Third-Party Intelligence

Third-parties’ cybersecurity posture affects your organization, as third-party breaches affect organizations regardless of sector. In 2023, 41% of companies reported a third-party breach. As organizations further digitize their internal infrastructure and offerings, the external attack surface grows for threat actors to exploit. With third-party intelligence, security teams can effectively monitor threats across their entire supply chain, and not just of their direct environment.

How Flare Delivers Third-Party Intelligence

What is Flare’s approach to third-party intelligence?

The Flare Threat Exposure Management (TEM) solution contributes to viewing an organization’s cybersecurity posture holistically.

With Flare, security teams can:

  • Automatically, thoroughly, and effectively track external threats, notably decreasing the time needed to address risks
  • Provide a concise and contextual overview of threat actor behaviors, enabling your security team to respond faster
  • Free up your security team to focus on other critical matters, as the platform will alert you to potential risks requiring mitigation, while filtering out irrelevant alerts

Third-Party Intelligence Overview

What is third-party intelligence?

Third-party intelligence in cybersecurity refers to information gathered from external sources about potential or existing cyber threats relevant to third-party partners, service providers, and vendors. Risks to third-party organizations are relevant to your organization’s cybersecurity posture, and keeping track is crucial to securing the entire supply chain. 

Why is third-party intelligence important for cybersecurity?

Third-party intelligence is crucial for cybersecurity as it enhances an organization’s understanding of the threat environment beyond its own. It allows for proactive defense by alerting organizations to new vulnerabilities, attack vectors, and threats identified elsewhere, thereby enabling them to strengthen their defenses before threat actors target them.

Third-party risk assessments often are from a single point in time, rather than gathering information continuously. With third-party intelligence, cyber teams can gain a comprehensive and real-time understanding of the risks within their entire supply chain. 

What is the difference between third-party intelligence and threat intelligence?

Third-party intelligence refers to threat intelligence specifically of third-party organizations, and can be considered a subset of threat intelligence. Threat intelligence broadly refers to relevant information about threats to an organization. Cyber teams collect threat intelligence through various means, such as feeds from cybersecurity firms, information sharing platforms, industry consortiums, law enforcement agencies, and open-source intelligence (OSINT). Once collected, the team processes and analyzes the data to identify relevant threats. Advanced tools and skilled analysts filter out the noise, correlate data points, and provide actionable insights tailored to the organization’s specific context.

Can third-party intelligence prevent cyber attacks?

While third-party intelligence alone cannot guarantee the prevention of cyber attacks, it significantly enhances an organization’s ability to anticipate, prepare for, and respond to potential threats. By understanding the tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTPs) of adversaries, organizations can bolster their defenses and reduce the likelihood of successful attacks.

Why Do You Need Third-Party Intelligence?

How does third-party intelligence help in risk management?

In risk management, third-party intelligence helps identify potential security risks and vulnerabilities that an organization might not be aware of. It provides a broader perspective of the threat landscape, aiding in the assessment and prioritization of risks based on real-world data. This information is vital in formulating effective risk mitigation strategies and security policies.

What types of threats can third-party intelligence identify?

Third-party intelligence can be particularly useful in finding sensitive information from your organization that third-parties have access to. For example, if a third-party had a data breach, third-party intelligence can identify and mitigate this risk immediately (particularly useful as a data breach can take about 200 days to identify).

Third-Party Intelligence: Challenges

What are the challenges associated with third-party intelligence?

Challenges include: 

  • Ensuring the relevance and accuracy of the intelligence
  • Managing the volume of data, integrating disparate data sources
  • Maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of shared information
  • Rapidly adapting to evolving threats 
  • Maintaining cost-effectiveness

How can organizations ensure the quality of third-party intelligence?

Organizations can ensure quality by:

  • Selecting reputable and reliable intelligence sources
  • Regularly assessing and validating the relevance and accuracy of the intelligence
  • Employing skilled analysts to interpret and contextualize the data
  • Establishing strong relationships with intelligence providers for continuous improvement

How can organizations ensure that third-party intelligence complies with privacy and data protection laws?

Cyber teams can ensure compliance by anonymizing sensitive data, adhering to legal frameworks such as GDPR, CCPA, and NIS2, and engaging in responsible intelligence sharing practices that respect privacy and confidentiality. Proper data handling and storage protocols are also essential.

Incorporating Third-Party Intelligence into your Organization

What are the best practices for integrating third-party intelligence into cybersecurity strategies?

Best practices include:

  • Tailoring the intelligence to the specific needs and context of the organization.
  • Ensuring integration with existing security systems for automated response.
  • Regularly updating and validating the intelligence sources.
  • Training staff to interpret and act on intelligence insights.
  • Establishing protocols for intelligence sharing within the organization.

What future trends for third-party intelligence should you stay aware of?

Future trends include the increased use of artificial intelligence and machine learning for real-time analysis, greater collaboration through information sharing ecosystems, the rise of predictive analytics, and a focus on contextual and actionable intelligence. Additionally, there is a growing emphasis on integrating third-party intelligence into broader cybersecurity frameworks for a more holistic security posture, such as with the European Union’s NIS2 Directive.

Third-Party Intelligence and Flare

The Flare Threat Exposure Management (TEM) solution empowers organizations to proactively detect, prioritize, and mitigate the types of exposures commonly exploited by threat actors. Our platform automatically and constantly scans the clear & dark web and illicit Telegram channels to discover unknown events, automatically prioritize risks, and deliver actionable intelligence on third-parties that you can use instantly to improve security.

With Flare Supply Chain Ransomware Exposure Monitoring, gain unique visibility and proactive security across your third-parties to efficiently mitigate threat exposures that exist within ransomware data leaks. Learn more by signing up for our free trial.

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