Threat Hunting
Threat Hunting

The Ultimate Guide to Threat Hunting

How often have you heard of data breaches in big organizations due to the inability to identify the threat’s location? That is where the need for an efficient threat hunting process arises. Threat hunting is a crucial strategy used by analysts to detect cybersecurity threats proactively that are lying undetected in the network.

With the massive increase of cyber threats in the digital world, the need to have a proactive threat hunting system becomes essential. Companies need an effective strategy with a well-equipped workforce to combat cyber threats efficiently using their technical knowledge and toolsets.

Want to make your business ready for the cybersecurity challenges? Read this detailed blog about the various steps and methodologies of threat hunting. Here you will find all your answers to your questions related to threat hunting for cybersecurity:

Understanding Threat Hunting

Threat hunting is a process of actively hunting cyber threats rather than relying only on firewalls and other threat detecting software. Sometimes malware and attackers get away with the threat detecting software leaving the systems vulnerable to data breaches. Threat hunting helps companies save their systems from data breaches by proactively finding malware and threats lying undetected.

Below we have the following activities included in the threat hunting process:

Hunting insider or outsider threats

Actively hunting threats caused by insiders such as a team member or the external person or criminal organization targeting the business.

Hunting for known attackers

A known attacker in the server is the one that is already listed in the threat intelligence list, or it can be those whose code pattern matches with the blacklisted person or programs.

Hunting hidden threats

Threat hunting is used to monitor the hidden threat on the servers using behavioral analysis to prevent attacks.

Executing Incident response plan

After actively hunting all levels of threats, the hunters collect all the necessary information to execute the incident response plan to prevent the current and similar cyberattacks.

Threat Hunting Steps

The entire threat hunting process is classified into three simple steps as Hypothesis, trigger, investigation, and resolution:

Hypothesis

A Hypothesis is the idea or assumption of the hunter’s research of the threats that might be present in the environment and the ways to find and resolve them. A hypothesis in threat Hunting includes the suspected attacker’s Tactics, Techniques, and procedures (TTP). The overall goal is to create a logical path with the help of using the hunter’s ability, creativity, intelligence, and knowledge.

Trigger

Threat hunting is a complex process. First, the hunter collects all the details about the potential threats in the environment to raise the Hypothesis. For further processing, the hunter chooses a trigger that can be any specific system, network area, or Hypothesis.

Investigation

The investigation part refers to investigating the Hypothesis triggered by the hunter. When the hunter chooses a trigger, all the efforts are focused on proactively finding the anomalies in the trigger to either prove or disapprove the Hypothesis. The entire process includes many technologies required to investigate the Hypothesis properly.

Resolution

The resolution step is dedicated to using the information collected in the investigation stage to communicate with the security team and tools to prioritize and analyze the data for future uses. All the data collected during the hunting stage is shared with the software and technologies to align them for future actions.

Throughout the threat hunting stage, the hunter collects as much information about the potential threats to the security systems to eliminate the vulnerabilities in the company’s security systems. 

Types of Threat Hunting

Hunters use Hypotheses to identify malicious threats in the environment. They use structured and unstructured Hunting for the further investigation process. Know how these two impacts the security of the environment:

Structured Hunting

Structured Hunting is the most effective process companies use to analyze malicious threats to their systems. They use Indicator of Attack (IoA) and attackers’ tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) to evaluate the cyber threats. This helps save and eliminate the environment from the damages before they actually occur by making the systems ready to face the vulnerabilities.

Unstructured Hunting

Unstructured Hunting is typically based on the triggers to hunt the threats using pre and post-detection patterns based on Indicators of compromise (IoC). This helps the hunters to research as far as possible using data retention.  

Ways to begin with Threat hunting?

Human expertise

No matter how much the technology improves, human brains are still the best method to tackle contingencies. Automated cyberthreats detection software is inherently predictable, and attackers are fully aware of the ways to bypass, evade or hide from detecting. The best possible method of hunting cyber threats is through human interaction and intervention, and a skilled team of analysts is necessary for effective threat hunting.

Historical Data

An excellent process requires an abundance of gathering and storing data. With the help of these large data sets, an effective threat hunting process can analyze, interpret, and evaluate the various threats in the environment.

Threat Intelligence

An effective Threat Hunting process requires the ability to cross-reference the internal organizational data with the current threat intelligence about the external threats associated with the security to deploy the various tools to analyze the upcoming threats and effectively take actions against them.

All these functions require an efficient human workforce, advanced resources, and tools to analyze the upcoming threats in the companies’ cybersecurity continually. Most companies lack these two necessities making it hard to keep their servers secure. With the right skill sets and advanced tools, you can hunt down the hidden malicious threats in the environment.

How to eradicate data breaches using threat hunting?

The attacker often waits for weeks or months to find the most appropriate time to attack the systems for stealing confidential data from the organization. With adequate security systems in place, companies can save their data from malicious threats to the systems of the environment. Companies can keep their data safe from attackers and malicious programs with an efficient workplace and resources in place. They must have the proper data collection techniques to help the security systems identify the upcoming and already present threats lurking on the systems.

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