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Cyber Threat Intelligence and Security Operations Center (SOC): Does Threat Intelligence improve SOC effectiveness and inturn Mitigate Risk?

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Cyber Secure India
Cyber Threat Intelligence and Security Operations Center (SOC): Does threat intelligence improve SOC effectiveness and inturn Mitigate Risk?

Today most organisations are threatened by added burden of commercialized cybercrime. The Cyber/Digital Crime as a Service, is now prevalent and is now rampant among Enterprises and also among Individual Users. Among others those that threaten the Enterprises are: Phishing as a Service (PhaaS), and Ransomware as a Service (RaaS). Amidst this, keeping pace with the ever-increasing threat landscape and securing the organization’s cybersecurity posture is a struggle many SOCs face today. SOC is not a generic entity, as understood by many; it is the ‘Man Behind the Machine’, that matters. Tool being used in the SOC is not the end all, but the analytics and interpretation that lacks in over 50% of any SOC across the globe, is what is of concern today. The only way forward is to, integrating threat intelligence to an Orchestration Platform, with a progressive AI is the possible solution to enable SOC effectiveness.

The jargon of Threat Intelligence, has been dominant in the Cyber Domain for over a decade now. Threat intelligence is a crucial element to enabling robust cybersecurity. The Threat landscape in the Cyber Domain has continued to grow with fervor, and also the management of Threat Intelligence also facilitates building a repository that provide pattern and also the Threat Actors and also the generic Modus-Operandi. It also provides information regarding cyberattacks that have, will, or are likely to harm an organization.

For most organizations, SOC teams have long since been their first line of defense. These SOC systems efficiently ensure robust cybersecurity and are designed to detect, analyze, respond to, and prevent any cybersecurity incident that the organization might come across. Integrating a SOC within an organization aims to improve its cybersecurity posture, using a blend of state-of-the-art technology and skilled professionals. Since the responsibility of the SOC is to protect the organization from cyberattacks and data breaches, such actionable threat intelligence proves fruitful. In simpler terms, threat intelligence streamlines and amplifies SOC efforts, ensuring an accelerated risk deduction.

Why we need Cyber Threat Intelligence

Cyber Threat Intelligence requirement, highlight the need to rapidly gain situational awareness, contextualise vast amounts of information being shared, and prioritise remediation of significant threats. It has been seen in the past incident pattern, that the Exploiter, once is aware of the scope of the Threat that has already been used, then tend to use the loop-hole as the Security Team scramble to plug holes and deal with the impact of these attacks. Multiple advanced persistent threat groups and cybercriminal groups were spotted targeting the vulnerabilities.

SOC and Threat Intelligence

SOC and threat intelligence is the ultimate combination against cyber threat detection and response. Integrating cyber intelligence within a SOC allows analysts to enable robust security measures and adopt an efficient and streamlined workflow.

The Security Team, is always under pressure, with the burden of not the need for information, but the pressure of deciding what is of relevance and otherwise. For under-pressure security teams, the ability to automate repetitive, time-consuming, low-level tasks is essential. If a tool can combine this automation with the real-time data and context needed to empower analysts to investigate the high impact, time-sensitive incidents, even better.

Security Orchestration and Security Automation: What is the Difference?

Security Orchestration: With security orchestration, security teams can handle the data flow and tasks such as monitoring SIEM alerts by integrating processes and tools into an automated workflow. Security orchestration is a technique to connect and integrate different security systems and tools. Basically, it is the connected layer that smoothens security processes and drives security automation. Furthermore, security teams can get rid of time-consuming, manual processes and rather substitute them with informed decision-making and quicker responses. In Security Orchestration the solution can accumulate and manage data from a wide range of sources to provide comprehensive insights into the threat landscape. This allows the security teams to shift their focus from handling alerts to investigating the cause behind the incidents. Security orchestration provides all the critical data at everyone’s fingertips, making processes such as collaboration, problem-solving, and remediation more effective. Ultimately, it strengthens an organization’s security posture, allowing its security team to automate complex processes.

Security Automation: Security Automation refers to the automatic handling of tasks in a cybersecurity system. Security Automation automatically handles the time-intensive tasks, so that security teams can orchestrate their tools together, leveraging streamlined workflows or playbooks to automate entire processes. This means when a security issue occurs, the workflows quickly start working, coordinating data between tools, carrying out extensive investigations, escalating alerts, and helping in the response. Security Automation automatically handles the most tedious, and time-intensive tasks so that once the Security Management orchestrate all the tools together, the Security Management can leverage streamlined playbooks or workflows to automate entire processes for the SOC Team and the Security Organisation/CISO.

Security Orchestration and Automation: Often the terms Security Orchestration and Automation are used almost interchangeably in the cybersecurity domain. However, as what has been defined here, we see that both these terms have entirely different meanings and objectives. Hence, the fusion of these two, i.e. Security Orchestration and Automation can relate to benefits that can be augmented by leveraging greater benefits. Both the concepts together in a Cyber Fusion Center, is the need of the hour. When combined, they help to minimize alert fatigue, accelerate incident response times, improve investigation accuracy, reduce risk to the business, and save time and cost.


There are more benefits than what can be anticipated when the amalgamation of Security Orchestration and Automation and through fusion of Threat Intelligence and SOC.

  1. Reputational Information: Reputational Information that is available through Threat Intelligence can provide ill-reputed domains and IP addresses and also the malicious modalities.
  2. Information on rising phishing attacks: Phishing has been the means of ingress of the Threat. Threat intelligence regarding phishing attacks reveals new phishing attack vectors and recent targets. SOC analysts can utilize such information to engage relevant security measures, such as blocking phishing URLs and filtering phishing email accounts, and also this information will assist in educating the team and the subscribers.
  3. Data on blended threats: Blended Threat, refers to that concept utilised by the attacker that combine several attack vectors simultaneously. Often, these attacks are planned and are designed to exploit vulnerabilities present within an organization.
  4. Insight on malware and ransomware attacks: Over 80% of attacks on Enterprises are Malware and Ransomware based. The SOC learning, in this also includes, the identification of Morphing and Code-Reuse among the different attacks. The means of Stagno and Ossification is also of learning and this need to be trained on the Orchestration Model, to achieve greater results.
  5. DDoS and Botnet Activity: Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks and Botnets are threats that an Organisation faces on a frequent basis. The sneaky nature of these attacks makes them hard to detect, and most of them are capable of wreaking massive havoc. Intelligence about them can give SOC teams the ability to mitigate these threats.
  6. C&C Information: Most attackers, then to hire or own the similar infra in so far as Command and Control (C&C). There are learning and also global compilers that provide the data of these known botnet control panels and also the IP of C&C service providers. It allows analysts to have a better insight into the workings and execution methods of these attacks.
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