Cyber threat intelligence is a critical component of an effective cybersecurity solution. The threat landscape is constantly changing, and the right intelligence ensures that financial institutions can adapt and protect themselves from new and emerging threats. This includes infrastructure attacks, data theft, compromised customer accounts, and other threats.
At SQN Banking Systems, we partner with Q6 Cyber to collect actionable and timely cyber intelligence. Then, we leverage the intelligence to protect our clients from cyber threats and to improve the fraud detection and prevention solutions that we provide.
What Is Cyber Threat Intelligence?
Cyber threat intelligence is the process of collecting and analyzing data to learn about cyber threats. Intelligence analysts monitor multiple sources so they can learn about the motives and behaviors of bad actors. This type of intelligence is critical if you want to take a proactive rather than a reactive approach to protecting your financial institution. Check out cyber threat intelligence 101 to learn more.
The Purpose of Cyber Threat Intelligence
The purpose of cyber threat intelligence is to improve defense processes and reduce risks. It helps bankers and cyber security teams learn more about the motives and techniques of bad actors. It also helps anti-fraud software developers to improve their fraud detection solutions.
Bank fraud prevention solutions are trained to detect numerous types of fraud, but they are often limited to established types of fraud. This creates intrinsic vulnerability to new and emerging risks. To mitigate this risk, intelligence analysts learn as much as they can about what scam artists and thieves are doing. They try to figure out a bad actor’s next move so that they can preempt fraud and build more effective fraud detection models.
Types of Cyber Threat Intelligence
Cyber threat intelligence falls into several different categories including the following:
- Operational cyber threat intelligence — Utilizing fresh intelligence based on an organization’s operational needs and personalized risk factors.
- Strategic cyber threat intelligence — Gathering data that can be turned into actionable information that improves your security efforts.
- Tactical cyber threat intelligence — Analyzing the tactics that bad actors use, and using that information to detect similar types of attacks.
- Technical cyber threat intelligence — Looking for indicators that security may be compromised including analyzing internal processes.
Cyber Threat Intelligence Life Cycle
The life cycle of cyber intelligence has several stages. To begin, the analysts outline their goals. For instance, they may state that they want to protect a bank from a cyber attack or a data breach. Then, they collect data related to the type of attack they’re trying to prevent. This process involves monitoring multiple sources to learn about current and emerging threats.
Once they’ve collected the data, they process and analyze it. This allows them to produce actionable intelligence. Then, they send the intelligence to the right stakeholders. Depending on the goals, this may be a software developer, a financial institution, an IT team, or another related party. Finally, they get feedback, and they use this information to improve their processes moving forward.
What is A Cyber Threat Intelligence Analyst?
A cyber threat intelligence analyst is a security professional who monitors data to learn about cyber threats. They analyze data about attacks to learn about their patterns, and they also monitor places where cybercriminals share information such as the darknet, paste sites, social media sites, and hacker forums. Then, they analyze the data to produce intelligence that can guide security processes and improve decision-making.
These professionals have deep cybersecurity experience, and they often have a history of working in the military, national intelligence, or corporate cybersecurity teams.
Threat Data Vs. Threat Intelligence
Data is a fact. It’s a piece of decontextualized information. Intelligence uses multiple data points to draw inferences about a situation. It creates a context for the data. Raw data, on its own, cannot protect your bank from cyber threats. Instead, you need highly trained professionals who understand how to turn data into intelligence.
The most significant cyber threats for banks include malware and ransomware, but you also need to be vigilant against internal threats including malicious employees and honest mistakes. As banks work with an increasing number of third-party service providers, they also expose themselves to the vulnerabilities of these companies and their contractors.
Cyber threat intelligence helps to ensure that your financial institution is poised to deal with the biggest cyber threats in the banking industry including the following:
- Ransomware — With ransomware attacks, cybercriminals block your access to your data until you pay a ransom, but even then, they still may not return the data.
- Malware — Although it gets less media coverage than ransomware, malware attacks are about twice as common, and they disrupt or damage your data.
- Spoofing — Thieves build a site that mimics the look of your bank website. Then, they lure customers to the site to steal their login details.
The majority of cyber attacks originate outside of your bank, but they don’t all involve hacking. It’s much easier for a cybercriminal to infiltrate your network through a phishing attack than by hacking efforts. To this end, cybercriminals may try to trick your employers into sharing sensitive information such as logins. To protect your institution, you need to educate your customers about the risks.
The Evolution of CyberThreats
As financial institutions and cyber security specialists tighten their security, bad actors have to find new ways to commit their crimes. As a result, their tactics are constantly evolving so they stay one step ahead of detection. Cyber threat intelligence helps your financial institution stay ahead of the criminals.
Cyber threats also change based on geopolitical realities. For example, when the United States issued Russian sanctions, cyber threats from that part of the world increased, and banks had to improve their efforts.
Cyber threat intelligence can be complicated to understand. To help you out, we’ve put together a resource that answers all of your most popular questions. It explains how cyber threat intelligence works, how analysts collect data, and the benefits of using intelligence to protect your bank.
Bad actors want data, but ultimately, they want money. This puts financial institutions at a very high risk. To protect yourself, you need a comprehensive solution driven by cyber threat intelligence. We can help.
At SQN Banking Systems, we offer a range of services and solutions to help financial institutions protect themselves from cyber threats and bank fraud. We believe in taking a proactive approach to all of the threats in the banking landscape. Are you going everything you can to protect your bank’s assets, reputation, and customer relationships? Not sure? Then, let’s talk. Contact us today.