Most organisations take up SOC to be their first line of defence. These systems are built with state-of-the-art technology and have a highly dedicated staff that ensures robust cybersecurity within the organisation.
The primary purpose of a SOC within an organisation is to employ people, technology, and processes that aim to analyse and improve its cybersecurity posture. The SOC is a centralised function that detects, analyses, responds, and prevents cybersecurity incidents the organisation may come across.
However, with an increased influx and sophistication of cyber attacks, SOCs today are under pressure. Every second, a considerable level of data is created, leading to new vulnerabilities and attack vectors targeting the system. With this, how can SOCs keep pace with the ever-increasing threat landscape and better understand it to ensure the organisation’s cybersecurity posture remains firm?
Furthermore, a recent survey has revealed that 53% of respondents believe their SOC is proving to be ineffective at collecting evidence, analysing and detecting the source of threat.
Amidst this, integrating threat intelligence within the SOC system can prove to be a fruitful endeavour. Primarily so, threat intelligence allows security analysts a chance to analyse potential intruders and malicious adversaries better, posing to be a potential threat to the organisation’s security, even though most organisations fail to operationalise capable threat intelligence within SOC.
Why Is Threat Intelligence Important For SOC?
Organisations and enterprises are targets due to the high amount of money and information present. Therefore, SOC staff have to deal with many security alerts every day.
Amidst this, cogent analysis, detection, and response to each threat become a hard task to execute, especially without a proper context. Also, manual checking of each threat detection leaves little time for the SOC staff to counter check every alert it comes across.
On the contrary, working exclusively with internal data could provide the staff with minimal insights on enhanced or emerging cyber threats. Therefore integrating well-structured threat intelligence into the SOC could effectively improve its incident response owing to the pre-researched information on various attack sources such as:
1. Ill-Reputational Information
Information provided by threat intelligence teams provides insights to users on spoofed or ill-reputation domains and IP addresses. This ill-reputation often comes with the IP address or domain being nefarious as malicious or hacked and should not be accessed.
2. Information on phishing attacks
This information feed enumerates newly emerged phishing attacks and the targets they have acquired. Additionally, it contains known phishing URLs. With this feed, users can block employee access to web pages and sites that steal login information or other sensitive information. It also allows analysis to teach employees about the latest phishing attack and their attack methods.
3. Command-and-Control Information
This information report contains details on every known domain that are knowingly connected to botnet control panels. With these information systems in the users’ network can avoid becoming a part of any cybercriminal infrastructure often used in distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS).
4. Malicious URL Data
Through this feed, users can identify and track known hosts of malicious files within their traffic logs. With that, they can also include malicious URLs and blacklist them to prevent infections. This feed contains information on every known and emerging malware, allowing SOC teams a better chance of detection, analysis, and response in cases of infection.
5. Botnet and DDoS Attack data
The information feeds on these particular threats provide an insight into the security analysts regarding the working and execution of recently emerging threats. It also detects and identifies bot commands tied to DoS attacks. As these attacks are sneaky, such information prepares the staff for robust threat response.
6. Data on Blended Threats
Blended threats occur using multiple techniques and attack vectors simultaneously to launch an attack on a system. Information on the attack allows the SOC team to timely patch their vulnerabilities and further detect and analyse possible; attack scenarios.
Does Threat Intelligence Improve SOC Incident Response?
Although threat intelligence has proven to be one of the critical infrastructures within the cybersecurity framework, many organisations remain reluctant to implement it. However, contrary to their belief, threat intelligence can remarkably improve incident response and detection capabilities of a SOC and ensure a robust form of cybersecurity within an organisation.
As mentioned above, threat intelligence reports are detailed insights into emerging and enhanced cyber attacks. Such that the SOC staff can effectively make use of this information to verify the nature of any domain, URL, and IP address to see if they are malicious or otherwise compromised.
With that, the team can further cross-check the said domain, URL, or IP address against the organisation’s to see if it is present and needs to be blacklisted. This manual process with specific threat intelligence tools proves to be relatively easy.
The security process can be automated to add up all known malicious URLs identified by the threat intelligence team in a blacklist, protecting employees from landing on a malicious web page or getting caught in a phishing attack or malware campaign.
Additionally, threat intelligence reports are also useful for the SOC team during proactive detection and prevention threats as it is nearly impossible for all security solutions to address emerging threats due to slow updates and reliance on internal threat sources.
However, amidst this threat, intelligence systems offer robust threat detection and prevention as they rely on third party information gathering. With this, threat detection systems often stay ahead of other security solutions.
Apart from that, a well-integrated threat intelligence system can give the SOC team a much-needed space to focus on significant threats. That’s because these well-structured databases cut the need for manual processing and filtering.
SOCs and threat intelligence are undoubtedly the ultimate combination against detection and response. It allows organisations to integrate superb cybersecurity measures and provide the SOC staff to adopt an efficient workflow by streamlining the manual verification process.
However, although integrating threat intelligence seems like the perfect solution, organisations must remember that threat intelligence is sufficient as long as there is comparable pre-existing data.