Today, organizations are exposed to several attacks (Zero-Day attacks, crypto viruses, botnets, exploits…) it’s common to come across concepts such as Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) and Cyber Intelligence (CI). This article will help you understand the difference between these two concepts that in practice seem very similar.

According to Gartner, "Cyber Threat Intelligence is evidence-based knowledge, including context, mechanism, indicators, implications, and actionable advice, about an existing or emerging menace or hazard to assets that can be used to inform decisions regarding the subject's response to that menace or hazard ".

Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) delivers to the organizations, information about threats and threat actors that help mitigate harmful events in cyberspace. Cyber threat intelligence sources include open-source intelligence, social media intelligence, human intelligence, technical intelligence, or intelligence from the deep, surface & dark web/darknet, Tor, Freenet, I2P, Riffle, and others.

Identifying types of attacks;
Defining, guiding, and prioritizing operational requirements;
Understanding threat actor capacity, tactics, techniques, and procedures;
Deploying detection systems;
Developing defense strategies.

Cyber Intelligence (CI) is the mechanism of translating the data obtained from the attackers’ networks into an operative report through “standard intelligence approaches”.

Cyber Threat Intelligence delivers transforming data, gathered by ‘traditional methods of intelligence’ from the platforms of the attackers, into an actionable report for the target customer. The traditional intelligence methods may include passive follow-ups or actively created ‘persona’ to find out what the attackers are talking about, their new methods, their stolen information, and all other operational details. Surely these methods require a high level of knowledge and experience where the customers can get to perform proactive decisions in their IT infrastructure. Threat actors operate in “wolf packs” spread in different locations being difficult to track them down in previous information regarding the gathering of the “wolf pack” is not collected and that is one of the added values of this service.

CTI is an essential capability in an organization's security program. Used properly, CTI can enable better-informed security and business decisions and ultimately allow customers to take decisive action to protect their users, data, and reputation against unknown elements.

CTI often includes signature, reputation, and threat data feeds but goes beyond them in almost every way. Our typical activities involve:
Constant human and technical information gathering on a global scale.
The provision of adversary-focused and forward-looking rich contextual data.
Customization for our customers' organizations.

Here are some of CTI benefits:

Valuable insight and context: Detailing information on what threats are most likely to affect an organization or industry, and indicators to help prevent and detect more attacks.

Improved incident response times: Prioritizing alerts, which enables an organization to respond faster to real threats and reduce the risk of serious breach consequences.

Improved communication, planning, and investment: Security teams can communicate real risks to the business and focus on protecting high-risk targets from actual threats via additional security investment and planning.

In short, the skilled, well-funded, well-organized, and highly sophisticated cyber attackers use techniques that reveal security strategies to the technology alone. To develop a defense strategy against attackers, organizations need to know how hackers operate, how they function, and what techniques they use.

Cyber-threat intelligence allows companies to identify the dynamics and consequences of risks, improve security plans, structures, and reduce their attack potential to minimize damage and defend their network.

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