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

Networking
Security
  • DNS attack

    A DNS attack is an exploit in which an attacker takes advantage of vulnerabilities in the domain name system.

  • malware

    Malware, or malicious software, is any program or file that's intentionally harmful to a computer, network or server.

  • cloud security

    Cloud security, also known as 'cloud computing security,' is a set of policies, practices and controls deployed to protect ...

CIO
  • data collection

    Data collection is the process of gathering data for use in business decision-making, strategic planning, research and other ...

  • chief trust officer

    A chief trust officer (CTrO) in the IT industry is an executive job title given to the person responsible for building confidence...

  • green IT (green information technology)

    Green IT (green information technology) is the practice of creating and using environmentally sustainable computing resources.

HRSoftware
  • diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)

    Diversity, equity and inclusion is a term used to describe policies and programs that promote the representation and ...

  • ADP Mobile Solutions

    ADP Mobile Solutions is a self-service mobile app that enables employees to access work records such as pay, schedules, timecards...

  • director of employee engagement

    Director of employee engagement is one of the job titles for a human resources (HR) manager who is responsible for an ...

Customer Experience
  • digital marketing

    Digital marketing is the promotion and marketing of goods and services to consumers through digital channels and electronic ...

  • contact center schedule adherence

    Contact center schedule adherence is a standard metric used in business contact centers to determine whether contact center ...

  • customer retention

    Customer retention is a metric that measures customer loyalty, or an organization's ability to retain customers over time.

Close