Why Organizations Need to Start Supporting Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) Programs.

Why Organizations Need to Start Supporting Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) Programs.

In recent years the level and sophistication of cyber-attacks have increased exponentially. The growing and evolving cyber threats are causing havoc for public and private sector organizations and information security professionals who are in charge of defending their information assets from threat actors.

Introduction.

In recent years the level and sophistication of cyber-attacks have increased exponentially. The growing and evolving cyber threats are causing havoc for public and private sector organizations and information security professionals who are in charge of defending their information assets from threat actors. The increased level of sophistication from threat actors is due to the improvement in technology but can largely be attributed to the involvement of nation-states in cyberspace — either by actively participating or funding proxy groups. The frequency and sophistication of attacks have increased awareness amongst cybersecurity professionals and the industry as a whole has recognized the need for collaboration and the sharing of cyber threat intelligence (CTI).

“Sharing CTI between different organizational entities is a collaborative effort to improve one’s cyber defence posture by leveraging the capabilities, knowledge, and experience of the broader cybersecurity community”.Cyber threat intelligence helps organizations improve their security programs by providing them “insights into the mechanisms and implications of threats, allowing them to build defence strategies and frameworks, and reduce their attack surface with the end goals of mitigating harm and protecting their network”. The main goal of cyber threat intelligence is to provide organizations with a thorough understanding of what’s transpiring outside their network, giving them a better understanding of the cyber threats that bring the most risk to their infrastructure.

Because state-sponsored groups are usually very well funded and can carry out protracted cyber campaigns against their chosen targets until they achieve their strategic objectives. These types of groups are known as advanced persistent threats (APT). APT attacks can be carried out by foreign intelligence agencies — state-sponsored or well-funded organized crime groups. Given the risks these threats represent, it is increasingly important that organizations start to think radically at their security programs in order to respond to this new type of threat.

COVID-19 has created the perfect environment for APT to capitalize — due to the fear and uncertainty the pandemic has created. Additionally, the increased use of connected devices and the implementation of telework policies have created many attack vectors. The Centre for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS) which focuses on cyber-attacks on government agencies, defence and high tech companies, or economic crimes with losses of more than 5 million noted earlier in June that North Korean state hackers sent COVID-19-themed phishing emails to more than 5 million businesses and individuals in Singapore, Japan, the United States, South Korea, India, and the UK in an attempt to steal personal and financial information. Similarly, Cybercriminals stole $10 million from Norway’s state investment fund in a business email compromise scam that tricked an employee into transferring money into an account controlled by the hackers.

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