We live in a world of information overload, where an incredible 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day. Humans can only process a fraction of that information. Security analysts, responsible for maintaining the security of the company for which they work, must meet specific requirements regarding the information they leverage in their investigations. It must be high-fidelity and delivered in real time with as much detailed context as possible — an increasingly difficult task given the multitude of information available.

A Broader Perspective

The IBM X-Force Exchange (XFE) platform was introduced over a year ago to provide threat intelligence information openly, yet it was only one source of information. As vast as the X-Force data repository is, it became clear as the platform and threat intelligence market matured that we needed to provide a broader perspective to help analysts validate their findings.

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With that in mind, X-Force Exchange introduced an external threat feed manager to leverage partnerships with additional third-party threat intelligence providers within the platform. This service is designed to facilitate the processing of threat information, and make the analysis and investigation workflow simpler and more efficient.

Threat Intelligence Partnerships

Much like a journalist looks for multiple news sources to corroborate or refute a story, a security analyst looks to multiple threat intelligence sources to understand the relevance of a particular threat indicator. Many resources are available to provide the additional context needed for that investigation. First, there are connectors to the following open-source feeds: BotScout, PhishTank and VirusTotal.

In addition, IBM has established partnerships with third-party feeds RiskIQ, ReversingLabs and RecordedFuture. These providers are now part of the Ready for IBM Security Intelligence Alliance program. We intend to continue to add more partners in the coming months to provide even more options for our users.

Some of these partners, such as RiskIQ, are already contributors to the IBM Security App Exchange. This extends the value of security solutions through predeveloped integration points for seamless protection to further collaborative defense.

User Workflow

These partnerships allow existing customers of those providers to bring additional context when looking up an observable, such as an IP address, domain, vulnerability or malware, in the XFE report page.

Specifically, when viewing a report, users will, as before, see the IBM X-Force section on the observable. For an IP address, this includes the risk rating and the historical information on that rating, the WHOIS address, malware context and passive Domain Name System (DNS) information. When the user authenticates the additional feeds, there will be further sections in the report that show the external providers’ information on that observable, which could include data such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate intelligence, web components, host pairs and other proprietary analysis.

With this simple development, the security analyst can now save time and avoid the inconvenience of visiting multiple sites or portals to investigate what the broader security ecosystem of threat intelligence says about an observable. It will all be shown in a single pane in the XFE platform.

Learn More

Visit IBM X-Force Exchange to see the new feature in action, or check out our on-demand webinar, “Transform Threat Intelligence Into Prevention in Minutes,” to learn more about how to apply threat intelligence.

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