MISP vs. OpenCTI

Updated: Nov 2023
Which threat intel platform should you choose?
Both MISP and OpenCTI are powerful open source threat intelligence platforms. You may be comparing MISP vs. OpenCTI because you'd like to use an open source platform to handle your threat intelligence, but aren’t sure which one is the best fit for your use case. We're here to help.

Both MISP and OpenCTI share the benefits of being open source software

MISP and OpenCTI are scrutinised and patched by the security community

Being open source, many people have the chance to spot and patch potential vulnerabilities before they make it into a production release.

With open source software, you can inspect the code to be sure there are no exploitable flaws.

With closed source software, you must simply trust that the company behind the software follows secure development practices.

MISP and OpenCTI are free to use, provided you are prepared to host the platforms on your own infrastructure

The downside of free is that these platforms don’t come with any guarantee of support if things go wrong.

You’ll need to rely on volunteers in the open source community for whom you are not a #1 priority.

That’s why some folks have opted for managed and supported versions of these platforms, like CloudMISP, or OpenCTI’s enterprise support plan, which provide a guaranteed support SLA.

While both platforms share these similarities, they also come with some major differences.

MISP vs. OpenCTI: Feature comparison

Data Modelling and Sharing Formats

MISP uses the MISP data model and supports sharing in STIX/TAXII formats, emphasising Indicators of Compromise (IoCs) and Indicators of Attack (IoAs).

OpenCTI uses STIX 2.1, allowing for more detailed descriptions of Tools, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs), and offers customisable entity models for more flexible data mapping.

System Architecture

OpenCTI is a stack of components (React frontend, GraphQL, Elasticsearch, Redis, Minio, RabbitMQ, python workers and connectors) that run as separate applications as part of a broader system. Because of this, it is a good fit for container orchestration, and most people install OpenCTI using Docker and run one container for each connector it has enabled.

MISP has a shorter list of dependencies (namely Redis and MySQL) and therefore fewer moving parts compared to OpenCTI. Even so, MISP’s architecture also has Redis, a database, workers, a web app, and an API.

Overall, MISP’s architecture incorporates fewer different technologies compared to OpenCTI.

OpenCTI and MISP have different system architectures

OpenCTI architecture diagram (source: OpenCTI Public Knowledgebase).
MISP (hosted on Kubernetes) architecture diagram (source: VVX7)

Visualisation and Analysis

MISP provides extensive data viz options including graphs, charts, and maps, to help you analyse and comprehend threat data.

OpenCTI also includes data viz tools but is currently less developed in this area compared to MISP’s mature capabilities.

Integration with Security Tools

MISP has a wide range of integrations due to its established presence, covering firewalls, IDS, SIEM systems, and more.

OpenCTI focuses on integrating with threat intelligence platforms, although it is expanding its integrations portfolio over time.

User Experience

MISP is very powerful but can be complex and may require more technical expertise to configure and use effectively.

OpenCTI is designed with a more intuitive user interface, aiming to be accessible to a wider range of users with varying technical backgrounds.

Community and Support: A Closer Look at MISP vs. OpenCTI

MISP: The Advantage of Legacy

Established in 2012, MISP has had time to cultivate a large user community. It has a large network of users ranging from government agencies to academic institutions, which translates to a significant repository of shared knowledge.

The community's size enables an assortment of integrations and extensions, readily available on platforms like GitHub. Its user base contributes to a thriving exchange of scripts and solutions for common problems.

MISP’s forum and mailing lists are highly active, giving users a place to seek advice and share experiences.

OpenCTI: The Emerging Contender

Despite being newer, OpenCTI has made significant strides in community engagement since its launch in 2019. Its modern, user-friendly approach attracts a growing base of users who contribute to its development.

OpenCTI’s community is fostered through active engagement on platforms like GitHub and Gitter, where users can interact with the developers directly.

The platform is gaining traction, and with its increasing popularity, the community support is expected to expand, potentially offering more diverse insights and innovations.

Cross-Community Sharing

Cross-pollination of ideas between the two communities could lead to mutual improvements, as both platforms can convert data between MISP format and STIX (with varying degrees of success!).

As of this article's latest update, MISP has 4.7k stars on GitHub.
As of this article's latest update, OpenCTI has 4.1k stars on GitHub.

If MISP seems like the best fit for your organisation, we recommend CloudMISP, our managed MISP service.