August 20, 2019 • The Recorded Future Team
Given the current cybersecurity environment, CEOs and board directors are now taking a closer look at the security posture of their companies. A significant challenge lies in establishing clear communication with security teams so executives can gain an accurate view into the data and IT asset risks in relation to pending threats.
This blog (the second in a three-part series) examines how executives need to empower security teams with an intelligence solution that compiles data from internal security tools and external threat sources, and then puts the threat information into context as it pertains to the company’s IT infrastructure. From there, security teams and executives can work closely together to prioritize threat protection and mitigation efforts while allocating the necessary technology and personnel resources, and ensuring the company earns a sufficient return on its threat intelligence investment.
Examining the Security Posture of Your Organization
With cybercriminals from all corners of the globe constantly attempting to hijack data and IT assets — and demanding exorbitant ransoms for their return — every IT risk is a risk to the entire business. When security breaches occur, operations can come to a complete standstill. Brand reputation may suffer, and customers could leave in droves. In addition to shrinking revenues due to a breach or compromise, companies potentially face stiff regulatory compliance fines.
Given this reality in today’s digital world, IT security now ranks just as high as sales, marketing, production, customer service, finance, and human resources in terms of core business functions. Without a strong security posture, all of these important functions can potentially be stopped dead in their tracks.
The Importance of Clear Communications Between Executives and IT
The current environment thus makes it imperative for CEOs and board members to take a close look at their investments in cybersecurity. Security teams must have the resources they require to proactively prevent infrastructure breaches and quickly mitigate any attacks that infiltrate the network. At the same time, executives want to ensure they receive sufficient ROI on the security measures that they agree to pay for.
However, creating a way for IT to accurately and succinctly communicate IT risk information to executives in non-technical, business-oriented terms is a challenge. This can be especially difficult when internal security defense systems produce an overwhelming amount of data. External threat intelligence — for which there is also an endless amount of data — must be considered as well. But by effectively correlating internal network data and external threat intelligence (for example, through integrations with SIEM or SOAR solutions), security teams can gain context around threats relative to digital assets in order to know which threats present the greatest risk to the business.
All of the data coming from multiple sources must be compiled, consolidated, and reformatted so it can be analyzed from a single, digestible view. The output must then be interpreted by technical experts and translated into terms that executives and board members can comprehend.
Common Language Helps Everyone Understand IT Risks
That’s where an effective threat intelligence solution comes into play. The leading solutions collect, organize, and present intelligence from internal security tools and external sources. Security teams can then gain real-time insights into emerging and active threats that directly target the business and its digital assets, as well as the industry as a whole.
With this contextualized intelligence, security teams can map threats directly to the company’s risk profile. They can also generate easy-to-interpret reports to provide senior executives with the ability to prioritize security spend and allocate available resources.
A threat intelligence solution essentially creates a common language that enables the entire company to understand which active cyberattacks pose the greatest threats specific to their industry, their organization, and their operating environment. Everyone, including the board of directors, the CEO, the CISO, and the frontline security team can view report findings to help understand where and when resources need to be applied to protect the at-risk digital assets that are most critical to business operations.
Here’s a sampling of the intelligence a threat intelligence solution generates:
- The probability that threats will succeed
- Network infrastructure vulnerabilities that could allow threats to happen
- The amount of harm that threats can potentially do to digital assets if the infrastructure is breached
- Already-deployed security controls that security teams can leverage to fix vulnerabilities and prevent breaches
- New security controls that are needed to close any risk gaps
The intelligence that security teams deliver to executives will help drive decision-making actions by placing internal data into the context of the wider threat landscape. Executives can then leverage the expertise that security teams provide to identify the most pressing threats and vulnerabilities, and then empower those security teams with the necessary resources to protect the company’s digital assets.
A Soft Pillow to Sleep More Soundly
In addition to providing executives with reports on the level of risk faced by the company’s IT assets, a threat intelligence solution delivers several key capabilities that help protect the company’s network infrastructure. After interviewing clients who leveraged the Recorded Future® Platform, IDC found that security teams accelerated threat identification, lowered resolution times, and identified more security threats before they impacted the company.
From a financial standpoint, IDC found customers experienced a 284% ROI over the first three years of deploying Recorded Future and earned back their investment within four months. But perhaps the ultimate payoff for executives is that Recorded Future reduced unplanned downtime due to security events by 86%.
These results create a greater assurance that business operations will continue without impediments. And that’s exactly the “soft pillow” that CEOs and the board of directors need to sleep soundly — every night!
To see the full results of IDC’s survey, download your complimentary copy of their white paper, “Organizations React to Security Threats More Efficiently and Cost Effectively with Recorded Future.”