The Role of Community Sources in Cyber Threat Intelligence

Aug 12, 2023

Cyber Threat intelligence is a critical component of modern cybersecurity, as it helps organizations to stay ahead of the constantly evolving threat landscape and to defend against new and emerging threats. Technical threat intelligence can help organizations to better understand the current threat landscape, identify emerging threats, and prioritize their security efforts accordingly. It can also be used to inform the development of new security controls, improve incident response processes, and support investigations of security breaches.

The utilization of technical threat intelligence involves several purposes, such as refining existing security measures, monitoring and tracking specific attackers, and enhancing incident response and remediation efforts.

Through the provision of indicators of compromise (IoCs), such as file hashes, IP addresses, and domain names, technical threat intelligence facilitates the prompt identification, determination, and response to attacks. IoCs function as crucial components of threat intelligence, as they enable swift detection and response to security breaches and ongoing attacks.

For instance, upon receiving a warning about a new type of malware, an organization can leverage the relevant IoCs to identify any infected systems and undertake necessary actions to mitigate and resolve the attack.

Wide coverage of TI sources and aggregation of community threat intelligence sources are an important component of threat intelligence collection, as they provide valuable information about the latest threats and vulnerabilities, as well as IoCs. The SANS annual Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) survey reports state a yearly increase in interest in community threat intelligence: 

SANS Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) Survey 2021, 2022


The following are some of the key benefits of using community threat intelligence sources to collect IoCs:

  • Wider Coverage: Community threat intelligence sources often have a large user base and provide information from a diverse range of sources. This allows organizations to access a wider range of information and identify threats that might not have been detected through other means.
  • Increased visibility: Community threat intelligence sources can provide organizations with a broader view of the threat landscape, including information about attacks and threats that may not have affected their own networks or systems. This increased visibility can help organizations to identify and prioritize emerging threats, and to respond more effectively to attacks.
  • Real-Time Data: Community threat intelligence sources often provide real-time information about new threats and vulnerabilities, as well as updated IoCs. This means that organizations can quickly and easily access up-to-date information about the latest threats, and respond more quickly to potential security incidents.
  • Improved Quality: threat intelligence sources are often managed and maintained by large communities of experts, ensuring that the information they provide is of high quality and up-to-date.
  • Crowdsourced Intelligence: Community threat intelligence sources rely on the collective knowledge and experience of the security community to provide accurate and reliable information. This crowdsourced approach to threat intelligence collection can provide organizations with a more comprehensive and diverse range of information than they might otherwise have access to.

By incorporating IoCs from community threat intelligence sources into their security tools and processes, organizations can improve their ability to detect and respond to attacks. For example, they can use this information to update their intrusion detection systems, firewalls, and other security controls to better detect and block known threats.


While open threat intelligence sources can provide valuable information to organizations looking to improve their security posture, there are also a number of challenges that organizations may face when using these sources to collect IoCs. Some of the most significant challenges include:

  • Quality: Open threat intelligence sources are maintained by a wide range of organizations and individuals, and the quality of the information they provide can vary widely. This means that organizations may struggle to determine which sources provide accurate and reliable information, and which sources are of lower quality.
  • Volume: With so many open threat intelligence sources available, organizations can quickly become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information they receive. This can make it difficult to effectively prioritize and analyze the information they receive, and can increase the risk of missing important threats or vulnerabilities.
  • Relevance: Not all information provided by open threat intelligence sources will be relevant to a particular organization. This means that organizations will need to invest time and resources into filtering, analyzing and prioritizing the information they receive to ensure that they are only collecting information that is relevant to their particular needs and environment.
  • Timeliness: Information from open threat intelligence sources can quickly become outdated, particularly in rapidly evolving threat environments. This means that organizations need to be proactive in regularly reviewing and updating their threat intelligence, and must be prepared to quickly adapt to changes in the threat landscape.
  • Integration: Integrating information from open threat intelligence sources with an organization’s existing security infrastructure can be challenging. Organizations will need to ensure that they have the necessary tools and systems in place to effectively collect, store, and analyze the information they receive, and that this information is easily accessible by relevant personnel.


Threat intelligence is a critical component of modern cyber security. By providing organizations with information about current and potential threats, it enables them to proactively defend against attacks and respond more quickly and effectively in the event of a breach.

There are various types of threat intelligence – technical, tactical, operational, strategic – each of which provides a different perspective on the threat environment, and IoCs play an important role in the cyber security process by helping organizations to quickly identify and respond to attacks.

Using community threat intelligence sources can provide organizations with valuable and relevant information about current and potential threats, enabling them to better defend against attacks and improve their overall security posture.