SecurityBrief Asia logo
Asia's leading source of cybersecurity and cyber-attack news
Story image

Interview: ThreatQuotient champions threat intelligence through virtual 'situation rooms'

By Sara Barker
Thu 23 Jul 2020
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Threat intelligence is often associated with the data that powers standard security technologies such as firewalls, antivirus, and filtering, the provision of dedicated threat intelligence offers much more.

To understand what dedicated threat intelligence involves, as well as some of the collaboration challenges that come with distributing threat intelligence amongst specialised security teams, we spoke to ThreatQuotient APJC regional director Anthony Stitt. ThreatQuotient is a security firm that specialises in threat intelligence services for organisations worldwide. 

Threat intelligence: A growing market

“Threat intelligence is coming from everywhere, and it is very democratised. There are specialist vendors who produce it, and the Australian Government has even been doing some things in this space, particularly on the state and federal government initiatives collect and share intelligence,” notes Stitt.

He believes there’s a shift in thinking about threat intelligence, how it gets used and how it gets managed, particularly as security teams seek a sharper relevance to their own organisations and sectors.

Stitt says that actionability is a key problem for threat programs because it takes time for analysts to sift through masses of information to find relevance. But there’s a temporal problem: Do organisations focus on comprehensive, delayed intelligence and risk attacks, or immediate intelligence without context?

“In the background, analysts are investigating adversaries and their behaviour. A lot of intelligence has been researched prior to being published, which means there is often a delay, sometimes of up to a month or more, while it is being prepared and validated.”

“The longer the preparation time, the more context and information is likely to come with the intelligence, but any given organisation might be at risk during this gap period.

“At the other end of the spectrum, some intelligence services release threat intelligence incredibly quickly - almost in real-time - yet it often lacks context. The context is generally what analysts use to determine the priority and what to do with it.”

Stitt says there are two equally important aspects about actioning priority intelligence: The first is to block future attacks; the second is to detect previously successful attacks that you didn't detect at the time they happened. 

“This second aspect is extremely difficult without a threat intelligence platform to store and score intelligence over a long timescale, and correlate it with historical event data from the environment.”

He adds that most intelligence comes with different tags, identifiers, attributes, ratings and priorities, yet every source refers to these in different ways. This is where a Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) can help by normalising threat intelligence. 

Stitt explains, “A TIP can filter and rank threat data using parameters like your organisation’s geography, industry, the type of intelligence, where it came from, and a range of other contextual relationships."

“This prioritises all incoming intelligence so analysts know where to start first, and typically gets rid of noise by more than 99%, which allows organisations to focus on taking action where required.”

The evidence board: Threat intelligence collaboration in remote environments

Security teams must protect their corporate networks and employees’ remote networks from all different kinds of threats. How difficult is this task given that everyone, including the security team, now working from home?

While security teams and those in security operations centres (SOCs) may have experience working remotely, some tools sit in inherently protected environments that cannot be accessed remotely. 

“There has also been a challenge in terms of how security staff work and collaborate. Normally in an office, someone would be able to lean over and talk to the person at the next desk for immediate feedback. If you’re not doing that in a physical environment, you end up relying on tools that don’t always foster collaboration.”

That challenge is one of many that led ThreatQuotient to design a ‘virtual cybersecurity situation room’, which essentially houses threat intelligence data.

“Security teams are getting larger and more specialised over time, leading to segmentation into different groups, different teams, and more siloing. For example, there may be separate groups for security monitoring and threat intelligence, vulnerability assessments and risk – they’ll all be using their own tools and platforms.”

Stitt says that siloed teams have the common goal of defending their organisation but siloes inevitably come with communication and information gaps.

To explain the difference between whole-of-group collaboration and siloed teams, Stitt uses the analogy of ‘evidence boards’ in crime TV shows, where investigators gather around the evidence to work out the details of a crime.

“The question we asked was, ‘how does that happen in a cyber threat environment’? We wanted an evidence board so that different teams can virtually come together and visually work on the same goal, like working out the pieces of a breach or crime.”

Such a platform is well suited to a distributed workforce, because everybody collaborates in the same space, solving the issue of siloed and remote teams.

A single, virtual collaborative environment can also offer the ability for security teams to actively share learnings or directly communicate with each other; divvy up tasks to focus on response and understand the required actions to be taken by others; and manage security teams effectively by assign tasks to individuals, coordinate tasks between teams, and monitor results.

“The key thing that businesses need to think about as they grow and get more specialised is how they use methods and tools to coordinate teams. Even small communication gaps are potential avenues that attackers can use because there will likely be lapses in security coverage,” Stitt says.

With threat intelligence and dedicated virtual cybersecurity situation rooms to bring security teams together, communication gaps and any resulting cyber attacks have one less opportunity to create chaos.

Related stories
Top stories
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
How to ensure ethical deployment of AI implentations
The increase in automation and machine technology such as AI and machine learning has unlocked a whole new level of scale and service to organisations. 
Story image
Digital Transformation
How to modernise legacy apps without compromising security
At a time when digital transformation has become central to business, even the most important applications come with a ‘use-by’ date.
Story image
Ransomware
A third of companies paying ransom don’t recover data - report
Veeam's report finds 76% of businesses who are victims of cyberattacks paid the ransom to recover data, but a third were still unable to get their information back.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
AI-based email security platform Abnormal Security valued at $4B
"A new breed of cybersecurity solutions that leverage AI is required to change the game and stop the rising threat of sophisticated and targeted email attacks."
Story image
Remote Working
How zero trust and SD-WANs can support productive remote working
The way people connect with applications and data has changed, users are remotely accessing resources that could be stored anywhere from a corporate data center to the cloud.
Story image
Cybersecurity
ThoughtLab reveals 10 best practices for cybersecurity in 2022
The benchmarking study reveals best practices that can reduce the probability of a material breach and the time it takes to find and respond to those that happen.
Story image
Malware
Use of malware, botnets and exploits expands in Q1 2022
"As zero-day attacks and other vulnerabilities among companies like Google and Microsoft come to light, threat actors are quickly adjusting their tactics."
Story image
Secure access service edge / SASE
Versa Networks recognised as SASE leader in Govie Awards
Versa Networks has announced its SASE offering has been recognised in The Govies Government Security Awards competition by Security Today magazine.
Story image
Ivanti
Ivanti and Lookout bring zero trust security to hybrid work
Ivanti and Lookout have joined forces to help organisations accelerate cloud adoption and mature their zero trust security posture in the everywhere workplace.
Story image
Cybersecurity
A10 Networks finds over 15 million DDoS weapons in 2021
A10 Networks notes that in the 2H 2021 reporting period, its security research team tracked more than 15.4 million Distributed Denial-of-Service (DDoS) weapons.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Video: 10 Minute IT Jams - An update from IronNet
Michael Ehrlich joins us today to discuss the history of IronNet and the crucial role the company plays in the cyber defence space.
Story image
Microsoft
Apple, Google and Microsoft expands plans to get rid of passwords
FIDO Alliance says the world is closer to not relying on passwords after Apple, Google and Microsoft expands their support for a passwordless sign-in standard.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Hard numbers: Why ambiguity in cybersecurity no longer adds up
As cybersecurity costs and risks continue to escalate, CEOs continue to struggle with what their investment in cyber protection buys. Getting rid of ambiguity becomes necessary.
Story image
SaaS
Absolute Software expands Secure Access product offering
Absolute Software is enhancing its Secure Access product portfolio, enabling minimised risk exposure and optimised user experiences in the hybrid working environment.
Story image
APAC
Odaseva expands in APAC and UK with more security features
Odaseva, a data platform for Salesforce, is establishing new headquarters in London as well as a new data center in India.
Story image
Malware
Sharp increase in phishing as cybercriminals leverage SEO to lure victims
"Malware lurking everywhere, from cloud apps to search engines, leaving organisations at greater risk than ever before."
Story image
Firewall
Sophos named Gartner Peer Insights Customers Choice for network firewalls
The company earned the highest overall customer rating among vendors with at least 150 verified customer reviews.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Companies rushing to secure print infrastructure
As the pandemic prioritised communication channels and the shift to remote work, IT departments fell behind in updating the security of print and IT infrastructure.
SonicWall
Find out how you and your business can prevent being caught out by everything from ransomware to cryptojacking.
Link image
Story image
Phishing
Developments in phishing and how to protect your business
Phishing, the practice of sending malicious emails to encourage users to perform actions that benefit an attacker, is a key security concern for modern businesses due to its prevalence and impact.
Story image
Appian
Appian awarded billions in damages against Pegasystems Inc.
Appian has been awarded USD$2.036 billion in damages against Pegasystems Inc as the result of a jury verdict in the Circuit Court for Fairfax County, Virginia.
Story image
Artificial Intelligence
ForgeRock releases Autonomous Access solution powered by AI
ForgeRock has officially introduced ForgeRock Autonomous Access, a new solution that uses AI to prevent identity-based cyber attacks and fraud.
Story image
BeyondTrust
BeyondTrust integrates Password Safe solution with SailPoint
BeyondTrust has announced the integration of BeyondTrust Password Safe with SailPoint identity security offerings.
Story image
Phishing
Google reveals new safety and security measures for users
Google's new measures include automatic two step verification, virtual cards and making it easier to remove contact information on Google Search results.
Story image
Cybersecurity
Managed service providers: effective scoping to avoid costly vendor pitfalls
Managed security services are outsourced services focusing on the security and resilience of business networks.
Story image
Sift
Sift shares crucial advice for preventing serious ATO breaches
Are you or your business struggling with Account Takeover Fraud (ATO)? One of the latest ebooks from Sift can provide readers with the tools and expertise to help launch them into the new era of account security.
Story image
Cybersecurity
New report reveals evolving techniques targeting cloud-native environments
Companies are adopting cloud-native technologies faster than ever before. Unfortunately, with new technology comes new threats and challenges.
Story image
VPN
Palo Alto Networks says ZTNA 1.0 not secure enough
Palo Alto Networks is urging the industry to move to Zero Trust Network Access 2.0 because previous versions have major gaps in security protection.
Story image
Ransomware
Cybersecurity starts with education
In 2021, 80% of Australian organisations responding to the Sophos State of Ransomware study reported being hit by ransomware. 
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Datacom, Micro Focus, SnapLogic and VMware
We round up all job appointments from May 6-12, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Forensics
Exterro adds advanced capabilities to digital forensic tool
The launch is in-line with Exterro’s investment in the FTK product line, and underscores the company's commitment to the digital forensics.
Story image
Cybersecurity
CyberArk launches $30M investment fund to advance security
CyberArk has announced the launch of CyberArk Ventures, a $30 million global investment fund dedicated to advancing the next generation of security disruptors.
Story image
Ransomware
Zerto unveils updates to ransomware recovery capabilities
"Organisations face increased risks from the volume and sophistication of ransomware attacks prevalent today."
Story image
Surveillance
Genetec launches new enclosure management system for data centers
Genetec has released a new enclosure management solution that will give data centers the ability to secure, monitor and manage access to racks and cabinets remotely.
Story image
Phishing
KnowBe4 celebrates reaching 50,000 customers worldwide
KnowBe4 has reached the milestone of 50,000 customers, adding nearly 2,500 in the first quarter of 2022 alone.
Story image
Blue Prism
Blue Prism Desktop uses IA to defend against vulnerabilities
SS&C Blue Prism Desktop aims to help protect businesses against vulnerabilities, using a combination of security measures and intelligent automation tech.
Story image
Tech job moves
Tech job moves - Cisco, Hitachi Vantara, Tricentis & Zscaler
We round up all job appointments from April 28 - May 5, 2022, in one place to keep you updated with the latest from across the tech industries.
Story image
Hyperscale
SpaceDC partners with Aofei for data center sales in Asia
SpaceDC has partnered with Aofei Data International to sell Aofei's data centers, CDN and SDN in China.
Story image
Cybersecurity
The 'A-B-C' of effective application security
Software applications have been a key tool for businesses for decades, but the way they are designed and operated has changed during the past few years.
Story image
Cybersecurity
HackerOne launches Attack Resistance Management solution
HackerOne has launched Attack Resistance Management - a new category of security solution that targets the root causes of the attack resistance gap. 
Story image
Data Protection
Managed Service Providers key to customer data protection
Frequent cyberattacks in the ASEAN region drive the demand for MSPs that can deliver purpose-built security solutions for SME customers.
Story image
Ransomware
Anniversaries remind us to review identity risks
World Password Day provides a timely reminder for ordinary citizens and organisations to stop and think about the risks associated with digital identities.
Story image
Application Security
What are the DDoS attack trend predictions for 2022?
Mitigation and recovery are vital to ensuring brand reputation remains solid in the face of a Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attack and that business growth and innovation can continue.
Story image
Fortinet
Fortinet sees 34% revenue increase in latest financial results
Fortinet has released its financial results for the first quarter ended March 31, 2022, seeing a total revenue increase of 34.4% compared to the same quarter last year.