Publication Date



School of Business


Computer Science


Proactive threat intelligence, security controls, security posture, cybersecurity, WannaCry, Log4j, SolarWinds


Information Security


In the last decade, several high-profile cyber threats have occurred with global impact and devastating consequences. The tools, techniques, and procedures used to prevent cyber threats from occurring fall under the category of proactive security. Proactive security methodologies, however, vary among professionals where differing tactics have proved situationally effective. To determine the most effective tactics for preventing exploitation of vulnerabilities, the author examines the attack vector of three incidents from the last five years in a systematic review format: the WannaCry incident, the 2020 SolarWinds SUNBURST exploit, and the recently discovered Log4j vulnerability. From the three cases and existing literature, the author determined that inventory management, auditing, and patching are essential proactive security measures which may have prevented the incidents altogether. Then, the author discusses obstacles inherent to these solutions, such as time, talent, and resource restrictions, and proposes the use of user-friendly, open-source tools as a solution. The author intends through this research to improve the security posture of the Internet by encouraging further research into proactive cyber threat intelligence measures and motivating business executives to prioritize cybersecurity.