Welcome!

Blog Feed Post

RSA 2013 – The Year of Threat Intelligence

The RSA conference this year was abuzz with talk of threat intelligence and its usage in detecting and protecting against more advanced threats. There was re-branding of existing products and the entrance of new products, all of which claimed to support some type of “intelligence” capability.  As I walked around it struck me that usage of the term was not consistent. We need to have a detailed understanding of what it means to use intelligence to secure our enterprise from cyber attacks, and maintain business operations in the face of sophisticated threats.

Recolored

Defining Threat Intelligence

In April of 2011, Cyber Squared defined Threat Intelligence as “an emerging information security discipline that seeks to recognize and understand sophisticated cyber adversaries, specifically why and how they threaten data, networks, and business processes.  With enhanced knowledge of the threat develop better protective measures against them.”  Not many companies would use the word “emerging” as it relates to their primary business, but we did, because at the time most clients were not yet worried about sophisticated threats, nor did they know how they would use threat intelligence to protect themselves from them.  Almost two years later and Threat Intelligence has now become a market within the broader security space.  For you skeptics that think it is yet another marketing term, don’t take my word for it.    SANS has sponsored a Summit on this single topic.

The Cyber Threat Intelligence Summit will be held in March.  I’ll be presenting a lightning round presentation on the topic of crowdsourcing threat intelligence, and Rich Barger, Cyber Squared’s Chief Intelligence Officer, will be participating on a panel.  This is such an important topic for the industry that SANS is putting on this event, and in doing so have started the process for an industry wide definition of Threat Intelligence.

Why is it needed

The Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) facing many modern networked organizations has rendered intrusion detection systems, anti-virus and traditional incident response approaches insufficient. The APT represents well-resourced and trained adversary’s who use advanced tools and techniques designed to circumvent most conventional computer network defense mechanisms. Their multi-year intrusion campaigns target highly sensitive and valuable data for competitive edge.

What is it

Network defense techniques that leverage knowledge about these adversaries – known as cyber threat intelligence – can enable defenders to establish a state of information superiority which decreases the adversary’s likelihood of success with each subsequent intrusion attempt. Threat intelligence can be a force multiplier and provide security managers accurate, timely and detailed information to continuously monitor new and evolving attacks. Earlier detection can minimize losses or disruption within the network, and lessen the cost of cleanup efforts.  With Threat Intelligence you can provide a more effective defensive posture then would be otherwise be possible.

Threat Intelligence Triangle

A Threat Intelligence Ecosystem can be broken down into the following basic functional areas: information collection and analysis, decision support, and mitigations.  All three must work in concert in order to keep pace with the threat.  So to make Threat Intelligence possible, we must connect the efforts of our decision makers with security personal, and provide them with a robust ability to leverage more comprehensive knowledge of their particular cyber threats. Taking the concept of a Threat Intelligence one step further. We must unite the efforts of the community around the threat, and crowdsource our need for threat intelligence. The Threat Intelligence Ecosystem is so much more knowledgeable and powerful than a single individual or organization.

How crowdsourcing can help

We know that responding quickly to cyber threats is of critical importance, and the only way to really change the game is to understand how the adversary works and predict where they might go next.  We realize that we can’t win this battle by fighting alone. While progress is being made to create and use Threat Intelligence within organizations, unfortunately today this is only possible with the more mature and resourced organizations.  It takes a significant investment to collect, create, enrich, and leverage Threat Intelligence, leaving less resourced businesses from protecting themselves in the same manner.  The adversary doesn’t discriminate between those organizations with and without resources.  The adversary  is targeting those who have sensitive and valuable data.

What if we applied the crowdsourcing model?   Applying a crowdsourcing approach to Threat Intelligence would involve being able to assemble an impromptu, virtual army of trusted cyber defenders to more quickly and comprehensively understand the threat and predict where they will go next.  It would require the ability to create dynamic relationships with trusted sharing partners who have common threat interests, and being able to register and receive notifications when threats change.  By transitioning today’s more static “sharing” model to a more dynamic “crowdsourcing” approach for Threat Intelligence, we could actually improve response times and predict attacks.  Furthermore, it is possible that an established, successful crowdsourcing Threat Intelligence solution could serve as a deterrent for cyber adversaries.  Benefits of crowdsourcing include:

  • Less time commitment to understand the threat
  • Lower costs to obtain a larger understanding of the threat
  • Obtain insights that would not be otherwise obvious
  • Connect with other stake holders who are also experiencing the same problem
  • Ability to track / measure the threat, effectively explaining and articulating the problem to decision makers

Based on established current day environmental factors, we should have at our disposal the necessary ingredients to create a successful crowdsourcing environment for threat intelligence.  For instance, the enormous popularity of social media has turned strangers into virtual friends.  Facebook’s “like” feature virtually binds people into a community via a common interest.  There is a growing awareness and acceptance of using crowdsourcing to solve problems.  We can bind these concepts into a crowdsourcing, internet-based solution for Threat Intelligence that includes rankings, statistics, and metrics to facilitate “co-ompetition”.

Conclusions

Unfortunately, there is going to be a great deal of confusion around Threat Intelligence for the foreseeable future.  Just remember that Threat Intelligence is not something you buy, it’s something you create.   You can streamline the process of building Threat Intelligence using security analysis products that support data feeds and crowdsourcing .  Please come out on March 22nd and see what I have to say about Crowdsourcing Threat Intelligence – the BIG (data) idea behind ThreatConnect.com.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Adam Vincent

Adam is an internationally renowned information security expert and is currently the CEO and a founder at Cyber Squared Inc. He possesses over a decade of experience in programming, network security, penetration testing, cryptography design & cryptanalysis, identity and access control, and a detailed expertise in information security. The culmination of this knowledge has led to the company’s creation of ThreatConnect™, the first-of-its-kind threat intelligence platform. He currently serves as an advisor to multiple security-focused organizations and has provided consultation to numerous businesses ranging from start-ups to governments, Fortune 500 organizations, and top financial institutions. Adam holds an MS in computer science with graduate certifications in computer security and information assurance from George Washington University. Vincent lives in Arlington, VA with his wife, two children, and dog.

Latest Stories
What sort of WebRTC based applications can we expect to see over the next year and beyond? One way to predict development trends is to see what sorts of applications startups are building. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Arin Sime, founder of WebRTC.ventures, discussed the current and likely future trends in WebRTC application development based on real requests for custom applications from real customers, as well as other public sources of information.
Your homes and cars can be automated and self-serviced. Why can't your storage? From simply asking questions to analyze and troubleshoot your infrastructure, to provisioning storage with snapshots, recovery and replication, your wildest sci-fi dream has come true. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Dan Florea, Director of Product Management at Tintri, provided a ChatOps demo where you can talk to your storage and manage it from anywhere, through Slack and similar services with...
The financial services market is one of the most data-driven industries in the world, yet it’s bogged down by legacy CPU technologies that simply can’t keep up with the task of querying and visualizing billions of records. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Karthik Lalithraj, a Principal Solutions Architect at Kinetica, discussed how the advent of advanced in-database analytics on the GPU makes it possible to run sophisticated data science workloads on the same database that is housing the rich...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Massive Networks will exhibit at SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Massive Networks mission is simple. To help your business operate seamlessly with fast, reliable, and secure internet and network solutions. Improve your customer's experience with outstanding connections to your cloud.
In the enterprise today, connected IoT devices are everywhere – both inside and outside corporate environments. The need to identify, manage, control and secure a quickly growing web of connections and outside devices is making the already challenging task of security even more important, and onerous. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Rich Boyer, CISO and Chief Architect for Security at NTT i3, discussed new ways of thinking and the approaches needed to address the emerging challenges of security i...
"We want to show that our solution is far less expensive with a much better total cost of ownership so we announced several key features. One is called geo-distributed erasure coding, another is support for KVM and we introduced a new capability called Multi-Part," explained Tim Desai, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Hitachi Data Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
FinTechs use the cloud to operate at the speed and scale of digital financial activity, but are often hindered by the complexity of managing security and compliance in the cloud. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sesh Murthy, co-founder and CTO of Cloud Raxak, showed how proactive and automated cloud security enables FinTechs to leverage the cloud to achieve their business goals. Through business-driven cloud security, FinTechs can speed time-to-market, diminish risk and costs, maintain continu...
DX World EXPO, LLC., a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Mike Johnston, an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io, discussed how to use Kubernetes to set up a SaaS infrastructure for your business. Mike Johnston is an infrastructure engineer at Supergiant.io with over 12 years of experience designing, deploying, and maintaining server and workstation infrastructure at all scales. He has experience with brick and mortar data centers as well as cloud providers like Digital Ocean, Amazon Web Services, and Rackspace. H...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the most profound change in personal and enterprise IT since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago. All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devic...
"The Striim platform is a full end-to-end streaming integration and analytics platform that is middleware that covers a lot of different use cases," explained Steve Wilkes, Founder and CTO at Striim, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Everything run by electricity will eventually be connected to the Internet. Get ahead of the Internet of Things revolution and join Akvelon expert and IoT industry leader, Sergey Grebnov, in his session at @ThingsExpo, for an educational dive into the world of managing your home, workplace and all the devices they contain with the power of machine-based AI and intelligent Bot services for a completely streamlined experience.
With tough new regulations coming to Europe on data privacy in May 2018, Calligo will explain why in reality the effect is global and transforms how you consider critical data. EU GDPR fundamentally rewrites the rules for cloud, Big Data and IoT. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Adam Ryan, Vice President and General Manager EMEA at Calligo, will examine the regulations and provide insight on how it affects technology, challenges the established rules and will usher in new levels of diligence...