Operating in a reactionary work environment is the kiss of death to enterprises at risk of ransomware or cyber-attack. Threats don’t sleep, and neither should your threat hunting solution – a tall order when traditional techniques rely on the expertise of experienced, and rare IT cyber security specialists. While the term "threat hunting" might seem thrilling, most people know very little about what it is about and know much less about what effective and proactive cyber threat hunting really is. In a cybersecurity landscape littered with tricks, traps, and pitfalls, it is critical that your business deploys the right tools and solutions to protect your enterprise in any situation.
What is threat hunting?
Cyber threat hunting is a proactive search for cyber threats or weaknesses which could allow cyber attackers into a network or system. Without skilled IT professionals trained to identify breaches or vulnerabilities, malware or ransomware can easily overwhelm a network while data theft cripples a business. Traditional threat hunting requires an experienced and analytical professional whose skills are in high demand due to a pronounced lack of qualified professionals with the necessary experience, education, and cybersecurity instincts. Threat actors are as sophisticated as those responsible for stopping them, forcing enterprises to evaluate hacker intent, capabilities, and opportunity to infiltrate their system without the necessary skills or tools to adequately do so.
What are the necessary threat hunting capabilities?
The best way to determine the best cyber threat hunting solution for your business, is to evaluate potential attacker goals, capabilities, and opportunities.
Goals: The type of data you collect and store, the size of your business, and the amount of money that flows through your business daily are indicators of your level of risk and what type of threat you are vulnerable to. Determining if a cyber-attack will target your customers, your finances, or hold your business for ransom, will help you hone in on the methods of attack you will likely experience, and thus inform your threat hunting process and goals.
Capabilities: Staying up to date on the latest cyber security trends will help alert you to what attacks might be launched against your network. For example, if you have determined that your most valuable company asset is customer PII, researching the newest and most successful attacks for theft of customer information will give you a head start toward identifying any security gaps.
Opportunities: Closing the door on known and unknown vulnerabilities or threats before they can be used against you is an important way of proactively protecting your network from cyber threats like ransomware. Falling victim to the same exploits as other well-known companies implies to customers a lack of awareness, professionalism, and passive commitment to network security.
What tools and techniques are used for cyber threat hunting?
Cybersecurity experts use everything from critical thinking and manual forensic investigation, to automated threat hunting tools, to protect enterprises. Threat hunters are responsible for seeking out insider threat and outsider attack surfaces, hunting down potential attackers or vulnerabilities before they become a problem, and for executing a well-rehearsed incident response (IR) plan
. A few critical elements of any cyber threat hunting mission are:
- Data analytics & reporting
- OS & network knowledge
- Information security experience
Threat hunters use three types of tools in their work;
- Analytics-driven tools including machine learning and behaviour analytics,
- Intelligence-driven tools including analysis of malware and ransomware, vulnerability scans, and threat intelligence reports, and finally,
- Situational-awareness tools, designed to add an extra layer of protection around any business-critical data or assets.
With all these critical elements interwoven together, it’s hard to imagine a threat or attacker could gain access, but it is difficult to imagine any human being, or even a team of people, keeping up with all the dynamic elements that make up an ever-changing network, some parts of which change hourly. With the volume of data flowing through enterprises daily, automation is vital to this process and generating real-time threat intelligence, meaning enterprises of all sizes are investing in a threat hunting solution designed to perform all these functions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Where can I find open-source cyber threat hunting tools?
Some budget-conscious enterprises rely on open-source threat hunting tools technology, as well as a community of users for their data. Such tools include
Without licensing fees, some enterprises seek out solutions like Snort
, both open-source, rules-based intrusion detection systems (IDS) or Zeek
(formerly known as Bro), an IDS system that focuses on network analysis but is resource-intensive. While open-source threat hunting tools are cheap, they are not always easy to work with, are often incorrectly configured, and are not powerful or comprehensive enough to protect an enterprise. Should the worst happen, and you suffer a cyber-attack, do you think your customers will congratulate you on your frugal approach to cyber security practices – or seek out a company who invests in protecting their data?
Where can I find professional cyber threat hunting tools?
An example of a professional threat hunting tool or a total solution is Sangfor’s Cyber Command
. Cyber Command is a real-time threat intelligence, detection and response platform designed with the singular purpose of improving and automating enterprise IT security and risk posture.
Why Sangfor Cyber Command?
Sangfor Cyber Command addresses all of the elements critical to threat hunting
, and goes well beyond any open-source tools available on the market, all with a reasonable price tag. Cyber Command is used by customers world-wide to significantly improve threat detection and response by automatically monitoring all internal network traffic, using artificial intelligence (AI), behaviour analysis and global threat intelligence to identify and correlate all security events. Cyber Command identifies security breaches in real-time and uncovers any hidden threats already lurking in your network, waiting to attack. Integration with other network and endpoint security solutions means Sangfor Cyber Command can automatically respond accurately and decisively when a threat is identified, giving IT experts a fighting chance at protecting their network.
is an APAC-based, global leading vendor of IT infrastructure solutions specializing in Network Security and Cloud Computing. Sangfor Cyber Command was built to easily integrate with a wide range of Sangfor security and cloud solutions, and even many 3rd party solutions, making investment in Sangfor Cyber Command an investment in your future network security.
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