The Forensicators Present ... Go on the Cybersecurity Offensive: Threat Intelligence

Over the last few years, we all have heard about major cyber and ransomware attacks. These cybercrimes cost organizations billions of dollars each year, as personally identifiable information (PII) – social security numbers, credit cards, email addresses, and other personal data – of millions of consumers are exposed and sold by hackers.

While there are many cybersecurity solutions available in the market, no single one can defend against all types of cyberattacks. Given that, more organizations are moving towards using threat intelligence to better understand potential threats and go on the offensive, rather than just simply deploying multiple defense-oriented solutions.

What is threat intelligence?

Threat intelligence is a process of understanding cyber threats by identifying and collecting data, in concert with analyzing artifacts from the past, to create an actionable plan for mitigating future threats. While threat intelligence is about processing information and acting based on intel, it is not about providing responses to a breach or an investigation.

Why does an organization need threat intelligence?

Time and again after major breaches, it has been found that attackers were able to quietly enter networks and easily move around, even with prevention and detection systems in place. This showed that attackers had a better understanding of an organization’s network than the organization itself. So, what advantage did attackers have that the organization didn’t? Intel.

The term ‘intelligence,’ or ‘intel,’ is frequently used by the military to indicate a strategic advantage. It’s much the same in the cybersecurity world, as intelligence surrounding threats can provide an organization with an advantage over an attacker.

Most organizations focus their efforts on deploying prevention and detection solutions, and training employees, rather than putting resources behind gathering intel and understanding threats. Deciphering threats is the key to increasing awareness and building a strong security posture, so the organization can go on the cybersecurity offensive.

Where should an organization start the threat intelligence program?

The most logical place to commence a threat intelligence program would be by looking at your organization’s security plan, along with identifying critical assets that need to be protected. This includes asking simple questions, like: What do we know? What should we know? What assets are currently being protected? What should be protected, that isn’t? This process not only helps an organization see the information they have, but also find out what they are missing, which can change the cybersecurity war from simply defending your position to actively going on the offensive.

Threat intelligence programs need to be tailored based an organization’s size, industry, technology reliance, and other criteria.iDS has experts who are highly trained and experienced in helping organizations, large and small, create cyber threat intelligence programs. We can work with you to develop a plan that fits your firm and your level of risk tolerance. You can contact me at for a free consultation with our team to review your current cybersecurity posture and discuss how we can help.