Our blog

Why cyber threat intelligence matters


10 November 2016

Mark Hughes

Blogs by author: Mark Hughes, President, BT Security


Cyber criminals can innovate quicker than you can. Here’s why you need the right intelligence and expertise to defend your networks and prevent a breach.

Avoid being in the line of fire.

Imagine you’re stuck in traffic, going nowhere quickly. Then, in your rear-view mirror, a set of blue lights appears — a fire truck needs to get through.

You know that speed is a vital factor here, and you do your best to get out of the way. But, with no room for manoeuvre, you can only see yourself as a barrier to the paramedics’ swift response.

Now think about how frustrating it must be to sit in the cabin of the fire truck. No doubt, this is somewhat similar to the way you feel when trying to respond to a cyber attack on your organisation.

Identify your security issues.

When facing a cyber attack, you need to put the fire out fast.

However, nine out of ten organisations face obstacles when they attempt to respond quickly to security alerts.

And these hurdles come from a number of places. Almost half of organisations say regulation gets in the way. Four in ten say they lack the right skills and people or struggle with legacy IT systems that slow them down.

Overcome the obstacles.

It’s tough to overcome these barriers to a speedy security response. But here are three actions you can take to get the edge over cyber criminals:

 1. Collect threat intelligence that gives you information on your attackers.

You need to gather evidence-based information on potential attackers. This includes looking at the tools they use, their motivation and the vulnerabilities they target. And by sharing this information with other organisations, you can work with them to make everyone that little bit more secure.

 2. Bring in the expertise to tackle emerging threats.

As you face more (and more varied) attacks, you have to know where you can find a swift source of cyber security expertise. This could come from employing someone to work in-house or building a partnership with a third-party security vendor.

 3. Build collaborative partnerships with other organisations and enforcement agencies.

You can’t tackle criminal entrepreneurs alone. To get the best view of your industry’s threat landscape, you need to collaborate with other organisations, other sectors and law enforcement authorities. This way, you can pool knowledge and work together to fund tools and campaigns to disrupt cyber crime.

Stay one step ahead of criminal entrepreneurs.

While you might struggle to innovate as quickly as the cyber criminals who target your organisation, you can still outfox them. Follow the three steps above, and you’ll have a much better idea of your risks — as well as how to deal with them.

You don’t have to fight fire with fire. Using threat intelligence and shared knowledge, you can stay one step ahead of criminal entrepreneurs and tackle any cyber attacks before they even occur.

Find out more about how to improve your cyber defences — download ‘Taking the Offensive – Disrupting Cyber Crime’, our new white paper, in partnership with KPMG.

And keep an eye out for the next blog in this series, when I’ll look at how improving your cyber security can actually create new opportunities for your organisation.