RSAC Fireside Chat: How timely intel from the cyber underground improves counter measures

By Byron V. Acohido

Good intelligence in any theater of war is invaluable. Timely, accurate intel is the basis of a robust defense and can inform potent counterattacks.

Related: Ukraine hit by amplified DDoS

This was the case during World War II in The Battle of Midway and at the Battle of the Bulge and it holds true today in the Dark Web. The cyber underground has become a highly dynamic combat zone in which cyber criminals use engrained mechanisms to shroud communications.

That said, there are also many opportunities for companies to glean and leverage helpful intel from the Dark Web. As RSA Conference 2023 gets underway next week at San Francisco’s Moscone Center, advanced ways to gather and infuse cyber threat intelligence, or CTI, into fast-evolving network defenses is in the spotlight.

I had the chance to visit with Jason Passwaters, CEO of Intel 471, a US-based supplier of cyber threat intelligence solutions.

Guest expert: Jason Passwaters, CEO, Intel 471

We discussed how the cyber underground has shifted from being perceived as deep and dark to a well-organized world with defined business models, supply chains, and relatively low barrier of entry.

“As the cyber underground becomes more sophisticated, the level of threat increases exponentially for legitimate businesses and nation-states,” Passwaters told me. “The underground is now the domain of organized cybercriminals with clear hierarchies and targeted revenue goals.”

Intel 471 directs comprehensive threat intelligence at identifying, prioritizing and preventing cyber attacks. For a full drill down, please give the accompanying podcast a listen. Good intel in warfare can’t be overstated. I’ll keep watch and keep reporting.


Pulitzer Prize-winning business journalist Byron V. Acohido is dedicated to fostering public awareness about how to make the Internet as private and secure as it ought to be.

(LW provides consulting services to the vendors we cover.)


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