The compelling business value of threat intelligence is best realised when it is used in the optimum way. And while there are many examples of repeatable good practice to adopt , by far the most advantageous approach is to apply threat intelligence to the precise needs of each organization. This can be supported in a variety of ways using an API (application programming interface).
Operationalizing threat intelligence
Organizations have their own processes and workflows for security operations, and though these will often follow similar structures (e.g. aligned with standards like NIST and ISO 27001 ) there will be critical nuances that optimize performance for the unique circumstances of the business. The deviation of a given process from the norm, and the flexibility and resources of the internal team to adapt, will dictate how the organization consumes and processes threat intelligence feeds and services, and utilizes the full value of threat intelligence tools.
In this context, APIs provide much-needed scope to capitalize on threat intelligence in the way that makes most sense to the individual organization. Going further, APIs also facilitate the maximum extent to which threat intelligence can be exploited for bespoke internal solutions and practices.
The value of a robust, mature and flexible threat intelligence API can be expressed in five major ways:
- Maximize visibility of external threats applicable to the organization, supplementing threat intelligence with existing data sets and other threat information sources.
- Enable out-of-the-box integrations with SIEMs and other platforms to provide a 360-degree view of digital risk.
- Provide maximum threat context for fast and effective reactive and proactive countermeasures against defined IOCs.
- Accelerate incident response performance and the speed and accuracy of threat investigations.
- Facilitate the development of advanced, bespoke cyber defense capabilities integrated with proprietary in-house workflows and tools.
Delivering value to all cyber roles
Operational capabilities are not everything when it comes to threat intelligence – many vendors provide simple access to information, but few provide truly actionable, targeted intelligence that contextualizes threats and enables organizations to accelerate their response and remediation. The intelligence Blueliv provides, for example, through our Threat Compass platform or MRTI feed , is frictionlessly integrated through our API and plug-ins, so that all stakeholders – from the CISO to the SOC team – see real-time results relevant to their objectives.
Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs) and other C-suite decision makers are focused on the big picture; reducing compliance liabilities, ensuring cyber defense resources are spent wisely, and minimizing cyber risk. Rapidly deployable APIs enable this cohort to immediately consume specialized threat intelligence dashboards at a level of detail specific to their needs and interests. APIs enable long-term trend tracking as well as real-time threat insights, allowing CISOs to chart – for example – incident response performance, top IOCs and high-level investigations, with the knowledge that team efficiency is being enhanced and the ROI of existing security assets maximized.
Incident Response teams
IR teams know that inaccurate investigations lead to suboptimal responses, and can hurt the organization’s ability to prevent future attacks. The answer is real-time, verified, contextual intelligence – actionable immediately – allowing IR teams to react fast, bring down moving targets and cut response times from months to minutes . A good threat intelligence API makes it easier to manage and correlate real-time information about botnets and malware as well as data obtained from the dark web and deep internet. APIs can also trigger automated incident analysis, management and mitigation processes, speed up internal communications and ensure that valuable internal resources can refocus quickly on fast-moving priorities.
SOC/Threat Intelligence teams
The perennial challenge for SOC teams and TI analysts is too much threat data and not enough time to correlate results. All too often these teams are confronted with the need to undertake manually-intensive processes and recruit highly skilled individuals just to keep on top of it all. Good intelligence is produced, but risks being out of date before it is usable, or potentially of limited relevance to the most pressing threat vectors and IOCs facing that particular organization. A good threat intelligence API makes it far easier to obtain the right intelligence in enough time, and with the capacity to enrich other processes such as vulnerability prioritization, threat triaging and threat hunting.
The ability to handle tens of millions of qualified threat items from a multitude of sources and generate actionable intelligence, relevant to your organization, in real time, is the promise of advanced threat intelligence solutions like Blueliv’s. But as customers look for increased marginal gains across a host of objectives – from better risk prioritization and incident response performance to reduced compliance liabilities and enhanced threat hunting insights – it’s clear that the value of threat intelligence can be further enhanced with the help of mature, flexible APIs.