Cyber Threat Intelligence for Small Business - ToOLOwl
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Cyber Threat Intelligence for Small Business

Businesses all around the world are recruiting cybersecurity experts to examine hackers’ ways through a process known as cyber threat intelligence, in order to strengthen their defenses against high-tech adversaries at the proverbial gate. According to a study published in a McAfee analysis, the global cost of cyberattacks has climbed from $600 billion in 2018 to $945 billion in 2020, an increase of more than 50% and more than 1% of global GDP. As free or low-cost cybercrime toolkits, high-profile successful cybercrimes in the news, and little consequences for cybercriminals make cyberattacks easier to carry out, specialists in the sector are frequently entrusted with developing risk assessments that would aid SMBs in identifying any potential weaknesses in their systems.

Since the digital landscape is highly dynamic and ever-evolving, cyber threat intelligence needs to keep up with the changes as well. The following article will help you understand the meaning and importance of cyber threat intelligence for an SMB.

What is Cyber Threat Intelligence?

Cyber threat intelligence is a branch of cybersecurity that focuses on gathering and analysing data on existing and potential assaults that could jeopardize an organization’s or its assets’ security. Businesses can take proactive actions to guarantee that their systems are secure by employing this strategy. Data breaches might potentially be avoided entirely through cyber threat information and analysis, sparing you the financial expenditures of having to implement incident response procedures. The goal of cyber threat intelligence is to provide businesses with a thorough awareness of the threats that represent the greatest danger to their infrastructure so that they can build a strategy to safeguard their operations. Analysts aim to provide as much actionable information as possible to their clients based on any current concerns. Why a hacker would attack your systems in the first place is part of the information gained from cyber threat intelligence analysis. Knowing the motivation of your adversary can help you figure out which parts of your system are most vulnerable.

Types of Cyber Threat Intelligence

Cyber threat intelligence is divided into three categories: strategic, tactical, and operational.

Strategic threat intelligence: it is a high-level assessment of prospective threats that identifies who would be interested in attacking the organization or companies in its industry, as well as their motivations. Whitepapers, studies, and presentations are used to illustrate management how the organization should respond.

Tactical threat intelligence: it focuses on cybercriminals’ strategies, techniques, and procedures and pertains to how and where the organization may be targeted. It is technical in nature and is offered to IT and network professionals with the purpose of having them implement defenses to prevent such attacks.

Operational threat intelligence: Information obtained via active attacks, cyber honeypots (traps used to attract hackers to expose their tactics), and data given by third parties is referred to as operational threat intelligence. It contains extremely detailed data such as URLs, file names and hashes, domain names, and IP addresses, and should be used to prevent attacks (if detected early enough), limit network damage, and eliminate known threats.

Importance of cyber threat intelligence

There is a slew of service providers with cyber threat intelligence analysts on staff who will collaborate with your cybersecurity or IT team to develop a strategy for your small business. When you hire the service, it will analyse and explain any potential hazards to your company, as well as what you can do to mitigate such concerns. With that kind of information, whoever looks after your network can make the necessary changes. Cyber threat intelligence can establish if your firm has already had a security issue, in addition to giving the right tools to thwart any cyberattacks. Intelligence analysts can utilise indicators of compromise to identify whether your systems have been infected with malware that, if left unnoticed, could result in data being stolen, corrupted, or ransomed.

Spyware is a sort of software that can be installed on a computer without your knowledge in order to collect internet usage data and other sensitive information. This could include credit card information, personal information about customers and workers, or other useful information in a commercial setting. Malware may be a costly issue for any company. In the year 2021, a type of virus known as ransomware was used in a number of incidents. Ransomware prevents users from accessing their computers unless they pay a ransom. It was used to bring the Colonial Pipeline to a halt, resulting in a gas scarcity on the East Coast.

So, it is important to understand the steps you need to follow if you uncover a possible cyberattack.

What to Do When Under a Cyberattack?

  1. Activate Incident Response Team: your response team will consist your IT and network personnel along with HR and any software or external IT vendors. As a result, if there ever is a breach, legal and recovery actions against the culprit for the compromised data can be taken immediately.
  2. Secure the Systems: be quick in your response and secure the systems as quickly as you can depending on the type and scale of the breach. This might lead to suspending your systems temporarily or possibly entire system.
  3. Launch an Investigation: Once the systems are secured, immediately launch a team of internal technicians and experts to identify the extent of damage and the means of launching the attack.
  4. Protection Implementation: change the passwords, update and strengthen the firewall, put data encryption, and remove any malicious code.

About ToOLOwl

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