The Uncertainty of Intelligence and the Entropy of Threats

In Part 2 of this series, we will explore the dimensions of information uncertainty, entropy and negentropy, superlinear defence-in-depth, latent space and threat intelligence as a decoding device for time-bound information.
The Uncertainty of Intelligence and the Entropy of Threats

In Part 1 of this series, we started to lay out the problem space and drew some diėgrams to get a better grasp of them.

However, by merely looking at threat actionability zones we are obviating a very important aspect of threat management: the passing of time. Timely action can be the difference between pwned and not-pwned, between 5 million customer records held to ransom and nothing more than a noticeable event in your perimeter.

In Part 2 of this series, we will explore some eideons that I hope will contribute to developing a new understanding of the mechanics of threat information, intel, hunting and detection.

Threat Intelligence and the Problem of Time

Regardless of the strategic approach you choose to realize the value of threat intelligence, you implicitly work with three different time horizons: threats that could impact us (the future), what can impact us right now based on our attack surface (the present) and what has impacted us already (whether knowingly or unknowingly, the past).


The world is full of potential cyber threats, this doesn't mean they constitute likely threats to your business. Oh! I can now hear some of you going "That's right! So you are now going to talk about the impact and likelihood risk matrix", ehem… no. That would be just repeating what everyone else out there vociferates like automaton robots.

There's nothing wrong with the "likelihood & impact" matrix by the way, but the likelihood of some threat impacting business operations is merely a derived value, the result of a deliberative process that has already decided the final likelihood score. How can you even arrive at that when most Cyber Ops teams struggle to capture the meaningful relationship between potential threats, their actionability gradients and the attack paths they enable in the environment?

Behind this confusion lies the concept of defense-in-depth: interspersed layers of defensive controls like a castle-and-moat model. If one layer is breached, there are additional layers to mitigate risks and prevent unauthorized access.


There is, however, one missing piece in the concept of defence-in-depth. When we think of layers we evoke spatial references, but forget about the temporal layers: past, present and future.

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