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Privacy protection with advanced threat intelligence

Learn how threat intelligence allows NordVPN to shield its users from cyberattacks.

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What is threat intelligence?

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Threat intelligence is the collection, processing, and analysis of data that helps experts understand how cybercriminals act, who they are targeting, why they are doing it, and what methods they are using. This allows businesses and individuals to mitigate cyberthreats before any harm is done.

Why is threat intelligence important?

Threat intelligence helps us to be proactive in our fight against cyberthreats. Dealing with the aftermath of a cyberattack requires more money and time than preventing it from happening in the first place. Here’s what threat intelligence does:

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Types of threat intelligence

There are three types of threat intelligence: tactical, operational, and strategic.

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Tactical is the most basic form of threat intelligence and identifies, analyzes, and eliminates specific threats, like known malicious domains and IP addresses, suspicious traffic, unrecognized or unusual login attempts, or increased traffic and requests. It is mostly automated.

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Operational threat intelligence involves studying old cyberattacks to find out the intent, technology, and people behind them. It requires more time and resources than tactical threat intelligence because the analysis is not automated and a certain amount of speculation is involved.

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Strategic threat intelligence is a broad threat analysis done with the purpose of creating strategic security measures for the whole company. It has a large impact on business decision-making and covers overall trends, not only individual threats.

The threat intelligence lifecycle with NordVPN’s Threat Protection

The threat intelligence lifecycle is a framework NordVPN’s threat intelligence team uses to efficiently implement security measures on our apps. It has six phases:


Outlining the goals the threat intelligence team wants to achieve, based on the possible threats and processes that need to be protected.


Identifying and gathering the data the team needs to achieve the goals they set in phase one. We rely on various online databases and our own research for this step.


Working with the gathered data to transform it into a format that is easy to use. It makes the information easy to use and to verify it’s not been tampered with.


Raw data is turned into intelligence. It allows us to make informed decisions, like whether a further investigation is needed or what is the best way to protect our users from cyberthreats.


After the conclusions are drawn, recommendations are given to the main stakeholders and other teams working on various aspects of the NordVPN apps.


Stakeholders provide feedback to the threat intelligence team to ensure their work remains relevant to the product and its users.

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