Understanding Cybersecurity Threat Hunting – How it Works and its Importance
The constant evolution of technology presents organizations with more sophisticated tools to increase the efficiency of their processes. Unfortunately, technological improvement has also given cyber attackers more advanced tactics, techniques, and weapons with which to threaten systems.
It is, therefore, critical that organizations be on high alert for potential cyber threats. This should go beyond threat detection, which utilizes a set of measures and tools to identify and resolve security issues. A critical portion of these tools must be dedicated to visibility. To obtain this level of information on an ongoing basis, you must have complete visibility into each event and its related metadata.
Some sophisticated threats could slip past your detection systems without deeper analytics and greater automation. These could burrow into your system and lurk around for months. While lying undetected in your system, attackers will slowly siphon your data and uncover confidential information to facilitate further breaches.
This is why threat hunting should be a critical part of every organization’s cybersecurity program. It’s a type of proactive security measure that enables you to hunt down and expose any threats lurking in your system.
How Does Threat Hunting Work?
Unlike threat detection, which can be automated, threat hunting has a more human aspect to it. It utilizes highly skilled IT security experts who search, monitor, log, and neutralize threats before they result in serious issues.
Threat hunting involves combing through security data in search of hidden malware or attackers by identifying patterns of suspicious activities. The hunting process typically involves four steps:
- A trigger in the system leads to the formulation of a hypothesis
- The security team launches a deep dive to investigate the issue
- Extensive analysis and review of system logs, alert data, event data, network anomalies, endpoint alerts, and so on are reviewed to ensure thorough identification has been completed
- The final step is resolution, where the issue is communicated to the operation and security teams, and any potential problems are resolved.
What Is the Importance of Threat Hunting?
Threat hunting is a necessity for any organization that wishes to stay ahead of any cybersecurity threats. The top focus of every threat hunting team is visibility. The ability to identify a threat, track it down, identify where it came from, where it was headed, and what it was doing is critical. Doing that across multiple tools and screens makes this extremely cumbersome, slow, and less effective. The use of a centralized data store in a graph database is the answer to these issues. Below are some of the reasons why threat hunting should be a priority for every organization.
Proactive Rather than Reactive Security
Depending on threat detection alone is dangerous for any organization. By the time your IT security team discovers malware or breaches, you will have already suffered significant damages. The best way is to seek and resolve the threat while it’s still in hibernation. This way, it will be easier to resolve without too much collateral damage. You need solid visibility and event correlation to properly react to the threats in the timing needed.
Continuous Security Improvement
Threat hunting allows you to constantly identify new tactics, tools, and procedures (TTPs) used by attackers. This enables the creation of a database of information that can be shared with the threat intelligence community, facilitating the formulation of better defenses. As a result, threat hunting facilitates constant security improvements across your environment. This improved visibility through centralized data storage and analytics will improve your posture even greater.
Faster and More Accurate Responses
Constant threat hunting gives your IT team a better understanding of your security system. This way, it will be easier to identify and respond accurately to new threats, minimizing their impact and cost. Streaming event and alert data right into a centralized database will ensure your threat hunting teams have the information necessary to properly identify threats, and avoid false positives and false negatives that would have been made by individual tools alone.
What Are Some Available Threat Hunting Solutions?
Threat hunting is a multi-tiered process that requires the collaboration of technology and human input to be successful. Below are some of the tools your IT security team will need to facilitate their threat hunting process:
Managed Detection and Response (MDR)
MDR uses threat intelligence to proactively hunt for, identify, and remediate advanced threats in the system. This reduces the dwell time of attacks and facilitates the delivery of fast, decisive responses to minimize the damage from attacks.
Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
SIEM combines security information management (SIM) and security event management (SEM) to facilitate the real-time monitoring, tracking, and logging of events and security data. It looks for anomalies in user behavior or other irregularities that require further investigation.
Security Orchestration Automation and Response (SOAR)
SOAR provides you with the automation that is lacking in many organizations. The use of a SOAR will enable your Security Operations Center (SOC) or your Network Operations Center (NOC) to respond faster to threats, ensuring that the time to resolution is as short as possible. Stopping threats is the real focus of any security team. Identification and fast remediation are absolutely the number one priority they must face. The automation of these actions makes their job that much easier.
Security Analytics Tools (Graph Analytics)
Security analytics utilize AI and machine learning to analyze big data and give deep insights into your security data. With detailed and observable data, hunting for cyberthreats is faster and more efficient. The use of graph technology like TigerGraph will ensure fast identification, thorough analysis, deep-link validation of each threat and the statistical data to ensure you know where it came from, where it was headed, what it was doing, and what you need to look for to ensure proper eradication.
Stay Proactive with In-depth Threat Analytics and Hunting
Being proactive about your security is the only way to stay safe in the ever-changing cybersecurity environment. We provide the latest in analytics tools to keep you ahead of all the security threats in your system(s). Contact us today for a quote and more information about how we can help your organization.