Cybercriminals are experts at finding the chinks in your organisation’s armour. For most businesses, the weak points lie in the grey spaces between security devices.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Security vendors have long told us we can solve every emerging #security challenge with their latest Magic Box”]

Security vendors have long told us we can solve every emerging security challenge with their latest Magic BoxTM, but the reality is these solutions often don’t communicate with each other, creating silos that leave holes for cybercriminals to exploit.

Similarly, these silos of security devices have left many enterprises lacking the visibility they need to spot any potentially malicious behaviour happening across their IT estates. In trying to solve this challenge and harness more insights from devices, a tsunami of data has been unleashed that’s made things even more complex.

The deluge of data

The volume of alerts, alarms and threat feeds is increasing exponentially, creating a sea of data. Hidden within this ocean are the currents that reveal the threats organisations need to worry about, but they’re almost impossible to find. Meanwhile, cybercriminals can exploit these murky waters to continue business as usual.

cybercriminals can exploit these murky waters

Cutting through this confusion to harness the power of Threat Intelligence is far from easy. Expert people, robust processes and advanced Big Data analytics must all combine to deliver useful, contextualised Intelligence in real-time.

For instance, to filter information and uncover the patterns that build Threat Intelligence requires hugely skilled people – at a time when every business is facing up to a global cyber skills shortage. There aren’t enough experts to go around and, even if you can find talented people, they won’t come cheap and are hard to keep.

To create Threat Intelligence, organisations need not just the right people, but the right processes and technologies. But even this combination is not enough. Insights also need to be rapid, cost-effective and easy-to-consume. Trying to go it alone and build capabilities in-house is a risky strategy; enormous investments are required, with no guarantee of success.

Clouding up

So, should organisations give up on the dream of Threat Intelligence enabling better informed decisions, more focused security spending and pre-emptive defences against the world’s most dangerous and relevant threats? No. There is another way: cloud.

should organisations give up on the dream of Threat Intelligence? No. There is another way: cloud

Threat Intelligence and the cloud are, appropriately, a marriage made in heaven. Individual organisations may be unable to justify the construction of Threat Intelligence capabilities, but specialist providers of security services can, with the cloud providing the perfect delivery system.

A cloud platform purpose-built to power Threat Intelligence services gives organisations swift and simple access to cutting-edge data analytics, expert people and robust processes – delivering a richer, more cost-effective solution. Cloud-based solutions can also be extremely agile in changing functionality, as well as providing the scalability and service levels to rapidly adapt to different needs.

It’s raining insights

[easy-tweet tweet=”The #cloud’s greatest advantage is that it connects billions of pieces of disparate information”]

The cloud’s greatest advantage is that it makes it far easier to connect billions of pieces of disparate information in a secure and scalable environment. Add in big data analytics and some data scientists to scrutinise the data and you now have the capability to tally security-related information from across an organisation’s IT estate with external sources, such as threat feeds and derive Threat Intelligence in a way that is meaningful to that organisation.

By bringing together all this information, a cloud platform also has the capacity to ‘normalise’ data to determine what’s good and bad much more efficiently and effectively. Typically, today’s enterprises work with small data sets gleaned from a limited number of internal devices, whereas a vast pool of internal and external data stored safely and securely on a cloud platform allows the normalisation process to be much more accurate and granular.

To put it another way, working from a small internal data set means that most incidents seem like zero-day attacks. In contrast, when using information from thousands of similar businesses and global information feeds, common threats emerge much more clearly – as do the actions needed to mitigate them.

Businesses today require answers – not more questions. The cloud offers the ability to crunch huge volumes of data into consumable, contextual Intelligence that’s relevant to securing and protecting individual organisations. Thus Threat Intelligence can become a seamless service: taking information from within an organisation, combining it with global threat data, extracting relevant insights, and then delivering actionable advice back into the end business.

[easy-tweet tweet=”#Cloud-based approaches make Threat Intelligence agile, useable, cost-effective ” user=”comparethecloud”]

Cloud-based approaches make Threat Intelligence agile, useable, cost-effective and, most importantly, hugely successful at fighting back against cybercriminals. When it comes to IT security, it’s now possible to keep one step ahead in the cloud.

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Pete Shoard, head of product development, SecureData 
Pete Shoard is responsible for the development of the portfolio of products and services offered as part of SecureData GI, the company’s flagship cloud solution. Pete is responsible for the design and implementation of threat detection and defence mechanisms and oversees the development of detection methodologies, reporting measures and response procedures.
With over 12 years’ experience in security, he has an extensive knowledge of the threat landscape, which he has gained combating cyber attacks for some of the world’s most targeted firms. Pete specialises in harnessing the power of front-line technical data solutions like SIEM and big data platforms to deliver actionable threat intelligence. He has previously led both development and analyst teams for Deloitte UK, BAE Systems and the Royal Air Force.