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In the ever-changing cybersecurity landscape, staying ahead of emerging threats is crucial for organizations trying to protect their digital assets and sensitive information. Threat intelligence feeds are particularly valuable for obtaining up-to-date and relevant information regarding potential cyber threats.
In 2023 choosing the correct threat intelligence feeds is critical for strengthening your organization’s security posture.
The threat landscape is evolving, with threat actors growing more sophisticated. To solve these issues, organizations require access to high-quality threat information that provides insights into the most recent threats, vulnerabilities, and attack methodologies. This guide’s feeds come from various sources, including open-source platforms, commercial providers, government agencies, and industry-specific resources. This article covers detailed knowledge of Threat Intelligence Feeds to Use in 2023.
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Key Features of Threat Intelligence Feeds
To be effective, threat intelligence feeds must discover and identify threats, but what other critical features should you look for in threat intelligence feeds? In our opinion, the following are some of the most significant elements of a threat intelligence feed:
Indicators Of Compromise (IoCs)
Indicators of compromise are pieces of evidence showing a network or a specific network component has been compromised. While more generalized threat intelligence feeds and blacklists do not necessarily include IoCs, they are a valuable tool for teams looking for extra advice in their threat response activities. Malicious IP and email addresses, suspicious domain names and URLs, weird file paths or file names, unexpected network traffic patterns, and behavioral anomalies such as frequent unauthorized access attempts are all examples of IoCs.
Real-time or near-real-time updates are critical features of threat intelligence streams because threats can change or fall apart in hours, and new ones can emerge. Many feeds update daily or hourly, but virtually all update at least once daily. Many threat intelligence feed providers allow customers to subscribe to alerts when new risks emerge, or fresh daily reports become available.
Threat data is infinitely more valuable with threat intelligence feeds if users can comprehend where the attacks are coming from, what kind(s) of infrastructure they’re affecting, the overall harm they are causing, and how these threats compare to prior threats. Dashboards are the most crucial feature for quick access to contextual data. However, other aspects, such as contextualized historic metadata, specialized rulesets, and richer log data, are also beneficial for improving security response and mitigation tactics.
Historical Data Access
Historical data assists users in framing present risks, both in terms of how they first developed and how they compare to previous historical threats. Many threat intelligence feeds contain historical data, including attack origins, the identification and prior actions of the threat actor, past vs. present attack methodologies, and past vs. present harm. Users may examine how quickly specific attack vectors have expanded and predict future threat variants and changes in tactics, methods, and procedures (TTPs) using this historical data access.
Integrations with other cybersecurity solutions enable contextualization and relevance threat intelligence feeds to cybersecurity management operations. The best threat intelligence feeds can be accessed alone, but they also connect with and give in-platform insights for other cybersecurity solutions. These integrations may be provided natively or through APIs.
Types of Threat Intelligence Feeds
Threat intelligence feeds come in four main categories, each with a distinct function. While many like to concentrate on the first three, each is important in giving various types of information.
Strategic threat intelligence feeds, often referred to as high-level intelligence feeds, shed light on the motivations behind specific attacks carried out by threat actors. C-level staff typically use this less technical input to better comprehend an attack’s motivations. External analysts from outside the cybersecurity industry will frequently weigh in to comprehensively analyze the attack. Strategic threat intelligence feeds are essential to the decision-making of high-level people.
Tactical threat intelligence feeds are primarily concerned with managing the TTPs of threat actors. Employees of Network Operations Centers (NOC) and Security Operations Centers (SOC), IT service managers, and cybersecurity architects frequently use this feed. These feeds assist in analyzing the numerous TTPs that attackers employ to access your organization, including data on malware attacks, incident and attack reports, human intelligence, cross-industry cybersecurity statistics, and other information specifically pertaining to prospective threats. Personnel can carry out intricate operations, such as fixing system flaws, improving security tactics, and modifying security implements (both hardware and software).
Information about particular impending attacks that can be used for action is known as operational threat intelligence. When an attack is anticipated to target an organization can be determined by providing information on the identity and capabilities of the threat actor as well as the nature of the attack. Using this intelligence, executive managers develop strategies and policies to defend the organization from incoming attacks.
A technical threat intelligence feed contains tools, command channels, control channels, IP addresses, phishing email headers, hack checksums of malware, and other technical data that is typically restricted to a single incident of compromise (IoC). This data offers crucial insights into the assets, instruments, and other variables a hacker has employed. You can respond to dangers right away by comprehending and carefully analyzing this feed.
Threat Intelligence Feeds To Consider in 2023
Here are some well-regarded threat intelligence feeds and sources that you can consider in 2023:
- Open-source Threat Intelligence Feeds: AlienVault OTX (Open Threat Exchange): A community-driven threat intelligence platform that provides open access to a vast collection of threat data.
- MISP (Malware Information Sharing Platform & Threat Sharing): An open-source threat intelligence platform designed to improve the sharing of structured threat information.
- Commercial Threat Intelligence Providers: Recorded Future: Offers real-time threat intelligence, predictive analysis, and customizable threat feeds.
- FireEye Threat Intelligence: Provides detailed information on advanced threats and targeted attacks.
- Anomali: Offers a ThreatStream platform that aggregates and normalizes threat intelligence from various sources.
- Symantec DeepSight Intelligence: Offers threat intelligence feeds based on extensive research and analysis.
- Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs): Industry-specific organizations that share threat intelligence among their members.
- Open-source Tools and Platforms: Suricata Emerging Threats Open Rules: A set of open-source IDS/IPS rules for network security monitoring.
- YARA Rules: A rule-based malware identification and classification tool.
- Snort Community Rules: An open-source IDS/IPS rule set for network traffic analysis.
- Dark Web Monitoring Services:DarkOwl: Monitors and collects data from the dark web for potential threats.
- Flashpoint: Provides intelligence on cybercriminal activities in the deep and dark web.
- Threat Feeds from Cloud Service Providers: AWS Threat Intelligence Feeds: Provides threat intelligence data for Amazon Web Services users.
- Azure Sentinel Threat Intelligence Feeds: Offers threat intelligence for Azure cloud users.
- Threat Intelligence APIs: Consider integrating threat intelligence APIs into your security infrastructure, allowing you to receive real-time threat data directly into your systems.
How to Choose the Best Threat Intelligence Feed for Your Business
Choosing the proper threat intelligence feed for your company is a key decision that will substantially impact your cybersecurity strategy. Follow the given steps to make an informed decision:
- Understand Your Business Needs: Begin by thoroughly assessing your organization’s cybersecurity requirements. Identify the assets, data, and systems most critical to your operations. Understanding what you need to protect will help you prioritize threat intelligence requirements.
- Define Your Threat Landscape: Analyze the threat landscape relevant to your industry and geography. Different sectors may face varying threat actors and attack vectors. Consider the types of threats that are most likely to target your organization.
- Evaluate Your Existing Security Infrastructure: Take stock of your current security tools, systems, and processes. Determine how well your existing infrastructure can integrate with threat intelligence feeds. Ensure compatibility with your SIEM (Security Information and Event Management) system, IDS/IPS (Intrusion Detection System/Intrusion Prevention System), and other security solutions.
- Consider Data Sources: Explore the types of data sources that each threat intelligence feed provides. Look for feeds that offer comprehensive information, including indicators of compromise (IOCs), malware signatures, threat actor profiles, and attack tactics.
- Timeliness and Relevance: Timeliness is crucial in threat intelligence. Assess the feed’s ability to provide real-time or near-real-time updates on emerging threats. Additionally, evaluate the relevance of the feed’s data to your organization. Is it tailored to your industry or geography?
- Accuracy and Credibility: Verify the credibility and accuracy of the threat intelligence source. Consider the provider’s reputation and their track record of delivering reliable information.
- Integration Capabilities: Ensure the threat intelligence feed seamlessly integrates with your existing security infrastructure. APIs, feeds in standard formats (STIX/TAXII), and automation capabilities are essential factors to consider.
The best threat intelligence feed for your business aligns seamlessly with your cybersecurity strategy, enhances your threat detection and response capabilities, and helps you stay one step ahead of emerging threats. Remember that the cybersecurity landscape is dynamic, and regular assessments and adjustments to your threat intelligence sources are essential to maintaining robust security defenses.