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ThreatConnect and the Rise of the Security Developer

Taking Your Team & Career to the Next Level with ThreatConnect's GitHub Repositories

Going to the Next Level with ThreatConnect's GitHub Repositories

When I walk the show floors at RSA or Black Hat, I'm always struck by the number of new products that pop up every year. The "hot topic" varies - this year it was AI - but new booths springing up from the expo center carpet like magic is a constant. It can be a bit overwhelming: like showing up at a bar with an outrageously huge beer selection. But it can also be exciting, like (responsibly) trying all of those beers.

threatconnect-github-repositories

Yep, this is what Black Hat is like. In so, so many ways.

 

We get it. There's finally a hot new EDR or UEBA tool that does everything that you want, but you're nervous: will it work in your environment? Can your existing tools talk to it? Will your team understand how to use it? At ThreatConnect, our vision is to ensure that your answer is consistently "yes": if you're excited about new software, you should be able to integrate it into your team, your processes, and your tech stack. We've written at length about our platform strategy, but that "yes" is what it really comes down to.

The Rise of the Security Developer

One trend that makes this strategy possible is the rise of the Security Developer - security analysts who are dangerous enough with Python to take advantage of all of these new tools. If you're able to get that new EDR or UEBA or AMA or vulnerability scanner to work with your existing SIEM, ticketing system, whatever... you'll be a hero. Honing your skills with Python (or other security-friendly scripting language) and becoming familiar with APIs are big parts of becoming a Security Developer. To really take advantage of those skills, though, you need a "partner in crime": an extensible security platform that can bring all those APIs and exciting tools into a central location where all of your data and teammates can take advantage. Like ThreatConnect.

To enable new and mature Security Developers, we've created robust SDKs that can help you write apps, build automations, and more. A great place to get started is in our documentation.

 

github-repos-threatconnect

Dogs are the best.

No One is an Island

Our Security Developer customers make extensive use of these tools in their own ThreatConnect environments: integrating systems, automating common tasks, and flexing their developer muscles. But part of growing as a Security Developer is collaborating with other Security Developers.

We provide an exclusive Slack workspace¹ for our customers to exchange best practices about threat intelligence, security, and ThreatConnect. One day, something exciting happened: customers started sharing ThreatConnect software they'd built on Slack. This was amazing! Security Developers were collaborating!

Of course, while we love Slack, it's not the best tool for sharing software.

To more effectively enable our Security Developer users, we're excited to announce the launch of four GitHub repositories (repos) that they can use to share and collaborate. Our hope is that these repos not only help our users share successes and get more value out of ThreatConnect, but also help them hone their skills and make themselves and their teams more effective defenders.

_______________________

¹ If you're a current customer and are interested in joining our Slack community, please contact your
customer success manager.

Announcing: ThreatConnect GitHub Repositories

To more effectively enable our Security Developer users, we're excited to announce the launch of four GitHub repositories (repos) that they can use to share and collaborate. Our hope is that these repos not only help our users share successes and get more value out of ThreatConnect, but also help them hone their skills and make themselves and their teams more effective defenders.

 

threatconnect-github

This is more like it.

 

Let's go over the four repositories:

Spaces Repository

Available here: https://GitHub.com/ThreatConnect-Inc/threatconnect-spaces

"Spaces" are applications that run in the ThreatConnect UI. Using Spaces, you can extend the abilities of ThreatConnect in a way that benefits other analysts. Enrich indicators in VirusTotal or DomainTools, visualize relationships between intelligence, do some quick static analysis: these are all tools that users have built using Spaces that run smartly in ThreatConnect.

Jobs Repository

Available here: https://GitHub.com/ThreatConnect-Inc/threatconnect-jobs

"Jobs" are apps that run in the background: collecting data from external feeds, enriching indicators in bulk, deploying indicators to a SIEM based on rules, etc.

Tools Repository

Available here: https://GitHub.com/ThreatConnect-Inc/threatconnect-tools

Unlike the other repos, this one is intended for software that doesn't run in ThreatConnect, but instead is designed to enable developers in other ways. A tool to make it easier to developer other ThreatConnect apps, a Chrome extension, etc.

Playbooks Repository

Available here: https://github.com/ThreatConnect-Inc/threatconnect-playbooks

Playbooks are custom, intelligence-driven automated or partially automated processes that users can build in ThreatConnect. The Playbooks Repository allows users to collaborate on a variety of Playbooks resources: one of these is obviously Playbooks themselves, but the two most important are Components and Apps.

Integrations between security products today are more and more commonplace, but they are largely point solutions. It's nearly impossible for them on their own to incorporate logic based on what your team is doing or what all other products across your security technology stack are seeing. Furthermore, these integrations often lack some desired functionality that is unique to your needs. That's part of why your role as a Security Developer is so valuable: you can tune integrations to your needs and automate the processes that make them and your teams work together. What makes your job easier isn't a silver bullet, it's having the right building blocks. Components and Playbook Apps are those building blocks.

Playbook Components

Components allow users to utilize any Playbook App: HTTP Client for REST API calls, Email and Slack apps for notification, JSON Path for JSON queries, and the Regex App for data extractions as just a few examples. These Components give users quite a bit of power and can be turned into reusable components in any Playbook (it's like writing a Python function). For example, we've been able to build enrichment Components that call an API with authorization, extract data using JSON Path, and expose them as variables for other apps in a Playbook. Components can be reused in multiple Playbooks and look just like apps. It's a good way to create basic integrations with Playbooks that can then be integrated into other processes.

Playbook Apps

For when you need to build or modify an app, we provide a SDK and app framework so they can build any Playbook App in Python or Java. While you need to be comfortable in Python (...or Java) , it gives users full control over the functionality. Your apps behave just like any other app in Playbooks with inputs and outputs.

Ready to Start or Learn More?

The next time you're at a show like RSA and are overwhelmed by all the new tools you know your CISO is going to buy, just remind yourself: I have ThreatConnect. I have the support of the entire ThreatConnect Security Developer community. I can make this work.

If you're ready to start contributing or leveraging what others are doing, go ahead and check out the GitHub repos now! If you'd like to learn more about them, please contact support@threatconnect.com. For product feedback, please contact me directly at dcole@threatconnect.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Cole, Director of Product Management at ThreatConnect, has spent the last decade as a product manager working to create awesome software that gets to the core of solving the unique problems faced by a myriad of industry verticals. From large financial and insurance providers, to global telecom carriers, to federal agencies, Dan believes that the right software can free companies and users to focus on and enable their key missions.