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How to Choose The Right Threat Intelligence Platform For Customers

January 07, 2017

If you’ve taken a look at the offerings of digital threat intelligence out there, you’ve no doubt experienced a bit of information overload. As with any new buzz-heavy solution, there are so many vendors trying to package and sell different forms of intelligence that it’s hard to separate the signal from the noise.

There are live intelligence streams. Digital threat maps. Aggregated news sources from around the Internet. Data analytics tools that offer a plethora of reports on network behavior. And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. You may be asking yourself how a solution provider could hope to make sense of the avalanche of information that constitutes digital threat intelligence. 

That is where digital threat intelligence platforms come in.

As enterprises begin to see and understand the unparalleled value of threat intelligence in fighting the new world of global security threats, vendors have begun to roll out threat intelligence platforms, all-in-one packages of digital threat intelligence tools meant to act as control centers.

Taking into consideration the following tips will help determine the best choice to meet an enterprise’s threat intelligence needs.

A Platform Should Aid in Risk Prioritization

One of the most important hallmarks of the new era of cybersecurity is the move away from perimeter security and toward risk assessment. In the old days, installing the right virus scanner and making sure the virus database was updated on every critical system was the best way to keep an enterprise safe. But the sheer number of threats, coupled with the capacity of malware to target certain systems, has led to a shift in thinking on this.

An enterprise needs to understand the actual chances of a given system being targeted or a given exploit being used against the business so that they can better utilize their resources. Pouring money into development and security for software that is barely used, or rarely threatened, can pull valuable resources away from more direct and immediate cybersecurity threats.

The tools that a good threat intelligence platform offers should aid in the discussion of risk, by giving an enterprise a clear understanding of what threats are proliferating in their area of business, how they are spreading, and what the chances are of their specific business being susceptible.

A Platform Should Leverage Data Sharing

Data sharing is another big buzzword in the world of digital threat intelligence, and for good reason. Malware doesn’t just target one individual business anymore—it can sometimes target a whole sector of business. Likewise, if a zero-day exploit appears in a piece of software that is used by banks, healthcare providers, and retailers, enterprises in all those areas are vulnerable. So whether it is the competition that is struck with a malware attack, or a business in a completely different area, it is something all the other susceptible businesses need to know about.

A good threat intelligence platform acknowledges the importance of sharing these data. Some threat intelligence platforms work to automate the data-sharing process, aggregating real-time threat alerts from all other clients using the platform, creating a unified front of information against malware threats. Other vendors are experimenting with vendor-neutral data-sharing sources and models. What makes for the best mode of data sharing is still wide open, but it is clear that sharing is a concept that threat intelligence platforms need to take advantage of.

A Platform Needs the Right Tools

With so much information coming in from so many sources, good digital threat intelligence platforms take their offerings to the next level with advanced tools. Some are more data-driven, allowing users to parse and segment the aggregated data to get a better picture of the susceptibility to threats. Others allow highly advanced IT professionals to sandbox malware, running captured malware in a completely controlled environment to see how it functions.

The tools that platforms offer may sometimes seem as numerous as the threats proliferating, but making sure that they actually speak to a client’s business needs, and that they are proven to do what they say they do, could mean the difference between a happy client and one left wondering what they paid for.

What threat intelligence platforms have you seen implemented most successfully?