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Security teams must work to get in front of cyber threats and provide the organization with the best chance to respond should an attack occur. Your organization is better protected when you actively hunt threats that can slip past initial network defenses.
An efficient proactive threat hunting strategy can lower the risk of information security compromises, data breaches and other serious cyberattacks.
Proactive threat hunting is the process of looking for previously unknown or ongoing non-remediated security threats lurking unnoticed within your organization’s network. These threats can sneak past your defenses and go undetected for days, weeks
and even months, allowing hackers to discreetly collect confidential data and breach information.
By being proactive and scanning for undetected threats, threat hunting goes to the next level, digging deep to find anything malicious that may put login credentials, confidential information and other data at risk.
To stop advanced threats from compromising your organization, your threat hunting program must be implemented within your security strategy to ensure a rapid response to potential risks.
READ: Setting Up a Successful Vulnerability Management Program
There are three main threat hunting methodologies.
This type of threat hunting is triggered by new threats identified via crowdsourced information on current hacker tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs). Once identified, hypothesis-driven investigations allow threat hunters to look for the presence
of specific TTPs, attacker characteristics and behaviors in their own network to uncover unknown threats.
Another approach to threat hunting uses tactical threat intelligence to record known IoCs or attacks linked to new cyber threats. These indicators serve as triggers to discover hidden threats or malicious behavior persisting quietly on the network.
Threat hunting may also involve the combination of machine learning and advanced data analysis to process huge quantities of data and detect irregular activity. If any anomalies are discovered, they are considered threat hunting leads that must be examined
further to confirm the presence of sophisticated threats.
Threat hunting can be one the most effective methods to protect your organization from breaches and compromise, but it requires a strong process. Key steps include.
The trigger identifies a specific network area or system where threat hunters should further investigate possible threats. Advanced detection technology identifies triggers from suspicious behavior throughout the network, including fileless malware, which
is one of the most common ways hackers get through existing network security.
Tools like endpoint detection and response technology, malware analysis sandboxes, server logs and more are used during the investigation for a deep analysis of potential security compromises. The threat hunter continues the investigation until the activity
is confirmed as benign or an entire analysis of the malicious activity is complete.
The final step in the threat hunting process requires all intelligence on malicious activity to be communicated to security and operational resources. This enables rapid response to the threat, ensuring security risks are mitigated as effectively as possible.
Data from the benign and malicious activity may be provided to automated technology to help further protect the network.
Although there are several challenges associated with cyber threat hunting, such as budget constraints and a lack of dedicated resources and skills, it's an extremely valuable component of your organization's security strategy. Proactive threat hunting
can mean the difference between finding advanced security threats hiding in your network or having to respond to a major security breach. Keep these tips in mind as you build a threat hunting strategy.
With a comprehensive cyber threat hunting strategy, you can stay in front of hackers and dive deep to discover even the stealthiest threats. Instead of allowing attackers to lurk in the background, collecting sensitive information from your network, proactively
hunt them down and mitigate the risks of a full-scale cyberattack.
Although reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the information contained in our blog posts, no liability can be accepted by IANS or our Faculty members for the results of any actions taken by individuals or firms
in connection with such information, opinions, or advice.
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