Cyber security

What is Threat Hunting: Methodologies, Steps, and Tips on How Do You Begin Threat Hunting?

Threat Hunting

What is Cyber Threat Hunting?

The process of proactively searching for cyber threats hiding undiscovered in a network is known as threat hunting. Cyber threat hunting browses your environment for dangerous individuals who have escaped your initial endpoint security measures.

As an active information security method, security analysts use cyber threat hunting. It involves scanning networks iteratively for indications of compromise (IoCs), hacker tactics, strategies, techniques, procedures (TTP), and threats such as Advanced Persistent Threats escaping your current security system.

An attacker can remain on a network for months after slipping in, quietly collecting data, looking for confidential material, or obtaining login credentials that will allow them to move laterally throughout the environment.

Threat hunting activities include: 

  • Hunting for inside or outside threat attackers:

Cyberthreat hunters can discover dangers posed by insiders, such as an employee, or outsiders, such as a crime syndicate.

  • Proactively looking for known competitors:

An identified attacker is one whose code pattern is on the deny list of known harmful applications or is placed in threat intelligence services.

  • Looking for unseen threats to prevent an assault from occurring:

Threat hunters use continuous monitoring to investigate the computing environment. They can discover deviations that may suggest a threat via behavioral analysis.

  • Setting the incident response strategy into action:

When a threat is detected, hunters gather as much information as possible before carrying out the incident response plan to eliminate it. Then, it is used to keep the response plan up to date and prevent further assaults.

Top 4 Threat Hunting Methodologies:

Threat hunters believe that attackers are already present in the system and begin investigating strange behavior that may signal the presence of harmful activities. This initial inquiry in proactive threat hunting often falls into three major categories:

1. Intelligence-based hunting:

Intelligence-based hunting is an active threat hunting method that reacts to intelligence input sources. It can highlight Intelligence such as indicators of compromise, IP addresses, hash values, and domain names.

This procedure can be connected with your SIEM and threat intelligence technologies, which use Intelligence to detect risks. In addition, the host or network traces offered by computer emergency response teams (CERTs), which allow you to export automated warnings, are another excellent source of Intelligence. 

2. Hypotheses Threat hunting:

  • Data analysis: employs machine learning (ML) and user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) to generate aggregated risk scores and hypotheses.
  • Intellectual ability consists of malware analysis, vulnerability assessments, and intelligence reports and feeds.
  • Enterprise risk assessments and crown pearl analysis are driven by situational awareness.

3. Investigation using indicators of attack (IoA):

Investigation using indicators of threat is the most proactive danger hunting strategy. The first stage uses global detection rulebooks to identify advanced persistent threat (APT) groups and malware strikes. This approach is frequently used in conjunction with threat frameworks such as MITRE ATT&CK.

Here are some actions that are involved in the process:

  • To identify threat hunting, use IOAs and TTP.
  • The hunter evaluates the domain, environment, and assault behaviors to develop a consistent hypothesis with compound miter.
  • After identifying a behavior, the danger hunter attempts to identify trends by monitoring activities. The objective is to locate, identify, and then isolate the threat.

4. Hybrid hunting:

The hybrid threat hunting strategy includes all previous methodologies, allowing security analysts to customize the hunt to their specific needs. It typically combines industry-based hunting with situational awareness and particular hunting requirements. For example, one can modify the search to include information regarding foreign policy issues. You may also utilize a hypothesis as the trigger and take advantage of IRAs and IoCs. 

What are Threat Hunting steps?

Typically, threat hunting consists of three steps: a trigger, an investigation, and a resolution.

  1. A Trigger:

 When advanced detection tools notice odd actions that suggest a malicious activity, a trigger directs danger hunters to a particular machine or network area for additional study. A new threat idea is frequently the motivation for proactive hunting. A security team, for example, may look for advanced threats that use techniques like file-less malware to circumvent existing safeguards.

2. Investigation:

Following the identification of a trigger, the hunting efforts are focused on proactively seeking deviations that either prove or deny the hypothesis. During the investigation, threat hunters employ various technologies to explore anomalies that may or may not be malicious.

3. A Resolution:

During the resolution phase, pertinent malicious activity intelligence is communicated to operations and security teams so that they can respond to the incident and minimize dangers. In addition, without further human interaction, it can feed the data obtained concerning malicious and benign activities into automated systems to improve its effectiveness.

Cyber threat hunters acquire as much information about an attacker’s actions, techniques, and intentions as possible throughout the process. They also evaluate acquired data to identify trends in an organization’s security environment, remove present weaknesses, and forecast future security.

What qualities define skilled threat hunting?

A threat hunting is a security consultant who detects, isolates, and counteracts APTs not discovered by automated security solutions using manual or machine-assisted methodologies. Security personnel can improve their skills by training in threat hunting or earning a certification such as Certified Cyber Threat Hunting Professional (CCTHP).

Typically, threat hunters report to a director of information security, who reports to the chief information security officer (CISO).

Some essential skills for an effective danger hunter include:

  • Pattern recognition, technical writing, data science, problem-solving, and research are all part of data analytics and reporting.
  • Knowledge of operating systems and networks – must be familiar with organizational strategies and networks.
  • Experience in information security – malware reverse engineering, adversary tracking, and endpoint security; must have a comprehensive understanding of past and current attacker TTP
  • Fluency in at least one scripting language and one compiled language is widespread, while current techniques gradually decrease the need to use scripting languages.

Three Tips to Help You Improve your Threat Hunting:

Every year, data breaches and cyberattacks cost businesses millions of dollars. These suggestions can help your organization detect these risks more effectively.

  1. Determine your Organizations:

Threat hunters must shift through abnormal activity to identify actual threats. Therefore it is essential to understand the organization’s routine operational processes. The threat hunting team works with essential employees inside and outside of IT to obtain critical information and insights. It allows them to distinguish between what is a threat and what is abnormal but routine activity. With the help of technologies, this procedure can display normal operating conditions for an area and the users and machines within it.

2. Observe, orient, Decide, Act (OODA):

  • Observe – Collect logs from IT and security systems regularly.
  • Orient – Compare the facts to what is already known. Analyze and search for signals of an attack, such as signs of command and control.
  • Decide – Determine the best course of action based on the event condition.
  • Act — In the event of an attack, carry out the incident response plan. Take precautions to avoid similar attacks in the future.

3. Employ adequate and suitable resources:

  • Personnel – a threat hunting team, composed of at least one member experienced in cyber threat hunting.
  • Systems – a fundamental infrastructure for threat hunting that collects and organizes security occurrences and events.
  • Tools are pieces of software designed to detect irregularities and track down intruders.

What are the platforms for Threat Hunting?

To detect suspicious activity, threat hunters employ solutions and technologies. The three major categories are as follows:

1. Tools for security monitoring:

Firewalls, antivirus, and endpoint security solutions collect and monitor network security data.

2. SIEM solutions :

Security information and event management (SIEM) solutions assist in handling raw security data and enable real-time threat analysis.

3. Analytics software:

Statistical and intelligence analysis software generates graphical reports via interactive charts and graphs, making it easier to link items and find patterns.

What Do You Need to Begin Threat Hunting?

A top threat hunting service approaches assault detection in four ways:

In addition to trained security personnel, there are two other components: massive data and advanced analytics, required for successful hunting.

  1. Human Expertise:

Although each new generation of security technology can detect a more significant number of sophisticated threats, The human mind continues to be an effective—monitoring tool. Approaches for automated detection are available. Essentially predictable, and today’s attackers are well aware of this. So they have created methods to evade, avoid, or conceal from automated security systems. Mortal danger hunters are an essential component of a successful threat hunting service.

2. Historical data:

It provides complete insight into overall network endpoints and assets; the service must also be able to collect and store granular system event data. A good security service then contains and performs real-time analysis on these big data sets using scalable cloud infrastructure.

3. Threat Intelligence:

Furthermore, a threat hunting solution can help cross-reference internal organizational data with the most recent threat intelligence regarding external trends and apply advanced techniques to evaluate and connect dangerous actions appropriately.

4. 24/7 operations:

It takes time, resources, and effort, and most businesses are understaffed and under-equipped to run a continual 24/7 threat hunting operation. However, managed security solutions provide the essential resources, people, data, and analytical tools to successfully seek abnormal network activity and hidden dangers.

Why Kloudlearn?

KloudLearn’s Cyber​​Security Training is intended to assist learners in learning the best techniques to secure infrastructure and data, such as risk analysis and mitigation, cloud-based security, and compliance.

You will learn about current cybersecurity issues, such as ethical hacking, data privacy, network security, information processing systems, etc. 


Why do we need Threat Hunting?

They can break into any network and avoid detection for up to 280 days on average if provided sufficient time and money. Effective threat hunting shortens the period between penetration and discovery, lowering the amount of damage done by attackers.

What is Advanced threat hunting?

Advanced threat hunting is a tool that allows you to search through up to 30 days of raw data. You can monitor network events proactively to find threat signs and entities. The unrestricted access to data allows for unconstrained hunting for known and undiscovered risks.

What is EDR threat hunting?

EDR stands for Endpoint Detection and Response, and it aids in the detection of threats. These technologies are primarily responsible for identifying suspicious activity and examining other endpoint issues. It is a new type of solution that is known as EDR.

Which of the following is a proactive approach to threat hunting attacks?

Proactive threat hunting is detecting security breaches after an assault has occurred. This approach seeks to identify hackers who have acquired access to your network after defeating early security measures. It searches your digital asset ecosystem for information regarding the breach. This data is used to prevent future threats to your network.


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