When you look up “threat intelligence” in any search engine you’ll instantly be served several links and definitions related to cyber security. Traditionally, threat intelligence is a term used to explain the practice of monitoring cyber threats. But threat intelligence also applies to other causes of disruption. It can give you a heads up on any type of threat to help you respond faster. Threat intelligence is an important part of a broader business continuity program.
What is the Value of Threat Intelligence?
Threat intelligence is the process of collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information about potential or actual threats that could pose a risk to an organization’s continuity. In other words, you’re gathering information about the active threat landscape to create an early-warning system that allows you and your organization to respond faster when something threatens your people, business processes, and assets.
Your organization’s ability to remain resilient is of value to your people, your customers, your investors, and your bottom-line. But with complex operations, supply chains, and increasingly cascading crises, it can become difficult to anticipate or prevent disruption.
Threat intelligence puts you ahead of the curve by providing a picture of the active threats that could cause disruption. For example, you could monitor events related to weather, civil unrest, infrastructure failure, labor disputes, supplier failure, crime, and more.
With active monitoring and early warning, you improve situational awareness that allows you to evaluate the severity of a threat and initiate response and recovery faster. You can also track threat trends to determine what types of disruption are most likely to affect your people, locations, and suppliers (to name a few), so you’re best prepared.
How Do You Get Started with Threat Intelligence?
Use the data you already have about your organization, your people, your locations, where your business processes take place, and/or where your suppliers operate – which are often identified as part of a business impact analysis process – to determine what you should monitor. From there, you can use a host of information sources to pull in information related to active threats.
- Local, national, and international news coverage.
- Data collected by local fire, police, or emergency medical services (EMS) departments.
- Federal government agencies, such as FBI, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), or other crisis management entities.
- Weather reports and alerts from governmental and nongovernmental sources.
- Global medical information.
- Critical event reports from curated social media feeds.
Tracking all these sources will take manual work, but you can use tools and services such as Google Alerts and notifications from specific news apps to keep your information flowing as fast as possible. Remember, the faster you receive data pertaining to a threat, the sooner you can initiate an appropriate response.
How Can Business Continuity & Resilience Software Help?
However, if you’d like to access threat information mapped to organizational dependencies in real-time and in one place, an automated solution will better serve your needs to reduce administrative burden and speed the overall response. By integrating a threat intelligence solution with your business continuity management software, you’re introducing a far more proactive, intelligent solution. Solutions should also offer instant alerts and triggers for incident management and notification to engage all of the right people in the most effective response.
With software, you’re filtering out the noise and focusing solely on the threats that could affect your operations at the severity level you’re most concerned about.
What is the value of threat intelligence? It’s adding a layer of protection for your organization by keeping a constant flow of threat information moving to your business continuity and resilience team – and other business subject-matter experts – so they can initiate a response as efficiently and quickly as possible. Without it, your response time is slower because you won’t understand the impact of a threat until it’s already knocking at your door.
With threat intelligence, you’re moving your business continuity program from a place of manual reaction to a highly tuned and efficient response to any form of disruption.
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