What is a Threat Intelligence Platform?

Threat Intelligence Platform

Integrated threat intelligence platforms interact bidirectionally with internal security systems to ingest, analyze and distribute compiled threat intelligence to the tools in real time, allowing these instruments to identify, validate and respond immediately to threats that emerge.

An effective platform provides intelligent data visualization as well as role-based access, data filtering, search, and layout customization features that support custom case-by-case analyses to reduce analyst workload.

What is a Threat Intelligence Platform?

Threat Intelligence Platforms (TIPs) are software programs designed to identify and mitigate threats against your organization. By gathering information from various sources, TIPs provide actionable threat insights that lower cybersecurity risks.

As part of its processing capabilities, this tool uses external intelligence feeds such as threat feeds to normalize and de-duplicate data before correlating threat indicators with security data from SIEM systems, log management repositories, ticketing systems and case management systems in order to provide you with context of potential threats.

Advanced TIP solutions can also assist you with automating threat response actions. For example, they can help take down malicious domains that replicate your brand, issue alerts for IP addresses associated with phishing campaigns, or block connections from suspicious hosts.

Analyst1’s tip solution can also help users collaborate effectively by sharing threat intelligence among technology vendors and Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs), with granular controls over what data is shared to preserve your rights to ownership of it.

Purpose of a Threat Intelligence Platform

Threat intelligence platforms equip security, incident response, risk management and executive teams with timely threat information that enables them to reduce time-to-detect and -respond, be more proactive and make informed decisions more quickly. A threat intelligence platform automates collection, aggregation and reconciliation of external threat data making it accessible across an organization’s existing security systems and tools for enhanced situational awareness, faster detection and response times and maximize existing investments in security technologies.

Threat intelligence platforms collect, normalize, deduplicate and analyze threat data; push finished intelligence into internal security tools and teams as needed as well as trusted external networks; share enhanced intelligence with technology vendors and Information Sharing and Analysis Centers to bolster defenses of larger communities of organizations; share intelligence enriched with technology vendors or ISACs for strengthening these defenses further; share with technology vendors or ISACs so as to strengthen them further still; share enriched intelligence with them via technology vendors or ISACs to strengthen defenses of larger communities of organizations. A comprehensive threat intelligence platform should allow tracking threats from indicators through actors and tactics as well as measuring effectiveness of prevention controls – whilst offering easy navigation with detailed granular control over when, where, when and with whom data sharing.

How Threat Intelligence Platforms Work?

An integrated threat intelligence platform aggregates and organizes threat intel from diverse sources into one manageable location for easy analysis by enterprise cybersecurity and business teams to detect known threats and prioritize incident responses.

Automating data management frees analysts up to focus more on detecting and responding to potential cyberattacks. Threat intelligence platforms collect information on attacker tradecraft, indicators of compromise (IOCs) and malware signatures so security teams have external knowledge which helps them be proactive against potential attacks.

Accumulating and organizing threat intelligence is an involved task requiring significant computational power, analyst time and resources. Automating this process saves organizations both time and money. A connected threat intelligence platform automates this process while also connecting to internal systems like SIEM systems, log management repositories, incident response solutions or ticketing systems so real-time threat information can be streamed directly for analysis and response purposes.

1. Data Collection and Aggregation

Time is of the utmost importance in cyberattack defense, and an automated threat intelligence platform can assist security teams by collecting, aggregating and reconciling external threat data so it can be used proactively to identify threats against your organization.

Threat intelligence aims to keep hackers accountable by monitoring their activity, uncovering their techniques and stopping attacks before they happen. To do this effectively requires constant vigilance against any new attack landscape that emerges; for this task, threat intelligence platforms ingest OSINT data as well as internal telemetry data from systems before normalizing, de-duplicating, enriching and normalizing them so as to be useful to your team.

Threat intelligence platforms provide a platform that unifies all your existing toolsets by sharing and integrating bidirectionally, shortening time to detection and response while eliminating silos within SecOps tools.

2. Normalization and Deduplication

Instead of replacing existing security tools, a threat intelligence platform enhances their performance by quickly providing enhanced information delivery. This enables analysts to respond faster and more accurately when confronted with threats based on indicators of compromise or activity observed across security infrastructures.

TIPs also assist security teams by automating workflows and responses for newly identified threats, freeing them up from time-consuming mundane tasks while enabling them to focus their analysis efforts on high impact threats that require further manual examination according to their threat intelligence framework.

Threat Intelligence platforms are an invaluable asset to organizations looking to reduce cybersecurity attacks by collecting, curating, correlating and visually representing information on threats, attacks and vulnerabilities to inform IT teams of potential risks. To be truly effective a threat intelligence platform must connect to IT endpoints and security systems so it can monitor cyberspace effectively while filtering internal and global data to surface potential threats for review by security teams. Furthermore, an effective threat intelligence platform should support both standard integrations as well as custom integrations for seamless deployment within security infrastructure environments.

3. Processing

TIPs collect data from various sources, such as intelligence reports, security researchers’ blogs, government agencies and social media. Once gathered, this data is then analyzed, filtered and organized – eliminating irrelevant or duplicated content and searching for patterns – making the TIP invaluable to organizations by helping identify threats and automate actions to stop them.

An effective threat intelligence platform should help you to display results in intuitive and easy-to-read formats, like maps, trend graphs and tables. Furthermore, such an advanced platform will support role-based access, data filtering/search and layout customization among many other features.

TIP allows you to easily and automatically export analyzed and prioritized intelligence into internal security tools, teams and stakeholders on an automatic basis. It provides real-time intelligence feeds into SIEM, Security Operations Center (SOC), Managed Detection Response Solution (MDR), or any other security systems on your internal network – also sharing intelligence between tools for more effective collaboration in real time against threats.

4. Integration

Your chosen threat intelligence system must integrate seamlessly with the IT systems and tools in your environment via flexible application programming interfaces (APIs). Ideally, bidirectionality will occur, with IT systems providing internal data directly into the platform while real-time feeds from it reach security operations centers in real time.

Integrated threat intelligence provides contextual awareness that reduces both alert volume and response times. An ideal platform also includes automated alerts for specific threats or attacks as well as integration into incident management systems for automated remediation processes.

An effective threat intelligence solution should also include built-in analysis tools, so you can leverage information directly in your tools rather than having to pull it out and analyze it externally. This can be especially helpful for organizations with distributed teams; IBM’s X-Force Exchange threat intelligence cloud platform combines an Intelligence Graph repository with dynamic intelligence feed and provides search dimensions that filter out irrelevant data.

5. Analysis

TIPs employ big data technologies to transform data streams from various formats and sources into an organized, deduplicated dataset for analysis and correlation; then extract threat intelligence relevant for an organization. Once completed, this intelligence is then pushed through internal security systems like SIEMs, endpoint security solutions and firewalls in order to automate detection and response, reduce mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR), as well as shorten the timeline from attack discovery through implementation of mitigation techniques.

Threat intelligence platforms monitor hacker behavior to detect attacks that would otherwise go undetected. Hackers are motivated by potential financial gains from data breaches; by monitoring hacker activities, threat intelligence platforms can identify new exploits and indicators of compromise (IOCs) to halt breaches before they cause lasting damage.

Features of a Threat Intelligence Platform

Threat intelligence platforms simplify cyber threat management by consolidating, standardizing and enriching external data to provide actionable threat intelligence to security teams – helping them work smarter instead of harder while improving detection and response times.

TIP automates the collection, cleaning and organizing of data from different sources before providing it to internal security systems such as SIEM, SOAR or endpoint solutions.

1. Multi-Source Intelligence

Threat intelligence platforms enable your security team to quickly access and use relevant data from multiple sources. By compiling information in different formats and languages into actionable insights, a threat intelligence platform provides your security team with access to actionable threats across a broad spectrum. Ideally, TIP solutions automate this process so you receive one cohesive view.

Information can come from many external sources, such as commercial feeds, open source intelligence (OSINT), dark web searches and ISAC/ISAO hubs and peer organizations; as well as internal telemetry tools like SIEM systems and log management systems. A connected TIP can add extra context with OSINT tools and combine this data with existing telemetry for a comprehensive picture of which threats are targeting your organization.

These actionable information packages can then be distributed to different teams and stakeholders according to their specific needs, for instance a detailed report on an individual threat actor might go directly to security engineers for analysis while executives will likely prefer higher-level reports that highlight cyber risks.

2. Data Analytics

Every organization must have the ability to recognize and respond quickly to potential cyber threats. Cyber threat actors are constantly developing new tools that could breach your defenses, steal data or cause other adverse impacts – early identification and disruption using external intelligence can reduce their impact and help ensure continuity in operations.

Utilizing a threat intelligence platform that ingests, normalizes, de-duplicates and analyzes raw data can make finding the needle in the haystack easier. Prioritizing and filtering alerts by their value can reduce noise while shortening processing times and mitigating risk due to other work or fatigue affecting security teams.

Threat intelligence platforms connect to various threat feeds that regularly provide updates about cyber threats, attacks and indicators of compromise. When alerted, this data can then be fed into internal security tools for rapid detection and response – significantly decreasing MTTD/MTTR times so your team is proactive against potential attackers.

3. Solution Integration

Threat intelligence platforms offer vital data that enables organizations to better respond to new threats, while protecting systems from cyberattacks. A threat intelligence platform serves as an integral component in many security operations centers (SOCs) and IT teams, offering technical details on potential attacks, as well as how best to respond and deal with them.

Threat indicators come in many shapes and forms, from IP addresses and domain names, URLs, MD5/SHA hash values, code snippets or text. Manually sorting through and analyzing this information requires considerable computational exertion, time and money – an automated TIP solution automates much of this process, freeing security analysts up for more in-depth analysis.

Threat intelligence platforms integrate seamlessly with existing cybersecurity infrastructure such as SIEM, firewalls and endpoint security solutions to push threat indicators (IOCs) directly into these systems in order to detect possible cyberthreats before they even start; enabling you to thwart cyberattacks before they even occur instead of needing to clean up afterward.

Who Uses a Threat Intelligence & Research?

Security professionals need to remain aware of how the threat landscape evolves in order to safeguard their organizations and prevent attacks. Threat intelligence enables this by offering visibility into threats facing both the general marketplace and specific businesses in terms of size and industry.

Utilizing a threat intelligence platform to collect and manage this data helps minimize manual labor required to assemble and analyze it, freeing analysts to focus on assessing cyber attacks instead. Furthermore, good platforms facilitate communication with non-technical business leaders such as board members and CEOs about any threats impacting their organization.

Threat intelligence platforms integrate external data sources from different formats – open source information, security forums, government agencies and existing vendor solutions – into one manageable location. They then correlate internal security data from solutions such as SIEM systems, log management repositories, ticketing systems and case management systems with this external data to identify indicators, adversaries and their methods; then deliver this in an easy-to-use format to empower stakeholders to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions.

1. Security Operations Center SOC

SOCs use threat intelligence to mitigate risk by identifying and addressing vulnerabilities. This includes locating, rectifying and updating applications, security policies, processes tools and incident response plans as well as conducting regular testing to detect new threats or hacker techniques.

SOC personnel are skilled security analysts who utilize forensic and telemetry data to detect vulnerabilities within an organization’s infrastructure. This may involve reviewing logs from network devices, endpoints and security systems as well as the impact of any breaches to analyze what information might have been taken and evaluate potential ramifications from potential breaches; reviewing such things as business operations records, financial documents or customer details might all play a part.

SOCs can easily become overwhelmed by alert fatigue and noise, but threat intelligence platforms provide relief by aggregating, normalizing, and contextualizing external intelligence into actionable insights. A mature platform will also streamline response processing with built-in workflows – speeding up MTTR/MTTI rates while alleviating analyst burnout and decreasing time spent on mundane tasks. Furthermore, user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) that goes beyond correlation rules can improve visibility and threat detection as it decreases false positives by providing actionable intelligence insights into actionable intelligence insights that leads to actionable insights.

2. Security Analyst

Threat intelligence platforms integrate data from various detection and monitoring tools in real time, streamlining detection and response efforts for improved effectiveness. By doing so, threat intelligence platforms reduce security operations center complexity while speeding detection and response efforts.

Threat Intelligence Platforms (TIPs), unlike traditional SIEM systems and threat feeds that focus solely on alerts, can automatically collect and analyze data to prioritize threats and create action plans for cybersecurity teams to follow – providing organizations with valuable capabilities that allow them to strengthen their cyber defenses.

Mature TIP deployments foster collaboration among both internal and external stakeholders by enabling users to share threat intelligence directly via the platform. They also feature built-in workflows and processes that expedite response processing, freeing analysts up for more strategic analysis and mitigation planning activities. A connected threat intelligence platform correlates and deduplicates indicators of compromise to uncover adversary tactics and attacker motivations; alerts or reports can then be provided based on role and need.

3. Incident Response Team IRT

Threat Intelligence platforms are key components of security solutions. By collecting threat data from various external sources and organizing it into formats that can easily be digested by humans or machines, a threat intelligence platform allows analysts to spend more time identifying threats than collecting and organizing their own.

TIPs also work behind the scenes to integrate with internal tools, like SIEM and log management solutions, by pushing indicators directly to them and helping detect, prioritize and respond quickly to high-risk incidents.

Security orchestration and response (SOAR) integrates threat intelligence from outside sources with information on attackers, targets, and their methods to provide security teams with answers to all their incident-related “Who, What, When, Where, Why and How” queries. In addition, SOAR automates lower risk tasks such as performing vulnerability scans or alerting human analysts of high risk threats for further investigation – this function can often be found under other names as well.

Final Thoughts

While anti-virus software focuses mainly on protecting files and eliminating malware, threat intelligence software covers an entire attack surface to detect threats before they have even reached your system. While standalone systems collect terabytes of data that requires security analysts to categorize manually, connected TIP automatically enriches threat indicators and artifacts with context using open source intelligence sources like Shodan, Whois and VirusTotal as well as internal tools designed to eliminate noise, reduce false positives and trigger actionable alerts.

TIPs also allow SOC teams to easily operationalize threat information via integrations with internal tools for detection, investigation and response – such as SIEMs, firewalls, IDS/IPS systems and endpoint protection solutions – such as SIEMs. Recorded Future users typically resolve incidents 63% faster by eliminating manual triage and cutting response hours by 50% on average.

An integrated TIP will also facilitate collaboration across cybersecurity teams by serving as a single incident situation room, which allows security analysts to analyze threats near real time and prioritize those that require immediate attention from others.

Sam is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.