Have you ever been in a vendor meeting and heard the vendor extol the greatness of their threat intelligence? \u00a0You may have even seen a slide that looks similar to this:\tThe vendor probably proceeded\u00a0\u00a0to highlight the key differentiators that make their threat intelligence network stand second to none.\u00a0 Bullets containing statistics like this surely followed:\t\t\tGlobal coverage, in well over 100 countries\t\t\t50 million network devices\t\t\t50 billion web queries each month\t\t\t30 billion emails a month\t\t\t100 million users\tI have been in countless meetings and presentations where this exact scenario has occurred and I get\u00a0d\u00e9j\u00e0 vu\u00a0every time I hear it. In fact, if you simply swap out the vendor logo you could almost use the same slide deck.\u00a0 Threat intelligence networks are like opinions, everybody has one.\u00a0 Vendors are often surprised when I tell them that their threat intelligence networks aren\u2019t that unique.\u00a0 Vendors collect data from their offerings. Vendors like Cisco or Juniper leverage their networks offerings, players like McAfee or\u00a0Symantec\u00a0leverage diverse security portfolios, content delivery companies like Akamai leverage their content delivery networks, and so on; you get the idea. Am I saying there isn\u2019t value in these threat intelligence networks?\u00a0 Absolutely not, my position is that the vendors aren\u2019t deriving actionable intelligence that is significantly different from the competition and there is considerable overlap in what is being observed. The vendors are looking at the same malicious activities from slightly different perspectives. Vendor threat intelligence networks are commoditized.\tAfter I explain my position to the vendor who has just attempted to marvel me with their threat intelligence network capabilities I like to dig deeper and focus on the research that accompanies the threat intelligence network.\t\t\tHow have you specifically leveraged threat intelligence in your offerings?\u00a0\t\t\tWhat are specific examples of threats that you have provided proactive protection for?\t\t\tWhat % of overall revenue is dedicated to threat intelligence\/research?\t\t\tHow many employees (non operations) make up your threat intelligence\/research team?\t\t\tWhat languages do you support?\t\t\tWhat periodic research do you publish?\t\t\tHow many advisories have you published?\tDear vendor product marketing and sales teams, please understand that your threat intelligence is helpful and we expect that you have it, but it isn\u2019t terribly different from your\u00a0closest\u00a0competitors.\u00a0 The real story on threat intelligence is your organization\u2019s ability to develop your own, but I will save that for the future.