Threat Intelligence Sharing: The First Steps

While threat intelligence has become a standard part of the suite of tools a company uses to defend itself, the sharing of that threat intelligence is still in its infancy. You might even say we’re taking baby steps, and years from now, we’ll look back fondly on the home videos. To continue the analogy, threat intelligence sharing is in somewhat of an awkward stage right now, where the tools and standards are further along than the actual practices themselves. Our feet want to move, but our brain is still figuring out how to get from point A to point B.

With that, I would like to share some of the basic principles to help sharing stand on its own and further its adoption since its potential benefits are truly enormous. Let’s begin with a few ideas of what to do to help establish a good sharing program.

Do:

  • Create a stable of reliable sources to research threat intelligence.
  • Take advantage of industry consortia to validate processes and findings and the right online tools to enable those interactions.
  • Pay attention to industry standards such as Structured Threat Information Expression, Trusted Automated Exchange of Indicator Information and Cyber Observable Expression to ensure interoperability between your security products regardless of who your vendor is.
  • Encourage your security practitioners to stay on top of best practices through continuing education and industry consortia such as the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, SANS Institute, the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, the Cybersecurity Intelligence and Integration Center and the Information Sharing and Analysis Centers.

However, we should also be realistic and set clear expectations.

Don’t:

  • Think you have to share intimate details of your security ecosystem to contribute to a threat intelligence sharing community. Sharing something as simple as a suspicious IP address or spam sample can help the next company prevent an attack.
  • Expect a platform to solve all your organization’s security issues. A rigorous set of policies and procedures to complement security products is still necessary to ensure your data and your clients’ data is protected.
  • Drink from the fire hose. Identify the right sources of threat intelligence that will help best protect your organization while allowing for actionable results.

The sharing of threat intelligence is at an exciting stage of development in which there is recognition of the power of this concept. The next stage is establishing a foundation of what it means to share effectively and confidently. I can’t wait to see what it looks like when this baby is off and running!

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Doron Shiloach

X-Force Product Manager, IBM

Doron Shiloach is a product manager with the IBM X-Force threat and vulnerability research team , which is responsible for security content and threat and vulnerability research. Doron has had prior experience in technology strategy and innovation, as well as strategic alliances and engineering, and holds a masters degree in electrical engineering