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5 min read

An Inside Look at Advanced Attacker TTPs and the Danger of Relying on Industry-based Threat Intelligence

By Vincas Čižiūnas on Jul 7, 2020 11:15:37 AM

Many organizations use threat intelligence from industry peers to prioritize vulnerability management and assign criticality when there is not enough existing information directly about their organization or their organization’s critical assets. While this is a natural political response to frame the narrative to allow budgetary approval to build certain aspects of the security program, organizations need to defend specific to their own technology stack and assets, incorporate the proper tooling around this stack, and be able to log events at scale. 

If a security program indicates that their industry peers are being targeted by a variety of different threats broken down by industry, the narrative around this argument will likely be a more persuasive argument for non-technical business executives approving budgets.

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5 min read

Cyber Threat Intelligence: The Firehose of Noise and How We Got Here

By Zachary Henson on Jun 23, 2020 12:18:09 PM

Threat intelligence feeds have become popular, and a company's ability to track threats outside of its own environment is better than ever. With these improvements though, has come an increasing demand on security professionals to select and manage the right combination of tools to achieve their desired outcomes.

Here is a brief look at the history of the cyber threat intelligence industry, and where we might go from here.

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1 min read

Leveraging Technical Expertise & Data Partnerships to Combat Disinformation

By Matthew Brock on Jun 15, 2020 2:32:35 PM

Argument -  fierce, bold, and impassioned - has been at the heart of our American democracy since the founding. British censorship (colonists could speak without prior restraint but then be charged with sedition or libel) compelled the drafters of the Bill of Rights to include freedom of speech as part of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. 

Heated disagreement and even misinformation are as rampant on today’s internet as they were in the taverns and meeting halls of the colonies. This speech is rightly protected. But because of the sacredness of this right, it is disinformation – deliberate attempts by foreign and domestic actors to spread falsehoods in order to achieve a political end – that concerns us here at Nisos and that we leverage our capabilities to fight.

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Real Cyber Intelligence Tells a SOC What Its Security Stack Cannot Detect

By Steve Michael on Jun 9, 2020 1:30:12 PM

Actionable cyber threat intelligence should inform a security operations center’s prioritization of the most critical applications and infrastructure to the business and threat hunt program in ways a security stack cannot. With hypotheses-led, defined use cases that focus on signatures and more importantly behavior, threat hunting programs can operationalize threat intelligence by mapping threats to data sources and decision matrices that provide alerts and subsequent action. As a deliverable, a SOC can then count the actionable alerts versus the total alerts and, if captured appropriately, a security program can scale by reducing time to respond with fewer resources.

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Common Network Segmentation Strategies for Production Environments

By Nisos on Jun 3, 2020 7:28:04 PM

Business needs for all company sizes increasingly require managed production environments to perform critical computational and data storage roles that are often administered by company IT professionals, as well as potentially providing services to both internal and external entities. As a preamble, most common production environments tend to be heavily Linux-based, while most corporate environments are either predominantly Windows or a mixed environment with Windows and MacOS machines. While it should be obvious that the production environment should be heavily protected from arbitrary access from the internet, it can be easily overlooked that protecting company and customer data necessitates security measures against the corporate and other internal networks.

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Cyber Diligence Provides Actionable Intelligence to M&A Teams

By Travis Peska, Vincas Čižiūnas, Jared Hudson on May 27, 2020 5:40:31 PM

Large companies take robust consultative approaches to integrating  networks and applications post-acquisition. Rarely do acquiring security teams have the resources or cost-effective internal processes to do their own investigative cyber diligence on a pending acquisition.  The most cost-effective option is intelligence analysis conducted “outside of the firewall”, analysis of unique data that combines automation and human investigation to provide timely and accurate insights  into key man risk, network security, negative press, and infrastructure and network vulnerabilities. Informed by this analysis, “on-network” compromise assessments can then provide a comprehensive inspection to enable the acquiring party to move forward confident it is on stable ground from a security perspective.

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Managed Intelligence: Shaping a Threat Hunt Program to Operationalize Data, Resource Accordingly, and Protect the Business

By Steve Michael on May 18, 2020 4:03:06 PM

Deriving actionable intelligence to enhance organizational security is a challenge faced by all global companies and often further complicated by intertwined networks resulting from mergers and acquisitions. With the volumes of data, it’s important to shape a threat hunting program to be able to consume and operationalize data collected from various sources.

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Zero Touch Diligence: Actionable Intelligence for Third-Party Risk Management

By Travis Peska & Nisos Team on May 11, 2020 5:06:21 PM

Security analysts responsible for vendor management have a unique combination of challenges, both human and technical. Questionnaires are a standard tool, but are also wrought with human error, both intentional and accidental. On the technical side, risk managers are unlikely to have access to a third party’s network. Furthermore, “on-network” investigations intended to provide appropriate cyber due diligence for third-parties, such as a penetration test or compromise assessment, are rarely completed within an actionable time period aligned with the risk manager’s work flow. Finally, while risk management tools aggregate useful insights in real time, they are unlikely to be tuned perfectly to an individual risk manager’s needs with a specific third party.

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Managed Intelligence: An Overview on Signature and Personality-Based Attributions to Mitigate Risk for the Business

By David Schertzer & Adam Gayde on May 5, 2020 1:27:48 PM

Continuing with Nisos’ series on providing context to enable actionable outcomes for Security Operations Centers (SOCs), we examine the differences between signature and personality-based attributions and how each plays a role for enterprises in prioritization efforts to define and defend threats. By focusing on the technical signatures and open source intelligence (OSINT) footprint  of a group of actors, signature-based attribution efforts allow enterprises to contextualize their findings and better address the coverage gaps in security controls. Threat intelligence or actual incident events are often used by SOCs to test hypotheses or identify previous actions of an adversary. These signatures also form the basis for metrics that enable security resources to increase their own programs that illustrate how they reduced risk exposure to the business.

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Managed Intelligence: Transitioning Cyber Threat Information to Actionable Threat Intelligence Provides Critical Context

By David Schertzer & Jonathan Neuhaus on Apr 30, 2020 1:35:33 PM

Major organizations with significant intellectual property and brand name reputation face a constant onslaught of targeted cyber attacks and information operations campaigns, but often lack the capability to attain context-based attribution - the ability to define the how and the why behind an attack. Such organizations face scenarios ranging from opportunistic threats to financially motivated hackers, state sponsored actors, and even corporate espionage firms.

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