Second Annual Ponemon Report Finds Threat Intelligence Critical to Strong Security Posture

Organizations Continue to Struggle with Insufficient Expertise, Data Overload, Inadequate Threat Sharing

Redwood City, California, UNITED STATES

REDWOOD CITY, CA--(Marketwired - Sep 14, 2017) - Anomali today released the findings of its second annual Ponemon Institute study, highlighting the increasing importance of threat intelligence in detection and mitigation of cybersecurity threats. Amidst growing concerns of large-scale cyber attacks, the survey found that 84 percent of organizations indicated threat intelligence is "essential to a strong security posture." However, many organizations struggle with an overwhelming amount of threat data and lack of staff expertise, which diminish the effectiveness of their threat intelligence programs. Threat sharing remains a key priority for organizations, half of which report participating in sharing communities, but a majority of these organizations (60 percent) only receive community intelligence and do not contribute.

"The Value of Threat Intelligence: The Second Annual Study of North American and United Kingdom Companies" surveyed over 1,000 IT and security practitioners to examine trends in the benefits and challenges of threat intelligence. The results uncovered year over year growth across several critical areas of threat intelligence usage, including increased adoption and effectiveness. Key findings include:

  • 80 percent of North American organizations are currently using threat intelligence as a part of their cybersecurity program, up from 65 percent in 2016
  • 86 percent of respondents indicate threat intelligence is valuable to their security mission, up from 77 percent the previous year
  • 83 percent of North American respondents indicate a Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) is necessary to maximize the value of intelligence data

"It's abundantly clear that organizations now understand the benefits provided by threat intelligence, but the overwhelming volume of threat data continues to pose a hurdle to truly effective adoption," said Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute. "Threat intelligence programs are often challenging to implement, but when done right, they are a critical element in an organization's security program. The significant growth in adoption over the past year is encouraging as it indicates widespread recognition of the value threat intelligence provides."

Organizations Still Struggle to Maximize the Value of Threat Intelligence
The Ponemon report revealed that despite overall improvement in threat intelligence usage, threat data overload continues to plague organizations. Sixty-nine percent of respondents indicated that threat intelligence is too voluminous and complex to provide actionable intelligence. Other respondents cited difficulty in the integration of threat intelligence platforms with other security technologies and tools (64 percent), and a lack of alignment between analyst activities and operational security events (52 percent). Additionally, 71 percent of organizations fail to keep more than three months of historical event logs online, posing a significant challenge in identifying existing threats within the organization.

Other top reasons for threat intelligence ineffectiveness include:

  • Lack of staff expertise (71 percent of respondents)
  • Lack of ownership (52 percent of respondents)
  • Lack of suitable technologies (48 percent of respondents)

"We all see the growing cybersecurity threats, with attacks routinely making the front page. Every day cyber researchers discover thousands of new threats. Organizations need rapid access to the latest threat intelligence to detect any malicious activity in their networks," said Hugh Njemanze, CEO of Anomali. "In the face of unprecedented volumes of cyber threats, organizations must be able to quickly pinpoint active threats and mitigate them before material damage occurs. This requires a system that is able to prioritize threat data and turn it into actionable insights."

External threat sharing also remains limited. Only 50 percent of respondents currently participate in industry-centric sharing initiatives such as Information Sharing & Analysis Centers (ISACs), which provide industry-relevant intelligence, collaboration with peers and networking with other security teams. Of those organizations, the majority (60 percent) only receive threat intelligence through ISACs but do not contribute intelligence. The biggest hurdles to outbound intelligence sharing include a lack of expertise (54 percent) followed by fear of revealing a breach (45 percent).

The Right Technology and Expertise Make Threat Intelligence Meaningful
In response to these challenges, many organizations have successfully identified a variety of resources and techniques to help maximize the effectiveness of their threat intelligence, including:

  • Deploying a threat intelligence platform (80 percent of respondents)
  • Integrating SIEM with a threat intelligence platform (65 percent of respondents)
  • Having a qualified threat analyst on staff (54 percent of respondents)

To download a copy of "The Value of Threat Intelligence: The Second Annual Study of North American and United Kingdom Companies," and listen to a podcast interview with the report's author, Larry Ponemon, please visit:

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About Anomali
The Anomali suite of threat intelligence solutions empowers organizations to detect, investigate and respond to active cybersecurity threats. The award-winning ThreatStream threat intelligence platform aggregates and optimizes millions of threat indicators, creating a "cyber no-fly list." Anomali integrates with internal infrastructure to identify new attacks, or search forensically over the past year to discover existing breaches, and enables security teams to quickly understand and contain threats. Anomali also offers STAXX, a free tool to collect and share threat intelligence, and provides a free, out of the box intelligence feed, Anomali Limo. To learn more, visit and follow us on Twitter: @Anomali.

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Nicole Pitaro
Bhava Communications for Anomali