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The Second Annual Study on Exchanging Cyber Threat Intelligence: There Has to Be a Better Way

November 4, 2015, 12:00 am

We are pleased to let you know about our latest study on intelligence sharing. The Second Annual Study on Exchanging Cyber Threat Intelligence: There Has to Be a Better Way reveals interesting trends in how organizations are participating in initiatives or programs for exchanging threat intelligence with peers, industry groups, IT vendors and government. According to the 692 IT and IT security practitioners surveyed, there is more recognition that the exchange of threat intelligence can improve an organization’s security posture and situational awareness. However, concerns about trust in the sources of intelligence and timeliness of the information continue to be a deterrent to participation in such initiatives.

Forty-seven percent of respondents say their organization had a material security breach that involved an attack that compromised the networks or enterprise systems. This attack could have been external (i.e. hacker), internal (i.e. malicious insider) or both. Most respondents (65 percent) say threat intelligence could have prevented or minimized the consequences of the attack.

Following are key research takeaways:

Threat intelligence is essential for a strong security posture. Seventy-five percent of respondents, who are familiar and involved in their company’s cyber threat intelligence activities or process, believe gathering and using threat intelligence is essential to a strong security posture.

Potential liability and lack of trust in sources of intelligence, keep some organizations from participating. Organizations that only partially participate cite potential liability of sharing (62 percent of respondents) and lack of trust in the sources of intelligence (60 percent of respondents). However, more respondents believe there is a benefit to exchanging threat intelligence.

Organizations rely upon peers and security vendors for threat intelligence. Sixty-five percent of respondents say they engage in informal peer-to-peer exchange of information or through a vendor threat exchange service (45 percent of respondents). IT vendors and peers are also considered to provide the most actionable information. Law enforcement or government officials are not often used as a source for threat intelligence.

Threat intelligence needs to be timely and easy to prioritize. Sixty-six percent of respondents who are only somewhat or not satisfied with current approaches say it is because the information is not timely and 46 percent complain the information is not categorized according to threat type or attacker.

Organizations are moving to a centralized program controlled by a dedicated team.  A huge barrier to effective collaboration in the exchange of threat intelligence is the existence of silos. Centralizing control over the exchange of threat intelligence is becoming more prevalent and might address the silo problem.

We hope you will download the full report.

Warmest regards,

Dr. Larry Ponemon


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