cyber threat hunting IT specialist Giacomo Lanzi

Cyber Threat Hunting: on the hunt for security threats

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Cyber Threat Hunting is a proactive security search across networks, endpoints and datasets to hunt down malicious, suspicious or risky activities that have escaped detection by existing tools.

Definition

There is a distinction between malware detection and cyber threat hunting . Threat detection is a passive approach to monitoring data and systems to identify potential security problems. However, it is a necessity and can help a threat hunter . Instead, proactive threat hunting tactics have evolved to use new threat intelligence on previously collected data to identify and classify potential risks before the attack .

Security personnel cannot afford to believe that their security system is impenetrable. Must always remain vigilant for the next threat or vulnerability . Rather than sitting around and waiting for threats to strike, cyber threat hunting develops hypotheses based on knowing the behaviors of threat actors and validating those hypotheses through active research in the environment .

With threat hunting, an expert doesn’t start with an alarm or indicators of compromise (IOC), but with deeper reasoning. In many cases the threat hunter’s efforts create and concretize the alarm or the IOC.

This aggressively assumes that a breach has occurred or will occur at the company. Security officers hunt down threats in their environment rather than rely on automatisms.

cyber threat hunting hardware

Threat hunting practice

For companies that are ready to take a more proactive approach to cybersecurity , which tries to stop attacks before they get too deep, adding threat hunting protocols to their security program is the next logical step.

After consolidating endpoint security and incident response strategies to mitigate the now unavoidable known malware attacks, companies can begin to take the offensive . This means digging deep and finding what hasn’t been detected yet. This is precisely the purpose of cyber threat hunting.

As mentioned earlier, threat hunting is an aggressive tactic that starts from the premise of the “assumption of violation”. Attackers are already inside an organization’s network and are secretly monitoring and moving into it.

This may sound far-fetched, but in reality, attackers can be inside a network for days, weeks, and even months . In the meantime, they prepare and execute attacks as advanced persistent threats, with no automatic defense detecting their presence . Cyber threat hunting stops these attacks by looking for covert indicators of compromise (IOCs) so they can be mitigated before the attacks reach their goals.

cyber threat hunting Monitor

The key elements of a threat hunting

The goal of the threat hunt is to monitor daily activities and traffic across the network and investigate possible anomalies to find any undiscovered malicious activity that could lead to a complete breach . To achieve this level of proactive detection, threat hunting incorporates four equally important components.

1. Methodology

To be successful in hunt for threats, companies must commit to a proactive, full-time approach that is continuous and evolving. Instead, a responsive, ad hoc implementation, “ when we have time “, will be self-defeating and will only lead to minimal results.

2. Technology

Most companies already have comprehensive endpoint security solutions with automatic detection. Threat hunting works in addition to these and adds advanced technologies . The aim is to find anomalies, unusual patterns, and other traces of attackers that shouldn’t be in systems and files.

The new cloud-native endpoint protection (EPP) platforms that leverage big data analytics can capture and analyze large volumes of non-data filtered on endpoints, while behavioral analytics and artificial intelligence can provide broad, high-speed visibility into malicious behaviors that seem normal at first.

3. Highly qualified and dedicated staff

The threat hunters are a race of their own. These experts know how to use the security technology deployed by companies. In addition, also combine the aspiration to go on the offensive with intuitive problem-solving skills to uncover and mitigate hidden threats.

4. Threat intelligence

Having access to evidence-based global intelligence from experts from around the world (e.g. Miter Att & amp; ck ) further improves and accelerates hunting for existing threats. Hunters are aided by information such as attack classifications for identifying malware and threat groups , as well as advanced threat indicators.

cyber threat hunting hacker manifesto

The abilities of a threat hunter

The Threat Hunting Report from Crowd Research Partners confirms the importance of certain capabilities for threat hunting. When asked to rank the most important skill, the survey found that:

69% chose threat intelligence
57% chose behavior analysis
56% chose automatic detection
54% chose machine learning and automated analysis

ITC analyst on the phone

The profile of a threat hunter

Threat hunters look for attackers who manage to break through vulnerabilities that a company might not even know exist . These attackers spend a considerable amount of time planning and performing the reconnaissance, acting only when they know they can successfully penetrate the network without warning. They also inject and build malware that has not yet been recognized or use techniques that do not rely on malware at all, to provide a persistent base from which to attack.

What does it take to outsmart even the smartest attackers?

A cyber threat hunter is relentless and can find even the smallest trace of what attackers have left behind. In general, threat hunters use their skills to undo the small changes that occur when attackers make their moves within a system or file.

The best threat hunters rely on their instincts to sniff out the stealth moves of the most dangerous attacker.

Are you a threat hunter? Contact us!

SOD is looking for a SOC / ICT analyst to add to the team. If you think you’re the right person, visit this page to view the detailed job posting.

Useful links:

Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) – greater effectiveness for IT security

Long-term search: what’s new in the SOCaaS service

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud

Share


RSS

More Articles…

Categories …

Tags

RSS Dark Reading

RSS Full Disclosure

  • Trovent Security Advisory 2203-01 / Micro Focus GroupWise transmits session ID in URL January 31, 2023
    Posted by Stefan Pietsch on Jan 30# Trovent Security Advisory 2203-01 # ##################################### Micro Focus GroupWise transmits session ID in URL ################################################# Overview ######## Advisory ID: TRSA-2203-01 Advisory version: 1.0 Advisory status: Public Advisory URL: https://trovent.io/security-advisory-2203-01 Affected product: Micro Focus GroupWise Affected version: prior to 18.4.2 Vendor: Micro Focus, https://www.microfocus.com...
  • APPLE-SA-2023-01-24-1 tvOS 16.3 January 27, 2023
    Posted by Apple Product Security via Fulldisclosure on Jan 26APPLE-SA-2023-01-24-1 tvOS 16.3 tvOS 16.3 addresses the following issues. Information about the security content is also available at https://support.apple.com/HT213601. AppleMobileFileIntegrity Available for: Apple TV 4K (all models) and Apple TV HD Impact: An app may be able to access user-sensitive data Description: This issue was addressed […]
  • [SYSS-2022-047] Razer Synapse - Local Privilege Escalation January 27, 2023
    Posted by Oliver Schwarz via Fulldisclosure on Jan 26Advisory ID: SYSS-2022-047 Product: Razer Synapse Manufacturer: Razer Inc. Affected Version(s): Versions before 3.7.0830.081906 Tested Version(s): 3.7.0731.072516 Vulnerability Type: Improper Certificate Validation (CWE-295) Risk Level: High Solution Status: Open Manufacturer Notification: 2022-08-02 Solution Date: 2022-09-06 Public Disclosure:...
  • [RT-SA-2022-002] Skyhigh Security Secure Web Gateway: Cross-Site Scripting in Single Sign-On Plugin January 26, 2023
    Posted by RedTeam Pentesting GmbH on Jan 26RedTeam Pentesting identified a vulnerability which allows attackers to craft URLs to any third-party website that result in arbitrary content to be injected into the response when accessed through the Secure Web Gateway. While it is possible to inject arbitrary content types, the primary risk arises from JavaScript […]
  • t2'23: Call For Papers 2023 (Helsinki, Finland) January 24, 2023
    Posted by Tomi Tuominen via Fulldisclosure on Jan 23Call For Papers 2023 Tired of your bosses suspecting conference trips to exotic locations being just a ploy to partake in Security Vacation Club? Prove them wrong by coming to Helsinki, Finland on May 4-5 2023! Guaranteed lack of sunburn, good potential for rain or slush. In […]
  • Re: HNS-2022-01 - HN Security Advisory - Multiple vulnerabilities in Solaris dtprintinfo and libXm/libXpm January 24, 2023
    Posted by Marco Ivaldi on Jan 23Hello again, Just a quick update. Mitre has assigned the following additional CVE IDs: * CVE-2023-24039 - Stack-based buffer overflow in libXm ParseColors * CVE-2023-24040 - Printer name injection and heap memory disclosure We have updated the advisory accordingly: https://github.com/hnsecurity/vulns/blob/main/HNS-2022-01-dtprintinfo.txt Regards, Marco
  • APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-8 Safari 16.3 January 24, 2023
    Posted by Apple Product Security via Fulldisclosure on Jan 23APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-8 Safari 16.3 Safari 16.3 addresses the following issues. Information about the security content is also available at https://support.apple.com/HT213600. WebKit Available for: macOS Big Sur and macOS Monterey Impact: Processing maliciously crafted web content may lead to arbitrary code execution Description: The issue was addressed with […]
  • APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-7 watchOS 9.3 January 24, 2023
    Posted by Apple Product Security via Fulldisclosure on Jan 23APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-7 watchOS 9.3 watchOS 9.3 addresses the following issues. Information about the security content is also available at https://support.apple.com/HT213599. AppleMobileFileIntegrity Available for: Apple Watch Series 4 and later Impact: An app may be able to access user-sensitive data Description: This issue was addressed by enabling hardened […]
  • APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-6 macOS Big Sur 11.7.3 January 24, 2023
    Posted by Apple Product Security via Fulldisclosure on Jan 23APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-6 macOS Big Sur 11.7.3 macOS Big Sur 11.7.3 addresses the following issues. Information about the security content is also available at https://support.apple.com/HT213603. AppleMobileFileIntegrity Available for: macOS Big Sur Impact: An app may be able to access user-sensitive data Description: This issue was addressed by enabling […]
  • APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-5 macOS Monterey 12.6.3 January 24, 2023
    Posted by Apple Product Security via Fulldisclosure on Jan 23APPLE-SA-2023-01-23-5 macOS Monterey 12.6.3 macOS Monterey 12.6.3 addresses the following issues. Information about the security content is also available at https://support.apple.com/HT213604. AppleMobileFileIntegrity Available for: macOS Monterey Impact: An app may be able to access user-sensitive data Description: This issue was addressed by enabling hardened runtime. CVE-2023-23499: […]

Customers

Newsletter