We are thrilled to announce the publication of “The Forrester Wave™: External Threat Intelligence Services, Q1 2021.” External threat intelligence services (ETIS) are important to security teams to fill gaps in their existing collection plans with specialized services that will enhance their existing cyber defense and reduce risk. External threat intelligence services are different in that rather than just selecting a single provider, organizations will typically select a cocktail of intelligence services that fits their specific needs.

When we published the original Forrester New Wave™ on ETIS in Q3 2018, global security decision-makers were subscribing to an average of 4.2 external threat intelligence services (according to Forrester Analytics’ Business Technographics® survey data). As of 2020, the number of external threat intelligence services had increased 75% to an average of 7.5, reflecting the growing enterprise demand to enhance existing cyberdefenses. Clients should use this Forrester Wave and the corresponding tool to make decisions about which factors are most important to their organization when selecting which services would complete their intelligence collection plan.

In this report, we evaluated the top 12 vendors and scored them across 26 criteria. Some of the key insights that were identified during the Forrester Wave evaluation process included:

  • Takedown service as a key differentiator. Brand threat intelligence is the type of threat intelligence organizations of any size should prioritize first to reduce reputational and regulatory risks. Scammers all the way to state-nexus threats impersonate brands of all sizes. Vendors with the best takedown services had all-inclusive pricing and automation. Successful takedown services have prior authorization from the clients’ internal counsel and can act immediately on their behalf.
  • Ability to prioritize vulnerability intelligence. Vendors that scored highest on the vulnerability intelligence criteria, one of the most differentiating criteria in the Forrester Wave, can rescore vulnerabilities to help their clients with prioritization. Vendors with strong capabilities in this area help reduce emergency patches for their clients.
  • Dedication to innovation as a strategic asset. An important strategic differentiator was a vendor’s innovation roadmap. Vendors that did well in this area were able to effectively prove to us that they had above-average innovation strategy, including thought leadership and investment in emerging technologies.

For further insight into how we see the ETIS market developing, please review the Forrester Wave evaluation (for Forrester clients).