The Critical Need for Contextual Intelligence

A security manager’s role is more critical now than ever before. Novel threats can emerge from any direction at any time, creating a need for frequent C-Suite and Board security briefings. A risk mitigation strategy rooted in data confidence and contextual intelligence boost stakeholder trust in your recommendations and prepares your Security Operations Center to be ready for whatever comes your way. Utilizing a state-of-the-art threat intelligence platform and proactive risk management is essential. While AI-driven solutions are prevalent, human analysts remain vital for contextualizing data and ensuring confident SOC decisions.

Drive Trust in Data and Context with a Blended Risk Intelligence Solution

To be effective, security managers must first choose a trusted source of information. Today, managers are leaning on risk and threat intelligence solutions to feed them data and alert them to developing events; the best of which blends the strengths of AI and human analysis to provide timely, relevant and contextual intelligence.

The Pros and Cons of AI-Driven Intelligence

In its  AI100 study, Stanford University emphasizes, “One of the most pressing dangers of AI is techno-solutionism, the view that AI can be seen as a panacea when it is merely a tool.” AI can process and analyze vast quantities of data at speeds that will never be attained by human analysts. It continuously monitors and learns from new information 24/7 without the limitations of alert fatigue or burnout, ensuring that threat intelligence is both current and predictive. While AI is proving popular among platform providers and invaluable to many in the risk intelligence community, understanding its limitations is integral to maximizing its value. AI fundamentally lacks the experience, judgement, and nuanced understanding that human analysts bring to the table.

  • AI’s ability to scan staggering quantities of raw data means that critical events quickly surface, but it doesn’t clarify what those events might mean to your organization or if the information can be believed.
  • While AI excels in processing and analyzing data, it fundamentally lacks the ability to integrate experience, judgment, and a nuanced understanding into its operations. Analyst insight is critical for applying ethical considerations and ensuring accountability where the binary logic of AI falls short.
  • AI’s binary logic cannot make informed decisions. Interpreting the subtleties of geopolitical dynamics, spotting false positives, and understanding the implications of complex human behaviors requires human insight.

The Human Intelligence Analyst Component in Driving Trust and Context

To do their jobs well and ensure that they’re giving stakeholders what they need to be successful, security teams need access to credible, trustworthy sources of information. This requires an analyst who can examine the raw data and explain its significance, giving you threat intelligence you can trust by applying their knowledge of criteria including:

  • Historical trends
  • Economy and industry
  • Political and government landscape
  • Culture, identity, and demographics
  • Conflict, immigrations, and other social issues
  • Military operations
  • Crime and law enforcement

Expert analysts possess a unique capability to place information within a broader context that is not replicable by current AI technologies. With that more nuanced threat and risk analysis in place, experienced security professionals are empowered to take their next steps.

The Security Operations Center’s Role in Layering in Contextual Intelligence

Armed with trusted, verified intelligence placed within the context of geopolitical considerations, the work is far from complete. You must now layer in your organization’s specific context to fully leverage this information.

What might be considered valuable information for one business or government agency might be less so to another. Drill down from the general to the specific by adding your own interpretation, asking What might this knowledge mean for my unique organization? How can I use it to protect employees, facilities, property, and operations?

Once you know about an event that has occurred or is likely to take place soon, examine how that information aligns with your organization’s goals and objectives. Aligning contextual intelligence with internal priorities, risk tolerance, type of event, and potential event impact on operations, assets or people, is another case where the inherent value of human discernment comes into play. AI can tell you what’s happening; it can’t tell you why or how much data matters to your organization or what to do with it. Ask yourself some of these questions before proceeding:

  • How should this intelligence affect our short-term and long-term security strategies?
  • What are the potential direct and indirect consequences?
  • Are some assets or operations at higher risk than others?
  • Do we have mitigation strategies in place?
  • What additional resources or measures will be required for full neutralization?
  • What legal and regulatory implications could be involved?

After you’ve examined the data, determined its value, and put it in context, you can then make an informed decision about how to share it up and down the chain of command. Disseminating information appropriately ensures an optimized response that allocates resources effectively and keeps the entire organization invested in security policy and actions.

Regardless of organization, risk tolerance, or potential impact, what remains the same across security teams is the need for decisions grounded in certainty. Contextualized information contributes to robust and reliable threat intelligence that you can use to bolster your reports and recommendations.  Security managers who base decisions on contextualized data have greater confidence in their strategic decisions.

Nuanced and Contextual Intelligence for the Global Marketplace

Navigating global complexities demands a sophisticated approach to contextual intelligence with a risk intelligence solution that blends AI’s analytical prowess with the indispensable insights of human experience. The combination of technology and human expertise is the foundation of an effective modern security strategy. By judiciously assessing intelligence through both technological and human lenses, security managers can ensure that information is both relevant and actionable, supporting informed decisions at every level and safeguarding operations.

Discover the power of fully contextualized risk intelligence. Request a demo of Seerist today.

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