July 1, 2016
Joe Franscella

What Cyber Threat Intelligence Companies Protect You From

<p>Wouldn’t it be great to read that after a few decades of dealing with online threats, experts have resolved cyber-crime for good? Unfortunately, the need for threat intelligence is increasing. Hackers and other criminals who employ them are continually launching increasingly sophisticated ways to compromise our hardware, software, and most sacred files. Costs from hacking and espionage are expected to spike from 500B annually to <a href="http://www.juniperresearch.com/press/press-releases/cybercrime-cost-businesses-over-2trillion" target="_blank">$2.1 Trillion by 2019</a>.</p><p>As we put more of our business assets and personal data online, our vulnerability increases. Reports of social media hacking and spam have continued to show growth. Individuals and businesses continue to further integrate social media and smart devices into our lives. Hacking does more than damage your equipment; it has lasting effects on your daily operations. Cyber threat intelligence companies are leading the charge to mitigate these threats.</p><p>Most hackers are in the business of economic gain. Their botnets generate revenue or invading networks yields data that’s valuable to outsiders. Other hackers are working for conscientious reasons and see their work as acts of protest. Breaches can wreak incredible havoc. Cyber threat intelligence companies protect you from several kinds of damage.</p><p><strong>Malware</strong>, bots, and viruses are running rampant online. Programs designed to infiltrate your computer and reproduce themselves are getting more and more sophisticated. Malware can be used to spy on a target and/or leverage the computer’s processing power to spread. Massive networks of infected computers can be hired out by sleazy spammers or employed in a denial of service attack which inundates a site with enough traffic to slow it down or shut it down altogether.</p><p>Many threats are transmitted via <strong>email</strong>. Spam emails are a nuisance to deal with. In addition to being unwelcome and sometimes overly provocative, they often contain links to infected domains or contain embedded malware. Phishing attacks employ <a href="{page_3226}">emails cleverly made</a> to look like an authentic message. You or your staff can contaminate your network and leave it vulnerable to compromise with a single click.</p><p>Not all email breaches are conducted with viruses and fake web links. If the stakes are high enough, criminals will take the time to approach staff conversationally with hopes of gathering intel via old-fashioned gossip. It may sound inconceivable that trained, loyal employees could make such a grave error in judgement, but case studies show “elicitation” works. People’s rationality can be overcome by a desire to be friendly, helpful, or to show off their superior knowledge.</p><p><strong>Espionage</strong> affects companies of all sizes. While many spammers cast a wide net, others have specific targets. Whether you are storing financial records, technological developments, employee data, student records, medical histories, original art, etc., it’s of value to someone somewhere. Without a reliable warning, it’s possible that someone could hack in and help themselves to your files, databases, and sensitive messages. Cyber-sabotage is similarly motivated as espionage, the distinction being the attackers render your data, hardware, or software unusable to incapacitate your operation.</p><p><strong>Reputation damage</strong> is long lasting. If personal data is leaked on your watch, it is not enough to apologize and clean up the damage. The long-term value of a company is diminished when the public’s trust is compromised. Stock <a href="http://www.marketplace.org/2016/06/09/economy/price-profits/former-bp-ceo-emphasizes-long-term" target="_blank">value has been estimated to drop 30%</a> when companies fail their stakeholders.</p><p>Keep your network protected from malware and keep your workspace safe from outsiders who wish to steal, destroy, or sabotage your data. Cutting edge cyber threat intelligence companies have the resources needed to identify criminals and their means of attack by collecting massive logs of traffic data. This information is critical for malware detection programmers who immediately create patches. Finding actionable information in your web traffic helps prevent major breaches before they occur. Prioritize online security and it’s possible that cyber criminals may pass you over for another target.</p><p>Interested in learning more about Anomali's Enterprise model? It focuses on prioritization and relevance for both security operations and threat analysts. 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