The 3 Key Elements of an Effective Cyber Threat Intelligence Program

The 3 Key Elements of an Effective Cyber Threat Intelligence Program

There is often a conversational disconnect between a cybersecurity team and other departments of an organization. But as cyber is becoming an increasingly large part of business strategy, cybersecurity and threat intelligence must speak the language of business.

Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) programs are crucial in the way they protect an organization from threats. Businesses of all sizes are realizing how important cybersecurity and a dedicated cyber intelligence team are to an organization. However, a modern and effective CTI program has to go above and beyond to stay ahead of the evolving environment. It not only has a team documenting intelligence and analyzing information about cyber adversaries, but it also bridges the gap between the security team and business leadership. 

But, there remains the question of whether they are measuring the correct things. 

The difference between an effective or non-effective CTI is based on how it communicates risk. Gathering quantitative financial data through Cyber Risk Quantification (CRQ) for threats and their potential consequences proves a more compelling report to executive leadership than just technical jargon. It also adds context and enriches the full understanding of cyber threats and known vulnerabilities. The main goal of a CTI program is aligning the business to critical threats and figuring out the potential impact and depth. By enriching this data with risk intelligence, businesses set themselves up for success to protect against cyberattacks before they happen. 

Three Key Elements that a modern CTI program includes:

  1. Financial Risk Analysis
    • CRQ gives security leaders the ability to identify, measure and manage the financial impact of cyber risks, to help inform decision-making
  2. Tactical Threat Hunting
    • A Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) helps provide analysis and deliver deep insight and context to take action against threats that matter the most.
  3. An Effective Remediation Plan
    • Security Orchestration, Automation, and Response (SOAR) ensure security teams detect and respond faster to emerging threats.

Threat Intelligence has played a very important role, but it’s time for it to evolve.  A modern and effective CTI program goes beyond being a technical topic and should speak the language of your business. It moves past focusing solely on adversary capabilities, risk techniques, and potential threats. The most effective CTI will change intelligence into action and align with business objectives to protect the organization from any threats. By combining cyber risk quantification, threat intelligence, and security orchestration and automation, your security team can tackle challenges head-on with confidence.


DJ Goldsworthy
About the Author
DJ Goldsworthy

DJ Goldsworthy, CISM, CISSP, CRISC, SSCP, is Vice President and Global Practice Lead, Security Operations and Vulnerability Management at Aflac. He is responsible for driving the strategy for security operations, incident response, threat management, vulnerability management, security administration, application security and security engineering with a focus on global security practices, which include a Red Team based in Northern Ireland and the US, a global SOC operating in the US and Japan, and award winning Threat Intelligence and Enterprise Vulnerability Management programs. For the past two years, Goldsworthy has been focused on securing digital transformation efforts centered on public cloud, DevSecOps and modern adaptive security architectures.