Using Threat Intelligence to Build Effective Cybersecurity Strategies

Cybersecurity threats are continually developing, making it difficult for enterprises to stay current and secure their assets. A proactive approach to cybersecurity is crucial, and threat intelligence can be a valuable tool in achieving this.

Threat intelligence is used to identify and prioritize potential threats, assess their severity, and develop appropriate responses. In addition to providing insights into potential threats, threat intelligence can also help organizations understand the motivations and capabilities of attackers. This data can be utilized to improve security measures and better prepare for possible attacks.

According to the most recent analysis of the threat intelligence market by FMI, it is anticipated that the market will have a value of US$ 11.6 billion by the end of 2023. The market is predicted to exhibit remarkable growth with a 16.9% CAGR from 2023 to 2033, and its estimated worth is expected to exceed US$ 55 billion by 2033.

In this article, we’ll explore how threat intelligence can be used to build effective cybersecurity strategies.

Understanding Threat Intelligence

Before we start off, we need to understand what is threat intelligence. The act of obtaining and evaluating data to identify possible cyber threats, assess their severity, and prioritize solutions is known as threat intelligence. This process involves collecting information from various sources, including open-source intelligence, commercial feeds, and information sharing with other organizations.

The primary goal of threat intelligence is to turn data into actionable insights that can help organizations defend against cyber threats. By analyzing threat data using a variety of tools and techniques, threat intelligence analysts can identify potential threats as early as possible, assess their severity, and prioritize the appropriate response.

In addition to identifying potential threats, threat intelligence can also provide context and insights into the broader threat landscape. This can help organizations better understand emerging trends and patterns in cyber attacks and adjust their defenses accordingly.

Types of Threat Intelligence

Threat intelligence can originate from a variety of sources, including open-source information, commercial feeds, human intelligence, and technological intelligence. Each type of intelligence provides unique insights into potential threats and can be used to inform effective cybersecurity strategies.

Open-Source Intelligence (OSINT):

OSINT refers to the collection and analysis of publicly available information on the internet, which includes data from social media platforms, news articles, forums, and other online sources. OSINT can be utilized to gain valuable insights into attacker tactics and techniques, as well as to identify potential vulnerabilities within an organization’s digital presence.

In 2021, North America emerged as the dominant market for Open-Source Intelligence, according to a study by Custom Market Insights released in July 2022. The US, renowned for its cutting-edge technology, has been witnessing a surge in demand for intelligence products, making it one of the leading revenue-generating countries in the global OSINT industry.

Commercial Threat Intelligence Feeds:

Commercial threat intelligence feeds refer to data provided by security vendors to their customers. This type of intelligence is often focused on specific industries or types of attacks. Commercial feeds can include information on emerging threats, indicators of compromise (IOCs), and other relevant data that can help organizations better understand the threat landscape.

Human Intelligence (HUMINT):

Human intelligence refers to intelligence gathered from people, such as insiders or other sources of information. HUMINT can be especially useful in identifying advanced persistent threats (APTs), which are typically very difficult to detect using traditional security measures. HUMINT can provide critical insights into the motivations, capabilities, and tactics of attackers.

Technical Intelligence (TECHINT):

Technical intelligence refers to intelligence gathered from technical sources, such as network logs, system events, or malware analysis. TECHINT can be used to identify specific indicators of compromise and to gain a deeper understanding of the tactics and techniques used by attackers. TECHINT can be especially useful in identifying and mitigating targeted attacks, such as spear-phishing campaigns or ransomware attacks.

Each type of threat intelligence provides unique insights into potential threats, and an effective threat intelligence program should incorporate multiple sources of intelligence. By leveraging the insights provided by each type of intelligence, organizations can build more comprehensive and effective cybersecurity strategies.

Implementing Threat Intelligence 

Organizations can leverage threat intelligence to build effective cybersecurity strategies in the following ways:

  • Risk Assessment: Threat intelligence can help organizations understand the risks associated with their assets and prioritize their security efforts accordingly. This can include identifying critical assets, evaluating the likelihood and impact of potential threats, and determining appropriate risk mitigation strategies.
  • Threat Modeling: Threat intelligence can be used to develop threat models that identify potential attack vectors and prioritize defenses. This can involve mapping out potential attacker paths, identifying key assets, and prioritizing controls and defenses.
  • With the rapid increase in security threats, threat modeling has become an essential aspect of cybersecurity, making it an excellent career option. According to a 2021 survey by Gartner, the deployment of security technologies rose from 15% to 84% from 2020 to 2021, indicating heightened investment in cybersecurity measures. 
  • Vulnerability Management: Threat intelligence can assist in identifying known vulnerabilities and assessing their potential impact on the organization. This can include monitoring vulnerability databases, analyzing exploit trends, and identifying potential vulnerabilities in third-party software.
  • Incident Response: Threat intelligence can provide critical insights during incident response, helping organizations quickly identify the source and nature of a threat. This can include using threat intelligence to identify indicators of compromise, analyze attack patterns, and prioritize response actions.
  • Compliance: By detecting possible risks and vulnerabilities that might lead to noncompliance, threat intelligence can assist companies in meeting regulatory obligations. This can include identifying potential risks to personally identifiable information (PII), monitoring for data exfiltration, and ensuring compliance with industry-specific regulations.

Effective Threat Intelligence Programs

Developing an effective threat intelligence program necessitates a multifaceted strategy, including people, procedures, and technology. The following are some best practices for implementing an effective threat intelligence program:

  • Establish a Threat Intelligence Team: A dedicated team with the right skills and expertise is essential for managing a threat intelligence program. This team should include people with a deep understanding of cybersecurity, data analytics, and threat intelligence.
  • Develop a Threat Intelligence Strategy: A well-defined strategy should outline the objectives of the threat intelligence program, the sources of intelligence, the tools and technologies used, and the metrics used to measure success.
  • Select the Right Tools and Technologies: Threat intelligence tools and technologies should be selected based on the specific needs of the organization. They might include SIEMs, platforms for threat intelligence, endpoint detection and response (EDR) tools, and more. 
  • Build Collaborative Relationships: Sharing threat intelligence with other organizations and industry groups can provide valuable insights and help build collaborative relationships.


An effective threat intelligence program requires a comprehensive approach that involves personnel, procedures, and technology. To implement a successful threat intelligence program, it is essential to have a dedicated team with the appropriate skills and expertise. The strategy for the program should clearly define its objectives, intelligence sources, tools and technologies, and metrics for measuring success. 

It’s crucial to pick the appropriate technology and tools, such as threat intelligence platforms, SIEMs, and EDR solutions. Building collaborative relationships and sharing threat intelligence with other organizations and industry groups can provide valuable insights and help establish cooperative ties.

Using Threat Intelligence to Build Effective Cybersecurity Strategies was last updated March 3rd, 2023 by Nikki Gabriel