Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) and Cyber Incident Response (CIR) are two diverse concepts of dealing with Cyber-attacks. The CIR is a post-incident approach of handling Cyber breaches. More information about Cyber incident response strategies and industry-leading CIR certifications can be found here. In this tutorial, we are going to explain Cyber Threat Intelligence, types, strategies, and Cyber Threat Intelligence training and certifications.
WHAT is CYBER THREAT INTELLIGENCE?
Cyber Threat Intelligence is the user knowledge about Cyber threats that can harm data, applications, machines, or computer networks through Cyber-attacks. The threats are usually related to humans with bad intentions. The main objective of Cyber Threat Intelligence is to prevent Cyber-attacks by identifying the adversaries, understanding the capabilities, and deducing the motives through available information. This information is gathered through different tools and techniques in order to prevent or mitigate cyber risks.
CYBER THREAT INTELLIGENCE ACTION PLAN
Unlike Cyber Incident Response, The CTI requires predictive and advanced level information about the existing and emerging cyber threats. The information is transformed into valuable intelligence that can help organizations in making timely and effective decisions to coup with the potential Cyber risks. Although organizations can have their own Threat Intelligence mechanism, the following transformation strategy is a general rule of thumb behind many existing CTI approaches.
1] DEFINE CTI OBJECTIVES:
The challenging part of CTI is gathering the most relevant and meaningful information about the potential Cyber threat and adversaries. In order to be specific and stay relevant, it is crucial to define the objectives of Cyber Threat Intelligence before gathering the information.
2] INFORMATION COLLECTION AND PROCESSING
CTI goals help in gathering relevant information in a timely manner. There can be a number of resources to collect information about adversaries’ capabilities and plans. Since different tools are used for collecting the information, there are always chances of data overlap. Therefore, it is important to refine the data by discarding duplicate information. Data gathered through different tools and resources may have different formats too. Variable data is converted into a format that is supported by the next CTI phase.
3] DATA ANALYTICS
Once the required information in the desired format is gathered, it is time to process the information to produce the analytical results. The main objective of data analysis is to infer the likelihood of Cyber-attacks and their impact. The evaluation and analysis of the processed information highly dependent upon the quality of information being processed and the interpretation capabilities of the data analyst.
4] CTI DELIVERY
Based on the analytical results, it is time to produce the final technical reports, briefings, or any other deliverable product that can help organizations to take necessary actions to counter the Cyber-threats.
THREAT INTELLIGENCE TYPES
Cyber Threat Intelligence is generally divided into the following four types.
- Operational Threat Intelligence
- Strategic Threat Intelligence
- Technical Threat Intelligence
- Tactical Threat Intelligence
1] OPERATIONAL THREAT INTELLIGENCE
Operational threat intelligence is somewhat similar to the Forensics and incident response team approach to finding threat actors in a working environment. In operational threat intelligence, security experts gather information about attackers, vectors, methodologies, and different malicious activities that can lead to a successful security breach.>/p>
2] STRATEGIC THREAT INTELLIGENCE
Strategic threat intelligence provides a broader picture of the threat landscape of an organization. It is not concerned about specific attacks, actors, or threats; it involves executive-level decision-makers to plan long-term defense strategies based on findings and reports presented by the security analysts.
3] TECHNICAL THREAT INTELLIGENCE
Technical threat intelligence consists of technical information that acts as a reference point (clue) for investigation. The examples include rogue IPs, malware, malicious links, suspicious emails, etc. Technical threat intelligence has a short span due to the changing behavior of adversaries and the short life span of the indicators of Compromise (IoC) like IP addresses and malicious links.
4] TACTICAL THREAT INTELLIGENCE
Tactical threat intelligence focuses on possible Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP’s) followed by adversaries to compromise a network. Tactical threat intelligence helps security personnel adopt specific defensive strategies based on the TTP’s found during tactical threat intelligence.
THREAT INTELLIGENCE CERTIFICATIONS
Almost all types of Cyber Threat Intelligence require strong domain knowledge and practical skills to carry out threat intelligence operations. The industry-leading certification bodies including EC-Council and GIAC offer the following CTI related training and certification that can help individuals in polishing their CTI skills and proving the ability to work in challenging CTI domain.
CERTIFIED THREAT INTELLIGENCE ANALYST (CTIA) TRAINING BY EC-COUNCIL
CTIA is a specialist level CTI training by EC-Council that is designed to teach people how to transform unknown vulnerabilities into known Cyber threats. CTIA is a specially designed program for those who deal with Cyber threats on a daily basis. CTIA holders have a great reputation to deal with known and unknown cyber threats.
- To enhance the predictive capabilities of individuals to identify potential threats.
- To make individuals capable of developing professional threat intelligence programs.
- To enable organizations with the ability to design and run a CTI