Securing the future of the cloud through threat intelligence

Cloud-based intelligence provides an added advantage to security professionals who can keep track of suspicious behaviors and attacks by targeting specific groups of customers or businesses

26Mar

In recent years, cybersecurity has become a generic term that covers numerous areas of risk within a network, with the case being same for threat intelligence.

The evolution and adoption of the latest technologies have unlocked a plethora of security concerns, requiring different types and levels of threat detection, analysis and prevention methods. Individual users, groups of professionals and entire businesses are all connected to and run on the internet today, presenting an opportunity for criminals to exploit endless network connectivity, disrupt operations and steal crucial information.

While the advent of Industry 4.0 has promised tremendous growth in terms of business efficiency and skill development, it brings with it innumerable cybersecurity risks due to the growing number of network endpoints.

Nevertheless, security service providers have developed solutions that, besides helping organizations to keep hackers at bay, can also predict the likelihood of future attacks by analyzing their data infrastructure and fidelity of a network.

The threat intelligence market, an industry which is slated to remunerate more than $13bn by 2025, has emerged as a golden ticket to business reliability, cost-efficiency, data integrity and customer trust, as organizations have realized the increasing possibility of internal and external privacy threats. Several cases of unforeseen breaches worldwide have made these organizations aware of the continuously improving skills of cybercriminals, urging them on to proactively collect and analyze information on current and potential cyberattacks.

Enumerating the significance of threat intelligence

As of December 2018, there were more than 4.3 billion internet users worldwide. Envision the amount of IoT devices being utilized globally at a single point of time and the quantity of private, confidential data being generated by each one of these users. Whether it is a smartphone, personal computer, laptop or a smart speaker, every device has become vulnerable to an attack of some kind or another. Private users are not always concerned with cyberthreats owing to a lack of awareness, making it the priority of network providers and their technology partners to ensure the implementation of active threat counter-measures.

On the other hand, commercial and industrial users are widely conscious about the value of their data and network integrity, compelling them to approach threat intelligence service providers for adopting appropriate processes. Ideally, markers of previous attacks and compromised sources throughout business, local and international levels can be identified, to enable real-time analysis of threats and set up security alerts. The severity of an attack is usually measured by the sum of end-users being affected and, in many cases, by the direct and indirect financial losses triggered by the same.

Toward the end of 2018, two of the world's largest IT firms proved to the common people that even the most advanced systems can be susceptible to data breaches. Amazon had confirmed that the private information of an undisclosed number of users were illegally accessed, indicating a major concern with the network. Following that, nearly 52.5 million records from Google+ had been inadvertently revealed, confirming a significant comprise of the platform's API, according to EC-Council.

When technology giants can experience difficulty in maintaining an uncompromised network, one can surmise the considerable risks that governments and businesses in the telecom, manufacturing, healthcare, financial services and energy sector are exposed to. In all probability, rising demand for securing vital networks from ongoing and potential cyberattacks across these industries will substantially advance the demand for cyberthreat intelligence. Organizations, however, will need to make sure they define the purpose of implementing a threat intelligence system to avoid any redundant allocation of resources.

Threat intelligence and cloud technology: A unique affiliation

Advantage of the cloud: The scope of cybersecurity and threat intelligence goes beyond the limits of a single network, as cloud-based connectivity has allowed innumerable services to reach businesses and customers faster, more efficiently.

As mentioned by TechTarget, threat intelligence is aimed at utilizing the global cyberattack and threat data for offering insights into attacks as and when they happen, and possibly even before they occur. Cloud-based intelligence provides added advantage to security professionals since they can easily monitor their customer and the overall internet activity, setting themselves in a position to keep track of suspicious behavior and attacks targeting a specific group of customers or businesses.

In addition, sharing of information regarding common attacks like phishing, malware and unauthorized access can be achieved swiftly, allowing security experts to devise countermeasures for any malicious attempt in advance.

Another benefit of cloud-based threat intelligence would be that, for organizations with a vast network that comprises multiple geographical sites and several partners, deploying a robust security system across the entire operation would be easier and would entail lesser costs then on-premise systems. It will also facilitate more efficient concentration of skilled security professionals to support the overall business goals.

Increasing cloud-based applications: New cloud services are continuously being introduced, from offering storage and sharing of files to hosting mobile applications, enabling industrial automation, monitoring and the gathering of business information.

Unsurprisingly, rapidly developing technology has become a key target for cybercriminals, coercing the deployment of threat intelligence on the cloud. Most world-leading corporations, including Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google and IBM, provide cloud platform and services for various levels of business operations. Smartphones, among the fastest growing electronics segment of the past decade, offer an ideal growth avenue for the threat intelligence space.

Mobile phone applications are a crucial source of data generation, through different services that require users to input their personal information. Due to lower cost involved in developing cloud-based apps, as well as the reduced launch time on multiple platforms simultaneously, more on-the-cloud offerings are being developed than native apps.

Also, cloud technology allows for seamless integration of data accumulated from different facilities and points, apart from being easier to scale according to requirements. These features will result into higher utilization of cloud services and help make data safer, as cyberthreat intelligence can be more effectively and broadly implemented on a cloud platform.

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