6 Must-Have Traits of a Successful Threat Intelligence Analyst

6 Must-Have Traits of a Successful Threat Intelligence Analyst

The market has different descriptions of cyber threat intelligence (CTI), depending on the change in organizational demand for the work responsibilities of a Threat Intelligence (TI) Analyst. Although it is often assessed as ‘evidence-based information, which can only be understood when decoded in the same context and purpose as it was created.’

In 2018, Ponemon Institute LLC surveyed 1,200 IT and IT security practitioners from the US and EMEA region. 66% of respondents accepted that threat intelligence could have either prevented or minimized the impact of cyberattacks. [1] Threat intelligence analysts can stop a cyber threat before it becomes a security incident. Furthermore, they help incident handling and SOC teams manage and contain a security breach.

How to Become a Threat Intelligence Analyst?

It has been noted that cybersecurity professionals generally don’t fit into a fixed mold. Thus, threat intelligence is open to all security professionals, even for those who belong to other IT and IT security domains. Having a degree in cybersecurity would help when entering the industry and, for career advancement, you can rely on our well-renowned Certified Threat Intelligence Analyst (C|TIA) program.

You Should Have These 6 Skills to Become a Great Threat Intelligence Analyst

As the demand for Threat Intelligence Analysts is rising, organizations are struggling to find suitable candidates with the right skillsets and knowledge. To fill the demand and supply imbalance, professionals need to acquire all the listed industry-demanded skills. The following checklist will help steer you on the path –

1. Familiarity with the Types of Threat Intelligence

A Threat Intelligence Analyst should be aware of listed categories of threat intelligence, which includes –

  • Strategic Threat Intelligence – The high-level decision-makers use strategic threat intelligence for non-technical and risk-based analysis.
  • Operational Threat Intelligence – This will be action-based intelligence information, especially about a particular cyberattack.
  • Tactical Threat Intelligence – This category of work demands the professionals to provide the Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTP) of threat actors
  • Technical Threat Intelligence – The intelligence information regarding the technical indicators of the threat actors.

2. Familiarity with Hundreds of Methodologies, Tools, and Platforms

A successful threat intelligence analyst should be aware of different types of tools. This includes various threat intelligence tools, report writing tools, threat modeling tools and methodologies, statistical data analysis tools, malware analysis tools, and threat sharing platforms. Apart from that, these professionals should have the skills to collect data from Indicators of Comprise (IoCs). This collection could be done through external and internal resources.

3. Knowledge of Various Data Collection and Acquisition Techniques

Proficient TI Analysts know their way around. They must know different ways in which data can be acquired. Data collection could be through search engines (such as Google Hacking Database, Threat Crowd), web services, website footprinting, DNS interrogation, automated OSINT tools, cyber counterintelligence (CCI) techniques, and several other techniques. Having such vast knowledge helps with efficient data collection and acquisition. Thus, resulting in better response time and faster resolution of the threat.

4. Aware of Multiple Data Analysis Approaches

Besides having excellent data collection skills, the TI analysts also need to have great data analysis techniques and skills. Analysis of Competing Hypotheses (ACH), Zoho reports, AlienVault OTX, IBM X-Force Exchange, are a few ways through which TI professionals can perform threat analysis. Along with threat analysis, these powerful tools can also be used for building custom IoCs, data collection, and threat intelligence sharing.

5. Hands-On Experience Is a Must

With all the above-stated skills, TI analysts must not only be limited to having theoretical knowledge. They should have hands-on experience of all these skills. Hands-on experience ensures that the professionals have already gone through trial and error phase, learned from all the earlier mistakes, and is now capable of filling in the gaps between possessing the knowledge and putting it to practice.

6. Report Writing Skills

The job responsibilities of a threat intelligence analyst include creativity, analytical skills, technical and scientific knowledge, and ability to draft long-term and short-term reports describing all the assessments and suggestions to contain and mitigate the issue at hand. TI analysts need to have strong verbal and writing skills to demonstrate what are the potential threats and what could be their impacts once they get into the security infrastructure.

For working professionals, gaining all these skills on their own could be a difficult task. Getting trained and attaining a credential can solve half of your problems. If you are struggling to find the right resources to gain knowledge, looking for various tools to get hands-on experience, and wants to practice in a real-time environment to transform your theoretical knowledge into useful technical skills, take a look at EC-Council’s Certified Threat Intelligence Analyst (C|TIA). This globally accepted training and credentialing program impart real-world practical knowledge, of which 40% is a hands-on lab session. It is inclusive of all the tools as mentioned earlier, techniques, methodologies, trending approaches, and essential platforms.


[1] https://www.infoblox.com/wp-content/uploads/infoblox-white-paper-ponemon-infoblox-2018-final-report.pdf

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