Blog , 26 Nov 2019

Improve Security Through Third-Party Threat Intelligence

Tobias Knecht,

Founder and CEO, Abusix

Businesses of every size in virtually all industries rely on digital technologies to become or remain competitive in today’s global economy. There is no doubt that these technologies have revolutionized how companies connect with their customers, vendors, and employees, fundamentally changing the entire business-as-usual model that existed throughout most of the 20th century. However, the digital revolution also led to the development of sophisticated cyberattacks. Thefts of digitized creative works, crippling DDoS attacks, data breaches that exposed millions of consumers to identity theft and credit card fraud, and government-sponsored espionage and sabotage cyberattacks have plagued ISPs, corporations, government agencies, retailers, health care providers, and almost all other types of organizations and enterprises for years. Whether placed in a home, school, or business, virtually every computer is connected to some type of network. All a bad actor needs to do is to compromise one computer to place the entire network at risk. Unfortunately, the people defending those networks often lack the best tools for the job. One extremely valuable weapon is third-party threat intelligence.

What Is Third-Party Threat Intelligence?

Threat intelligence gives you the knowledge that you need to make logical decisions about how to respond to a hazard or menace. However, outdated information about indicators and mechanisms can often be as bad as having no information whatsoever. Furthermore, savvy cybersecurity experts know that manual threat processing cannot compete with orchestrated automation, traditional blacklists are outdated, and qualified, experienced analysts are becoming increasingly difficult to recruit and retain. However, many service providers and corporations are still using obsolete practices and processes to secure their networks and respond to threats. Lengthy threat incubation times typically result in widespread damage that is harder and costlier to remediate.

In addition, relying on internal data increases the chances of a hacker succeeding in an attack. Without the proper knowledge of mechanisms, sources, and context, defenders will have little insight into altered or emerging threats. Waiting for a user to report a phishing attempt or malicious URL is usually a case of too little knowledge that arrives too late to do much good.

By integrating reliable third-party threat intelligence data feeds, defenders have access to well-structured, well-parsed, context-rich information that they can use to respond to incidents. Some of the information that can be provided by or supplemented with third-party threat intelligence are listed below.

  1. Phishing attacks remain popular among bad actors because they target users, the weakest links in the cybersecurity chain. Third-party data feeds identifying known phishing URLs allow you to block employees who attempt to visit pages and sites that are known to steal credentials.
  2. Reputation data feeds advise users about IP addresses or domains that have shady reputations so that they do not access them.
  3. Malicious URL data feeds identify any URLs in your traffic logs that are known to host malware or malicious files. These URLs can then be added to the system or network blacklist to block infections.
  4. Command-and-control data feeds identify domains that are known to be botnet control panels. This prevents your systems from being conscripted into a known cybercriminal’s infrastructure for a DDoS attack.

Because third-party threat intelligence draws information from a variety of sources, these data feeds are more likely to provide context and mechanisms on emerging threats or variations on known threats. As such, it is a valuable tool in your security orchestration, automation, and response.

At Abusix, we are committed to helping customers defend their networks and their users. We have solutions for enterprises, ISPs, telecommunications companies, and hosting providers that can help make the internet a safer environment for everyone. For more information, you can contact us through our contact form below.

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