A survey on technical threat intelligence in the age of sophisticated cyber attacks

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Computers & Security, ISSN: 0167-4048, Vol: 72, Page: 212-233

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Wiem Tounsi; Helmi Rais
Elsevier BV
Computer Science; Social Sciences
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review description
Today's cyber attacks require a new line of security defenses. The static approach of traditional security based on heuristic and signature does not match the dynamic nature of new generation of threats that are known to be evasive, resilient and complex. Organizations need to gather and share real-time cyber threat information and to transform it to threat intelligence in order to prevent attacks or at least execute timely disaster recovery. Threat Intelligence (TI) means evidence-based knowledge representing threats that can inform decisions. There is a general awareness for the need of threat intelligence while vendors today are rushing to provide a diverse array of threat intelligence products, specifically focusing on Technical Threat Intelligence (TTI). Although threat intelligence is being increasingly adopted, there is little consensus on what it actually is, or how to use it. Without any real understanding of this need, organizations risk investing large amounts of time and money without solving existing security problems. Our paper aims to classify and make distinction among existing threat intelligence types. We focus particularly on the TTI issues, emerging researches, trends and standards. Our paper also explains why there is a reluctance among organizations to share threat intelligence. We provide sharing strategies based on trust and anonymity, so participating organizations can do away with the risks of business leak. We also show in this paper why having a standardized representation of threat information can improve the quality of TTI, thus providing better automated analytics solutions on large volumes of TTI which are often non-uniform and redundant. Finally, we evaluate most popular open source/free threat intelligence tools, and compare their features with those of a new AlliaCERT TI tool.