security teams can make educated choices on which weakness to address when and assign levels of urgency.
Threat Intelligence Platforms
All of this considered, many organizations are implementing threat intelligence platforms (TIP), deployed as Saas or as on-premise solutions to aid in the management of cyber threat Intel and all connected articles, bulletins, campaigns, events, signatures, and TTPs.
A successful threat intelligence platform must be able to compile a collection of current intelligence from a wide range of sources to help in assigning severity levels to current vulnerabilities. They assist with integrations into existing security systems and with the analysis and sharing of threat information.
Threat Intelligence Services
Quality threat intelligence services analyze, collect, and sort current information about recent threats to get usable, timely information to organizations as data feeds and reports assembled for security management systems. They help by putting threats into context so they can be understood and guarded against in today’s constantly shifting threat landscape.
These services will aid with advanced persistent threats (APTs), botnets, exploits, phishing, and zero-day vulnerabilities, along with the usual Trojans, viruses, worms, and other security risks.
Threat Intelligence Implementation
Organizations today need to successfully integrate threat intelligence with their security management systems to combat the minefield of cyber threats we face today. With the right platform or services, organizations should be able to stay well informed on current and emerging threats, be able to analyze situations when encountered, and effectively implement a plan of action to ensure that the unthinkable doesn’t happen within their organization.