Today, the cybersecurity industry faces many challenges. Highly skilled attackers, a daily flood of data full of irrelevant information and false alarms across multiple systems come in amid a severe shortage of skilled workers. In this industry, performing detailed threat analysis with the data you already have will help protect your business.
For that, you need threat analysts. These are dedicated specialists within a security team responsible for identifying and assessing security threats. They have high levels of technical, analytical and communication skills. They often conduct specialized investigations and write high-level technical reports. The threat analyst is a highly skilled role that requires a lot of attention and dedication to ongoing learning and improvement.
How can threat analysts make a difference?
What Is Threat Analysis?
Threat analysis is much more than coding. It involves deep knowledge of how people think and function. Our society, economy and critical infrastructure have all become largely dependent on IT solutions, after all. Cyberattacks become more attractive and potentially more disastrous as our dependence on IT increases.
Today, threat analysis plays a crucial role in the world of cybersecurity. Without threat analysis on active and potential threats, analysts and security engineers have no way to focus their efforts.
Threat analysts play a critical role in saving time and money. Using both proactive and reactive approaches toward cybersecurity incidents, threat analysts can do wonders. On the other hand, a reactive approach invites risk.
How Threat Analysis Works
When it comes to threat analysis, knowledge is power. Threat analysts use that power to help security operations center teams defend themselves. They provide a strategic advantage against threats through their curation, interpretation and sharing of the information around them.
A threat analyst can detect cyber threats and malware impacting an enterprise. They investigate the level of threat and enable organizations to make required cybersecurity-based business decisions. Threat analysts prioritize threats and focus on the most severe ones. It’s based on the theory that if you know more about your own system’s weak spots than the attacker, you are better able to defend it.
Threat analysts connect the dots by providing context on indicators of compromise and tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) of threat actors. The context provided helps people in charge of making decisions understand the threats.
Demand for threat analysts is high. Businesses recognize they need to understand and respond to the enormous volume of threats that target them. Daily, we can see threat analysts use their skills to stop data breaches, ransomware attacks and other incidents. New research shows that businesses and agencies using threat analysts also see financial savings.
Key Duties of Threat Analysts
Below are some key duties of threat analysts:
- Know what the attacker wants: Attackers often seek to disrupt, manipulate and exfiltrate data held within endpoint systems. Understand what the attackers are trying to achieve. Know their intentions, as well as the possible implications and the scope of the attack.
- Document each threat: Document each and every TTP in the attack chain. That way, you can understand the overall motive of the attackers and correlate all the existing parameters.
- Prioritize threats: Find out the most unique and severe parameters to isolate the attack. Focus the analysis to minimize the impact.
In addition, a threat analyst tells a good story. Writing a detailed threat report with the most important and precise information is an art. This report helps leadership make the right call at the right time.
Threat analysts have access to up-to-date data about the latest threats. This data makes it easier to predict, assess and respond to them.
The average cost of cyber crime has increased drastically over the last few years. The average number of data breaches is also rising rapidly. Threat analysis provides cost savings by helping to avoid breaches.
A Challenging, Rewarding Career
Demand for threat analysts is growing. A majority of enterprises consider threat analysis as a top security priority. One analyst firm predicts that enterprises will soon invest a large part of their security budgets in threat analysis.
If you have a passion for research and you’d like to secure the future, then the threat analyst role may be calling you.
Security Consultant - IBM Security
Mohammed Abdul Waheed is an Information Security professional with 16 years of experience. His expertise is primarily in the information technology and servi...