Intelligence-driven Cyber Posture Management
Year on year, no other discipline plays catch-up with adversaries as much as Cybersecurity. Threat actors are progressively getting smarter, more persistent, and in most cases, more resourceful than ever because of nation-state support. Organizations are now dealing with ‘doomsday’ level threats that can, in one incident, abolish their assets, productivity, and reputation built over decades. Simply putting a fence of security controls around enterprise assets isn’t the answer anymore.
A prediction from Cybersecurity Ventures estimated that cybercrime would cost the world USD 6 trillion annually by 2021. To put this into context, by 2021, cybercrime will be more profitable than the global trade of all major illegal drugs combined. Aside from posing as a solid motivation for cyber criminals, this detail also highlights the lack of a clearly defined, standardized approach to check the growth of cybercrime. With increasing innovation, connectivity and complexity, cyberattacks will continue to have a wide array of social, financial and geo-political implications.
In this regard, cyber threat visibility and intelligence is a great equalizer. Rather than surrounding the organization with security walls of security controls, an ‘outside-in’ approach can be employed wherein threat activities targeting the organization or industry can be identified, isolated and secured against – a proactive approach involving the identification and mitigation of evolving cyber threats, rather than meeting the fully equipped enemy at the gate and hoping for the best.
Industry Pain Points Awaiting Intervention
Despite spending big money, the standard response made available to most organizations in the name of cyber threat visibility and intelligence is merely post-mortem level details gathered after the attack had already hit. Broadly, the following are influential gaps in the global cyber threat intelligence market:
- Cyber intelligence companies are primarily focused on operational intelligence, while equally important strategic and management intelligence is overlooked. This translates to incomplete intelligence and hence, lack of preparedness against upcoming attacks.
- Failure to get quicker insights into why a cyberattack happens, who the suspects are, and what they were looking for. Broadly, the failure to understand the WHO, WHY, WHAT, and WHEN of cyberattacks.
- A majority of organizations are still ‘reactive’ to cybersecurity events occurring in and around their environment. They fail to employ cyber threat intelligence and insights early that could provide proactive cyber posture management by identifying threats at the planning stage of cyberattacks.
- Threat hunting often starts with fact finding using Indicators of Compromise, whereas National intelligence agencies always start with an Indicator – this could be as simple as a conversation or geo-political issue driving the cyber threat. This hard-coded approach needs to change and evolve.
- Consumption of intelligence is limited to just the security controls, although if you look at it seriously, intelligence can be applied to all the other verticals of cyber posture management, including managing risk register, compliance management, governance, investment, and resource management.
- Finally, a distinct lack of deeper insights into situational awareness, news, cyber event, incidents, vulnerabilities, technology or regulatory shift.
In today’s highly connected world, data breaches, hackers and cyberattacks are a stark reality, keeping organizations and individuals at continual risk of monetary and reputational losses. According to one forecast, organizations are spending to the tune of USD 124 billion on cybersecurity controls this year, in the face of growing security risks, business demands, and developments across the industry.
However, without real-time threat intelligence enabling them to take a more proactive and predictive approach to cybersecurity, most organizations, enterprises, and even government institutions will likely succumb to the relentless and inventive onslaught of the modern-day hacking units.
The Difference Maker: CYFIRMA
Founded in December 2017, backed by Goldman Sachs, Zodius Capital and Z3 Partners, CYFIRMA is a cyber intelligence analytics platform company. Its proprietary, award-winning cloud-based threat discovery and cyber intelligence platform is a real-time, multi-layered intelligence product with illustrative dashboards, covering the broadest cyber threat intelligence use cases in the market. It effectively identifies potential threats at the planning stage of a cyber-attack, providing deep, rich and contextual insights into the threat landscape. Its predictive, relevant and prioritized cyber threat visibility and intelligence strengthens organizations’ cyber posture and increases preparedness.
“Integration of Cyber Threat Visibility and Intelligence is a new and effective way to elevate and strengthen Cybersecurity Posture management,” notes Kumar Ritesh, CYFIRMA Chairman & CEO. “Events such as trade wars, geopolitical supremacy, theft of business secrets, expanding attack surface, and most importantly, the involvement of state sponsored cybercriminals are pushing the boundaries that are keeping individuals, organizations, and nations safe. This is the right time to integrate Cyber Threat Visibility and Intelligence into the organization’s Risk and Threat Management, Security Control Management, and Regulatory and Compliance functions”, he concluded.
CYFIRMA’s Cyber threat visibility and intelligence platform addresses / provides:
- Real-time threat insights, visibility, and situational awareness.
- Early identification of potential threats.
- Proactive and predictive cyber threat intelligence – Identify threat indicators to model plausible outcomes.
- Threat hunting and correlation.
- Digital risk management – brand impersonation, product infringement, IT/OT vulnerabilities.
- Contextual risk assessment and scoring – to help organizations prioritize risks in relation to external threat landscape.
- Real-time multi-layered intelligence and dashboard – Strategic (WHO and WHY), Management (WHAT and WHEN) and Operational (HOW) intelligence.
- Intelligence driven Incident response, Vulnerability Analytics, Cyber Education, Brand/Individual monitoring – automatic correlation with threat landscape to represent affiliations with any threat actor, details of campaign and threat attribution.
Ironically, increased digitalization across all facets of society is helping threat actors accomplish their malicious agenda with greater precision. The most promising solution to this problem is to define the hackers’ view of the organization. This includes such insights as how hackers are looking at the organization as a target, why they are interested in this target, their background, what they are interested in specifically, their motivation, how ready they are, and how they will potentially attack.
“Outside-in” is the Next Paradigm Shift in Cybersecurity
It is observed that most organizations still follow an ‘inside-out’ approach to information security; that is, they are still heavily reliant on internally configured security systems. Unfortunately, the days of antiviruses, firewalls, and other legacy systems as prime players in the war against hackers are long gone.
CYFIRMA is committed to educating organizations to employ the ‘Outside-In’ approach to cybersecurity. On an ongoing basis, and to better prepare and protect against imminent cyber-attacks, organizations need to look at the application of threat visibility and Intelligence Driven Cyber Posture Management intelligence to their strategies, governance, process, procedure, controls, and people.
Additionally, organizations must realize that the onus to protect their data, infrastructure, and reputation ultimately rests with them. Information security hinges massively on secured systems, constantly revisited data management practices, and an inclusive approach involving the employees, third parties, and other entities in the organization’s extended supply chains. While threats will inevitably evolve, their intended targets can always stay a step ahead with predictive threat visibility and intelligence.