With more than 2,200 cyberattacks per day, it’s easy for organisations to start feeling like sitting ducks. The alarming increase in cybersecurity threats makes it seem like just a matter of time before your organisation hits the headlines as the latest victim of a malicious actor. Many organisations have attempted to counter the increase in cybersecurity threats via improved threat detection. Threat detection undoubtedly has its place in securing an organisation’s data and systems however it remains somewhat a passive approach.
Cybersecurity personnel must remain vigilant for the next threat or vulnerability. In this regard, a more proactive approach that allows potential threats to be identified before they strike is critical to an organisation’s security and peace of mind. Threat hunting is the practice of proactively searching for cyber threats that are lurking undetected in networks, endpoints, and datasets to hunt malicious, suspicious, or risky activities that have slipped past your initial endpoint security defences.
Malicious actors can stealthily penetrate your network and collect data or login credentials steadily over a period of time in order to not be detected. This is where threat hunting comes in. Instead of taking a reactionary approach by waiting for something to happen, cyber threat hunting develops hypotheses based on knowing the behaviours of threat actors and validating those hypotheses through active searches in the environment leading to the identification of threats that are yet to strike.
Cybersecurity leaders such as CyberSoc urge organisations to “Stay Ahead of The Cyber Crime Curve” by utilising threat hunting. With CyberSoc’s help, your organisation can proactively search through your networks to detect and isolate advanced threats that got around existing security systems. Threat hunting was initially a manual process but has since evolved through the use of automation, machine learning, as well as user analytics. This critical process of turning malicious actors, the hunters, into the prey generally consists of the following steps:
Threat hunting starts by developing a statement informed by a threat hunting library. The threat hunting library contains global detection playbooks and large pool of crowdsourced attack data giving insights into attackers’ latest tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP). Once a new TTP has been identified, threat hunters will then look to discover if the attacker’s specific behaviours are found in their own environment. Hunting for threats requires quality intelligence and data. A plan for collecting, centralising, and processing data is required.
The behaviours identified in the hypothesis become triggers that threat hunters use to uncover potential hidden attacks or ongoing malicious activity.. Once a behaviour is identified, the threat hunter monitors activity patterns to detect, identify and isolate anomalies. These anomalies become hunting leads that are investigated by skilled analysts to identify stealthy threats.
Skilled analysts leverage powerful data analysis, machine learning and other investigative tools to search deep into potentially malicious anomalies in a system or network.
Relevant malicious activity is communicated to operations and security teams so they can respond to the incident and mitigate threats. The data gathered can be fed into automated technology to improve its effectiveness without further human intervention.
Throughout this process, cyber threat hunters gather as much information as possible about an attacker’s actions, methods and goals. They also analyse collected data to determine trends in an organisation’s security environment, eliminate current vulnerabilities and make predictions to enhance security in the future.
Could you organisation benefit from comprehensive threat hunting solutions? Speak to a professional from DataGroupIT and let us explore the right cybersecurity system for your business.
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