31.03.2017 / words: Bruce Penson / image: Pro Drive IT
With cyber crime a growing threat to businesses large and small, Bruce Penson, Director at Guildford-based IT support firm Pro Drive IT examines the strategies comapanies can employ to get ahead of the threat...
If you receive a visit from the local police force warning you that a criminal gang is targeting local businesses - breaking and entering, and making off with anything of value – you would put security measures in place. You might be part of a local community policing scheme, notifying other businesses of suspicious activity around your premises, working proactively together to prevent crime in your area. It’s an effective way of keeping businesses safe and reducing crime in the community.
However, when it comes to cyber crime many businesses feel very exposed. They don’t have a friendly police officer to warn them about potential threats, other businesses can be quite cagey about revealing that they’ve suffered a breach and, crucially, many business owners are not really sure what threats their business might attract.
This is where threat intelligence can help. Instead of trying to protect the business from numerous unknown threats and fight them off once they’re on the doorstep; threat intelligence not only provides an early warning, but will also help businesses determine what security measures need to be put in place.
Using the local police analogy, a proactive approach to community policing involves knowing who the criminals are, who they target, and the methods they use. If a criminal targets local shops in your area (stealing the cash till), you probably don’t need to worry too much if you’re not a retailer and you don’t have much cash on your premises.
How Does Threat Intelligence Work?
Similarly, threat intelligence can help determine whether you are at risk of certain types of cyber crime based on your business, your environment, and the threat landscape.
As we know, cyber threats evolve fast. Cyber criminals use new tools, tactics and procedures (TTP) faster than your security team can respond. This makes identifying your vulnerabilities and detecting threats very challenging, and where a ‘community policing’ response can deliver real value.
Threat intelligence uses information gathered from thousands of client networks, analyses it and then identifies trends and how threats are evolving. This information is then tailored to your unique environment, and recommendations made to address specific threats and risks.
This means that instead of waiting for a threat to attack your organisation and then relying on your existing security to prevent access – without a clear idea of whether those tools are right for the job – you can pre-empt potential attacks by implementing the right IT security tools for the specific threat.
If you were warned that a thief is targeting unlocked garden sheds, you’d get a padlock. If you’re warned that your business is vulnerable to social engineering tactics, you can put strategies in place to detect and prevent them.
There are a whole host of threat intelligence solutions on the market. At the heart of any robust threat intelligence solution are experts who are proactively monitoring the evolving threat landscape and looking for activity and vulnerabilities that suggests an attack is imminent.
Pro Drive IT run free cyber security workshops in London and Surrey for businesses that are worried about being vulnerable to an attack, and want a robust security solution to protect them. More details and how to book can be found at www.prodriveit.co.uk