To ensure coverage against internal and external risks, effective security operations hinge on three critical pillars: threat intelligence; digital risk protection (DRP); and threat detection, investigation, and response (TDIR).

Threat intelligence helps organizations understand the threat landscape and mitigate attacks, while DRP protects an organization’s digital footprint across the open, deep, and dark web. TDIR brings it all together, enabling real-time detection and response to security incidents.

Depending on an organization’s stage of security maturity, their team may focus on one pillar over the others. But it’s together that these pillars provide comprehensive visibility of both internal and external threats, allowing organizations to proactively protect their assets and respond effectively. Without an integrated approach, security gaps can leave organizations vulnerable to cyber attacks. In this blog, we’ll explore the right balance between DRP, threat intelligence, and TDIR, and how it can help you gain 360-degree visibility of your threat landscape.

Risks of Imbalanced Focus on TDIR, Threat Intelligence, and DRP

Organizations today struggle to get a complete picture of the threats they face, often stemming from a focus on just one of the three pillars, rather than an approach that balances all three. This imbalance can leave gaps in an organization’s security posture, making it difficult to address the full scope of potential threats effectively.

Internal Focus: Prioritizing SecOps and TDIR

The TDIR pillar is a foundational phase for security operations. As organizations start here, their security teams tend to have a more reactive stance, addressing alerts later in their workflow. Without external threat intelligence, security can’t fully understand threats in their environment or act proactively against them, limiting them to react only after there has already been an attack. This delays their response times and overwhelms them with alerts and incidents.

Organizations need to incorporate external threat intelligence and digital risk protection as a part of their security operations. This includes monitoring the open, deep, and dark web, tracking new vulnerabilities and IOCs, and staying informed about emerging attack vectors.

Inability to Operationalize Threat Intelligence and Digital Risk

As organizations mature beyond foundational TDIR, they start consuming threat intel, but often overwhelm themselves with vast amounts of external threat intelligence that may not be specific or relevant to their industry. This sea of intelligence can create a noisy environment where security teams struggle to prioritize the information they’re collecting. As a result, they are unable to operationalize the intel or focus on the threats that matter most to their organization, hindering their ability to proactively defend against attacks.

To be effective, organizations need to filter and prioritize intelligence based on relevance to their specific industry and threat landscape, gain visibility into their digital risks, and incorporate everything into their TDIR workflow.

Siloed Tools

Organizations that are further along their SecOps maturity journey tend to utilize all three of our pillars. However, operationalizing this data at scale is usually inefficient due to a lack of integration across DRP, threat intelligence and TDIR tools. Information is not shared effectively across systems, preventing the organizations from maximizing their current investments. This fragmentation leads to delays in threat detection and response, creates gaps in coverage that can be exploited, and slows workflows.

By properly integrating their tools, organizations can improve coordination and efficiency, maximizing the effectiveness of their security teams and reducing manual effort. As a result, they achieve comprehensive coverage across the entire security landscape.

Security Operations Platform: Integrating the Three Critical Pillars

To achieve 360-degree visibility, organizations must adopt an integrated approach that combines DRP, threat intelligence, and TDIR seamlessly within a unified security operations platform. With this approach, organizations can achieve:

  • Digital Risk Protection: By monitoring external risks on the open, deep, and dark web, a security operations platform provides critical insights into potential threats. Proactive monitoring can significantly reduce the number of incidents security teams need to respond to.
  • Customized Threat Intelligence: Integrating digital risk protection with a security operations platform enables organizations to consume and act on customized threat intelligence specific to their industry. By focusing on relevant threat actor profiles and their tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs), organizations can build detections that help them prioritize and respond more effectively.
  • Unified and Automated TDIR Workflows: With a security operations platform that integrates digital risk protection and threat intelligence, the end-to-end incident process can be orchestrated across tools allowing customers to operationalize DRP and threat intelligence data at scale.

Real-World Use Case of Combining DRP and TDIR: Credential Compromise

Consider a scenario where credentials are compromised, and a digital risk protection tool detects a username on the deep web. If this username matches an active user in the organization’s identity and access management (IAM) system, an alert is generated. In a siloed environment, an analyst would need to manually terminate sessions and reset passwords However, with a unified security operations platform, this threat can be efficiently contained by automatically terminating the sessions and enforcing a password reset upon the user’s next login.

Conclusion

Achieving 360-degree visibility in security operations is essential for protecting assets and responding to threats. Integrating the three pillars of DRP, threat intelligence, and TDIR into a unified security operations platform, like GreyMatter, eliminates inefficiencies from siloed tools. This comprehensive approach allows for effective monitoring of internal and external threats, providing critical insights for proactive threat management and streamlines security operations workflows.