While most companies continue their digital transformation, the threat of falling victim to cybercriminals will always be there. Before the era of digitalisation, the only threats companies faced were financial losses and having assets stolen, hijacked or destroyed by criminals. Today, however, it is an entirely different ball game. Losing finances is now only part of many companies’ concern.
Cybercriminals prey on data. Data represents everything for a company. From their business strategies to customer insights to profit-making information. Cybercriminals use viruses, malware, ransomware, spyware, and social engineering techniques to exploit security gaps brought on by negligent or ill-informed users, shadow IT, unpatched systems or software vulnerabilities.
Among the most high-profile data breaches of 2018 was the Facebook hack which caught headlines back in March. Reports showed how Cambridge Analytica collected the personal information of 50 million Facebook users via an app on the platform. Shockingly, Facebook found itself in hot water again in September when hackers reportedly exploited a security weakness within the social media site to compromise user accounts.
Other examples include Cathay Pacific’s data hack which saw passengers’ personal data and credit card information being leaked.
In other cases, it wasn’t just cybercriminals that targeted the companies. Data that is not protected may also be taken and sold out to other buyers. Such was the case of Malaysian satellite TV provider Astro, whereby its IPTV customer data was found being sold openly on a local forum. Although the damage was minimal, there were questions raised on how such private information could be made easily accessible to staff.
So how do we track these threats in our organisation?
Having threat intelligence in an organisation is one of the methods in tracking threats. Threat intelligence improves an organisation’s ability to determine and find potential risks as well as threats that are already in the system. The advantage of using threat intelligence is that it can tremendously enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of both cybersecurity teams and the tools that they have at their disposal.
Imagine being able to detect and track threats in the organisation and getting rid of them the fastest way possible.
Unfortunately, many organisations still employ cybersecurity strategies that are reactive in nature, responding to the threats once they discover that a breach has taken place or their systems have been compromised. But threat intelligence allows companies to take a more proactive and predictive approach to cyber defence. By being able to recognise, understand and track cyber threat activities and motivations, the system will be able to ensure better protection.
Tracking threats in organisations will also provide a clearer picture of the types of threats they are faced with and what kind of information cyberintruders are most after. Are the threat actors interested in customer data or financial records? With threat intelligence, organisations will know which sectors of the company need more security compared to the other areas.
But what if the threat comes from within the organisation?
Threat intelligence will be able to augment your cybersecurity tools’ ability to recognise potentially malicious activities within the system and analyse it to see if any fraudulent changes are being made. For example, if massive amounts of files are being copied, threat intelligence will detect anomalous behaviour and alert the system to check for the necessary security clearance.
Using the context and additional information provided by threat intelligence also allows incident responders to see the connection between alerts that might appear isolated at first, to uncover advanced attacks.
Undoubtedly, there are many aspects to cybersecurity. Threat intelligence is one aspect that can assist organisations to keep track of the threats and understand the technical makeup of adversary activity. In effect, they will be able to adapt better security enhancements to protect their data and ensure their customers that their information is always safe.
CrowdStrike’s threat intelligence program will be able to assist organisations in tracking threats. For more details, please visit here.