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What is threat intelligence?

Cyber threat intelligence is the collection, processing, and analysis of data that helps experts understand how threat actors behave and how you can mitigate attacks before they cause any real harm.

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Why is threat intelligence important?

By utilizing threat intelligence, experts can optimize your organization’s cybersecurity to stay ahead of pertinent threats.

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A scientist pointing at a document that contains threat intelligence findings on thwarting cyber threats.
A man and a woman sharing threat intelligence data to develop common measures against cyber threats.
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The threat intelligence lifecycle

The threat intelligence lifecycle is the iterative process comprised of six distinctive phases for collecting, managing, and deploying threat intelligence.

Planning and direction

The threat intelligence lifecycle begins by assessing the possible threats and determining which processes it will focus on.

Collection

Once it has made a preliminary assessment, the threat intelligence team shifts its focus to identifying and gathering relevant data.

Processing and exploitation

Before moving on to analysis, threat intelligence teams converts the collected data into a unified, cohesive system.

Analysis

The threat intelligence team analyzes the data, resulting in useful information for making cybersecurity decisions within the organization.

Dissemination

The threat intelligence team presents its conclusions to the main stakeholders and makes recommendations to address the issues.

Feedback

After studying the team’s conclusions, the stakeholders provide their own thoughts. The back-and-forth continues until a satisfactory decision is reached.

Five types of threat intelligence

Security teams and analysts recognize five main types of threat intelligence: tactical, operational, strategic, technical, and contextual.

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A woman using NordVPN to browse the internet on her laptop with increased security and privacy.
A woman using NordVPN to browse the internet on her laptop with increased security and privacy.
A woman using NordVPN to browse the internet on her laptop with increased security and privacy.
A woman using NordVPN to browse the internet on her laptop with increased security and privacy.
A man studying the globe through a magnifying glass, looking for data to turn into threat intelligence.

Threat intelligence and NordVPN

At NordVPN, we make extensive use of threat intelligence to develop tools for your everyday security and privacy online. Our VPN security is informed by a careful analysis of potential attacks against both individual users and our organization as a whole.

We also aim to provide a threat intelligence platform for regular internet users. If you are interested in learning about prominent threats, have a look at NordVPN’s cybersecurity glossary and our Threat Center. By educating yourself on current and emerging cyber threats, you will be able to sidestep costly issues in the future.

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Experience NordVPN with no risk to your wallet — our 30-day money-back guarantee means that we’ll refund your purchase in full if you’re not satisfied for any reason.

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Frequently asked questions

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