Published July 21st, 2017 by

Emerging Threat Intelligence : Tools That Affect Network Security

As threat intelligence becomes more and more important, there are a number of new tools being created that business owners need to take advantage of. These new tools will help you improve your data security, allowing you to focus more on your work and less on security. Many of these tools will also help to standardize the concept of threat intelligence and what it means. There are few standards in this area at the moment, which leads to ineffective practices and a major lack of cooperation. With new frameworks and tools, businesses will be better able to understand the dangers to their security and how to approach those dangers in the best way possible.

New Threat Intelligence Tools

There are a lot of new threat intelligence tools that have emerged in the past few years. Many of these programs can improve your security and threat intelligence standards. Here are a few of these new programs:

CyboX: This tool, which is short for Cyber Observable eXpression, is a schema created by MITRE Corp. It’s designed to capture, characterize, and share the specifications of various threat intelligence events with others. This will help organizations see exactly what kinds of threats they’re facing and where they’re coming from.
OpenIOC: The Open Indicators of Compromise or OpenIOC was created by MANDIANT Corp. This framework is designed to help businesses share threat intelligence. It’s an XML schema that identifies and describes the technical characteristics of a threat, the methodology used by that threat, and more.
STIX: Short for Structured Threat Information eXpression, STIX builds upon CoboX. This IT security intelligence tool organizes the information about a threat in a structured, standardized way. It will make it easier to understand threats, compare them, and share information.

Finding the Right Tools

While there are many different tools out there related to threat intelligence, do you need them all? While there may be many benefits from sharing information about threats using the tools above, threat intelligence is still a fairly new field. Some of these benefits haven’t actually been established yet. Many are still theoretical. Ideally, industries and government agencies will come together to fight against these threats, but in practice, that’s not always the case.

Some organizations hoard information. They don’t trust others with what they’ve gathered. They also aren’t certain if they can trust the security threat intelligence gathered by third parties. Many businesses also lack the time and resources to truly organize, analyze, and act on all the threat intelligence they receive regularly. That’s why you have to make certain what resources and manpower you do have is being used as efficiently as possible, and that means having the right tools.

When you choose effective open source and free threat intelligence tools, you make it easier for your team to battle the various threats you face on a regular basis. You may still not have the time or resources to handle all the threats that come at you or analyze all of the information at your disposal. However, you’ll most effectively be using what resources you do have, maximizing your security and knowledge about the threats you face.

Questions to Ask to Determine the Tools You Need

Determining which tools you need may seem like a challenge, but there are a few simple questions you can ask yourself and your IT team to help you narrow down the many different threat intelligence tools out there. It’s important that you do take the time to really answer these questions in as much detail as possible so that you find the right tools.

What’s Your Goal?

What do you need to accomplish? In the end, what do you want to get out of threat intelligence? Knowing your end-goal is important since it will help drive the direction you take your threat intelligence. If you want to minimize your IT risks, for example, that’s going to require different tools than if you were trying to gather as much information as possible about all of the different threats out there. If your goal is to create very specialized software that helps you gather information, you may need to look for open source tools. If that’s not a goal, commercial tools may be a better option. Know what your intent is before you start so you can make these decisions.

Do You Already Have some Useful Tools?

Take a look at the different security and network tools you already have. Do you have anything that could work with your cyber threat intelligence goals? Malware scanners, social media monitors, network analyzers, and other tools you’re already using may be able to do double duty with threat intelligence.

Do Existing Vendors Already Offer Threat Intelligence Tools?

You may already be working with a vendor that has threat intelligence built in to its various products and services. Dell and Cisco, for example, have integrated threat intelligence tools into many of the products they offer.

Who Will Be in Charge of Threat Intelligence?

Determine who is going to take ownership of your threat intelligence program. Will it be the IT department? If so, do they have the personnel to take on this additional work? If not, it’s likely that threat intelligence will not receive the attention it truly needs. Make sure your budget will allow you to truly handle threat intelligence. If not, you may need to re-evaluate your priorities.

How Will You Determine if Your Program is Successful?

Do you have any idea how you’ll measure your program’s success? If not, how will you know if what you’ve done is really working? You won’t. Make certain you have some form of measuring success before you start threat intelligence so you know if the time and resources you’ve invested actually do anything.

Once you’ve answered these questions, you should have a good idea of the type of threat intelligence tools you need to invest in. You’ll also have a better idea of the type of infrastructure you need to implement to make the most out of your threat intelligence.


Shezagary has been a Project Strategist since 2009 and also involved in the launching of startups and tech companies in New York for over 5 years. She has keen interest in writing her own experiences about business plans and upcoming business supporting technologies. She loves public speaking.

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