The Bacon of Security: How Threat Intelligence Complements Cloud Protection

Much like the mythical six degrees of separation of another famous Bacon, it seems that you can’t get farther than three clicks on a security provider’s website without running into some mention of threat intelligence. While my hazy, hairspray-induced fondness for “Footloose” is dampened somewhat by the existence of “Wild Things” in the ’90s, I can safely say that X-Force Threat Intelligence is one my favorite security seasonings.

Cur(at)ing Threat Intelligence

While you may not want to see how sausage is made, there is a lot of interest in how threat intelligence is created. Although I’ve had a rather unfortunate exposure to pig farming thanks to a classmate’s technical process presentation in a college Public Speaking class, I’ll spare you the details. Suffice to say it was quite unsuitable for an 8 a.m. lecture.

The Useful Parts of Threat Intelligence

It’s not idle curiosity to question the sources of threat intelligence. Essential to threat intelligence being useful is that it is accurate and trusted.

X-Force sources threat intelligence using a variety of data capture methods. The infrastructure that X-Force uses for collecting data includes a Web crawler, similar in technology to what an Internet search engine would use. It is focused on identifying threats, malicious Web domains, honeypots and darknets that capture network communication indicative of malware, and spam traps for obtaining as much spam as possible.

Read the Gartner Report: How to operate and evaluate a Cloud Access Security Broker

These data collection methods are complemented by further data from 15 billion monitored events from our Security Services clients and 270 million monitored endpoints to collect malware samples. Capturing this data is important; equally important is turning the information collected into insights that can integrate with products and help protect an enterprise.

When in Doubt, Add Bacon

X-Force insights have been integrated into the broader portfolio of security intelligence, identity and access management, financial fraud and mobile protection products within IBM Security.

One of the newest integrations has been with IBM Cloud Security Enforcer. In this solution, X-Force Threat Intelligence provides risk ratings for Web applications and threat signatures, network analysis and zero-day threat protection to help companies manage their employees’ use of cloud applications.

If I’ve whetted your appetite for more than just bacon bits, watch the “Cloud App Secrets Revealed, They’re Not All Nice” on-demand webinar to learn more about X-Force Threat Intelligence and how it integrates with cloud protection to uncover shadow IT.

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Pamela Cobb

Market Segment Manager, IBM X-Force and Security Intelligence

Pamela Cobb directs product marketing activities for the IBM X-Force and Threat Protection offerings developing messaging, collateral, website content. She came to IBM through the acquisition of Internet Security Systems, where she managed the Competitive Intelligence function. Elsewhere in IBM, Pam has worked in database marketing and market insights focusing on Midmarket and Hardware products She's earned the IBM Forward Thinker Award and IBM Global Best Database Marketing Practice Award, and has been published in the Journal of Competitive Intelligence.