Threat Intelligence 101

Best 7 Threat Intelligence Tools to Improve your Cybersecurity

Posted: 24th June 2024
By: Esteban Borges

Cyber threat intelligence tools are the best weapon a cyber expert can have as they give you valuable insights and predictions on what’s coming on the internet. These insights and predictions let security teams react to known threats and predict and prevent them before they even happen. With the right threat intelligence tool you will see things as they are not as you want them to be when facing the cyber threat landscape.

At a time where threats hide in every nook and cranny of the cyber landscape it’s more important than ever to beef up cybersecurity. The international cyber threat intelligence market is growing and is expected to reach $15.8 billion by 2026. But organizations are struggling to keep up with the increasing and sophisticated threats they are facing.

This blog post will let you walk through the cyber threat landscape and discover the best threat intelligence tools in 2024 which can help you efficiently improve your organization’s cybersecurity efforts.

Key Takeaways

  • Organizations must learn & effectively use threat intelligence tools to help reactively predict, detect, & strike cyber threats before they escalate.
  • Threat intelligence tools for organizations should collect real-time information, rapidly integrate with existing security infrastructures, and must leverage automation and artificial intelligence for better response rates.

Get to Know Threat Intelligence

Before you begin your hunt for cybersecurity, let us get to know what exactly threat intelligence means. Threat intelligence allows us to identify, understand and respond to or even prevent cyber threats. It involves collecting, sorting and learning from data to achieve valuable intelligence about who the attackers are, how they’re performing the attack, and how they can be stopped.

Cyber threat intelligence provides visibility to threat actors’ activities thereby allowing security teams to safeguard their organizations. By learning cyber threats indicators, organizations can build a stronger and more efficient cybersecurity posture that can effortlessly repel attackers attempting to breach their infrastructure. Therefore, cyber threat intelligence is the result of the analysis of massive collections of threat data that serves as a critical component in your organization’s cybersecurity strategy.

Categories of Threat Intelligence

As we begin to dig deeper into the cyber threat landscape, there are different kinds of threat intelligence existing with unique objectives. Strategic, tactical, and operational intelligence create a three layer shield that protects an organization all around with no gaps against the different cyber threats hiding in the cyber threat landscape. Each layer offers different viewpoints on the cyber threat landscape and when combined they create a 360 degree view of the attack surface. Let us discuss each one in detail.

You should know each category as they all help organizations defeat their enemies effectively.

Strategic Threat Intelligence: strategic threat intelligence enables security leaders and executives to gain visibility on the overall cybersecurity landscape and navigate through it. It offers high level cyber threat insights and trends with focus on general scenarios and required strategies.

Tactical Threat Intelligence: tactical threat intelligence offers extensive insights about the tactics techniques and procedures attackers utilize to perpetrate cyber attacks. With tactical threat intelligence security experts can formulate effective and responsive defensive strategies against cyber attacks.

Operational Threat Intelligence: operational threat intelligence offers real time insights that are extremely actionable and valuable for incident reaction teams. It offers insights about imminent attacks that occur on a daily basis thereby allowing security teams to reduce attacks before they even begin.

Key Features of Effective Threat Intelligence Tools

Not all threat intelligence tools are the same. To differentiate from others, they must provide valuable intelligence that can help security teams to react properly to known threats. So, what are a few of their critical features that define a good threat intelligence tool? We will discuss some of the key features that help you select the right threat intelligence tool for your organization.

Collecting real time data, rapidly integrating with existing security infrastructures, and must leverage automation and artificial intelligence for better response rates are some of the critical features that help threat intelligence tools offer wider coverage against emerging cyber threats. Let us discuss each one in detail.

Collect Real Time Data

Real time data collection is the critical element of any threat intelligence tool. It allows systems to remain current with the latest intelligence about threat actors and their tactics. These tools that collect real time data significantly reduce opportunities for attackers to find and exploit vulnerabilities before they’re discovered.

Threat intelligence tools help to detect and reduce zero day attacks, mysterious network behavior, and other malicious activities with their real time data collection features. Therefore, real time threat intelligence acts as a vigilant security guard that’s always ready to spring into action and sound the alert at any sign of attack.

Threat intelligence tools that collect real time data leverage various external and internal sources to prioritize alerts and offer them in a unified view. Echosec for instance collects info from social media platforms, blogs and news sites that can impact an organization’s cybersecurity. The wider variety of threat intelligence data sources ensures that no effort is going in vain and all threats are being detected and reduced effectively.

Integrate with Existing Security Infrastructures

Even the strongest castle has weak points that make it easy for attackers to breach. Integrating threat intelligence tools with existing security infrastructure lets you fortify those weak points. Threat intelligence integration with security operations helps in making additional security products like endpoint security, firewall, SIEM, etc. more effective. By turning them into a cohesive unit that makes it difficult for even the smartest attackers to find vulnerabilities to exploit.

For example, Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) offers valuable threat information to alerts, prioritizing them and assigning their severity. Integrating TIP with SIEM solutions allows the latter to generate dynamic and real time responses to prioritized alerts based on threat context. This essentially reduces and simplifies the task of overworked security teams and reduces MTTR to cyber attacks. Palo Alto’s cortex XSOAR is a great example of integration between SIEM, EDR, and firewalls.

Leverage Automation and Artificial Intelligence Features

Combining security automation with AI features in threat intelligence tools offers the striking light of lightning that can effectively deal with cyber threats. Automation can be used to reduce and simplify detection and response processes thereby improving MTTR to cyber attacks to only minutes. It’s an unrelenting and unstoppable worker that can continue comparing security events to threat intelligence feeds and alert whenever a known threat actor is found.

On the other hand, AI features help threat intelligence tools to learn and improve time over time based on data patterns. AI-powered threat intelligence can predict attack patterns and recommend preventive or responsive measures against them. It’s like having a crystal ball in your security team that not only works relentlessly around the clock but also proceeds learning and improving.

Both automation and ai features together make threat intelligence tools into proactive and vigilant security monitors that improve and learn time over time.

Best Threat Intelligence Tools in 2024

There are numerous threat intelligence platforms existing in 2024 that offer excellent logs and event management capabilities, malware analysis, threat detection, etc. Among all these platforms, some have really stood out and shine because of their innovative features and robust capabilities. Recorded Future, MISP, YETI, and OpenCTI are some examples of such threat intelligence tools.

MISP

MISP is an open source threat intelligence platform developed and maintained by the community. MISP stands for Malware Information Sharing Platform & Threat Sharing. It aims to improve and enhance the sharing of structured threat information with other organizations allowing them to coordinate their cybersecurity strategies. MISP offers a centralized platform to its users to store, search, and share threat data like IOCs, malware samples, and attack patterns with each other.

A key feature of MISP is its automation of ingestion and distribution of threat intelligence to organizations’ security infrastructure. This helps in reducing manual work involved in ingesting and prioritizing threat data allowing security teams to devote more time towards analysis and response.

MISP has extensible architecture that can be integrated with various security tools and platforms allowing data exchange between them. This essentially boosts org’s security postures and overall effectiveness of its security tools. MISP also allows its users to create and participate in communities with other users to share threat intelligence, discuss threat trends, and create best practices.


MISP Threat Intelligence Tool


Recorded Future

The Recorded Future Threat Intelligence solutions are one of the industry's top leaders, that automatically collects and organizes threat data to offer valuable insights to security experts. Due to features like threat scoring and MITRE ATT&CK mapping, we allow users to stay ahead of security threats by offering actionable intelligence.

Recorded Future threat intelligence solutions also provide a massive range of integrations that boost its capabilities and offer better value to users, such as SIEMS, endpoint protection platforms, and other security products forming a layered and strong defense strategy. Threat intelligence collected by these tools is efficiently distributed to all security layers of org’s infrastructure, maximizing its efficiency.


TTP Mitre Attack Matrix Threat Intelligence


Besides its integrations, our intuitive interface and customizable dashboards allow security teams to prioritize and arrange their workload based on their needs. Users can also perform advanced searches and configure real time alerts based on threat context to stay ahead of potential threats and reduce MTTR to cyber attacks.

Furthermore, Recorded Future's platform leverages advanced machine learning algorithms and natural language processing to analyze vast amounts of data from the open web, dark web, and technical sources. This comprehensive approach ensures that organizations receive timely, relevant, and actionable intelligence. By continuously monitoring for emerging threats and vulnerabilities, Recorded Future helps security teams preemptively address potential risks, enhancing their overall cyber resilience. Our commitment to innovation and excellence makes Recorded Future an indispensable asset in the ever-evolving landscape of cybersecurity.


Threat Intelligence - Recorded Future Portal


YETI

Yeti is a flexible threat intelligence platform that helps organizations to collect, analyze, and share threat information. It offers a centralized platform to security teams to store, organize, and distribute threat data helping them stay on top for any potential cyber threats. Yeti supports a massive range of data formats and sources making it a flexible tool for various types of threat intelligence.

Automating correlation of ingested threat data was one of the key design goals of yeti. It extremely reduces manual work involved in correlating and prioritizing threat data by security analysts allowing them to recognize threats and reply to them faster.

Yeti also offers an intuitive interface and powerful search functions making it easy for users to extract valuable insights from the stored data.


YETI


SecurityTrails

SecurityTrails offers a Threat Intelligence API that collects data on internet assets like domain names, IP addresses, and related metadata. It offers valuable insights to security teams by allowing them to quickly gather critical information about the assets they manage.

SecurityTrails also offers advanced querying capabilities to its users enabling them to perform in depth investigations and retrieve specific data points relevant to their security use cases. It integrates with other security tools like firewalls and SIEMS enabling streamlined and cohesive threat intelligence strategy to security experts. This essentially boosts their overall effectiveness and accuracy by offering easily consumable data in their existing workflows.


SecurityTrails API


OpenCTI

OpenCTI is a robust and open source threat intelligence platform that helps organizations to collect, analyze, and store their threat data. It offers a centralized platform to security teams to collect, store, and distribute threat intelligence allowing them to collaborate and stay on toe for any potential threats.

It supports a massive range of data formats and sources making it a flexible tool for various types of org. OpenCTI’s robust framework allows users to integrate multiple threat intelligence feeds developed by vendors allowing them to stay up to date with the latest intelligence.

Automating correlation and enrichment of threat data is one of the key features of openCTI. It extremely reduces manual work involved in correlating and prioritizing threat data by security analysts allowing them to recognize threats and reply to them faster.

OpenCTI also offers an intuitive interface and robust visualization capabilities making it easy to navigate and interpret complex threat data.


OpenCTI Threat Intelligence Tool


Threat Intelligence Frameworks

When it comes to organizing the massive amounts of data collected by threat intelligence tools, threat intelligence frameworks are a game changer. These frameworks standardize how we collect, analyze, and share threat information, ensuring that everything is consistent and reliable across different platforms and organizations. They help categorize threats, define relationships between various threat actors, and establish protocols for responding to different types of cyber threats.

MITRE ATT&CK Framework: One of the most well-known frameworks is the MITRE ATT&CK. This comprehensive matrix of tactics and techniques used by threat actors helps security teams understand and anticipate the methods used in cyber attacks. By mapping out these tactics and techniques, organizations can optimize threat intelligence, develop more effective defense strategies, and boost their incident response capabilities.

Cyber Kill Chain: Developed by Lockheed Martin, the Cyber Kill Chain outlines the stages of a cyber attack, from initial reconnaissance to achieving the final objective. Understanding each stage allows security teams to implement measures to detect and disrupt attacks at various points, reducing the likelihood of a successful breach. This is particularly useful for a security operations center (SOC) aiming to stay ahead of potential threats.

Diamond Model of Intrusion Analysis: The Diamond Model of Intrusion Analysis is another valuable framework. It focuses on the relationships between the adversary, their capabilities, the infrastructure they use, and their victims. By analyzing these relationships, security teams can gain deeper insights into the motivations and behaviors of threat actors, enabling them to predict and prevent future attacks more effectively.

In addition to these frameworks, there are various standards and protocols, such as STIX (Structured Threat Information Expression) and TAXII (Trusted Automated Exchange of Intelligence Information), which facilitate the sharing of threat intelligence across different organizations and platforms. These standards ensure that threat data is communicated in a consistent and machine-readable format, allowing for seamless integration and collaboration between different security tools and platforms.


MITRE ATTACK Framework Components


Triage

Discover Recorded Future Triage, a tool for free malware analysis. The advanced sandbox allows high-volume sample submissions and customizable environments for detailed detection and configuration extraction. Access public reports and classify malware efficiently to support your cybersecurity efforts.

In addition to its powerful analysis capabilities, Recorded Future Triage provides users with comprehensive insights into malware behavior and characteristics. This enables security teams to stay ahead of emerging threats and enhance their threat intelligence processes. With easy access to detailed reports and the ability to track various malware families, this tool is an essential resource for maintaining robust cybersecurity defenses.


Triage

What are Threat Intelligence Tools’ Advantages?

Organization’s cybersecurity toolbox is incomplete without threat intelligence tools that act as lights in the dark nights of cyber threats. These tools offer various advantages to users like offering specific intelligence about a particular threat or empowering it admins with valuable data to protect systems from emerging threats.

Whether it’s identifying potential attacks early or automating repetitive security workflows, threat intelligence tools boost visibility, optimize detection logic, and improve overall cybersecurity to new levels.

Boosted Threat Detection

Threats hide in broad daylight and detecting them requires keen senses and superior tools. Threat intelligence tools boost ability to detect emerging threats with advanced warning. Their ability to recognize patterns of malicious activity leads to boosted threat detection.

Orgs can then classify, prioritize, and optimize their detection logic for maximum effectiveness. Implementing a threat intelligence solution can boost an organization's overall security posture.

False positives clog up the security workflow and waste precious resources. These tools eliminate them and only sound the alarm to the team when there is actual risk.

Improved Incident Response

Speed and ability to reply to cyber threats are characteristics of improved incident response that threat intelligence tools offer. By automating tracking and labeling of alerts, these tools allow security teams to:

  • Don’t waste their efforts on false positives
  • prioritize and reply to incidents based on their severity
  • decrease response time and lessen damage caused by cyber attacks

Proactive Defense Strategies

Proactive defense strategies are like armor and weapons in war against cyber threats and threat intelligence tools are their blacksmiths and inventors. With regularly updated intelligence feeds and insights into threat actors’ tactics and techniques, organizations can:

  • proactively prevent potential attacks before they even begin
  • strengthen defenses based on an attacker’s TTPs
  • ensure that security controls are always up to date and ready to face them.

Best Practices to Implement Threat Intelligence Tools

Having best threat intelligence tools is only half the battle in using them efficiently. Implementing threat intelligence is an art that requires cyber defenders to follow best practices. Here are some steps required to ensure successful threat intelligence optimization, threat intelligence tool implementation, and improved security operations.

  1. Formulate clear goals
  2. Get to know security operations environment
  3. Identify trusted sources of intelligence
  4. Always monitor and improve processes

These practices when performed efficiently and with proper planning can reduce operational risk and maximize cybersecurity gains.

Regularly Update Threat Intelligence Feeds

Updating threat intelligence feeds is like sharpening the edge of the sword; it’s required to maintain its effectiveness against latest threats. The rate of updating must accompany the rate of evolving threat landscape, ensuring that protection is ongoing and efficient.

Regular updates allow organizations to stay up to date with the latest vulnerabilities and threats, like clamav’s multiple signature database updates performed daily, providing a shield that is always ready to fight.

Train Security Teams

Empowering security teams with ability and skills to use threat intelligence tools is crucial, similar to training knights for warfare. Continuous cyber threat intelligence training ensures that security teams remain vigilant and skilled in using the latest tools and techniques to identify and prevent cyber threats. It’s a proactive step that prepares your security teams for the fight they’ll encounter, allowing them to:

  • Take decisive and effective action in presence of danger
  • Stay up to date with the latest threats and vulnerabilities
  • Scrutinize and interpret threat intelligence data
  • Coordinate with other teams and share information
  • Execute effective security measures and controls
  • Carry out incident response and remediation activities

By investing in training and development of your security teams, you are strengthening your defenses and improving your overall cybersecurity posture.

Team Up with External Sources

Teaming up with external threat intelligence sources is like forming alliances in the kingdom of cyber warfare. By collaborating with industry peers and information sharing networks, organizations can boost their threat intelligence capabilities within their networking or computing atmosphere, obtaining access to a broader set of threat data.

This teaming up approach not only improves internal security measures but also builds a community of shared knowledge and mutual defense against common threats.

FAQs

Why is collecting real time data important in threat intelligence tools?

Collecting real time data is important in threat intelligence tools as it allows organizations to quickly identify and respond to threats thereby reducing the risk of successful attacks and minimizing potential damage to the system.

Can cyber threat intelligence tools predict future cyber attacks?

Yes, threat intelligence tools can offer actionable intelligence based on data patterns and known behaviors of threat actors to help anticipate and prepare for potential future cyber attacks. This can help organizations in improving their cybersecurity measures.

How do threat intelligence tools integrate with existing security systems?

Threat intelligence tools integrate with existing security systems by sharing data and insights that enhance overall detection capabilities, enriching security alerts with context, prioritizing incidents, and automating responses to known threats. This helps improve the effectiveness of the security system.

What are some best practices for implementing threat intelligence tools in an organization?

In conclusion, the best practices for implementing threat intelligence tools in your organization include setting clear goals, understanding your security environment, using reliable intelligence sources, training your security teams, updating feeds regularly, and collaborating with external sources for a wider range of data. These practices are essential for an effective threat intelligence program.

Summary

And there we have it, our top threat intelligence tools for 2024 wrapped up. These are not niceties, they’re essentials in the ever changing world of cyber. From real time data collection and integration to automation and AI these tools are the light at the end of the tunnel in a dark digital world.

Using these tools and following best practices will not only harden your defenses but get your organization ready for what’s coming next.

Ready to transform your cybersecurity strategy with cutting-edge threat intelligence? Book a demo with Recorded Future to see how our threat intelligence solutions can protect your organization.

Esteban Borges
Esteban Borges

Esteban is a seasoned security researcher and IT professional with over 20 years of experience, specializing in hardening systems and networks, leading blue team operations, and conducting thorough attack surface analysis to bolster cybersecurity defenses. He's also a skilled marketing expert, specializing in content strategy, technical SEO, and conversion rate optimization. His career includes roles as Security Researcher and Head of Marketing at SecurityTrails, before joining the team at Recorded Future.

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