With the massive amount of cyber threats out there these days including malware, viruses, ransomware, and DDos attacks, threat intelligence can be invaluable.  When it comes to defending your company’s intellectual property and assets, knowing what possible threats are out there can be the first line of defense.  As a CISO, threat intelligence allows you to make the right decisions to mitigate risks and prevent attacks.  While a dedicated threat intelligence team can provide valuable intel, this does not mean that it is financially possible for every company to have one.

The financial ability to afford a threat intelligence team can vary between companies, and is typically not feasible for smaller, or some medium sized companies.  Generally those companies who only have a one man, or couple man IT team cannot afford a completely separate threat intelligence team.  Though, for those larger and select few medium sized companies, an equipped team adept in locating and sorting cyber intelligence threats could be extremely beneficial.  A threat intelligence team does not even necessarily have to be full time.  It could be arranged for them to perform their function a set amount of days or hours a week, rather than being full time employees.

Benefits of a Full Cyber Intelligence Team

The benefits of a full threat intelligence team can be many.  They would be able to view things from an attacker’s perspective, and profile and search out possible threats.  Before establishing a cyber intelligence team though, there is the factor of whether the essentials are in place.  This includes formidable current network security, an efficient IT or information security team, and sound protection of current intellectual assets.  These types of essentials need to be established as the base line of defense before a threat intelligence team could be implemented to search out any possible advanced attacks or threats.

One of the barriers regarding a full threat intelligence team is proving the value of it to the powers that be.  The executives, as well as the board will need to see what value it brings, as well as understand the purpose enough to approve implementing the team.  As this type of team can be costly, the value of implementing one needs to outweigh the cost.  The threat intelligence team itself also needs to be able to continually display and communicate their value to the board.  Otherwise, when not producing results or preventing possible attacks or threats, it could simply be viewed as an expense that could be cut later on.  Cyber intelligence is a profession which relies heavily on experience to know where to search and discover threats.  So a full team of threat intelligence professionals would all need to be experienced individually to work together effectively and produce results.

When a Full Cyber Intelligence Team is Not Feasible

While a full threat intelligence team does have a valuable place in certain companies, it may also not be necessary for all companies.  Smaller companies that do not have as large of networks or the funds necessary for a full cyber intelligence team can bolster their current security team, and ensure that the basics are in with their network.

Smaller companies or companies without a dedicated threat intelligence team need to use and implement whatever cyber intelligence resources that they do have available.  This could include threat intelligence feeds, or researching threats targeted to their particular industry or protected information.  This way, even without a full cyber intelligence team, they can still stay on top of most threats and attacks that could be sent their way.