Dark Web Intelligence for Security Operations
As a cybersecurity service provider, you constantly battle the evolving threat landscape. Cyber criminals are always on the lookout for new ways to infiltrate your client’s systems, steal your data, and cause harm to your organization, impacting your bottom line.
One of the most challenging areas to monitor is the dark web— the hidden corner of the internet where cybercriminals buy, sell, and share information and attack tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs). Combing through mountains of dark web data, threat actor forums, and data breach dumps is a massive drain on your security team, leaving your clients at a disadvantage in the fight against cyber threats.
Operationalizing cyber threat intelligence with open, deep, and dark web intelligence reduces the strain on your analysts and advances your clients’ security posture. Dark web intelligence provides organizations with the power to proactively mitigate cyber threats. Integrating deep and dark web intelligence into your Security Operations Center (SOC) is a cost-effective and efficient way to enhance your clients’ cybersecurity posture and put you ahead of the competition.
At GroupSense, our analysts have extensive experience combing the dark web for data that shouldn't be there. We developed this comprehensive guide to give you an in-depth look at the benefits of managed dark web monitoring, how it works, and how it can help your organization protect its clients and provide more value.
- What is Cyber Threat Intelligence and How it Benefits Security Operations
- What Threat Intelligence from the Dark Web Can Do for You
- Understanding the Limitations of In-House Dark Web Intelligence
- Efficiently Leveraging Finished Dark Web Intelligence in the Security Process
- Get the Most Out of Your Investment with a Comprehensive Tool
What is Cyber Threat Intelligence and How it Benefits Security Operations
Cyber threat intelligence is data from the deep, dark, and open web that concerns your target organization or client. Collected from all over the web, cyber threat intelligence helps service providers create actionable insights for clients. Cyber threat intelligence includes but is not limited to stolen or compromised data that could be used to harm an organization.
Cyber threat intelligence found on the dark web is essential for detecting early warning signs of data breaches, minimizing the damage that a data breach could cause, assessing the damage of breaches and incidents, and determining which threat actors accessed what data and how. Monitoring high-quality dark web intelligence puts your clients ahead of the next threat.
Dark web intelligence can benefit security operations in several ways. Instead of wading through piles of raw data from data feeds, your team can quickly digest and address the threats found through dark web intelligence. This enables your clients to take immediate action to prevent the data from being used to commit fraud, launch cyber attacks, or cause reputational damage.
Threat intelligence can also help client organizations to stay compliant with data protection laws and regulations. Many regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), require organizations to take reasonable steps to protect the personal data of clients and employees. By proactively monitoring the dark web for stolen data, organizations can demonstrate that they are taking steps to protect client data, which can help to avoid fines and other legal repercussions.
Enabling your security operations team with actionable intelligence relevant to your clients prevents cyber attacks. When you find vulnerabilities, your organization can start taking care of the threats that matter to clients instead of searching for them for hours on the dark web.
What Threat Intelligence from the Dark Web Can Do for You
The benefits of dark web intelligence for security operations teams are numerous. The most significant benefit of dark web monitoring is the ability to identify and mitigate fraud campaigns such as phishing, business email compromise, and social engineering. These types of attacks can be extremely damaging to your client’s reputation and finances.
By monitoring the dark web for indicators of fraudulent activities, your security operations team can quickly detect ongoing fraud campaigns and take swift action to prevent further damage. This early identification and rapid response can significantly reduce the impact of the attack and prevent sensitive data from being compromised. Moreover, the dark web is often used as a platform to buy and sell stolen credentials, credit card information, and other sensitive data crucial for conducting fraud campaigns.
Another area where dark web intelligence can be particularly useful is in detecting insider threats. Insider threats are often more difficult to detect than external threats because threat actors could already be sitting on your network extracting data. However, insiders may still communicate with others on the dark web to sell or share sensitive information, which can be detected through dark web monitoring.
Dark web intelligence is invaluable for incident response efforts. When an incident occurs, having access to timely and accurate information can make all the difference in effectively containing the damage. Dark web monitoring can provide evidence of breaches and aid in computer forensics.
Understanding the Limitations of In-House Dark Web Intelligence
One of the biggest challenges facing security teams today is the increasing volume and complexity of data they must monitor and analyze to detect and respond to threats. This is especially true when it comes to the dark web, where criminal activity is spread across forums, messaging sites, and breach dumps. Not to mention the translation that needs to occur for intelligence coming from threat actors in non-English speaking countries. Relying solely on your existing team to explore the dark web has serious limitations.
Relying on your existing team to explore the dark web can create a significant point of failure in your security operations. If your dark web personas are discovered, threat actors could retaliate and seriously harm your organization. Remember that these actors are experts in gaining access to systems unbeknownst to the user.
To address these limitations, organizations can consider leveraging external resources like threat intelligence feeds and tools. Investing in dedicated tools and technologies that can automate the process of monitoring and analyzing dark web activity will enable your team to operationalize threat intelligence more effectively.
By supplementing your team's capabilities with external resources, you can help ensure that your organization is equipped to respond to threats on the dark web, while also reducing burnout among your existing team members. By leveraging specialized expertise and technology, you can improve the accuracy and speed of your threat detection and response capabilities, ultimately strengthening your security posture.
Efficiently Leveraging Finished Dark Web Intelligence in the Security Process
Effectively leveraging finished dark web intelligence means you can identify potential security threats and stay ahead of cybercriminals. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of dark web intelligence.
First, define specific goals and objectives with your clients, also known as intelligence requirements. By having a clear understanding of what your clients want to achieve, your team can focus on gathering and analyzing finished intelligence that's most relevant to your clients. For example, you may want to monitor dark web marketplaces for the sale of stolen company credentials or track mentions of your client’s names in hacker forums.
Second, ensure that your finished dark web intelligence is timely and relevant. The dark web is constantly evolving, and threats can emerge quickly. It's crucial to have up-to-date intelligence that reflects the latest developments on the dark web. This can be achieved by using a high-quality, contextualized tool with automated collection.
Third, collaborate with other organizations to share finished intelligence. Sharing finished intelligence with other organizations in your clients’ industries or sectors can help you gain a more comprehensive view of potential threats.
Fourth, integrate finished dark web intelligence within your broader cybersecurity offering. Finished dark web intelligence should be just one component of your overall cybersecurity offering. Integrating with other cybersecurity tools, such as intrusion detection systems and security information and event management (SIEM) platforms ensure that potential threats are detected and responded to quickly.
Get the Most Out of Your Investment with a Comprehensive Tool
As more organizations begin to recognize the potential risks associated with the dark web, many are turning to their MSP and asking for dark web coverage. This leaves MSPs with the challenge of finding high-quality, automated intelligence. Unfortunately, there are many feeds and tools that won’t enable your team to provide finished intelligence.
When choosing a data feed or intelligence tool, your team should look for tools that cover:
- Deep & dark web: your new tool should collect intelligence from all corners of the dark web, in real-time
- Open web: the surface web is a big part of your client’s attack surface. Your new tool should ingest intelligence from the surface web that captures malicious domains and more
- Digital footprint: your tool should collect intelligence covering your client’s known assets, enabling your analysts to identify unauthorized changes
Above all, your team needs a tool that provides curated threat intelligence that translates into action. Whether that means removing malicious URLs, forcing or recommending password resets for your clients, or proactively identifying phishing schemes, your team should be able to use the provided intelligence to make immediate impacts for your clients.
It’s important to understand what your organization shouldn’t look for in a tool, and that is more alerts. Your analysts strive to stay on top of many tools that provide an endless stream of information to wade through. Go for a tool that enables actionable insights over alerting.
If you're looking for a resource that can help protect your clients from cyber incidents, download our guide full of actionable tips here.