Cyber Threat Intelligence, or what is known as Cyber Threat Intelligence, is the processing and analysis of collected data to identify attackers’ behaviour, motives, and goals. This information helps us identify attackers and respond quickly and effectively to APT attacks.

Today, organisations usually use various solutions to ensure security and spend a lot of money this way. For example, they go about deploying Security Operations Centers (SOCs), providing firewalls, IDS, IPS, and various security equipment, hiring security experts, implementing Incident Management (SIEM) solutions, patch management, and vulnerability scanning.

Cyber Threat Intelligence serves as a strategic asset for organisations seeking to modernise their cybersecurity posture and tackle advanced cyber threats. Malware is a tool of the adversary, but the most dangerous threat is the human threat. Cyber Threat Intelligence focuses on countering these resilient and persistent human threats with human defenders, commissioners, and trainers.

Why Is Cyber Threat Intelligence Important?

Consider an organisation with several thousand employees and many branches around the world. This organisation deals with a lot of information daily and produces a huge amount of data. How long does it take to review and analyse this amount of data and identify the hidden threats in it? What systems must be in place and how many cybersecurity professionals must spend time detecting these threats?

Early intelligent threat detection does all of this automatically. The most important goal of threat intelligence is detection. If you do not identify yourself, you cannot prevent and respond to this. In addition, intelligent threat detection enables you to analyse threats and prepare for possible future attacks. Therefore, the duration of identifying threats is significantly reduced and the response speed is also increased.

To make it clear, here’s an example. Let’s say there is a cyber threat in your organisation and you don’t have any knowledge about it. Or an unknown malware that has not yet been published on the Internet. What do you do? Now, if a threat intelligence solution is implemented in your organisation, can you understand what the threat is? Who is the attacker? What records are there in the past? What are Indicators of Threat (IOC)? How dangerous is it? What is the countermeasure?

But why is threat intelligence so important? Intelligent threat detection is an essential part of any cybersecurity ecosystem that prevents information leakage, Kaspersky says.

What Are Threat Data Feeds & Why Do We Need Them?

What Is Cyber Threat Intelligence?

To implement intelligent threat detection, we need data called feeds. This data feeds into our defense systems and increases our ability to identify unknown cyber threats. This information can be accessed from various sources on the Internet for free or for a fee.

Once we have collected data from various sources, we need to incorporate it into security solutions such as incident management systems (SIEM), firewalls, or intrusion detection and prevention systems. Although these devices alone have many security features. But when it comes to sophisticated cyberattacks, they can be detected by the feeds we give them. Sharing IOC threat indicators speeds up the process of identifying and combating threats.

Pre-attack threat data is a collection of threat data collected from various sources around the world. This data includes a list of botnets, command and control (C2) servers, IP addresses, malware host domains, etc., which are integrated with SIEMs, firewalls, and intrusion detection and prevention systems. This information has the lowest false positive rate and increases the power of security systems to identify threats and make appropriate decisions to respond to and prevent future cyberattacks.

Benefits of Cyber Threat Intelligence

cyber threats are a constant concern for individuals and organizations alike. Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) plays a crucial role in mitigating these risks, providing valuable insights and actionable information to stay ahead of potential attacks. But what exactly are the benefits of CTI? Let’s explore the key advantages it offers:

Here are some of the key benefits of cyber threat intelligence:

  1. Enhanced threat detection and response: CTI can help organizations identify and respond to threats more quickly and effectively. By providing information about known threats, vulnerabilities, and attack methods, CTI can help organizations detect potential attacks earlier and take steps to mitigate them.
  2. Prioritization of security resources: CTI can help organizations prioritize their security resources by focusing on the most critical threats. By understanding the threat landscape, organizations can allocate their resources more effectively to protect against the most likely and damaging attacks.
  3. Improved vulnerability management: CTI can help organizations identify and prioritize vulnerabilities that are being exploited by attackers. By tracking the latest exploits, CTI can help organizations patch their systems more quickly and effectively.
  4. Enhanced incident response: CTI can help organizations respond to incidents more effectively. By providing information about the attacker’s tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), CTI can help organizations identify the source of the attack and take steps to contain and remediate the damage.
  5. Reduced risk of data breaches: CTI can help organizations reduce their risk of data breaches by providing information about the latest data breach trends and techniques. By understanding the methods that attackers are using to steal data, organizations can take steps to protect their data more effectively.
  6. Improved compliance: CTI can help organizations comply with data privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. By understanding the latest threat landscape, organizations can take steps to protect their data by these regulations.
  7. Enhanced employee awareness: CTI can help organizations educate their employees about the latest threats and vulnerabilities. By raising awareness of the risks, organizations can help employees to make informed decisions about their online behaviour and protect the organization from attack.

In addition to these benefits, CTI can also help organizations to:

  • Develop more effective security policies and procedures
  • Make better decisions about security investments
  • Gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace

Types of Threat Intelligence

Cyber Threat Intelligence Unleashed
Cyber Threat Intelligence Unleashed

Threat intelligence is a vast and dynamic field, encompassing various types that cater to different aspects of the cybersecurity landscape. We will explore some key types of threat intelligence and their significance in bolstering an organization’s security defences.

Strategic Threat Intelligence

provides high-level information about cyber security, and threats, it focuses on pervasive trends in the cyber threat landscape. This type of threat intelligence is aimed at executives and policymakers with little or no cybersecurity technical experience who need to understand their organisation’s cyber risks as part of their strategic planning and the financial impact of various cyber activities and attack trends.

It is often based on open sources that are freely accessible by anyone such as research, white papers, and local media reports.

Tactical Threat Intelligence

Tactical Threat Intelligence focuses on recognising certain forms of malware or other cyber-attacks through the use of Indicators of Compromise (IoCs). Threat intelligence is absorbed by cybersecurity systems and utilised to detect and block incoming or ongoing assaults.

Operational Threat Intelligence

An operational threat intelligence system focuses on the tools, malware, infrastructure, and so on that cyber attackers use to achieve their objectives. This type also assists analysts and danger hunters in identifying and comprehending attack campaigns.

Threat Intelligence Life Cycle

CTI lifecycle

With threat intelligence, cyber security experts employ the concept of a lifecycle. A typical cyber threat lifecycle might include the following six fundamental stages: direction, collection, processing, analysis, dissemination, and feedback.

Requirements Direction specification

this is the phase where you establish program goals, these should specify in detail what assets and business processes must be safeguarded and protected, if possible, creating a priority list, what threats you intend to prioritise, Recognising the organisational consequences of a cyber-breach and the types of threat intelligence you intend to use.


This phase is concerned with gathering data and information to support the goals and objectives established in the direction phase, during this phase, organisations must identify and pull their information from various data sources, which may include: Threat intelligence feeds from reputable cyber security organisations, Interviews with knowledgeable stakeholders, online forums and security device metadata.


Processing entails converting all the data you gathered and converts it into a format that your organisation can use. Different collection methods frequently involve various forms of processing. Human reports or interviews, for example, must be fact-checked and processed for key threat indicators relevant to your program goals.


After processing the information into intelligence and putting it in an appropriate format, the important stage comes, which is analysing that data that can be used to guide security decisions. Here we are semi-filtering and sifting a lot of intelligent information. Analysis is performed to obtain accurate information at this stage.


Package and tailor intelligence: Analyzed intelligence needs to be packaged and tailored for different audiences within the organization. This involves creating actionable reports, threat briefs, and alerts that are relevant and easily understandable for specific stakeholders.

Disseminate intelligence effectively: Different communication channels might be used for dissemination, such as security reports, briefings, and integration with security tools.

Feedback or what is known as Feedback.

Getting regular feedback from stakeholders is essential for improving your threat intelligence program. This ensures that the information gathered is in line with the needs of each group.

Threat Intelligence Use Cases

Cyber threat intelligence (CTI) can be used in a variety of ways to improve an organisation’s cybersecurity posture. Here are some of the key use cases for CTI:

Threat Detection and Response

  • Identifying and prioritising threats: CTI can help organisations identify new and emerging threats, as well as understand the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of known threat actors. This information can be used to prioritise security resources and allocate them to the most critical threats.
  • Detecting Indicators of Compromise (IOCs): CTI can provide organisations with IOCs, which are specific pieces of information that can be used to identify suspicious activity on their networks. This information can be used to trigger alerts and initiate investigations.
  • Attributing attacks: CTI can help organisations attribute attacks to specific threat actors. This information can be used to understand the motivation of the attackers and develop more effective mitigation strategies.

Vulnerability Management

  • Prioritising vulnerability patching: CTI can help organisations identify and prioritise vulnerabilities that are being exploited by attackers. This information can be used to focus patching efforts on the most critical vulnerabilities.
  • Developing vulnerability mitigation strategies: CTI can provide organisations with information about attack vectors and exploit techniques. This information can be used to develop more effective vulnerability mitigation strategies.
  • Identifying zero-day vulnerabilities: CTI can help organisations identify zero-day vulnerabilities, which are vulnerabilities that are unknown to the vendor and have no patch available. This information can be used to take proactive measures to protect against these vulnerabilities.

Incident Response

  • Identifying the source of attacks: CTI can help organisations identify the source of attacks by providing information about the infrastructure and tools that the attackers are using. This information can be used to isolate the affected systems and disrupt the attackers’ operations.
  • Tracing the attack chain: CTI can help organisations trace the attack chain, which is the sequence of events that led to the attack. This information can be used to understand how the attackers gained access to the network and identify other potential vulnerabilities.
  • Developing incident response plans: CTI can provide organisations with information about the latest attack trends and techniques. This information can be used to develop more effective incident response plans.


  • Enhancing compliance with data privacy regulations: CTI can help organisations comply with data privacy regulations such as GDPR and CCPA. This information can be used to identify and mitigate risks that could lead to data breaches.
  • Demonstrating due diligence to regulators: CTI can provide organisations with evidence of their efforts to protect their data. This information can be used to demonstrate due diligence to regulators and avoid potential fines.
  • Staying informed about regulatory changes: Threat intelligence can help organisations stay informed about new and emerging data privacy regulations. This information can be used to update compliance policies and procedures.

Employee Awareness

  • Educating employees about cybersecurity threats: Threat intelligence can be used to develop training materials and awareness campaigns that educate employees about cybersecurity threats. This information can help employees to make informed decisions about their online behaviour and protect the organization from attack.
  • Identifying potential insider threats: Threat intelligence can help identify potential insider threats by providing information about the activities of employees who may be at risk of compromising data or systems. This information can be used to take steps to mitigate these risks.
  • Developing phishing simulations: Threat intelligence can provide organizations with realistic phishing simulations that can be used to test employee awareness and preparedness. This information can be used to identify gaps in employee training and develop more effective awareness programs.

Cyber Threat Intelligence Management Tools

Effectively managing cyber threat intelligence is imperative for organizations looking to fortify their cybersecurity defenses.

Threat detection and data attribution

Threat reconnaissance overcomes the limitations of traditional threat intelligence solutions by assisting in the identification of vulnerable assets. This enables security teams to identify and eliminate vulnerabilities before they are exploited by attackers. You gain complete visibility into your organisation’s network ecosystem by leveraging the available data set.

Centralised management

A business has many moving parts, making it difficult to establish effective communication lines. This problem is exacerbated if a company relies on third-party vendors for any of its business operations. When your most critical data is centralised, your entire enterprise can stay on the same page.

Detection that is automated

Because threat data is generated regularly from multiple sources, automated threat intelligence detection is a must-have tool. It saves time by removing the need for manual processes, freeing teams from tedious data sifting. Automation also reduces human error, improving the accuracy of your threat intelligence.

Growing Threats: How is Cyber Intelligence Employed for Cyber Defense?

Cyber intelligence is one of the areas of cyber security that focuses on collecting and analysing information about current and potential attacks, and therefore it is considered one of the proactive security measures that prevent cyber breaches, and avoid the financial costs necessary to repair damage if it occurs, by analysing potential threats that pose a threat to infrastructure, and what can be done to address it.

In this context, cyber intelligence is one of the mechanisms by which various actors can protect themselves from cyber crimes and threats. It is possible to track the digital tools and records used by the perpetrators of these crimes by cybersecurity companies, which in turn collect and sell that information to various institutions, enabling them to take the necessary security measures against various threats.

The essence of the concept

First, a distinction must be made between intelligence and data. The first refers to the process of collecting, analysing, and interpreting tactical information to be presented to political authorities, while the second refers to the process of gathering primary information from several sources, whether misleading, irrelevant, or inaccurate. Hence, the importance of analysing and processing information that is defined as intelligence is becoming increasingly important.

In the same context, a distinction must also be made between intelligence, cyber threat intelligence, and cyber intelligence; The US Department of Defense defines intelligence as the process resulting from collecting, processing, integrating, evaluating, analysing, and interpreting available information relating to foreign countries, forces, hostile elements, or areas of operations. As for the concept of “cyber threat intelligence”, it refers to dozens of platforms through which information about cyber threats can be obtained free of charge, however, in this case, it is not considered “cyber intelligence”, unless the various threats are analysed, treated and interpreted, according to the nature of companies and institutions. targeted.

Hence, “cyber intelligence” requires clarity of information collection methods and sources to ensure its credibility, as well as the employment of specialised teams of experts with different specialisations. In other words, “cyber intelligence” refers to the process of transforming the data collected through “traditional methods of intelligence” from the attackers’ platforms, and presenting it to the targeted countries and institutions through robust reports, which include accurate tracking of potential attacks, the attackers, their methods used, and all operational details others, which requires a high degree of knowledge and experience.

Increasingly important

“Cyber intelligence” is considered necessary to enhance “cyber security” and to undermine the dark side of the Internet. There was a need to establish intelligence platforms in cyberspace, due to the inability of countries and organisations to predict cyber-attacks before they occur, especially with the increasing possibility of their occurrence at any time, due to the foggy environment surrounding these attacks.

“Cyber intelligence” is a means to manage and even anticipate cyber threats, to prevent their potential consequences, to help countries and organisations understand the most common external risks and threats, the most prominent of which are “day zero” threats. Accordingly, this intelligence includes in-depth information about expected or anticipated threats to help any organisation or country protect itself from attacks that could harm it.

In the military, commercial and security contexts, information provides countries and companies with strategic advantages to protect their national security from external and even internal threats, thus avoiding the offensive cyber arms race, which drains huge resources. In this context, the financial authorities in the United Kingdom – for example – recommend several steps to protect financial institutions from cyber threats, including receiving advice from intelligence providers within the British government.

Expected advantages

Undetected malware steals a huge amount of information; Where spyware can obtain user data, credit cards, and personal information of customers and employees..etc. Mydoom, a piece of malware, caused an estimated $38.7 billion in damages. This damage could have been prevented by knowing how it was spread through e-mail using cyber intelligence.

Hence, one of the advantages of such intelligence is the rapid response of organisations to anticipated threats through protection and insurance programs. However, major, large-scale attacks naturally require more time. Therefore, this intelligence provides large amounts of data and enables organisations to anticipate potential threats, which enhances the effectiveness of overall risk management. Cyber intelligence is also useful in determining the nature of appropriate decisions during and after the discovery of cyber infiltration.

Mixed types

The UK National Cyber Security Center (NCSC) distinguishes between four types of “cyber intelligence”; The first refers to tactical intelligence, which relates to attackers’ methodologies, tools, and tactics. Therefore, this type includes certain procedures to confront elements whose infiltration is increasingly dangerous. While the second type relates to “technical intelligence”, and is related to malware specifically. As for the third type, it is “operational intelligence” and relates to the details of a potential attack, and the ability of organisations to identify future cyber threats. As for the fourth and final type, it refers to “strategic intelligence,” that is, information related to the risks of the threat, and the nature of the senior leadership required to assess it.

On the other hand, there are many categories of intelligence specialisations according to the sources of information. These include human intelligence, open source, business surveillance, and electronic media (such as satellites, aircraft images, radar data, nuclear radiation readings, etc.).

Contemporary models

Cyber intelligence companies are numerous to include the following:

1- The GPACT intelligence platform: It is the first intelligence platform in the world, as it was established in 2013. It is also known as the Cyber Intelligence Network. It includes more than 20 cyber analysts. It works to identify and evaluate new threats on a regular basis and submit reports to the concerned institutions. Its activities are focused on the banking sector. It was presented at the Electronic Intelligence Conference, in which NATO participated.

2- FireEye: It is one of the pioneers of cyber intelligence and cyber security in general. It mainly targets big companies. It provides advice on threats to countries and provides mechanisms to enhance cyber security. Hence, it is contracted by companies that want to secure their sensitive data in exchange for huge sums of money, such as: government secret services, financial institutions, healthcare companies, and others.

3- IBM X-Force: IBM is known for its advanced computers and software, but it has developed important software specifically designed for companies for cyber intelligence purposes. This allows large companies to find out about threats, through a platform to share information.

4- Threat-Tracer: It is a company designed for small and medium-sized companies, and aims to maintain the protection of cyber security for companies that do not have large security teams within them, which helps smaller companies to compensate for the lack of manpower trained in cyber security, and direct their resources to other important issues Other than information security.

successive stages

Cyber intelligence consists of several stages, which can be summarised as follows:

1- Intelligence planning: This stage is based on assessing threats. In the sense of identifying vulnerabilities and types of potential threats, whether it is as simple as those targeting email, or as complex as those aimed at phishing. This stage also includes defining the goals and objectives of institutions and countries.

2- Gathering intelligence: This stage includes reliable evidence of the occurrence of the attack and its possible nature, with the identification of sources of information, whether common server records, e-mail records, or monitoring programs.

3- Intelligence processing: It includes processing, analysing, and interpreting information, and separating common data from distinctive ones. The importance of this stage is increasing compared to the previous stages, according to which large amounts of data and raw information are processed and converted into intelligence information according to the required outputs. And ultimately, make the necessary recommendations to counter the identified threats.

In other words, cyber intelligence involves the process of analysing the surrounding environment, to determine the nature of the required intelligence information, and collecting the required data from its reliable sources, to analyse it in a functional analysis specifically designed to enhance cyber security, including various aspects of the cyber threat, including its timing and nature, To present this information to the decision maker, to take the necessary action.

Complex problems

The concept of cyber intelligence does not enjoy consensus among major technology companies, organisations, and countries. There are different definitions of it, and it overlaps with other concepts, such as: cyber threat intelligence and cyber security, to the extent that they are used interchangeably. The lack of clear definitions can lead to confusion when defining roles, evaluating threats, developing a defense strategy, and understanding what information needs to be communicated.

Cyber intelligence research also faces problems related to its value, effectiveness, objectivity, timing, and sources. Opinions differed between those who see it as ineffective when it provides unreliable and inaccurate intelligence that harms countries, various institutions, and decision-makers on the one hand, and those who emphasise its ability to identify weaknesses and mechanisms to solve them on the other hand.

And bureaucracy may undermine the ability to provide the right data to senior leadership at the right time. In contrast, some cyber intelligence teams may report to leaders who lack technical backgrounds. Therefore, ensuring that decision-makers understand the importance of the information provided by cyber intelligence is essential to ensuring that it is funded and supported.