In a world where cyber-attacks are inevitable, your organisation needs a way to stay ahead of the threats. That’s where threat intelligence comes in. The threat intelligence global market was valued at $5.28 billion in 2020, and is projected to reach $13.9 billion in 2026. This growth is driven by increasing uniqueness among cyber-attack techniques, and the ongoing need for greater data protection.
With a strong threat intelligence program, you can identify cyberthreats before they impact your business and enable your team to act quickly when an attack does happen. A collaborative and well-resourced threat intelligence program will enables your team to share best practices with other companies so everyone benefits from each other’s experiences.
What is Microsoft Sentinel?
Microsoft Sentinel is a cloud-based security information event management (SIEM) and security orchestration automated response (SOAR) solution. It’s Microsoft’s approach to threat intelligence that combines people, process, and technology to help businesses identify and respond to threats more quickly.
What is threat intelligence?
Threat intelligence is the ability to understand the potential threats that exist in your environment and how those threats might affect your organisation. It also includes understanding how to detect and respond to those threats as quickly as possible so they don’t impact your operations.
In the context of cyber-attacks, threat intelligence helps you understand the different types of attacks that exist, the level of risk associated with them, and the best ways to defend against them. In other words, threat intelligence is the data, insights, and knowledge that you use to protect your organisation from cyber threats. It includes the data you use to identify the threats, insights about how those threats might affect your business, and the knowledge you need to defend against the threats.
How Microsoft Sentinel’s threat intelligence protects your business
Identify attacks with data analytics
Data analytics gives you a broader view of your environment, enabling you to see trends that could indicate the presence of threats. This helps you identify new threats and track the ways that existing threats evolve over time.
Specifically, analytics helps you identify anomalies, including potentially malicious traffic and other items that are out of the norm for your environment. You can use these insights to create rules that flag suspicious traffic and alert your analysts when they see it.
Respond to threats with machine learning
Machine learning (ML) helps analysts detect threats more accurately and quickly, so they can spend less time sifting through unnecessary data and more time responding to real threats.
Sentinel’s ML-based detection capabilities use unsupervised and supervised learning algorithms to identify anomalies and prioritise threats. The unsupervised algorithms flag items that need to be investigated, while the supervised algorithms identify known threats.
Unsupervised algorithms use exploratory data analysis to find clusters of items that are similar. These clusters can reveal anomalies, such as items that don’t fit into any clusters but are related to other items. Supervised algorithms use training data, which is a set of example sets of data where each set demonstrates a particular outcome, to look for specific items and flag them as anomalies.
Greater security visibility
Sentinel’s threat intelligence helps analysts and security teams gain more visibility across your organisation. Businesses with visibility into their environments can detect attacks quicker, analyse how those attacks evolved, and come up with better defenses against similar attacks in the future.
Visibility also helps you understand how and when the threats are impacting your organisation, so you can contain and remediate the situation quickly before it has a major impact on your business.
Respond to incidents quickly
A strong threat intelligence program will have relationships with third-party organisations that specialise in security intelligence. These organisations collect data about threats in the wild and feed it back to organisations that subscribe to the service.
The security intelligence data informs Sentinel, and it can help you respond to cyber-attacks more quickly. For example, if your business is hit by an APT and uses the threat intelligence solution to respond, you can use the security intelligence data to understand how the attack works and what indicators to look for. This gives you a head start in responding to the attack and puts you in a better position to contain it.
Using AI to hunt for threats
Cyber threats are constantly evolving, using new tools and techniques. Analysts can get overwhelmed by the volume of information they have to sift through each day, making it difficult to find the alerts relevant to the current threat landscape.
The use of artificial intelligence (AI) can help you combat this problem by enabling Sentinel’s threat intelligence to automatically analyse large volumes of data and find anomalies. This also helps your analysts prioritise the alerts they need to investigate. Specifically, AI can help you identify attacks by finding patterns in the alerts to determine if a cyber-attack actually took place.
Enhance your security posture with Microsoft Sentinel
Microsoft Sentinel’s threat intelligence solution combines some of the most robust and sophisticated technologies available today. It uses data collected by thousands of sensors across the organisation’s network, and real-time insight from the team to detect and respond to threats.
The Microsoft Sentinel specialists at Steadfast Solutions can help you implement Sentinel into your business, guide you through the process, and manage it remotely for full effectiveness.