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Cyber Risk Intelligence: The Key to Proactive Security

Much effort and resources have been invested in collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information to further our understanding of threats and threat actors. A good example is the MITRE ATT&CK knowledge base, which provides comprehensive information on adversary techniques, tactics, and procedures commonly used by attackers based on real-world observations.

cyber risk intelligence cyber security breached

However, it is worth noting that from IBM’s Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023, the global average cost of a data breach in 2023 was USD 4.45 million, a 15% increase over three years. As much as there’s a lot of intelligence on threats, threat actors, and their techniques, cybercriminals are still very successful. 

Understanding threats and threat actors’ behaviors is a crucial element of any cybersecurity strategy. However, this approach is reactive and leaves security teams playing catch-up to attackers. Additionally, it does not provide context to an organization’s infrastructure, overloads security teams with information, making it hard to prioritize, and overlooks internal factors such as employee errors that may lead to breaches. 

A better approach is utilizing Cyber Risk Intelligence.

What Is Cyber Risk Intelligence?

Cyber Risk Intelligence (CRI) refers to the processes and technology that enable organizations to discover, understand, mitigate, and manage cyber risks. It encompasses a broader scope that goes beyond threats. It involves analyzing internal and external risk factors to an organization’s assets, operations, and reputation.

cyber risk intelligence tool showing a security alert

This includes cyber threats, third-party risks, sensitive data, vulnerabilities, misconfigurations, compliance requirements, and geopolitical factors, among other business risks. All these factors are evaluated in the context of an organization’s infrastructure. 

CRI gives organizations complete visibility into their overall risk landscape and provides actionable insights to help organizations make informed decisions to mitigate identified risks. All this is done under one unified platform, eliminating the need for multiple cybersecurity solutions.

Components of Cyber Risk Intelligence

Cyber Risk Intelligence comprises several key components. These components include:

    • Threat Intelligence: This is regularly updated information about threats, techniques, and attack procedures. It also includes information on cyber attack targets and indicators of compromise. 
    • Vulnerability Intelligence: This is data on known vulnerabilities in network-connected devices, systems, and software. It also includes severity, impact, and mitigation measures. 
    • Security posture assessment evaluates an organization’s existing security policies, procedures, and controls to identify exploitable gaps. 
    • Risk scoring involves assigning risk scores to identified threats and vulnerabilities and providing an overall risk score for an organization’s infrastructure. This scoring is based on potential impact, relevance to an organization’s core objectives, and the likelihood of exploitation by attackers. 
    • Incident Response Planning involves developing strategies, procedures, and resources for detecting, responding to, and recovering from cybersecurity incidents, including communication plans and coordination with internal and external stakeholders. 

    All these components contribute to a comprehensive understanding of an organization’s cyber risks.

    Differences Between Cyber Risk Intelligence and Cyber Threat Intelligence

    Cyber Risk Intelligence can easily be confused with cyber threat intelligence. Although the terms are closely related, they have some key differences. 

    Factor Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) Cyber Risk Intelligence (CRI) 
    Focus External threats and adversaries Both internal and external risks 
    Data Sources Threat feeds, dark web, malware analysis Threat feeds, vulnerability scanners, internal logs 
    Scope Tactical, focusing on specific cyber threats Strategic, encompassing broader risk factors that may lead to a breach 
    Contextualization Limited, often lacks organizational context More comprehensive, contextualizes threats within business objectives and risk profile 
    Time Horizon Short-term, immediate threat detection Long-term, continuous risk monitoring 
    Actionability Reactive, responds to imminent threats Proactive, anticipates, and mitigates risks 
    Stakeholder Involvement Primarily security teams Cross-functional, involving risk management, compliance, and business operations 
    Objective Identify and respond to threats Reduce overall risk exposure 
    Differences between cyber threat intelligence and Cyber Risk Intelligence

    Benefits of Cyber Risk Intelligence

    Security-conscious organizations stand to benefit immensely from Cyber Risk Intelligence. Some of the immediate benefits they can expect include: 

      • Proactive threat detection—Cyber Risk Intelligence will empower the change from reactive cybersecurity to proactive cybersecurity, where organizations can anticipate attacks and address vulnerabilities before they can be exploited. This will result in a better security posture. 
      • Regulatory compliance – mid-size businesses and enterprises must meet several regulations to protect the sensitive information they handle. It might become hard to determine how well they meet different regulatory requirements. However, organizations can identify and address compliance gaps with Cyber Risk Intelligence to avoid fines and penalties. 
      • Improved incident response—Cyber Risk Intelligence gives organizations accurate intelligence on threats and vulnerabilities. This allows them to develop effective incident response plans and procedures, which are useful for responding quickly and effectively whenever a cyber incident occurs. 
      • Informed decision making – with Cyber Risk Intelligence, organizations understand their specific threats and vulnerabilities. This is useful in making informed decisions about their cyber security strategy, resource allocation, and risk mitigation efforts. Cyber Risk Intelligence tools can also generate non-technical reports to explain an organization’s cyber risk posture to senior management. This is beneficial in getting the senior management to understand and support cyber security decisions and strategies.

      A good CRI tool should allow you to discover, understand, mitigate, and manage your cyber risk from a single page of glass and eliminate the need for using different security solutions for Cyber Risk Intelligence.

      Why CyFlare CRI?

      CyFlare offers a multi-tenant, cloud-delivered CRI platform that eliminates the need for multiple-point solutions to handle different components of cyber risk management. Instead, it gives security teams complete visibility into the vulnerabilities in network-connected devices, systems, and web applications. This allows them to protect their and clients’ environments using a single, feature-rich interface.

      A screenshot of the dashboard of CyFlare's cyber risk intelligence tool presenting all relevant risk information at a glance

      Some of the key features of CyFlare CRI offering include:

        • Vulnerability scanning/management
        • Dark Web Monitoring
        • Configuration Hardening
        • Risk Monetization
        • Sensitive Data Discovery
        • Risk mitigation
        • Scorecards

        To see how CyFlare CRI can help your organization discover, understand, mitigate, and manage cyber risks, Schedule A Demo with CyFlare today to get started.