As cyber attacks are on the rise, threat actors are getting more creative at bypassing traditional security systems. This allows the attackers to remain undetected for a longer period of time to exfiltrate data or spread further in the network to do damage. Cyber threat hunting is a great way to help detect threat actors more quickly who have bypassed security measures that are in place and shrink the time between initial infection and executing an incident response plan.
Cyber threat hunting is the practice of proactively searching for cyber threats that could be lurking undetected within the organization’s environment . Threat hunters will collect and search through security data in an effort to locate hidden malware or suspicious activity that may have been missed or was considered resolved, but actually wasn’t. This type of proactive approach fits into the cybersecurity landscape because it is complementary to the standard process of incident detection, response, and remediation of threats. The four types of threats in the cybersecurity landscape are:
There are three types of cyber threat hunting that can be initiated; these include:
For cyber threat hunters to effectively and efficiently hunt for cyber threats, telemetry should be used from both the endpoint and network. Endpoint and network telemetry will include, but not be limited to:
While this is not a full list, cyber threat hunters can use these key indicators to determine if there are any cyber threats within the organization’s environment so they can create a strategy to combat it.
Cyber threat hunting is an important aspect of today’s cyber defense strategy because sophisticated threats can bypass security solutions. Even if you leverage automated tools and a security operations center (SOC) analyst that can handle 90% of cyber threats, it is the other 10% that organizations still need to worry about and have a plan to address. If given enough time and resources, threat actors can break into any environment and avoid detection.
In the “Cost of Data Breach 2022” report, it detailed how the average cost of a data breach reached an average of $4.4 million globally (13% increase from 2020) and $9.4 million in the United States. Furthermore, it took organizations about 277 days to identify and contain data breaches on average . Proactive cyber threat hunting can help reduce the time of discovery and it can help reduce the amount of damage done by the threat actors. By reducing this damage, the organization can save their reputation, reduce financial impact, and protect their data.
Here are the three ways we recommend most to improve an organization’s cyber threat hunting process:
While this article has briefly touched on the subject of cyber threat hunting, hopefully it has stressed the importance and need to include threat hunting within your organization’s security processes. If your organization has not yet implemented cyber threat hunting procedures, then it’s recommended that you start now. Cyber threat hunting will not only help you detect the unknown malicious activity that could be lurking in your environment but, it will help increase your security posture.