Regular monitoring and reporting of emerging threats and vulnerabilities can alert you to take action and prevent an attack. Understanding the cyber threat intelligence lifecycle is key to successfully implementing a threat intelligence strategy, using information about what adversaries are doing, incorporating protective measures in your defense scheme, and reducing your organization’s attack surface. Incorporating cyber threat intelligence in your business strategy helps you to fight against cybercrime.

If you are looking forward to implementing this model in your organization, this article will explain the steps you can follow.

Note: If you are reading about cyber threat intelligence for the first time, I recommend that you stop for a moment and read this article with some key concepts.

Step 1 – Direction

In this first step of the cyber threat intelligence lifecycle, it is very important to define what will be the strategy to collect the information, the type of information and content, define and classify the availability and reliability of sources and communication flows, and formulate intelligence team roles and responsibilities.

Step 2 – Collection

In this step, we need to focus more on collecting the desired intelligence defined in phase one. The data can be collected in different ways through either technical or human means and directly or secretly based on the confidentiality of the information. Intelligence is collected through sources like human intelligence (HUMINT), imagery intelligence (IMINT), measurement and signature intelligence (MASINT), signal intelligence (SIGNT), open-source intelligence (OSINT), and loCs, and other third parties. Investing time in this step will increase your probability of having a successful cyber threat intelligence lifecycle implementation. 

Step 3 – Processing

Processing is the transformation of collected information into a format usable by the organization. Almost all raw data collected needs to be processed to deliver to the stakeholder’s actionable data.

Step 4 – Analysis

Here, the obtained data is analyzed and the unusable one eliminated. The data is converted into information by applying various data analysis techniques such as qualitative and quantitative analyses, machine-based techniques, and statistical methods.

Step 5 – Feedback

The feedback is an assessment that describes whether the goal of converting threat intelligence information into action is achieved. That way, the organization would have reduced the attack surface and risk exposure. In this stage, the analysis allows the organization to define another router if the goal is not achieved.

Step 6 – Dissemination

This is the last phase of this cycle. Its objective is to supply intelligence to whoever must execute the appropriate actions with sufficient diligence to avoid decision-making delay.

In summary, in this article, we expose you to the six steps that make up the life cycle of cyber threat intelligence. In the following piece of this series, we will talk about Cyber Threat Intelligence Sources – Talk to you soon!