No matter the size, industry, or location, every business will share certain core objectives. These include growing revenue, reducing risk, lowering expenses, increasing customer and employee satisfaction, adhering to compliance regulations, and so on. Often it seems that focusing on information security will negatively impact many of these objectives. After all, security solutions are an added cost, and time spent on training and tougher authentications is time not spent on other profitable tasks. The areas where it does naturally align, such as reducing business risk and compliance regulations, are admittedly not as sexy as adding revenue.
So why should businesses care about information security? And beyond that, why should they care about smaller subsets of security? As it turns out, many of these smaller subsets, such as threat intelligence, can strategically guide and ensure the success of those objectives.
Back up, you might say. What’s threat intelligence? You can read a full explanation here, but the short answer is that it’s curated information intended to inform you and help you make better decisions about how to stop bad things from happening to you. In this blog, we’ll highlight a few key areas where threat intelligence can have a positive impact on your business objectives.
Adversaries, or anyone with intention and capability to do harm, are constantly discovering new ways to infiltrate organizations’ networks. Threat intelligence provides visibility into these existing and emerging security hazards. By acquiring this knowledge and applying it to your environment, you can reduce risk of data loss, prevent or minimize disruption to business operations, and increase regulatory compliance. As the saying goes “failure to prepare is preparing to fail,” and it could not be more true than when discussing cybersecurity and threat intelligence.
In the aftermath of a 2017 data breach, credit reporting agency Equifax will likely pay “well over $600 million,” which will include costs to resolve government investigations and civil lawsuits against the firm. Not only do security breaches cost your organization in post-incident remediation and restoration, but they can also include fines, investigations, and lawsuits that frequently run in the millions of dollars. Every time you use threat intelligence to make timely, informed decisions, you are preventing system downtime, thwarting the theft of confidential data, protecting your intellectual property, and saving your organization’s reputation and customers.
Threat intelligence makes the security team you currently have incredibly more efficient and less prone to burnout from alert fatigue. Manually validating and correlating threat intelligence is time consuming and resource intensive, so leveraging platforms designed to automatically generate and integrate this intelligence into your organization's infrastructure can lower your security response times and allow your staffing to focus their attention on other important needs—saving your business hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Along with freeing up your staffing for other needs, when you know what threats are most pressing to your business, you can properly allocate more investment in your infrastructure to address these important issues. Aligning internal intelligence, in the form of vulnerability and patch management, with external intelligence is a great first step towards prioritization of resources. As another example, if you notice an increase in alerts from a specific geographic location of your organization’s office, you can focus your investment on a solution to mitigate this issue.
Building off the previous points, threat intelligence can ultimately lower your expenses and save your business capital. An improved defensive posture informed by threat intelligence helps mitigate your organization’s risk, lowers your response times, and maximizes your security investment allocations. With resources focused on the important issues, your business can realize increased savings in both financial and human capital.
Investing in threat intelligence is rapidly becoming a necessity for businesses—and clearly for good reason. The drawbacks of its extra cost are outweighed by its significant benefits to the success of your business operations in both the short-term (proper capital allocation, more efficient staffing, regulatory compliance, etc.) and the long-term (reduced risk, financial loss prevention, etc.).
To learn more about the benefits that threat intelligence can provide to your organization's security and business objectives, check out our whitepaper, The Definitive Guide to Sharing Threat Intelligence.