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Why Threat Intel is Critical for Supply Chain Security

Supply Chain Security

In today’s interconnected world, organizations rely heavily on a complex network of suppliers and vendors critical to their operations. They supply software used across an enterprise and provide services that may be part of essential business processes. While these partnerships offer numerous benefits, they can also introduce significant cyber risks that can impact the security and stability of an organization. For example, suppliers may have access to an organization’s sensitive data and critical systems, making them attractive targets for threat actors like cybercriminals.

Identifying Threats Against Your Supply Chain

By leveraging threat intel, organizations can better understand potential attacks within their supply chain. This intel can highlight when attackers target specific verticals and industries and for what purposes, e.g., ransomware or data theft. Armed with this knowledge, organizations can take proactive steps to increase monitoring. The breach of Solarwinds was an example of where organizations needed to pay attention to what was happening in the threat landscape, analyze the intelligence related to the actors involved in the attack, and take action (e.g., check if Solarwinds Orion was used internally, confirm if there was any evidence of compromise, and update defenses to look for any future adversary activity).

An Early Warning System

Organizations can leverage threat intel to detect signs of compromise or suspicious activities within their supplier network. This empowers supply chain security and security operations teams to take action, such as notifying suppliers of potential incidents and working with them as needed, and implementing additional security controls (temporarily or permanently).

The ability to act swiftly and decisively enhances an organization’s resilience and minimizes the risk of disruptions.

Enhanced Incident Response and Recovery

Despite robust protective security controls and using threat intel as an early warning system, incidents can still occur. Threat intel is vital in incident response and recovery efforts when supplier-related incidents arise. By understanding the threat landscape, organizations can effectively investigate and contain an incident, limiting its impact on their operations and reputation. Moreover, intelligence-driven incident response aids organizations in 

  • Analyzing the root cause of an incident 
  • Tracing an attack’s origin
  • Taking appropriate actions to prevent future occurrences. 

See How ThreatConnect Supports Threat Intel Teams in Supply Chain Security

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How ThreatConnect Can Help

Using multiple threat intel sources, such as paid intel sources, intel from an ISAC, etc., creates overhead and work for analysts. Imagine having several different puzzle pieces and attempting to solve the puzzle without knowing the complete picture. Successfully solving the puzzle would be really hard and time-consuming. This is why having a unified, single source of threat intelligence to see the bigger picture of the threat landscape is critical. The Threat Library in the ThreatConnect Platform makes this easy by automating the aggregation, normalization, and deduplication of structured and unstructured intel from a range of sources, making all your intel ready for analysis and use.

ThreatConnect’s CAL™ AI and ML-powered global intelligence provides a lens into threats through the ThreatConnect user community, giving even more insights into threat actor activities across various industries and geographies. CAL™ Automated Threat Library automates the collection of open source intel from a range of sources, expanding intel coverage and saving hours of data collection effort for analysts.

Automating actions to respond to intel is also critical, whether producing reports for the team responsible for supply chain security or automating activities to bolster preventive and detective capabilities. Low-code Automation and Native Reporting within the ThreatConnect Platform allow analysts to disseminate intel quickly and easily to relevant stakeholders and technologies, improving the resiliency of your organization to attacks.

Take the next step

In an increasingly interconnected business landscape, managing supplier risk is paramount to maintaining the security and resilience of an organization. Embracing threat intel as a fundamental part of supply chain security is a necessity. By leveraging the insights provided by threat intel, security, and risk teams can proactively identify and mitigate potential threats with their suppliers, safeguarding the organization’s critical assets and maintaining a robust security posture. To learn more about how the ThreatConnect Platform can make operationalizing threat intelligence for your supply chain security program faster, easier, and more efficient, click here to speak with one of our experts or request a demo of our Platform.

About the Author

Toby Bussa

Toby Bussa is VP of Product Marketing at ThreatConnect. He has over 20 years of experience in cybersecurity as a practitioner and leader. He was a VP Analyst at Gartner where he covered security operations topics, including SIEM, SOAR, MDR, DFIR and SOCs. He previously led IT security operations, data protection, security architecture and engineering, and 3rd party risk management for a FTSE100 enterprise, and the EMEA SOC threat detection team for a global MSSP.