Cyber intelligence services are an important component of security and military functions. They provide actionable intelligence and automated processes to identify and respond to threats. Some of the most important services offered by cyber intelligence services are listed below. These include Automating labor-intensive tasks and providing actionable intelligence on threats to international human rights. Also included are outsourcing security and military functions and analyzing threats.

Outsourcing security and military functions

Cyber intelligence services fall into the broad category of security and military functions, which is outsourced in a variety of ways. These functions include the management of information, infrastructure, and logistics. This includes the erection of telecommunications and communication networks, as well as relevant hardware and software. Such infrastructure helps the intelligence organization communicate with its units, and to gather information.

Outsourcing these functions has created serious challenges for the intelligence community. In particular, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has faced competition from contractors for talented and experienced employees. The ODN notes that contractors are increasingly recruiting from the civilian workforce. It is estimated that 65 percent to 70 percent of new contractors are military employees. Prime contracting companies are often willing to pay a thirty-five to fifty-percent salary increase to attract talented civilian employees.

The outsourcing of cyber security and military functions to private companies is a risky and potentially dangerous trend. While private contractors are indispensable in the Global War on Terror, their activities can be problematic. Outsourcing these functions may result in wasteful spending, destabilizing work force structures, and contract management problems. As a result, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has called for a study of the civilian and contractor work force.

Automating labor-intensive tasks

Historically, cybersecurity has required a high level of human resource investment and manual tasks. This manual work often delays remediation activities and increases a company’s exposure and vulnerability to cyber adversaries. However, in recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) solutions have come of age and can offer substantial benefits to cyber defensive operations. These solutions automate labor-intensive core functions and help transform cybersecurity workflows into continuous processes.

By automating these labor-intensive cybersecurity tasks, organizations can free up staff and improve their productivity. Security professionals can now focus on a wider range of tasks, such as conducting proactive security activities and investigating threats. By removing these labor-intensive tasks, cybersecurity teams can better focus on the most complex challenges.

Automation also speeds up threat detection and remediation workflows. With less human intervention, there are fewer false positives and fewer security breaches. With automated data collection, threat intelligence can be collected more quickly and efficiently. Using a SIEM system can help identify and prioritize high-risk threats and save security experts valuable time.

Providing actionable intelligence on threats

For security professionals, providing actionable intelligence on threats is essential for a number of reasons. It enables proactive response to unique threats, provides enhanced visibility of adversary attack infrastructure, and frees up precious time and resources. But, calculating the ROI of actionable threat intelligence can be challenging.

To be actionable, threat intelligence must be relevant and useful to end users. This means that the information must be presented in a way that non-technical users can easily understand. The information should be presented in easy-to-understand reports, videos, presentations, or other forms that allow the non-technical user to take action.

To develop actionable threat intelligence, cybersecurity teams must first define their objectives and requirements. Once these are defined, the teams should begin to gather information from various sources. For example, they may look for traffic logs, publicly available data sources, relevant forums and social media, and subject matter experts.

Threats to international human rights

Cybersecurity and human rights go hand in hand. The two are closely linked, and while the two are often seen as separate, both can be harmful to human rights. In the case of cybersecurity, threats are often characterized by the denial of access to information, as in the case of network shutdowns. This can obstruct people’s freedoms of association and peaceful assembly, and can restrict economic and social rights. As of 2018, there were 196 documented cases of internet shutdowns, which may pose a serious threat to human rights.

The threat of mass government surveillance and targeted attacks is another concern. Governments can use these surveillance services to target people who complain about their leaders, follow different religions, or are of a different sexual orientation. This could result in massive infringements of human rights. In Saudi Arabia, for example, spying on Saudi organizations and journalists may have contributed to the extrajudicial killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

There are legitimate companies that provide these services, but the issue is whether these services are ethical. Some of these companies are publicly traded, while others are official contractors of militaries and governments. PMSCs are an example of such companies, which coordinate the operations of cyber operations for governments and military bodies.