How Open Source Intelligence could save your network

Open Source Intelligence – Your Network Saviour

A glowing red dot on your dashboard is a test of your online readiness every time. It might be a mere indicator of an unknown IP Address or an unrecognised binary; however, the antennae are up and put on alert immediately though it might be nothing. But the scale of probing is growing and so is the access to networks, which too, is not hard owing to new technological developments.

Networks are being easily attacked and access easily achieved. To top this, they need to break-in once, but you need to protect your network from the break-in every single time; all the time.

Open Source Intelligence comes to your rescue here. It will always be on duty and strengthens your effort to save your network from threats and attacks; by providing insights that will keep you a step ahead of the attackers. You stay prior informed and well prepared to safeguard your network from evolving threats.

Open Source Intelligence Powers Networks

A good threat intelligence operation is a mandatory task to secure key data and analyse the risk and opportunities in the threat. Open Source Intelligence aids this information gathering. It powers a knowledge stack formation which is a good collection of clues that point to heightened risk about a threat. This helps people in authority to make informed decisions on how to tackle and deal with them.

The information gathering is presented in varied steps that aid analysis and help crosscheck as well as validate the claims.

The bottom-most is atomic indicators – a basic level data gathering point like IP address, domain address, email addresses from system logs and user agent strings, etc.

A step above is Computed Data – e.g. Malware Hashes – when matched with hash, data gathered from attacks on other organization malware hashes could as well be a forensic team’s delight. Professionals know their way around this data and can find what they need in the public domain.

The next set of indicators is behavioural in nature. Security professionals have a distinguished know how on an attacker’s tactics and behaviour. One needs to analyse the current indicators and map them with the behavioural patterns to know for sure if these are a series of clues to an evolving threat or a stack of unrelated events.

Thus, a combined study and analysis of these indicators on how it maps up against other sources like news and articles from earlier similar attacks would provide hands on threat intelligence on hackers and threat drivers. This approach is strategic to security world and in most cases one could find data collected and analysed as detailed intelligence in security reports and some vendor consulting firms.

One not only can find the tools and techniques of attackers used before to attack and achieve their goals, but one could gain insights on the goal and intent itself. Is it a way to grab personal data for sale or lure networks to sabotage company processes affecting its credibility and creating loss and damage?

Open Source Intelligence at work

Open source intelligence delivers advantage at every step, each time it is used.

Open Source Intelligence helps comprehend the ‘What’?

The next time there is a glowing red dot indicating an unknown IP address or one is unsure of the Domain address; they can use the tools and techniques of OSINT and research address and file binary or registration entries or any other data point.

Open Source Intelligence suggests ‘What Next’?

Based on the information gathered one could decide the next course of action, either to dismiss it if it does not emerge on OSINT records or escalate it if it matches a threat actor. If the check moves further and analysts could match hash malware, figure out the indicators of compromise on the malware and then seek his superior help if you are up against an unpopular malware. The analyst can understand and suggest solutions or at the least explain thoroughly a developing situation.

Open Source Intelligence helps understand ‘What’s Better’?

The possible solutions to this growing situation could be many, for e.g. a popular counter measure could be to control traffic on this IP address or forward traffic from a specific IP Block. This could be either done by applying application sandboxing or redirecting the IP address to a Honey pot to actively degrade it. There is more than one resolve to choose with the information at hand and it depends on the depth of understanding the attackers.

Open Source Intelligence aids in Spotting the New

OSINT helps you find the attackers devious, legal best efforts though one might not spot it on the dashboard. The growth and sophistication in technology has empowered attackers too. They have many a trick up their sleeve to circumvent your white list protection and your monitoring system picks up an encrypted traffic stream.

You can decipher this attack technique only if you have studied the public domain. With OSINT you will pick up indicators faster and understand better too.

Open Source Intelligence keeps you cyber secure

In today‘s wired world, knowledge is power and hence cyber security is a definite need to not only protect your power but also to empower yourself with more knowledge to stay ahead of the cycle. OSINT stands guard and helps you take full advantage of its insights and tools to stay a step ahead and secure your network and gain from the knowledge to protect it from evolving threats.