Threat Intelligence: IT vs OT Security Solutions

By Srikanth
5 Min Read
Threat Intelligence: IT vs OT Security Solutions 1

It is said that: “Knowledge is power”. This adage is spot on when it refers to cyber security and solutions aimed to expose vulnerabilities and improve an organization’s security posture.  Threat intelligence in cyber security refers to the knowledge and information about potential and existing cyber security threats and vulnerabilities.

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Threat intelligence is vital in the OT and IT security landscape, and its importance is growing as these environments become increasingly interconnected and vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Threat Intelligence Explained

The collection, analysis, and propagation of knowledge regarding potential and existing threats to cyber security, vulnerabilities, and risks is referred to as threat intelligence in cyber security. This data is used to make educated decisions about protecting digital assets, systems, and networks from cyberattacks. Threat intelligence enables organizations to take a preventative approach to cyber security, allowing them to grasp the evolving threat landscape, recognize potential risks, and implement suitable precautions.

Types of Threat Intelligence

  • Long-term, broad insights into cyber threats are the focus of Strategic Threat Intelligence. It elucidates the motives, methods, and capacities of threat actors. Strategic threat intelligence assists organizations in designing informed long-term security strategies.
  • Tactical threat intelligence provides more specific details about threats and their approaches. It contains indicators of compromise, strategies, methods, procedures, and other pertinent information.
  • Real-time details regarding threats and incidents are provided by operational threat intelligence. It is critical for reacting to incidents and allows organizations to take swift anti-attack measures.

Lifecycle of Threat Intelligence

The Threat Intelligence Lifecycle is an organized approach organizations use to manage and use threat intelligence in their cyber security efforts effectively. It consists of several stages that assist organizations in gathering, analyzing, and acting on threat intelligence to improve their security posture.

The following stages are typically included in the lifecycle:

  1. Organizations describe their threat intelligence goals, scope, and specifications during the planning and direction phase. It entails establishing clear goals and success metrics and identifying the threat intelligence sources to use.
  2. Organizations gather threat intelligence from various sources during the next stage. The goal is to collect relevant, timely, and accurate data.
  3. Data from threat intelligence is processed and analyzed. Analysts evaluate the data to determine its credibility and relevance. This stage frequently entails transforming raw data into actionable intelligence by identifying indicators of compromise and other pertinent information.
  4. Threat intelligence is used to enrich existing security policies and procedures. Security strategies are adjusted using tactical and strategic intelligence.
  5. Organizations continually evaluate their security posture after implementing threat intelligence to assess the measures’ effectiveness. Feedback loops are set up to collect data on the influence of threat intelligence on security.  When a piece of threat intelligence is no longer helpful or relevant, it is removed from the active lifecycle.

IT vs OT Security Solutions

OT Environments

Industrial control systems and other vital infrastructure components are examples of OT environments. They prioritize dependability and availability over anonymity.

OT aims to ensure the ongoing and safe operation of mechanical processes, which increases the potential severity of cyberattacks. Threat intelligence for OT is tailored to the specific needs of industrial systems, focusing on threats and vulnerabilities relevant to the environment.

Early threat detection, proactive defense, and enhanced incident management are provided to avoid interruptions, all tailored to OT systems’ needs.

IT Environments

IT environments are primarily concerned with data, applications, and network security. They are concerned with the safety, reliability, and accessibility of data. IT places a premium on safeguarding confidential information, monetary information, and proprietary knowledge, which propels its security posture.

The primary benefit of threat intelligence in IT is the protection of confidentiality. It provides information on the most recent threats and vulnerabilities that may affect these assets. Threat intelligence contributes to IT security by ensuring organizations adhere to regulations and privacy laws, reducing legal and financial risks.

Conclusion

Threat intelligence is essential to modern cyber security, providing critical insights, context, and proactive defense strategies. The distinctions between IT and OT threat intelligence stem from their unique safety concerns and objectives.

By utilizing cost-effective and efficient solutions rooted in rich threat intelligence, organizations can secure their operational technology environments, minimize risks, and ensure the continued reliability of industrial processes in the face of evolving cyber threats.

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