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How Do We Prepare For a Cyber Attack Before It Happens?

As companies become more digitalised, the threat they face also grows. Gone are the days when the biggest worries facing companies and institutions were having shipments hijacked or robbed. Cybercriminals are now the biggest threat to all companies. From financial institutions to logistics companies to even dating websites.

Today’s organisations typically employ a number of cybersecurity programs and software to protect their data from falling into the wrong hands. But nevertheless, data breaches do still happen. Cybercriminals continue to improve their skills in hacking into systems and stealing valuable information using increasingly sophisticated and complex attack techniques.

According to a report from Gartner, worldwide spending on information security products and services will reach more than $114 billion in 2018. In 2019, the market is forecast to grow by 8.7% to $124 billion.

While companies are spending to protect their data, they can also spend it on preventing cyber attacks. In other words, there are ways to prepare for a cyber attack even before it happens. This is where cyber threat intelligence comes in. Just like how national security agencies use intelligence to prevent terrorist attacks, cyber threat intelligence does the same.

Cyber threat intelligence, or CTI, is based on the collection of intelligence using open source learning, social media intelligence, human intelligence, technical intelligence or intelligence from the dark web. It analyses trends and technical developments involving cybercrime, hacking and cyber espionage. CTI organises, analyses and refines information about potential threats or current attacks towards an organisation.

In the UK, the National Cyber Security Centre distinguishes four types of threat intelligence that are tactical, technical, operational and strategic.

Tactical intelligence analyses a threat and acts fast. It is the most commonly offered level of threat intelligence, being the easiest to gather and generate by observing common indicators of compromise such as IP addresses, file hashes, emails, and such. Technical intelligence gives indicators on specific malware.

Operational intelligence provides information on incoming attacks and assesses an organisation’s ability in determining future cyber threats. Strategic intelligence gives information on cyber risks that may accompany geopolitical conditions.

While cybersecurity programs have been proven to be effective, they normally work only after an attack has taken place. Indeed, it does its job by protecting data but why would companies want to have the risk of being a target of cybercriminal activities in the first place? If we notice a suspicious person in our neighbourhood, we will alert the authorities about it. We don’t wait for the person to commit a crime. This is exactly how cyber threat intelligence will help organisations.

Put it simply, cyber threat intelligence helps organisations to prepare and to be prepared for potential cyber attacks. It also helps organisations make the right decisions when it comes to dealing with these problems. 

Crowdstrike delivers threat intelligence that helps organisations prepare for this. For more information on cyber threat intelligence, please visit here.

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