Browse Definitions :
Definition

counterintelligence

Counterintelligence (CI) is the information gathered and actions taken to identify and protect against an adversary’s knowledge collection activities or attempts to cause harm through sabotage or other actions. The goal of CI is to ensure information cannot be modified or destroyed by a malicious actor and that only authorized people can access an organization's information.

CI is often associated with intelligence agencies, government organizations or the military but businesses also benefit from including CI in their approach to security. In cybersecurity, counterintelligence is used to support the information security triad of Confidentiality, Availability, and Integrity (CIA). Many organizations practice aspects of CI, but refer to it by different names, including data loss prevention (DLP), malware reverse engineering and network forensics.

How counterintelligence works

Counterintelligence activities can be categorized as being either collective, defensive or offensive. Collective CI efforts focus on learning who the adversary is, how they collect information, what attack vectors they are targeting and what tools they are using. Defensive CI efforts focus on securing information and preventing an adversary from stealing or destroying it. Offensive CI activities focus on turning an attack into an opportunity to gain an advantage by using disinformation.

While most information technology (IT) security administrators routinely conduct defensive CI and collective CI, the value of using offensive CI is not always understood. With the right implementation, deception technology can be used to improve collective, defensive and offensive CI. Deception technology uses decoys, such as honeypots and virtual honeypots, to misdirect an attack and delay or prevent the attacker from going deeper into the network and reaching the intended target. By observing the tactics, techniques and procedures attackers use in their attack, defenders can gain valuable insight that can be incorporated into their defenses.

This was last updated in May 2018

Continue Reading About counterintelligence

SearchCompliance

  • information governance

    Information governance is a holistic approach to managing corporate information by implementing processes, roles, controls and ...

  • enterprise document management (EDM)

    Enterprise document management (EDM) is a strategy for overseeing an organization's paper and electronic documents so they can be...

  • risk assessment

    Risk assessment is the identification of hazards that could negatively impact an organization's ability to conduct business.

SearchSecurity

  • cyber espionage

    Cyber espionage, also called cyber spying, is a form of cyber attack that is carried out against a competitive company or ...

  • virus (computer virus)

    A computer virus is malicious code that replicates by copying itself to another program, computer boot sector or document and ...

  • spam trap

    A spam trap is an email address that is used to identify and monitor spam email.

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a business.

  • call tree

    A call tree is a layered hierarchical communication model that is used to notify specific individuals of an event and coordinate ...

  • Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

    Disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) is the replication and hosting of physical or virtual servers by a third party to provide ...

SearchStorage

  • dropout

    Dropout refers to data, or noise, that's intentionally dropped from a neural network to improve processing and time to results.

  • cloud storage

    Cloud storage is a service model in which data is transmitted and stored on remote storage systems, where it is maintained, ...

  • cloud testing

    Cloud testing is the process of using the cloud computing resources of a third-party service provider to test software ...

Close