Aflac automates threat intelligence to take a proactive security posture

Insurance giant Aflac automated large parts of its cyber threat intelligence operations to create an industry-leading program.

Automation is enabling cybersecurity teams to work faster and smarter. By delegating tiresome, time-consuming tasks to machines, automation allows companies to extend their security efforts.

For insurance giant Aflac, applying automation to its threat intelligence program keeps it up-to-date on threat actors and techniques, providing intelligence to constantly inform changes to its security posture and defenses.

“When you look at the levers we have to pull, most of them have historically been a wait and see what the bad guys are going to do, and then react to that,” says Aflac CSO Tim Callahan. The company has over 10,000 employees and manages over $100 billion in assets.

Prior to joining Aflac in 2014, Callahan served in the U.S. Air Force and held security-focused roles at financial institutions such as SunTrust Bank and Peoples United Bank. He and his security team of around 250 are responsible for all aspects of security, including compliance and risk, physical and logical security, threat management, incident response, business resiliency and disaster recovery.

Callahan says cyber-criminals working for financial gain are the company’s main nemesis and the one it spends the most time and effort countering. To get ahead of the cyber criminals, Aflac has adopted a program that combines traditional threat intelligence feeds, predictive analytics, dark web intelligence and automated preventative measures. Callahan says this allows Aflac to be more proactive and offensive in its security posture. “Threat intelligence is one area where we can get ahead of that and we can start anticipating and being somewhat predictive on what the bad guys are going to do.” 

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