Some organizations choose to pay for threat intelligence, but this isn’t always necessary. In fact, there are many sources of intelligence you can call upon that are free. Here are six key sources of intel that you can use to stay knowledgeable about the latest cyber threats and vulnerabilities.
1. The NCSC
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is a part of GCHQ and was set up to help support both public and private sector organizations in the UK on all matters relating to cybersecurity. It produces a Weekly Threat Report which provides information that can help companies boost awareness.
Additionally, the NCSC runs the Cyber Security Information Sharing Partnership (CiSP) – an initiative between the UK government and industry set up to facilitate the real-time exchange of cyberthreat information. It’s free to become a member of CiSP; however, your organization will need to obtain sponsorship from either a government department, an existing CiSP member, or a Cyber Protect police officer. Once accepted, you’ll be able to access networking monitoring reports, and sign up to receive regular threat notifications.
2. Action Fraud
You may have had experience dealing with Action Fraud, the UK’s national reporting center for fraud and cybercrime, if you’ve ever suffered any kind of cyberattack. The City of London Police runs the service alongside the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau (NFIB).
But Action Fraud provides more than just support in the event of an attack; it’s also a useful source of security information that can help improve awareness of the latest scams, such as business email compromises and distribution fraud.
3. Penetration testing
One of the best ways for businesses to improve their awareness of the latest cyberthreats is to commission a penetration test. A pentest is a cyber assessment that aims to identify weaknesses in your organization’s systems and defenses.
These tests should be carried out by qualified ethical hackers with a good awareness and understanding of the latest security threats. Using experienced professionals will also help to ensure that testing is carried out in accordance with the highest technical, ethical, and legal standards.
4. The Open Threat Exchange
With more than 100,000 participants across 140 countries, the Open Threat Exchange (OTX) is considered to be the world’s largest open threat intelligence community. Its contributors add more than 19 million threat indicators every day.
The OTX is designed to allow anyone working in cybersecurity to discuss, research, and even validate ideas about threats and risks. A great deal of data relating to industry trends, and techniques used by criminals are shared here. Additionally, there is a wealth of information about Indicators of Compromise (IoCs), which can be used to identify attacks. Such information includes malicious URLs, domain names, and IP addresses.
Another benefit of the OTX is that it provides its members with access to a free endpoint scanning tool that can be used to identify malware and other threats.
5. Vulnerability and threat databases
There are a number of organizations dedicated to tracking threats and vulnerabilities. The National Institute of Standards and Technologies (NIST) is an organization in the US that tracks common vulnerabilities. You can use it to keep up-to-date with the most recent exposures.
Exploit Database and Packet Storm are two popular websites that offer up a daily feed of new exploit codes and threat information. It’s for this reason they’re regularly consulted by cybersecurity professionals.
6. Security news sites
Of course, there are also many great sources of cybersecurity related news. Some of the best sites to follow include The Hacker News, Dark Reading, and The Register.
However, if you struggle to find the time to read news on a daily basis, you could opt for a podcast instead, such as Threatpost Digital and the SANS Internet Storm Center – ideal for the daily commute.