Overcome the Challenges of Cyber Threat Intelligence

Cyber Threat Intelligence is the process of collecting, analysing, and disseminating information about potential threats to an organisation's network and systems. This information helps organisations understand the risks they face and develop strategies and tactics to mitigate those risks. Cyber Threat Intelligence is an essential component of an organisation's overall security strategy, as it provides a systematic and comprehensive approach to identifying and addressing potential threats.

Red Piranha is a world leader in the collection and processing of threat intelligence and is currently the only company in the APAC region that is a member of the Cyber Threat Alliance based out of Washington DC.

Key components of Cyber Threat Intelligence

  1. One of the most important is the collection of information about potential threats. Red Piranha monitors and analyses network traffic, scans the internet for compromise indicators, and gather intelligence from other sources, such as law enforcement agencies, defence, and partner organisations.
  2. Once information about potential threats is collected, it must be analysed to determine its relevance and significance. It involves applying a range of analytical techniques, such as pattern recognition, statistical analysis, or other methods, to identify trends, patterns, or other indicators that may indicate potential threats.
  3. Operationalising threat intelligence is an essential part of any organisation's security strategy. It involves using information from various sources to identify and mitigate security threats to an organisation's systems, networks, and assets. While it can provide valuable insights to security teams, it poses significant technical challenges. This represents some formats for capturing, processing, and sharing CTI across operational technology stacks. 
  4. STIX (Structured Threat Information Expression) and TAXII (Trusted Automated Exchange of Indicator Information) are two open-source standards that are used to exchange Cyber Threat Intelligence. STIX is a language for representing and sharing cyber threat information, while TAXII is a protocol for transmitting that information. 

    STIX is a language for representing cyber threat information in a structured and standardized way. It defines a set of objects, such as indicators, malware, and attacks, as well as a set of relationships between those objects. This allows organisations to share information about potential threats in a consistent and structured way.

    TAXII is a protocol for transmitting cyber threat information using STIX. It defines a set of messages and data formats that can be used to exchange STIX-formatted information between organisations and other stakeholders. This allows organisations to share cyber threat information in a secure and automated way.
    Together, STIX and TAXII provide a standardised framework for sharing Cyber Threat Intelligence among organisations and other stakeholders.

Cyber Threat Intelligence: Challenges faced by organisations

Challenges exist with the execution and integration of threat intelligence into technology stacks to gain desired outcomes.

  1. Data Overload can be challenging for most organisations in dealing with the sheer volume of data generated. 
  2. lack of context in a single environment, or an environment with poor integration can also render individual IOCs invaluable. 
  3. Organisations can face skillset requirement deficits leading to poor integration with existing workflows and high false positives.

Red Piranha has solved these challenges, allowing our Security Operations (SecOps) team to push the disseminated intelligence to the appropriate internal security technology within the Crystal Eye platform. This provides Automated Actionable Intelligence updates to execute an Moving Target Defense or Moving Target Defensive strategy state within the platform. 

Red Piranha is also involved in sharing the information with external partners like Cyber Threat Alliance and government stakeholders like the ACSC. We publish weekly reports and defensive materials that provide information about potential threats and the risks they pose, as well as protection from threats before the campaigns have even been launched.

These defensive rules are often found in the form of YARA or IDPS REGEX using IOCs gathered in threat-hunting activities. 

A cyber threat intelligence observable (IOC) is a piece of information that is collected, analysed, and disseminated as part of a Cyber Threat Intelligence analysis process. Observables may include a wide range of information, such as network traffic, file hashes, IP addresses, or other data.

Cyber Threat Intelligence observables include:

  • IP addresses: IP addresses are unique numerical identifiers that are assigned to every device connected to the internet. Cyber threat intelligence analysts may collect and analyse IP addresses to identify potential threats, such as malicious actors, botnets, or other sources of attacks.
  • Domain names: Domain names are human-readable names that are used to identify websites and other online resources. Cyber Threat Intelligence analysts may collect and analyse domain names to identify potential threats, such as phishing websites, malware distribution sites, or other sources of attacks.
  • File hashes: File hashes are unique numerical identifiers calculated based on the contents of a file. Cyber threat intelligence analysts may collect and analyse file hashes to identify potential threats, such as malware, ransomware, or other malicious files.
  • Network traffic: Network traffic is the data transmitted between devices on a network. Cyber threat intelligence analysts may collect and analyse network traffic to identify potential threats, such as malware, ransomware, or other malicious traffic.

Integrating threat intelligence into technology can provide several benefits to organisations in terms of enhancing their cybersecurity posture. By integrating threat intelligence into your security tools, organisations can improve the ability to detect, prevent, and respond to cyber threats in real-time.

The technologies that require threat intelligence integration include firewalls, IDS, SIEM, and EDR solutions, and operators can use intelligence to attain an MTD. 

Moving Target Defense (MTD) consists of applying system reconfiguration (e.g., VM migration, IP shuffling, Virtual Patching) to dynamically change the available attack surface. MTD makes use of reconfiguration to confuse attackers and nullify their knowledge about the system state. Also, it can be used as an attack reaction, or to deploy efficient virtual patching protection against known threats when other remediation may not be attainable.

Technologies that require Cyber Threat Intelligence integrations

  1. Firewalls: Firewalls can be configured to block traffic from known malicious IP addresses, domains, and URLs. Integrating threat intelligence into firewalls can enhance their ability to block malicious traffic and prevent cyberattacks.
  2. Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS): IDS can be configured to detect and alert security teams to potential threats. Integrating threat intelligence into IDS can improve their ability to detect and respond to advanced threats such as zero-day exploits and targeted attacks.
  3. Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) Systems: SIEM systems can be used to aggregate and correlate security events from multiple sources. Integrating threat intelligence into SIEM can enhance their ability to identify potential threats and respond to security incidents in real time.
  4. Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR): EDR solutions can be used to monitor endpoints for potential threats. Integrating threat intelligence into EDR can improve their ability to detect and respond to advanced threats such as file-less malware and malicious code injections.

Our Crystal Eye Network Detection and Response (NDR) solution enriches metadata at the time of collection, providing reliable insights for security teams to monitor network activities.

Overall, cyber threat intelligence is a critical component of an organisation's security strategy. By collecting, analysing, and disseminating information about potential threats, organisations can gain a better understanding of the risks they face and can develop strategies and tactics to mitigate those risks. This can help organisations protect their networks and systems, and to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their critical assets and information.

Date Published
March 14, 2023