Threat intelligence is the key to protecting government agencies from cyberattacks. After all, how else can agencies effectively prevent, defend against, and react to threats they don’t know about? The challenge is sorting through the tidal wave of available data for relevant and critical insights.
The sheer amount of data can be overwhelming, but it’s also a boon to government agencies that have some way to organize it. The same technologies that led to the flood of data can also make it manageable through the integration of threat intelligence software.
From Playing Catch-Up to Getting Ahead
Analysts at government agencies struggle to identify new threats. Between a constant flow of false alarms and known threats, they’re left with little time to investigate emerging threats. Simply put, their resources are stretched thin, leading to greater risks of a breach.
Recently, we published a report on how hackers are counterfeiting digital certificates as a way to disguise malware as legitimate software. With valid code signing certificates, the fraudulent files slip unnoticed past a large majority of antivirus and system protection mechanisms. One example demonstrated that a piece of malware with a doctored certificate fooled 63 out of 65 products tested, a startling finding for security operations center teams everywhere.
To combat ever more sophisticated attacks like these, government agencies have a powerful tool available to them in the form of threat intelligence software.
The purpose of threat intelligence software is to complement agency risk management strategies. It does this by gathering and sifting through streams of data for potential threats, including data from open, technical, and dark web sources on emerging threats.
Based on various factors, threat intelligence software can then automatically assign a risk score to flagged events based on various factors, including analyses of what programs and hardware are most vulnerable within the agency and historical data on past events, helping to distinguish between false positives and true threats.
These risk scores allow human security teams to prioritize their responses. In short, threat intelligence software helps human teams manage a seemingly impossible flood of data, and more critically, transforms the data into actionable insights.
React Even Faster With Machine Learning
The future of threat intelligence software is tied to the evolution of machine learning. The technology is already helping sort through the tide of potential false positives to help steer human analysts toward the real concerns.
Machine learning means that the software is constantly adapting to new and emerging threats. It not only provides context on threats from outside intelligence sources across the web, but also produces a list of different networks, servers, and machines that have vulnerabilities to each particular threat. This allows security teams to be apprised in real time about which of their assets are most vulnerable, allowing them to consider the projected impact of a breach and prioritize their efforts to mitigate the risks.
Some threat intelligence solutions can also provide threat awareness beyond an agency’s own network. By configuring custom rules, security teams can set up notifications that inform them of critical threats before attempts to infiltrate the agency’s IT infrastructure.
Ultimately, machine learning offers a revolutionary path to adaptive response, where not only the human personnel but the cyber tools themselves are continuously improving.
For more information on how to structure and organize threat data into powerful insights that proactively drive security strategy, visit www.recordedfuture.com.